Attorney General Opinions and Requests

May 05, 2017

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-0138 The effect of a conviction in another state, and a subsequent restoration of rights by the other state, on an individual’s ability to run for or hold public office in Texas (RQ-0131-KP)
Summary: Under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution, the State of Texas must recognize an Arkansas court's valid order dismissing a felony charge and releasing an individual from the penalties and disabilities of that charge in Arkansas. An individual for whom the penalties and disabilities have been removed by an Arkansas court is not prohibited by Election Code subsection 141.001(a)(4) from holding public office in Texas.

KP-0139 The type of bond required for a county attorney who performs the functions of both a county and district attorney (RQ-0132-KP) Summary: The Legislature delegated no portion of the Lee County Attorney's statutory and constitutional duties to a district attorne​y and instead kept such duties with the Lee County Attorney. Because the county attorney bond covers all such duties, a court would likely conclude that a separate district attorney bond is unnecessary. Thus, the Lee County Attorney must execute only a county attorney bond.

A court would likely conclude that while the official bond required of the county attorney does not follow to his or her assistant prosecutors, the county attorney may require his or her assistant prosecutors to post a bond at his or her discretion.

KP-0140 Whether Texas election judges are required to take the oath of office prescribed by Texas Constitution article XVI, section 1 (RQ-0134-KP) Summary: A court is likely to conclude that election judges, alternate election judges, and early-voting clerks are public officers and must take the constitutional oath of office under article XVI, section 1 of the Texas Constitution in addition to the statutory election officer's oath. The fact that an election judge, alternate election judge, or early-voting clerk may not have taken the constitutional oath is unlikely to affect the validity of a prior election.

KP-0141 Authority to appoint associate judges to preside over proceedings for court-ordered mental health services pursuant to section 574.0085 of the Health and Safety Code (RQ-0135-KP)
Summary: A court would likely conclude that the statutory or constitutional county court judge with jurisdiction over mental illness matters has authority to appoint the associate judge under subsection 574.0085(a) of the Health and Safety Code.

KP-0145 When a search warrant affidavit becomes executed and thus publicly available under Code of Criminal Procedure article 18.01(b) (RQ-0138-KP) Summary: A court construing the plain language of article ,18.0l(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure would likely conclude that a search warrant affidavit becomes public information when sworn to and filed with the court.

Requests for Attorney General Opinions

RQ-0156-KP:The Honorable Dustin H. Boyd Coryell County District Attorney, Authority of a public school district to operate a transportation system outside of its geographical boundaries under section 34.007 of the Education Code.

RQ-0157-KP: The Honorable Jane Nelson, Chair, Committee on Senate Finance, Whether the deposit of net sales tax revenue into the state highway fund as required under article 8, section 7-c(a) of the Texas Constitution may be made after the close of the fiscal year when deposit before the close of the fiscal year is not possible.

RQ-0158-KP: The Honorable Jim Murphy, Chair, Committee on Special Purpose Districts, Whether the board of trustees of a public junior college may allow licensed concealed handguns in open meetings of the board of trustees.

RQ-0159-KP: The Honorable John Zerwas, Chair, Committee on Appropriations, Whether an independent school district must hold a tax ratification election pursuant to Tax Code section 26.08 when it adopts a lower tax rate.

RQ-0160-KP: The Honorable Lyle Larson, Chair, Committee on Natural Resources, Whether a municipal utility district may use its surplus funds to repair or replace cluster-type mailbox facilities that serve residences in the district.