Bills of Interest

TAC legislative staff has highlight some recently filed bills of interest to county officials.

March 01, 2019

Legislative News

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TAC legislative staff has highlighted some recently filed bills of interest to county officials.

HB 8 by Neave – Amends criteria to the statute of limitations for certain sexual offenses and the collection, analysis, and preservation of evidence of sexual assault and other sex offenses.

HB 15 by Thompson – Addresses the prosecution of, penalties for, and other consequences of prostitution, trafficking of persons, and related criminal offenses, including the admissibility of evidence.

HB 1048 by Guillen – Moves all independent school district elections to the November uniform election date.

HB 1177 by Phelan – Amends Ch. 46 of the Penal Code to allow a person to carry a handgun while evacuating from an area subject to a mandatory evacuation issued during a state of declared disaster or while reentering that area following the person’s evacuation under specific time constraints. Applies only if the person is not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a firearm. See also SB 506 by Creighton.

HB 1530 by Paddie – Transfers the driver license program from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Establishes a work group to adopt and implement a transition plan for the program. Requires DPS to contract with a third party vendor to examine the opportunities and challenges of the transfer and to report its findings back to the legislature by Sept. 1, 2020. The program will transfer to DMV effective Sept. 1, 2021. See also SB 616 by Birdwell.

HB 1711 by Paddie – Allows the use of digital license plates on vehicles in lieu of physical license plates. Authorizes the company issuing the digital license plates to register vehicles and remit registration fees directly to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

HB 1871 by Goldman – Expands public access to juvenile court proceedings. Prescribes specific court procedures, including an evidentiary hearing, to determine whether the public should be excluded from the proceedings. See also SB 529 by Birdwell.

HB 1936 by Rose – Prohibits a defendant with severe mental illness at the time of the commission of a capital offense from being sentenced to death.

HB 1955 by Dutton – Requires a magistrate to release a defendant charged with a misdemeanor on personal bond unless the magistrate makes an affirmative finding of fact that extenuating circumstances justify not releasing the defendant on personal bond.

HB 2258 by Smith – Adds a requirement for installation of an ignition interlock device as a condition of release on bond for the offense of driving while intoxicated with a child passenger who is younger than 15 years of age.

HB 2259 by Smith – Eliminates the population threshold to allow trial courts throughout Texas to enter an order forgiving an uncollectible fee and close the case. Fee must have gone uncollected for at least 15 years.

HB 2381 by Dutton – Requires a magistrate to release a person charged with a violation of parole or mandatory supervision on personal bond if the person is in custody on a charge that the person violated a condition of release by committing a new offense and the person has been released on bond for that offense.

HJR 71 by Canales – Authorizes certain judges to become a candidate for another office without automatically resigning from the office currently held.

SB 445 by Fallon – Allows a voter at a polling place to use a mobile phone to access information.  Specifically restricts any means of taking photographs, taking videos or recording sound within 100 feet of a voting station.

SB 462 by Campbell – Provides for specific ballot language for a debt obligation bond election by a political subdivision.

SB 953 by Fallon – Requires the registrar to immediately cancel the voter registration of voters who have acknowledged non-citizenship at any governmental agency.

SB 428 by Lucio – Directs the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of a single intake form to compile all information needed to obtain disaster assistance from multiple state and federal programs for an individual who needs assistance as a result of a disaster. Requires HHSC and TDEM to also study the feasibility of an automated intake system to collect the information. HHSC and TDEM shall coordinate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to conduct the study.

SB 963 by Alvarado – Mandates each county to contract with an emergency manager for consulting and services related to emergency management in the event of a disaster. Requires emergency managers to be licensed with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). Establishes eligibility requirements for applicants and instructs TDLR to establish procedures for administering licensing of emergency managers.

SB 971 by Huffman – Adds recognizing and recording circumstances that indicate strangulation in certain cases to peace officer training requirements. See also HB 1660 by Herrero.

SB 973 by Birdwell – Allows limited viewing of certain body worn peace officer camera recordings.

SB 1018 by Alvarado – Requires persons convicted of certain family violence offenses or who are subject to certain protective orders to surrender their firearms; establishes a process for the surrender of those firearms.