Attorney General Opinions

July 02, 2015

Legislative News

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

Attorney General Opinions

KP-0022 Authority of investment pools under the Public Funds Investment Act (RQ-1233-GASummary: The Public Funds Investment Act does not prohibit an investment pool from creating and investing in a subsidiary, provided that (1) the investment pool's governing body determines that doing so is reasonably necessary to fulfill the investment pool's statutory functions and duties; and (2) the governing bodies of the investing entities, the investment pool, and the subsidiary otherwise comply with the Act's regulations and standards. A court could conclude that a subsidiary that is wholly-owned and controlled by an investment pool is itself an investment pool with the authority to invest public funds if ultimately it acts on behalf of two or more local governments, state agencies, or a combination of those entities. Subsection 2256.016(g)(2) of the Act requires the board of an investment pool subject to its terms to be composed of both pool participants and independent qualified advisors, although the board is not required to be composed of an equal number of such persons. The Act does not prohibit the members of a board of an investment pool from serving as the board of a wholly-owned subsidiary. The Act does not prohibit an investment pool from being formed under the laws of another state provided that state's laws are consistent with the Act and other Texas law applicable to an entity doing business in Texas.

KP-0023 Whether a member of a board of trustees of an independent school district may also serve as a trustee of a county hospital board with overlapping jurisdiction (RQ-1234-GASummary: A person may not serve as a member of the board of trustees of the La Vernia Independent School District while simultaneously serving as a member of the board of the Wilson County Memorial Hospital District.

KP-0025 Rights of government officials involved with issuing same-sex marriage licenses and conducting same-sex wedding ceremonies. (RQ-0031-KPSummary: County clerks and their employees retain religious freedoms that may provide accommodation of their religious objections to issuing same-sex marriage licenses. Justices of the peace and judges also may claim that the government forcing them to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies over their religious objections, particularly when other authorized individuals have no objection to conducting such ceremonies, is not the least restrictive means of furthering any compelling governmental interest in ensuring that such ceremonies occur. Importantly, the strength of any particular religious-accommodation claim depends on the particular facts of each case.  

Requests for Attorney General Opinions

RQ-0025-KP: The Honorable Sharen Wilson, Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney, Discoverability under Brady v. Maryland and the Michael Morton Act of recordings of inmate telephone calls to which the criminal district attorney’s office has access without a warrant.

RQ-0030-KP: The Honorable Ori T. White, Pecos County Attorney, Whether nepotism laws prohibit a county hospital from employing a county judge’s spouse.

RQ-0031-KP: The Honorable Dan Patrick, Lieutenant Governor of Texas, Rights of government officials involved with issuing same-sex marriage licenses and conducting same-sex wedding ceremonies.