TITLE 22. EXAMINING BOARDS

PART 6. TEXAS BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS AND LAND SURVEYORS

CHAPTER 131. ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION

The Texas Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (Board) proposes the repeal of 22 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 131, specifically §131.33 and §131.49 regarding the organization and administration of the agency.

EXPLANATION OF AND JUSTIFICATION FOR THE RULES

The rules under 22 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 131 implement Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1001, the Texas Engineering Practice Act.

The proposed repealed rules implement necessary changes as required by House Bill (HB) 1523, 86th Legislature, Regular Session (2019), related to the merger of operations of the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying into the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (TBPELS).

As required by HB 1523, the operations of the two agencies have been merged into one and the associated rules regarding operations of the agency have been merged into Chapter 131 per the guidance of the Secretary of State. During the review of the rules for the merger, certain sections were determined to not be appropriate rules, redundant, or consolidated with another rule.

SECTION-BY-SECTION SUMMARY

The proposed rules repeal §131.33. The rule review determined that this section does not meet the definition of a rule. Section 131.33 describes the Board's career ladder policy. Under §2001.003(6)(c) of the Government Code (Administrative Procedure Act), a rule does not include a statement regarding only the internal management or organization of a state agency and not affecting private rights or procedures. Accordingly, the career ladder program will be part of the Board's Human Resources policy and not set out in a rule.

The proposed rules repeal §131.49. During the rule review, this rule was determined to be unnecessary and not required by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Government Code Chapter 551.

FISCAL IMPACT ON STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Dr. Lance Kinney, Ph.D., P.E., Executive Director for the Board, has determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed rules are in effect, there are no estimated additional costs or reductions in costs to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rule. Dr. Kinney has determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed rules are in effect, there is no estimated increase or loss in revenue to the state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rule.

LOCAL EMPLOYMENT IMPACT STATEMENT

Dr. Kinney has determined that the proposed rules will not affect the local economy, so the agency is not required to prepare a local employment impact statement under Government Code §2001.022.

PUBLIC BENEFITS

Dr. Kinney has determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed rules are in effect, the public benefit will be the clarification of agency rules regarding operations of the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors.

PROBABLE ECONOMIC COSTS TO PERSONS REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH PROPOSAL

Dr. Kinney has determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed rules are in effect, there are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the proposed rules.

FISCAL IMPACT ON SMALL BUSINESSES, MICRO-BUSINESSES, AND RURAL COMMUNITIES

There will be no adverse effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities as a result of the proposed rules. Since the agency has determined that the proposed rules will have no adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities, preparation of an Economic Impact Statement and a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, as detailed under Texas Government Code §2006.002, is not required.

ONE-FOR-ONE REQUIREMENT FOR RULES WITH A FISCAL IMPACT

The proposed rules do not have a fiscal note that imposes a cost on regulated persons, including another state agency, a special district, or a local government. Therefore, the agency is not required to take any further action under Government Code §2001.0045.

GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT STATEMENT

Pursuant to Government Code §2001.0221, the agency provides the following Government Growth Impact Statement for the proposed repeals. For each year of the first five years the proposed repeals are in effect, the agency has determined the following:

1. The proposed repeals do not create or eliminate a government program.

2. Implementation of the proposed repeals do not require the creation of new employee positions or the elimination of existing employee positions.

3. Implementation of the proposed repeals do not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency.

4. The proposed repeals do not require an increase or decrease in fees paid to the agency.

5. The proposed repeals do not create a new regulation.

6. The proposed repeals do not expand, limit, or repeal a regulation as these provisions are covered elsewhere in policy or statute.

7. The proposed repeals do not increase the number of individuals subject to the rule's applicability.

8. The proposed repeals do not positively or adversely affect this state's economy.

TAKINGS IMPACT ASSESSMENT

The Board has determined that no private real property interests are affected by the proposed repeals and the proposed repeals do not restrict, limit, or impose a burden on an owner's rights to his or her private real property that would otherwise exist in the absence of government action. As a result, the proposed repeals do not constitute a taking or require a takings impact assessment under Government Code §2007.043.

ENVIRONMENTAL RULE ANALYSIS

The Board has determined that the proposed repeals are not brought with the specific intent to protect the environment or reduce risks to human health from environmental exposure; thus, the Board asserts the proposed repeals are not a "major environmental rule," as defined by Government Code §2001.0225. As a result, the Board asserts preparation of an environmental impact analysis, as provided by §2001.0225, is not required.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

Any comments or request for a public hearing may be submitted, no later than 30 days after the publication of this notice, to Lance Kinney, Ph.D., P.E., Executive Director, Texas Board of Professional Engineers, 1917 S. Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78741, faxed to his attention at (512) 440-0417 or sent by email to rules@engineers.texas.gov.

SUBCHAPTER B. ORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD STAFF

22 TAC §131.33

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The repeal is proposed pursuant to Texas Occupations Code §§1001.101 and 1001.202, which authorize the Board to regulate engineering and land surveying and make and enforce all rules and regulations and bylaws consistent with the Act as necessary for the performance of its duties, the governance of its own proceedings, and the regulation of the practices of engineering and land surveying in this state.

No other codes, articles, or statutes are affected by this proposal.

§131.33.Career Ladder.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 4, 2020.

TRD-202003157

Lance Kinney

Executive Director

Texas Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors

Earliest possible date of adoption: September 20, 2020

For further information, please call: (512) 440-3080


SUBCHAPTER C. MEETINGS

22 TAC §131.49

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The repeal is proposed pursuant to Texas Occupations Code §§1001.101 and 1001.202, which authorize the Board to regulate engineering and land surveying and make and enforce all rules and regulations and bylaws consistent with the Act as necessary for the performance of its duties, the governance of its own proceedings, and the regulation of the practices of engineering and land surveying in this state.

No other codes, articles, or statutes are affected by this proposal.

§131.49.Rules of Order.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 4, 2020.

TRD-202003158

Lance Kinney

Executive Director

Texas Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors

Earliest possible date of adoption: September 20, 2020

For further information, please call: (512) 440-3080


PART 16. TEXAS BOARD OF PHYSICAL THERAPY EXAMINERS

CHAPTER 329. LICENSING PROCEDURE

22 TAC §329.5

The Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners proposes amending 22 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §329.5, Licensing Procedures for Foreign-Trained Applicants.

The amendment is proposed to update the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) minimum standards accepted by the board as proof of English language proficiency for a foreign-trained licensure applicant. The amendment eliminates outdated scores and adds the most recent TOEFL scores adopted by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT).

Fiscal Note

Ralph A. Harper, Executive Director of the Executive Council of Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy Examiners (ECPTOTE), has determined that for the first five-year period these amendments are in effect there would be no increase or loss of revenue to the state. No fiscal implication to units of local government is anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the rules.

Public Benefits and Costs

Mr. Harper has also determined that for the first five-year period these amendments are in effect the public benefit will be continued assurance that foreign-trained applicants meet minimum standards of licensure requirements, and that there will be no additional economic cost for individuals required to comply with these rules.

Local Employment Economic Impact Statement

The amendments are not anticipated to impact a local economy, so a local employment economic impact statement is not required.

Small and Micro-Businesses and Rural Communities Impact

Mr. Harper has determined that there will be no costs or adverse economic effects to small or micro-businesses or rural communities; therefore, an economic impact statement or regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

Government Growth Impact Statement

Pursuant to Government Code §2001.0221, the agency provides the following Government Growth Impact Statement for the proposed rule amendments. For each year of the first five years the proposed amendment will be in effect, Mr. Harper has determined the following:

(1) The proposed rule amendments will neither create nor eliminate a government program.

(2) The proposed rule amendments will neither create new employee positions nor eliminate existing employee positions.

(3) The proposed rule amendments will neither increase nor decrease future legislative appropriations to the agency.

(4) The proposed rule amendments will neither require an increase nor a decrease in fees paid to the agency.

(5) The proposed rule amendment revises an existing regulation with updated English language proficiency standards as a condition for issuance of a license to a foreign-trained applicant.

(6) The proposed rule amendments will neither repeal nor limit an existing regulation.

(7) The proposed rule amendments will neither increase nor decrease the number of individuals subject to the rule's applicability.

(8) The proposed rule amendments will neither positively nor adversely affect this state's economy.

Takings Impact Assessment

The proposed rule amendments will not impact private real property as defined by Tex. Gov't Code §2007.003, so a takings impact assessment under Tex. Gov't Code §2001.043 is not required.

Requirement for Rule Increasing Costs to Regulated Persons

Tex. Gov't Code §2001.0045, Requirement for Rule Increasing Costs to Regulated Persons, does not apply to this proposed rule amendment.

Public Comment

Comments on the proposed amendments may be submitted to Karen Gordon, PT Coordinator, Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners, 333 Guadalupe, Suite 2-510, Austin, Texas 78701; email: karen@ptot.texas.gov. Comments must be received no later than 30 days from the date this proposed amendment is published in the Texas Register.

Statutory Authority

The amended sections are proposed under Texas Occupation Code §453.102, which authorizes the Board to adopt rules necessary to implement chapter 453. Additionally, the amendments to §341.1, §341.6, and §341.8 are proposed under Texas Occupation Code § 453.254, which authorizes the Board to require licenses holders to complete continuing competence activities specified by the Board.

Cross-reference to Statute

The proposed amendment implements provisions in Sec. 453.204, Occupations Code that pertains to licensure requirements of foreign-trained applicants. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by these amendments.

§329.5.Licensing Procedures for Foreign-Trained Applicants.

A foreign-trained applicant must complete the license application process as set out in §329.1 of this title (relating to General Licensure Requirements and Procedures). In addition, the applicant must submit the following:

(1) (No change.)

(2) Proof of English language proficiency. A foreign-trained applicant must demonstrate the ability to communicate in English by making the minimum score accepted by the board on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) [TOEFL tests] administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

(A) (No change.)

(B) (B) Minimum acceptable TOEFL iBT (internet-based test) scores are as follows: Reading = 22, Writing = 22, Speaking = 24, and Listening = 21.

[(i) Paper-based TOEFL tests (pbt) - TOEFL (reading/comprehension) 580; TWE (writing/essay) 5.0; TSE (speaking) 50;]

[(ii) Computer-based TOEFL tests (cbt) - TOEFL (reading/comprehension) 237; TWE (writing/essay) 5.0; TSE (speaking) 50;]

[(iii) Internet-based (ibt) - Writing 24; Speaking 26; Reading Comprehension 21; Listening Comprehension 18.]

(C) (No change.)

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 7, 2020.

TRD-202003199

Ralph A. Harper

Executive Director

Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners

Earliest possible date of adoption: September 20, 2020

For further information, please call: (512) 305-6900


CHAPTER 344. ADMINISTRATIVE FINES AND PENALTIES

22 TAC §344.1

The Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners proposes amending 22 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §344.1 regarding changes to the Schedule of Sanctions graphic.

The amendment is proposed to update the Schedule of Sanctions graphic by removing the sanctions for not registering a physical therapy facility and practicing in an unregistered physical therapy facility pursuant to the repeal of physical therapy facility registration and annual renewal pursuant to SB 317 during the 85th Legislative Session; and to add a range of fines that can be imposed per violation to each category of disciplinary action.

Fiscal Note

Ralph A. Harper, Executive Director of the Executive Council of Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy Examiners, has determined that for the first five-year period these amendments are in effect there would be no increase or loss of revenue to the state as the addition of recouping investigation costs for the revocation or surrender of a license would occur infrequently. No fiscal implication to units of local government is anticipated as a result of enforcing or administering the rules.

Public Benefits and Costs

Mr. Harper has also determined that for the first five-year period these amendments are in effect there will be no impact on the public, neither beneficially nor economically.

Local Employment Economic Impact Statement

The amendments are not anticipated to impact a local economy, so a local employment economic impact statement is not required.

Small and Micro-Businesses and Rural Communities Impact

Mr. Harper has determined that there will be no costs or adverse economic effects to small or micro-businesses or rural communities; therefore, an economic impact statement or regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

Government Growth Impact Statement

During the first five-year period these amendments are in effect, the impact on government growth is as follows: the proposed amendment will neither create nor eliminate a government program; will neither create new employee positions nor eliminate existing employee positions; will neither increase nor decrease future legislative appropriations to the agency; will neither require an increase nor a decrease in fees paid to the agency; does not create a new regulation; expands on an existing regulation by updating a graphic associated with an existing rule; will not increase the number of licensees subject to the rule's applicability; and will neither positively or adversely affect the state's economy.

Takings Impact Assessment

The proposed rule amendments will not impact private real property as defined by Tex. Gov't Code §2007.003, so a takings impact assessment under Tex. Gov't Code §2001.043 is not required.

Requirement for Rule Increasing Costs to Regulated Persons

Tex. Gov't Code §2001.0045, Requirement for Rule Increasing Costs to Regulated Persons, does not apply to this proposed rule because the recouping of investigative costs for the maximum disciplinary action for revocation or surrender of a license occurs infrequently and is necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of this state.

Public Comment

Comments on the proposed amendments may be submitted to Karen Gordon, PT Coordinator, Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners, 333 Guadalupe, Suite 2-510, Austin, Texas 78701; email: karen@ptot.texas.gov. Comments must be received no later than 30 days from the date this proposed amendment is published in the Texas Register.

Statutory Authority

The amendment is proposed under the Physical Therapy Practice Act, Title 3, Subtitle H, Chapter 453, Texas Occupations Code, which provides the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners with the authority to adopt rules consistent with this Act to carry out its duties in administering this Act.

Cross-reference to Statute

The proposed amendment implements provisions in Sec. 453.352, Texas Occupations Code.

§344.1.Administrative Fines and Penalties.

(a) - (b) (No change.)

(c) The Board shall utilize the following Schedule of Sanctions in all disciplinary matters.

Figure: 22 TAC §344.1(c) (.pdf)

[Figure: 22 TAC §344.1(c)]

(d) - (e) (No change.)

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 7, 2020.

TRD-202003198

Ralph A. Harper

Executive Director

Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners

Earliest possible date of adoption: September 20, 2020

For further information, please call: (512) 305-6900