Text as changed by the 86th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2019
Italic faced type indicates amendments by the 86th Legislature
Amendments to Subsections J and O of Section 2 contained in House Bill 1535, effective September 1, 2019:
Sec. 2. Creating the State Securities Board and Providing for Appointment of Securities Commissioner.
J. On or before January 1 of each year, the Board, with the advice of the Commissioner, shall report to the Governor and the presiding officer of each house of the Legislature as to its administration of this Act, as well as plans and needs for future securities regulation. The report must include:
(1) a detailed accounting of all funds received and disbursed by the Board during the preceding year, including the amount spent by the Board assisting in the criminal prosecution of cases under Subsection B of Section 3 of this Act; and
(2) with respect to cases referred during the preceding year by the Board under Subsection A of Section 3 of this Act, a breakdown by county and district attorney of the number of cases where:
(A) criminal charges were filed;
(B) prosecution is ongoing; or
(C) prosecution was completed.
O. The State Securities Board is subject to Chapter 325, Government Code (Texas Sunset Act). Unless continued in existence as provided by that chapter, the board is abolished and this Act expires September 1, 2031.
Amendment to Subsection B and addition of Subsection D of Section 2-3 contained in House Bill 1535, effective on September 1, 2019:
Sec. 2-3. Training.
B. The training program must provide the person with information regarding:
(1) the law governing Board operations;
(2) the programs, functions, rules, and budget of the Board;
(3) the scope of and limitations on the rulemaking authority of the Board;
(4) the types of Board rules, interpretations, and enforcement actions that may implicate federal antitrust law by limiting competition or impacting prices charged by persons engaged in a profession or business the Board regulates, including any rule, interpretation, or enforcement action that:
(A) regulates the scope of practice of persons in a profession or business the Board regulates;
(B) restricts advertising by persons in a profession or business the Board regulates;
(C) affects the price of goods or services provided by persons in a profession or business the Board regulates; or
(D) restricts participation in a profession or business the Board regulates;
(5) the results of the most recent formal audit of the Board;
(6) the requirements of:
(A) laws relating to open meetings, public information, administrative procedure, and disclosing conflicts-of-interest; and
(B) other laws applicable to members of a state policymaking body in performing their duties; and
(7) any applicable ethics policies adopted by the Board or the Texas Ethics Commission.
D. The Commissioner shall create a training manual that includes the information required by Subsection B of this section. The Commissioner shall distribute a copy of the training manual annually to each member of the Board. Each member of the Board shall sign and submit to the Commissioner a statement acknowledging that the member received and has reviewed the training manual.
Amendments to Section 2-6 contained in House Bill 1535, effective on September 1, 2019:
Sec. 2-6. Complaints Information.
A. The Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designee shall maintain a system to promptly and efficiently act on complaints filed with the Commissioner or Board. The Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designee shall maintain information about parties to the complaint, the subject matter of the complaint, a summary of the results of the review or investigation of the complaint, and its disposition.
B. The Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designee shall make information available describing the Board’s procedures for complaint investigation and resolution.
C. The Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designee shall periodically notify the complaint parties of the status of the complaint until final disposition unless the notice would jeopardize a law enforcement investigation.
House Bill 1535, Section 9 provides:
Subsection A, Section 2-6, The Securities Act, (Article 581-2-6, Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes), as amended by this Act, applies only to a complaint filed with the State Securities Board on or after the effective date of this Act. A complaint filed before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the date the complaint was filed, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
Addition of Section 2-8 contained in House Bill 1535, effective on September 1, 2019:
Sec. 2-8. Alternative Rulemaking and Dispute Resolution.
A. The Board shall develop a policy to encourage the use of:
(1) negotiated rulemaking procedures under Chapter 2008, Government Code, for the adoption of Board rules; and
(2) appropriate alternative dispute resolution procedures under Chapter 2009, Government Code, to assist in the resolution of internal and external disputes under the Board’s jurisdiction.
B. The Board’s procedures relating to alternative dispute resolution must conform, to the extent possible, to any model guidelines issued by the State Office of Administrative Hearings for the use of alternative dispute resolution by state agencies.
C. The Board shall:
(1) coordinate the implementation of the policy adopted under Subsection A of this section;
(2) provide training as needed to implement the procedures for negotiated rulemaking or alternative dispute resolution; and
(3) collect data concerning the effectiveness of those procedures.
Amendment to Section 3 contained in House Bill 1535, effective on September 1, 2019:
Sec. 3. Administration and Enforcement by the Securities Commissioner and the Attorney General and Local Law Enforcement Officials.
A. The administration of the provisions of this Act shall be vested in the Securities Commissioner. It shall be the duty of the Securities Commissioner and the Attorney General to see that its provisions are at all times obeyed and to take such measures and to make such investigations as will prevent or detect the violation of any provision thereof. The Commissioner shall at once lay before the District or County Attorney of the proper county any evidence which shall come to his knowledge of criminality under this Act. In the event of the neglect or refusal of such attorney to institute and prosecute such violation, the Commissioner shall submit such evidence to the Attorney General, who is hereby authorized to proceed therein with all the rights, privileges and powers conferred by law upon district or county attorneys, including the power to appear before grand juries and to interrogate witnesses before such grand juries.
B. Subject to Subsection E of this section, the Board may provide assistance to a county or district attorney who requests assistance in a criminal prosecution involving an alleged violation of this Act that is referred by the Board to the attorney under Subsection A of this section.
C. Before referring a case to a county or district attorney for prosecution as required by Subsection A of this section, the Commissioner shall make a determination of:
(1) the potential resources of the Board, including the number and types of Board employees, that would be needed to assist in the prosecution of the case; and
(2) the availability of Board employees and other resources necessary to carry out any request for assistance.
D. The Board by rule shall establish a process to enable the Commissioner to determine whether to provide any requested assistance to the appropriate prosecuting attorney following referral of a case under Subsection A of this section and, if so, the appropriate amount of such assistance. The rules must require the Commissioner to consider:
(1) whether resources are available after taking into account any ongoing Board investigations, investigations under Section 28 of this Act, and criminal prosecutions for which assistance is being provided;
(2) the seriousness of the alleged violation or violations in the case, including the severity of the harm and number of victims involved; and
(3) the state’s interest in the prosecution of a particular case and the availability of other methods of redress for the alleged violations, including the pursuit of a civil action.
E. In response to a request for assistance under Subsection B of this section, the Board may provide only those Board employees or resources, if any, determined to be available for that case in accordance with Subsection C of this section. If a change in circumstances occurs after the time of the determination under Subsection C of this section, the Commissioner may reconsider the Commissioner’s determination under that subsection and may increase or reduce the number of Board employees or other resources to be made available for a case using the process established under Subsection D of this section.
F. The Attorney General, at least biennially, shall review a sample of criminal cases for which the Board provided requested assistance to county or district attorneys under this section. The review must include an evaluation of the pre-referral determination of available resources to support each case being reviewed as required by Subsection C of this section and any subsequent determination of those resources made by the Commissioner as authorized under Subsection E of this section. The Attorney General may report any concerns the Attorney General has in connection with the Board’s provision of assistance to the standing committee of each house of the legislature with primary jurisdiction over Board matters.
House Bill 1535, Section 10 provides:
Not later than March 1, 2020, the State Securities Board shall adopt rules necessary to implement the changes in law made by this Act to Section 3, The Securities Act (Article 581-3, Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes).
Addition of Section 32-1 contained in House Bill 1535, effective on September 1, 2019:
Sec. 32-1. Refund.
A. Subject to Subsection B of this section, the Commissioner may order a dealer, agent, investment adviser, or investment adviser representative regulated under this Act to pay a refund to a client or a purchaser of securities or services from the person or company as provided in an agreed order or an enforcement order instead of or in addition to imposing an administrative penalty or other sanctions.
B. The amount of a refund ordered as provided in an agreed order or an enforcement order may not exceed the amount the client or purchaser paid to the dealer, agent, investment adviser, or investment adviser representative for a service or transaction regulated by the Board. The Commissioner may not require payment of other damages or estimate harm in a refund order.
Amendment to Subsection B of Section 35, contained in House Bill 1535, effective on September 1, 2019:
Sec. 35. Fees.
B. The Commissioner or Board shall charge and collect the following fees and shall daily pay all fees received into the State Treasury:
(1) for any filing to amend the registration certificate of a dealer or investment adviser or evidence of registration of an agent or investment adviser representative, or issue a duplicate certificate or evidence of registration, $25;
(2) for the examination of any original or amended application filed under Subsection A, B, or C of Section 7 of this Act, regardless of whether the application is denied, abandoned, withdrawn, or approved, a fee of one-tenth (1/10) of one percent (1%) of the aggregate amount of securities described and proposed to be sold to persons located within this state based upon the price at which such securities are to be offered to the public;
(3) for certified copies of any papers filed in the office of the Commissioner, the Commissioner shall charge such fees as are reasonably related to costs; however, in no event shall such fees be more than those which the Secretary of State is authorized to charge in similar cases;
(4) for the filing of any application for approval of a stock exchange so that securities fully listed thereon will be exempt, a fee of $10,000;
(5) for the filing of a request to take the Texas Securities Law Examination, $35;
(6) for the filing of an initial notice required by the Commissioner to claim a secondary trading exemption, a fee of $500, and for the filing of a secondary trading exemption renewal notice, a fee of $500;
(7) for the filing of an initial notice required by the Commissioner to claim a limited offering exemption, a fee of one-tenth (1/10) of one percent (1%) of the aggregate amount of securities described as being offered for sale, but in no case more than $500; and
(8) for an interpretation by the Board’s general counsel of this Act or a rule adopted under this Act, a fee of $100, except that an officer or employee of a governmental entity and the entity that the officer or employee represents are exempt from the fee under this subsection when the officer or employee is conducting official business of the entity.
House Bill 1535, Section 11 provides:
The change in law made by this Act to Section 35, The Securities Act (Article 581-35, Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes), does not entitle a person to a refund of a registration or other fee paid by the person before the effective date of this Act.
Amendment to Subsection A(2) of Section 45, contained in House Bill 4170, effective on September 1, 2019:
Sec. 45. Protection of Vulnerable Adults from Financial Exploitation.
A. In this section:
(2) "Exploitation," "financial exploitation," and "vulnerable adult" have the meanings assigned by Section 281.001, Finance Code.
The full text of House Bill 1535 and House Bill 4170 may be obtained on the Texas Legislature Online website located at https://capitol.texas.gov.