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Bills of Interest

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TAC legislative staff has highlighted some recently filed bills of interest to county officials.

HB 1061 by Rinaldi – Requires a voter registration application to include a space for an applicant to indicate their political party’s affiliation. A person must be affiliated with a political party to vote in the party’s primary election. See also HB 1347 by Fallon and HB 1353 by Shaheen.

HB 1079 by Schofield – Requires a voter registrar to verify citizenship of an applicant for voter registration.

HB 1267 by Schaefer – Exempts from certain security licenses certain persons who provide security services on a volunteer basis at a private primary or secondary school or at a place of religious worship.

HB 1289 by Murr – Amends the Health and Safety Code to authorize a peace officer to request another person on the mental health transport list to transport an apprehended person; the peace officer shall provide to the transporting person a completed notification of detention form regarding the apprehended person to provide the hospital upon arrival.

HB 1295 by Capriglione - Amends the current disclosure of interested parties requirement for certain contracts between business entities and governmental entities established by HB 1295 during the 84th session. Applies the disclosure requirement to contracts that require the expenditure of the governmental entity’s money and that meet other existing requirements; exempts certain contracts from the disclosure requirement, including those related to a declared state of disaster and an interlocal contract of a local governmental entity; and establishes civil penalties for a business entity that fails to submit a disclosure.

HB 1348 by Cain – Prevents a county from adopting or enforcing a smoking ban on a business that allows smoking and for which at least 20 percent of its revenue comes from the sale of tobacco. 

HB 1385 by Muñoz – Adds two more members to Texas Transportation Commission and requires the members of the commission to be appointed from diverse geographic regions and population groups of the state.

HB 1407 by Sheffield – Establishes the Emergency Medical Services Assistance Program to fund local project grants and rural paramedic training programs.

HB 1411 by Turner, Chris – Imposes an additional $0.05 sales and use tax per each millimeter of vapor product sold, to be dispersed through grant proposals by local law enforcement agencies for the purpose of hiring staff to provide mental health services related to the agencies' law enforcement functions.

HB 1412 by Arévalo – Amends the Human Resources Code to suspend, instead of terminate, an individual's eligibility for medical assistance upon incarceration in a county jail; provides for automatic reinstatement upon release (providing the person's eligibility has not expired). As filed, the bill provides no undue or unfunded burden for jail employees to identify which inmates had their benefits suspended.        

HB 1449 by Simmons – Prohibits a political subdivision from adopting or enforcing a measure that imposes, directly or indirectly, a fee or other charge on new construction for the purpose of offsetting the cost or rent of any unit of residential housing.

HB 1465 by Moody – Requires judges, including district, county, and justice court judges, who find that a defendant or plaintiff in a criminal or civil proceeding is indigent to waive all court costs, filing fees and other fees imposed by law on the indigent defendant or plaintiff. An indigent individual is defined as a person who earns not more than 125 percent of the income standard established by applicable federal poverty guidelines.

HB 1487 by Smithee –Requires a sheriff or other law enforcement agency that provides security to a court to provide written incident reports to the Office of Court Administration; establishes a court security committee to oversee policies and procedures for courts: includes representatives from the sheriff's office, county, judges and others; establishes a judicial security division in the Office of Court Administration; prohibits a person from serving as a court security officer unless they hold a court security certification issued by TCOLE; provides for the removal of personal information of federal judges, state judges, and their spouses from voter registrations and voter registration lists; and requires the clerk of the court to omit or redact from all public records in the county the SSN, driver's license and residence address of a federal judge, state judge, and their spouses. See also SB 42 by Zaffirini.

HB 1530 by Workman – Authorizes a political subdivision to satisfy a legal requirement to provide notice by publication in a newspaper by publishing the notice in any other form of media that the political subdivision determines will provide sufficient public notice, including on the political subdivision’s website or an internet newspaper.

HB 1532 by Farrar – Requires a clerk of each court to post on the court’s website, if any, a link to self-help legal resources provided by the Office of Court Administration, among other legal resource information, and post a public notice in their office that includes those links and information.

HB 1610 by Kuempel – Makes several changes to the current disclosure of interested parties’ requirement for certain contracts between business entities and governmental entities established by HB 1295 during the 84th session. Applies the disclosure requirement to a contract between a business entity and governmental entity that requires an action or vote by the governing body of the governmental entity before the contract may be signed and has a value of at least $10 million. The bill also requires the business entity to submit a disclosure of interested parties directly to the Texas Ethics Commission instead of to the governmental entity.

SB 544 by Lucio – Provides that required initial and continuing training for veterans county service officers and assistant veterans county service officers may be provided by a public or private entity approved by the Texas Veterans Commission.

SB 626 by Schwertner – Requires a condemning authority to specify which parcel of a landowner’s property is needed for a desired project, which is not subject to condemnation and requires a separate compensation offer for each.

SB 627 by Schwertner – For survey of property by an entity with eminent domain authority, this bill adds the responsibility for any damages arising from an examination or survey of the property to the entity, gives the property owner the right to negotiate the terms and allows the property owner the right to refuse access to their property without a court order.  

SB 628 by Schwertner – Allows property owners to repurchase property seized through eminent domain requiring the condemning entity to demonstrate ‘actual progress’ which means completion of three or more actions before the 10th anniversary of the date of acquisition of the property. Current law requires the completion of only two actions from the specified list.

SB 629 by Schwertner – Removes the 7% interest penalty assessed on taxes owed by landowners whose property is converted from agricultural or open-space designation to another use.

SB 664 by Huffines – Authorizes deferred adjudication for certain first-time DWI offenders. Requires the installation of an ignition interlock if deferred adjudication is granted and considers the punishment a conviction for enhancement purposes.

SB 683 by Seliger – Requires a county seeking a grant from the transportation infrastructure fund to report oil and gas production taxes collected within the county to TxDOT for use as a factor in grant allocations.

SB 702  by Huffines – Requires a minimum of 33% of registered voters of a political subdivision vote in an election that has a bond proposition on the ballot. If this requirement is not met, the election has no effect.

SB 717 by Taylor, Van – Requires the reappraisal of property that has been damaged due to a disaster.

SB 771 by Creighton – Sets the interest rate at 6% and removes the penalty for deferred property taxes of certain military personnel.