Texas Attorney General Opinion: DM-326 Page: 2 of 7
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Honorable Kim Brimer - Page 2
entity that writes certain kinds of insurance, including workers' compensation insurance,
see Ins. Code 21.28-C, 3, 6, to become a member of the association, see id. 6. The
association is required to pay in full all of a member insurer's covered claims' that meet
certain requirements if the member insurer is placed in temporary or permanent
receivership under a court order or in conservatorship by the commissioner of insurance.
Id. 8(a). To pay its obligations, the association assesses its member insurers. Id. 8(c).
You have cited article I, sections 52, 60, and 61 of the Texas Constitution.
Article 52(a) provides as follows:
Except as otherwise provided by this section, the Legislature
shall have no power to authorize any county, city, town or other
political corporation or subdivision of the State to lend its credit or
to grant public money or thing of value in aid of, or to any individual,
association or corporation whatsoever, or to become a stockholder in
such corporation, association or company. However, this section
does not prohibit the use of public funds or credit for the payment of
premiums on nonassessable life, health, or accident insurance policies
and annuity contracts issued by a mutual insurance company
authorized to do business in this State.
Article l, sections 60 and 61 of the constitution are substantially identical, although
section 60 pertains to "counties and other political subdivisions," while section 61 pertains
to "cities, towns, and villages." Essentially, sections 60 and 61 empower the legislature to
enact laws enabling each county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state to
provide workers' compensation insurance for its employees. Sections 60 and 61 finrther
authorize the legislature to "provide suitable laws for the administration of such insurance"
in the political subdivisions "and for the payment of the costs, charges, and premiums on
such policies of insurance and the benefits to be paid thereunder."2 Tex. Const. art. II,
61; cf. id. 60.
'In general, a "covered claim" is "an unpaid claim of an insured or third-party liability claimant
that arises out of and is within the coverage and not in excess of the applicable limits of an insurance
policy to which this Act applies, issued or assumed (whereby an assumption certificate is issued to the
insured) by an insurer licensed to do business in this state, if that insurer becomes an impaired insurer and
the third-party claimant or liability claimant or insured is a resident of this state at the time of the insured
event, or the property from which the claim arises is permanently located in this state." Ins. Code art.
2We note that, pursuant to its authority under sections 60 and 61 of the constitution, the
legislature has enacted section 504.011 of the Labor Code. See Attorney General Opinion H-338 (1974)
at 3 (concluding that statutory predecessor to section 504.011 was constitutional). Section 504.011
requires every political subdivision to
extend workers' compensation benefits to its employees by:
(1) becoming a self-insurer,
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: DM-326, text, 1995; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth274135/m1/2/: accessed March 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.