Attorney General Opinions and Requests

June 29, 2017

Legislative News

  • Share this:

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

Attorney General Opinions

KP-0146 Authority of a county commissioners court that establishes a veterans treatment court program under Government Code chapter 124 to direct and control administrative details including the hiring and supervision of grant-funded personnel (RQ-0139-KP) Summary: Chapter 124 of the Government Code grants a county commissioners court authority to create staff positions and provide funding when it establishes a veterans treatment court program. However, the chapter authorizes the veterans treatment court judge, not the commissioners court, to select and supervise the staff of a veterans treatment court program.

KP-0147 Scope of residence homestead tax exemption in Tax Code subsection 11.13(l)(2)(B)  (RQ-0140-KP) Summary: A court would likely construe subsection 1l.13(l)(2)(B) of the Tax Code to refer to an owner's temporary residence in an establishment set up to assist persons with overcoming illness or injury, or with needs related to physical or mental weakness or growing old, through a wide range of activities, regardless of whether the owner receives such services.

KP-0149 Whether individuals civilly committed pursuant to chapter 841 of the Health and Safety Code are eligible to vote by mail under section 82.002 of the Election Code (RQ-0142-KP) Summary: A court would likely conclude that a qualified voter civilly committed pursuant to chapter 841 of the Health and Safety Code and residing at the Texas Civil Commitment Center is eligible to vote by mail under subsection 82.002(a) of the Election Code.

KP-0150 Whether municipal courts are authorized to report juvenile convictions for drug paraphernalia offenses to the Texas Department of Public Safety (RQ-0143-KP) Summary: We are not aware of any statute requiring municipal courts to report to the Texas Department of Public Safety juvenile convictions for the misdemeanor offense of possession of drug paraphernalia.

KP-0151 Application of section 552.1175 of the Government Code to reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission that by statute must be made available to the public (RQ-0144-KP) Summary: A court would likely conclude that section 254.0401 of the Election Code and other statutes specific to the Texas Ethics Commission that require the Commission to make reports and statements available to the public are more specific than section 552.1175 of the Government Code.

As the more general statute of the two, section 552.1175 would not apply to require the Commission to redact or otherwise withhold information covered by that section when provisions outside of the Public Information Act expressly make the information public. Subsection 572.032(a-l) of the Government Code requires the Commission to withhold the home address of a former judge or justice or a former home address that appears in financial statements.

Requests for Attorney General Opinions

RQ-0165-KP: Mr. Leo Flores, Webb County Auditor, Authority of a county commissioners court under Local Government Code section 111.062 to appoint two part-time employees to fulfill the functions of a county budget officer, and the applicability of incompatibility rules to the appointed employees.

RQ-0166-KP: Ms. Shelly Atteberry , Cooke County Auditor, Whether an attorney serving a county pursuant to a collection contract under article 103.0031 of the Code of Criminal Procedure may collect delinquent restitution owed to a crime victim.

RQ-0167-KP: The Honorable Gene Stump, Franklin County Attorney, County authority related to a court's registry account.