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  82R7447 PMO-F
 
  By: Hinojosa S.B. No. 1657
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to claims for and distribution of unclaimed land grant
  mineral proceeds.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter E, Chapter 74, Property Code, is
  amended by adding Section 74.405 to read as follows:
         Sec. 74.405.  UNCLAIMED LAND GRANT MINERAL PROCEEDS. (a) In
  this section, "unclaimed land grant mineral proceeds" are mineral
  proceeds governed by Subchapter C, Chapter 75.
         (b)  Unclaimed land grant mineral proceeds delivered to the
  comptroller under this chapter may be distributed only under
  Subchapter C, Chapter 75.
         SECTION 2.  Section 74.601, Property Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (h) to read as
  follows:
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (h), the [The]
  comptroller shall deposit to the credit of the general revenue
  fund:
               (1)  all funds, including marketable securities,
  delivered to the comptroller under this chapter or any other
  statute requiring the delivery of unclaimed property to the
  comptroller;
               (2)  all proceeds from the sale of any property,
  including marketable securities, under this chapter;
               (3)  all funds that have escheated to the state under
  Chapter 71, except that funds relating to escheated real property
  shall be deposited according to Section 71.202; and
               (4)  any income derived from investments of the
  unclaimed money.
         (h)  Not later than the 90th day after the end of each fiscal
  year, the comptroller shall deposit unclaimed land grant mineral
  proceeds delivered under this chapter to the credit of the
  unclaimed land grant mineral proceeds account in the general
  revenue fund. Money in the unclaimed land grant mineral proceeds
  account may be distributed only as provided by Subchapter C,
  Chapter 75.
         SECTION 3.  Section 75.001(a), Property Code, is amended by
  adding Subdivisions (4), (5), and (6) to read as follows:
               (4)  "Original land grant" means the initial conveyance
  of real property in this state, as evidenced by a certificate,
  title, or patent, from:
                     (A)  the Crown of Spain;
                     (B)  Mexico;
                     (C)  the Republic of Texas; or
                     (D)  this state.
               (5)  "Net mineral estate" means the percentage portion
  of mineral proceeds derived from an original land grant owned by a
  descendent of an original grantee.
               (6)  "Commission" means the Railroad Commission of
  Texas.
         SECTION 4.  Section 75.001(c), Property Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (c)  Except as provided by Subchapter C, a [A] holder of
  property presumed abandoned under this chapter is subject to the
  procedures of Chapter 74.
         SECTION 5.  Chapter 75, Property Code, is amended by adding
  Subchapter C to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER C. UNCLAIMED LAND GRANT MINERAL PROCEEDS
         Sec. 75.151.  APPLICABILITY. This subchapter applies to all
  mineral proceeds that are:
               (1)  derived directly or indirectly from real property
  located in this state regardless of the location of the holder's
  formation, organization, incorporation, or domicile;
               (2)  unclaimed and presumed abandoned under this
  chapter or Chapter 72, 73, or 74;
               (3)  held by a holder or the comptroller; and
               (4)  reportable to the comptroller under Subchapter B,
  Chapter 74.
         Sec. 75.152.  CALCULATION OF MINERAL ESTATE. The Railroad
  Commission of Texas shall determine and report to the comptroller
  the extent of the mineral estate of each original land grant based
  on:
               (1)  information from commission records submitted by a
  land surveyor registered, licensed, or certified as provided by
  Chapter 1071, Occupations Code;
               (2)  commission archives and records;
               (3)  General Land Office records; and
               (4)  any other information that the commission by rule
  requires or approves.
         Sec. 75.153.  COMMISSION RULES.  (a) The commission shall
  adopt rules and procedures reasonably required for the performance
  of its powers, duties, and functions under this subchapter,
  including rules for providing any notice and procedures for any
  public hearings. The rules for providing notice must include
  procedures for providing notice to affected persons. The
  commission by rule shall define who qualifies as an affected person
  for purposes of claiming unclaimed land grant mineral proceeds.
         (b)  The commission shall send copies of proposed rules to
  the comptroller and any other persons the commission determines
  appropriate. The commission shall allow any agency or person to
  whom the commission sends copies a reasonable period to submit
  comments and recommendations.
         Sec. 75.154.  CLAIM AGAINST UNCLAIMED LAND GRANT MINERAL
  PROCEEDS. (a) A person may submit a claim for the person's net
  mineral estate against unclaimed land grant mineral proceeds held
  by the comptroller by filing with the comptroller a form prescribed
  by rule adopted by the comptroller.  In addition to the form, a
  person must submit:
               (1)  an affidavit stating that, to the best of the
  claimant's information, knowledge, and belief:
                     (A)  the claimant does not receive and has never
  received mineral proceeds from the original land grant; and
                     (B)  the claimant's ancestors do not or did not
  receive mineral proceeds from the original land grant; and
               (2)  a copy of a final, unappealable judgment
  establishing:
                     (A)  the claimant's heirship as a descendent of
  the grantee of an original land grant; and
                     (B)  the extent of the claimant's interest in the
  mineral proceeds of the land grant.
         (b)  A claimant may submit a claim under any line of
  descendency established in a final, unappealable judgment.
         (c)  The comptroller shall approve a claim that complies with
  Subsection (a).
         Sec. 75.155.  CALCULATION OF NET MINERAL ESTATE. (a) An
  approved claim under Section 75.154 must be paid in an amount
  calculated under Subsection (b).
         (b)  The comptroller shall calculate the amount of an
  approved claim in accordance with rules and procedures adopted by
  the comptroller and based on:
               (1)  the application form and other information
  submitted under Section 75.154(a);
               (2)  the mineral estate calculation report required
  under Section 75.152; and
               (3)  other relevant factors as determined by the
  comptroller.
         Sec. 75.156.  COMPTROLLER RULES.  (a) The comptroller shall
  adopt rules and procedures reasonably required for the performance
  of the comptroller's powers, duties, and functions under this
  subchapter, including rules for providing notice and procedures for
  any public hearings. The rules for notice must include procedures
  for providing notice to affected persons, as defined by commission
  rule.
         (b)  The comptroller shall send copies of proposed rules to
  the commission and any other persons the comptroller determines
  appropriate.  The comptroller shall allow any agency or person to
  whom the comptroller sends copies a reasonable period to submit
  comments and recommendations.
         Sec. 75.157.  ATTORNEY'S FEES. (a)  An attorney licensed in
  this state may represent a claimant under this subchapter or in a
  judicial or administrative proceeding related to this subchapter.
         (b)  An attorney who represents a claimant under this
  subchapter or in a judicial or administrative proceeding related to
  this subchapter may contract with the claimant for attorney's fees
  on an hourly or contingency basis or otherwise, as prescribed by
  Rule 1.04, Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.
         SECTION 6.  (a)  Not later than January 1, 2012, the Railroad
  Commission of Texas shall file the report described by Section
  75.152, Property Code, as added by this Act.
         (b)  Not later than March 1, 2012, the Railroad Commission of
  Texas shall adopt rules and procedures as required by Section
  75.153, Property Code, as added by this Act.
         (c)  Not later than April 1, 2012, the comptroller shall
  adopt rules and procedures as required by Section 75.156, Property
  Code, as added by this Act.
         (d)  Not later than the 30th day after the effective date of
  this Act, the comptroller shall transfer to the unclaimed land
  grant mineral proceeds account created under Section 74.601,
  Property Code, as amended by this Act, all unclaimed land grant
  mineral proceeds delivered to and held by the comptroller under
  Chapter 74, Property Code.
         SECTION 7.  (a) The change in law made by Section 75.157,
  Property Code, as added by this Act, applies to a contract executed
  before, on, or after the effective date of this Act.
         (b)  The changes in law made by Subchapter C, Chapter 75, as
  added by this Act, apply only to a claim filed on or after the
  effective date of this Act. A claim filed before the effective date
  of this Act is covered by the law in effect when the claim was filed,
  and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 8.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2011.