Attorney General Opinions

May 02, 2014

Legislative News

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TAC has highlighted recent Attorney General Opinions and Requests for Opinions of interest to counties. 

Attorney General Opinions

GA-1048: Whether the Science Advisory Workgroup of the State Fire Marshal's Office has authority to review prior arson investigations (RQ-1154-GASummary: Neither article 38.01 of the Code of Criminal Procedure nor Attorney General Opinion GA-0866 limit any investigative authority that may be vested in the Science Advisory Workgroup or the State Fire Marshal's Office. Neither chapter 417 of the Government Code nor Opinion GA-0866 prohibits the State Fire Marshal's Office from investigating and making findings on closed arson cases.

GA-1049: Whether the Red River Authority must obtain county approval for any purchase of groundwater in a county without a groundwater conservation district (RQ-1155-GASummary: Whether a contract for the purchase of groundwater that does not entitle the Red River Authority to drill for and produce groundwater nevertheless conveys a "groundwater right" such that it must be approved by the commissioners court in a county without a groundwater conservation district is a question that can only be answered by reference to the particular contract at issue. Such questions are not the appropriate subject of an attorney general opinion.

GA-1051: Whether a school district may authorize an employee or trustee to carry a concealed handgun at any meeting of a governmental entity or on the premises of school property where a sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place (RQ-1158-GASummary: Penal Code section 46.035, subsections (b) and (c) are not violated by a person who is lawfully carrying a handgun pursuant to a school board of trustees' written regulations and authorization under subsection 46.03(a)(1). A person acting according to such regulations and authorization would likely be acting within the scope of official duties. A school board may appoint one person to serve as a school marshal under section 37.0811 of the Education Code and authorize another person to serve under the district's regulations and authorization under subsection 46.03(a)(1) of the Penal Code.

GA-1052: Implementation of Senate Bill 1678, relating to the Major Events Trust Fund (RQ-1159-GASummary: While the Comptroller of Public Accounts is expressly authorized by article 5190.14, section 5A(v) of the Revised Civil Statutes to adopt rules to implement the Major Events Trust Fund statute, such authority does not include authority to adopt a rule that is contrary to the language of the statute.

GA-1053: Whether subsection 2.204(c) of the Family Code authorizes a justice of the peace to grant a waiver of the 72-hour waiting period after the issuance of a marriage license (RQ-1160-GASummary: A court would likely conclude that a justice of the peace is not a "judge of a court with jurisdiction in family law cases" for purposes of subsection 2.204( c) of the Family Code and thus may not grant a waiver of the 72-hour waiting period after the issuance of a marriage license.

Requests for Attorney General Opinions

RQ-1194-GA: The Honorable Jo Anne Bernal, El Paso County Attorney, Whether section 11.0641 of the Education Code requires school district trustees to file personal financial statements in specific circumstances.

RQ-1195-GA: The Honorable Lisa L. Peterson, Nolan County Attorney, Whether concurrent service as a juvenile probation officer and a trustee on an independent school district’s board of trustees creates a conflict of interest.