AG Opinions and Requests

September 14, 2020

Legislative News

  • Share this:

TAC has highlighted recent attorney general opinions and requests for opinions of interest to counties.

Attorney General Opinions

KP-0321: Whether in misdemeanor cases the trial court has authority to issue a capias on the filing of an information or complaint under Article 23.04, Code of Criminal Procedure (RQ-0331-KP). Construed within the context of Chapter 23, articles 23.01 and 23.04 identify the court that may issue a capias, after commitment or the posting of bail.

KP-0322: County authority to require facial coverings in courtrooms, courthouses and county buildings (RQ-0356-KP). County authority to require facial coverings in courtrooms, courthouses and county buildings can be found in the Texas statutes and in emergency and executive orders.

KP-0323: Authority of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County to prohibit service and access to its transit authority system to a person who refuses to comply with a rule requiring facial coverings (RQ-0360-KP). If wearing a facial covering in a transit authority vehicle or facility is necessary for the safe and efficient operation of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County during the COVID-19 pandemic, the authority may require any person medically capable of doing so to wear a facial covering when entering its vehicles or facilities.

KP-0324: Authority of local governmental entities operating under local emergency declarations to delay, prohibit or restrict eviction procedures established by the Legislature in Chapter 24 of the Property Code (RQ-0362-KP). Emergency powers granted by Chapter 418 of the Government Code do not authorize local governmental entities operating under a declared disaster to independently rewrite state law such as Property Code Chapter 24 governing evictions.

KP-0326: Whether subsection 2054.5191(a-1) of the Government Code requires a member of the board of directors of an appraisal district to complete certified cybersecurity training (RQ-0332-KP). A court would likely conclude that appraisal district board members are appointed and are not required to complete the certified cybersecurity training program mandated by Government Code subsection 2054.5191(a-1).

KP-0327: Standards applicable to roads constructed by the Bastrop County Water Control and Improvement District No. 2 under Section 11001.008 of the Special District and Local Laws Code (RQ-0333-KP). Under Special District and Local Laws Code Chapter 11001, Bastrop County has discretion as to the standard it uses to approve Bastrop County Water Control and Improvement District No. 2 improvements, provided the standard is based on good engineering practices according to specified statutory considerations.

KP-0329: Whether an employee of an appraisal district may serve as a trustee of an independent
school district that is a participating taxing unit of the appraisal district under Section 6.054
of the Tax Code (RQ-0335-KP). Tax Code Section 6.054 prohibits an appraisal district employee from also serving as a trustee on the board of an independent school district that is a participating taxing entity in the appraisal district

KP-0330: Method for calculating the percentage of judicial functions a county judge performs for purposes of determining entitlement to a salary supplement under Section 26.006 of the Government Code (RQ-0336-KP). The Legislature has not specified a method for calculating the percentage of judicial functions performed by a county judge. Allegations of false reporting by a county judge receiving the salary supplement under Government Code Section 26.006 should be given to the state auditor, who has statutory authority to audit or investigate any entity receiving state funds.

Requests for Attorney General Opinion 

RQ-0367-KP: Hon. Bryan Hughes, Chair, Senate Committee on State Affairs, State Senate. Information a local jurisdiction must provide if denying or conditionally approving a plat under Chapter 212 of the Local Government Code and the authority of local governments to establish prerequisites to the submission of a plat application.

RQ-0372-KP: Hon. Matthew Poston, Liberty County Attorney. Application of Government Code Chapter 573, governing nepotism, to the employment by one county commissioner of a prohibited relative of another county commissioner in a county operating under the ex officio road commissioner system.

RQ-0373-KP: Hon. Eduardo Arredondo, Burnet County Attorney. Punishment for a violation of the maximum vehicle weight limit established by the executive director of the Department of Transportation under Transportation Code Section 621.102.

RQ-0374-KP: Hon. Bob Wortham, Jefferson County Criminal District Attorney. Whether a conflict of interest exists under Chapter 171 of the Local Government Code when a city council member votes to waive penalties and interest for delinquent property taxes accrued by an unrelated person and the tax assessor-collector who requested the waiver is the city council member's spouse.

RQ-0375-KP:  Hon. Charles Perry, Chair, Committee on Water & Rural Affairs, State Senate. Boundary line between the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District and the Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District.

RQ-0376-KP: Hon. Joe Gonzales, Bexar County Criminal District Attorney. Jurisdiction of a criminal district attorney to prosecute federal officials who violate the criminal provisions of the Election Code.

RQ-0377-KP: Ms. Becky Weston, Gonzales County Auditor. Applicability of the County Purchasing Act in specific circumstances.