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TITLE 37PUBLIC SAFETY AND CORRECTIONS
PART 6TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE
CHAPTER 151GENERAL PROVISIONS
RULE §151.4Public Presentations and Comments to the Texas Board of Criminal Justice

(a) Policy. The Texas Board of Criminal Justice (TBCJ or board) is committed to providing access and opportunity for public presentations and comments as provided for in this section. Persons not employed by or under contract with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), who wish to have items placed on the board's posted agenda, shall follow the procedures set forth in subsection (h) of this section. Public presentations and comments shall be:

  (1) subject to the requirements and restrictions of subsections (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g) of this section;

  (2) pertinent to issues under the jurisdiction of the board, as determined by the board chairman and the TDCJ general counsel; and

  (3) pertinent to policies, procedures, standards, and rules of the TDCJ. Disputes that are appropriately the subject of the employee grievance system, the employee disciplinary system, the offender grievance system, the offender disciplinary system, or comments regarding pending litigation shall be addressed through those processes.

(b) Definitions.

  (1) Public presentations are presentations made by the public to the TBCJ regarding topics posted on a board meeting agenda that has been filed with and published by the Texas Register and as provided for in subsection (c) of this section.

  (2) Public comments are comments made by the public on non-posted agenda topics and as provided for in subsection (d) of this section.

(c) Public presentations. Persons who desire to make public presentations to the TBCJ on posted agenda topics shall provide, on the date of the meeting, a completed registration card to onsite board office staff at least 10 minutes prior to the meeting's posted start time. Registration cards shall be made available at the entry to the room where the board's scheduled meeting is held.

  (1) Pre-registration is available for public presentations through first class mail at P.O. Box 13084, Austin, Texas 78711, or e-mail at tbcj@tdcj.state.tx.us. Pre-registration shall be received by the board office staff no later than four calendar days prior to the posted meeting date of the presentation. In addition to the information required in subsection (c)(2) of this section, pre-registration submissions shall include appropriate contact information, such as a daytime phone number or e-mail address, for the individual who is registering to speak.

  (2) Registration cards and pre-registration submissions shall disclose:

    (A) the name of the person who will make the presentation;

    (B) a statement as to whether the person is being remunerated for the presentation and if so, by whom; and if applicable, the name of the person or entity on whose behalf the presentation will be made;

    (C) a statement as to whether the presenter has registered as a lobbyist in relation to the agenda topic being addressed;

    (D) a reference to the agenda topic on which the person wants to present;

    (E) an indication as to whether the presenter will speak for or against the proposed agenda topic; and

    (F) a statement verifying that all information that will be presented is factual, true, and correct to the best of the speaker's knowledge.

  (3) The TBCJ chairman shall have discretion in setting reasonable limits on the time allocated for public presentations on posted agenda topics. If several persons have registered to address the board on the same agenda topic, it shall be within the discretion of the board chairman to request that those persons select a representative amongst themselves to express such remarks or limit their presentations to an expression of support for views previously articulated.

  (4) The TBCJ chairman shall provide an opportunity for public presentations to occur prior to the board taking action on the topic denoted on the presenter's registration card. If a person who is registered to speak on a posted agenda item is not present when called upon, that person's opportunity to speak prior to action being taken on that topic shall be forfeited.

  (5) A presenter may submit documentation pertaining to the public presentation to the board office staff. Documents shall be submitted no later than three calendar days prior to the posted meeting date when the presentation is to occur. Such documentation shall then be distributed to the board. Any documentation submitted after the above-referenced date will not be distributed to the board until after the presentation. A minimum of 12 copies of any such documentation shall be submitted to the board office staff or distribution may not occur.

(d) Public comments.

  (1) Twice a year, at the second and fourth regular called meetings of the board, an opportunity shall be provided for public comment on issues that are not part of the TBCJ's posted agenda but are within the board's jurisdiction. Special called meetings are not counted toward the requirement of this subsection.

  (2) Persons who desire to make public comments to the TBCJ at these meetings shall provide, on the date of the meeting, a completed registration card to onsite board office staff at least 10 minutes prior to the meeting's posted start time. Registration cards shall be made available at the entry to the room where the board's scheduled meeting is held.

  (3) Pre-registration is available for public comments through first class mail at P.O. Box 13084, Austin, Texas 78711, or e-mail at tbcj@tdcj.state.tx.us. Pre-registration shall be received by board office staff no earlier than the first day of the month preceding the board meeting for which the registration is intended and no later than four calendar days prior to the posted meeting date when the comments are to occur. In addition to the information required in subsection (d)(4) of this section, pre-registration submissions shall include appropriate contact information, such as a daytime phone number or e-mail address, for the individual who is registering to speak.

  (4) Registration cards and pre-registration submissions shall disclose:

    (A) the name of the person who will make the comments;

    (B) a statement as to whether the person is being remunerated for the comments and if so, by whom; and, if applicable, the name of the person or entity on whose behalf the comments will be made;

    (C) a statement as to whether the presenter has registered as a lobbyist in relation to the topic being addressed;

    (D) the topic on which the person shall speak and whether the person will speak for or against the topic; and

    (E) a statement verifying that all information that will be presented is factual, true, and correct to the best of the speaker's knowledge.

  (5) The TBCJ chairman shall have discretion in setting reasonable limits on the time allocated for public comments. If several persons have registered to address the board on the same topic, it shall be within the discretion of the board chairman to request that those persons select a representative amongst themselves to express such comments, or limit their comments to an expression of support for views previously articulated.

  (6) Public comments shall be heard just prior to the conclusion of the board meeting, with deviation from this practice within the discretion of the board chairman. If a person who is registered to speak on a non-posted topic is not present when called upon, that person shall be called once more following all other registered speakers. If that person is not present at that time, their opportunity to speak at that meeting shall be forfeited.

  (7) A presenter may submit documentation pertaining to the public comments to the board office staff. Documentation shall be submitted no later than three calendar days prior to the posted meeting date when the comments are to occur. Such documentation shall then be distributed to the board. Any documentation submitted after the above-referenced date will not be distributed to the board until after the comments. A minimum of 12 copies of any such documentation shall be submitted to the board office staff or distribution may not occur.

(e) Disability accommodations. Persons with disabilities who have special communication or accommodation needs and who plan to attend a meeting may contact the board office at 512-475-3250. Requests for accommodation shall be made at least two days prior to a posted meeting. The TBCJ shall make every reasonable effort to accommodate these needs.

(f) Conduct and decorum. The TBCJ shall receive public presentations and comments as authorized by this section, subject to the following additional guidelines:

  (1) Due to requirements of the Open Meetings Act, questions shall only occur on public presentations as defined in subsection (b) of this section as they are associated with posted agenda topics. Questions shall be reserved for board members and staff recognized by the board chairman.

  (2) Presentations and comments shall remain pertinent to the issues denoted on the registration cards.

  (3) A presenter who is determined by the board chairman to be disrupting a meeting shall immediately cease the disruptive activity or leave the meeting room if ordered to do so by the board chairman.

  (4) A presenter may not assign a portion of his or her allotted presentation time to another speaker.

  (5) Signs and placards shall not be carried or displayed in the meeting room.

(g) A presenter may not carry or possess a prohibited weapon, as defined in §46.05, Texas Penal Code, an illegal knife, a club, or a handgun, to include a licensed concealed handgun, during any meeting of the board.

(h) Requests for issues to be placed on an agenda. Persons not employed by or under contract with the TDCJ who wish to propose an agenda item for discussion at a TBCJ meeting shall address the request in writing to the chairman, Texas Board of Criminal Justice, P.O. Box 13084, Austin, Texas 78711. Such requests shall be titled, "Proposed Agenda Topic" and shall be submitted no later than the first day of the month preceding the board meeting for which the request is intended. Such requests are subject to the requirements of the registration card in subsection (c) of this section. The decision as to whether to calendar a matter for discussion before the TBCJ, a board committee, a board liaison, or with a designated staff member shall be within the discretion of the board chairman. Public presentations on topics placed on a board agenda, at the request of an individual, shall be in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.


Source Note: The provisions of this §151.4 adopted to be effective February 15, 1993, 18 TexReg 590; amended to be effective April 8, 1996, 21 TexReg 2476; amended to be effective June 20, 2002, 27 TexReg 5218; amended to be effective December 5, 2002, 27 TexReg 11169; amended to be effective February 5, 2004, 29 TexReg 1211; amended to be effective February 17, 2005, 30 TexReg 722; amended to be effective October 7, 2007, 32 TexReg 6783; amended to be effective May 10, 2012, 37 TexReg 3419

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