TAC has highlighted recent Attorney General Opinions and Requests for Opinions of interest to counties.
Attorney General Opinions
KP-0167 Whether the board of trustees of a public junior college may allow licensed concealed handguns in open meetings of the board of trustees (RQ-0158-KP) Summary: A license holder who carries a concealed handgun into an open meeting of a junior college district board of trustees in which no Penal Code section 30.06 trespass notice was posted would have a defense to the prosecution of Penal Code subsection 46.035(c). Though unnecessary within the context of Government Code subsection 411.2031 (d-1), a junior college district board of trustees could adopt a rule authorizing concealed handguns in its open meetings to affirm or publicize a license holder's right to carry the concealed handgun into the open meeting held on the institution's campus.
KP-0168 Whether section 483.102 of the Health and Safety Code authorizes an eligible prescriber to directly or by standing order prescribe an opioid antagonist to law enforcement agencies (RQ-0181-KP) Summary: Section 483.102 of the Health and Safety Code authorizes a prescriber to directly or by standing order prescribe an opioid antagonist to law enforcement agencies in a position to assist persons experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose.
KP-0170 Whether the term "direct recording electronic voting machine" as used in subsection 121.003(12) of the Election Code includes voting machines that produce paper ballots (RQ-0169-KP) Summary: Subsection 121.003(12) of the Election Code defines "direct recording electronic voting machine" as "a voting machine that is designed to allow a direct vote on the machine by the manual touch of a screen, monitor, or other device and that records the individual votes and vote totals electronically." Voting machines that produce marked paper ballots will qualify as direct recording electronic voting machines as long as they meet all statutory requirements.
The Legislature authorized direct recording electronic voting machines as a type of voting system established under Title 8 of the Election Code. It defined "voting system" as "a method of casting and processing votes that is designed to function wholly or partly by use of mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic apparatus," thereby acknowledging that voting systems may encompass more than a single piece of equipment.
Furthermore, the Legislature defined "voting machine" in Election Code subsection 121.003(3) as "an apparatus on which voters cast their votes, that records each vote, and that furnishes a total of the number of votes cast for the candidates and for and against the measures." A common meaning of the term apparatus is "a set of materials or equipment designed for a particular use." Thus, a court would likely conclude that the Legislature did not intend to limit direct recording electronic voting machines to only those machines that operate using a single piece of equipment.
To participate in the countywide polling place program, county must, among other requirements, use direct recording electronic voting machines. That a voting machine produces a marked paper ballot or includes multiple pieces of equipment that operate together to effectuate direct voting does not disqualify the machine from use in a countywide polling place program as long as the voting machines meet the other requirements of a direct recording electronic voting machine.
Requests for Attorney General Opinions
RQ-0185-KP: The Honorable Joseph C. Pickett, Chair, Committee on Environmental Regulation, Texas House of Representatives, To what extent the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality may consider a recommendation from a local government to deny a permit for a facility because the facility is incompatible with the local governments zoning or land use ordinances.
RQ-0186-KP: The Honorable Elmer C. Beckworth, Cherokee County District Attorney, Municipal police jurisdiction beyond the city limits.
RQ-0187-KP: The Honorable Matthew C. Poston, Liberty County Attorney, Whether an elected constable and his deputies may simultaneously serve under the sheriff, specifically to perform tasks related to the duties of a weight enforcement officer under Transportation Code chapter 621.
RQ-0188-KP: Mr. Randall Rice, Galveston County Auditor, Procedures regarding reappraisal of property after a disaster.