Bills of Interest

February 12, 2021

Legislative News

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

HB 844 by Rep. Bucy – Authorizes a voter, on Election Day, to deliver his or her marked ballot by mail to any early voting location or polling location designated by the county clerk, provided the polling location meets the criteria established by the Secretary of State.

HB 1234 by Rep. Campos – Requires the Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response to submit a written report to the Legislature no later than the second anniversary of the date a public health disaster is declared. The report may include recommendations.

HB 1256 by Rep. Ashby – Directs the comptroller to deposit 1% of the mixed beverage tax to the specialty court account. See also SB 625 by Sen. Zaffirini.

HB 1277 by Rep. Campos – Allows the Department of Housing and Community Affairs to issue grants with monies from the Ending Homelessness Fund as part of the transitional housing pilot program.

HB 1388 by Rep. Minjarez – Allows a peace officer to issue a citation instead of taking the person before a magistrate for certain Class A misdemeanors, Class B misdemeanors or state jail felony offenses.

HB 1546 by Rep. Dutton – Requires the registrar to adopt procedures to allow for a person to complete a voter registration application over theinternet.

HB 1557 by Rep. Martinez Fisher – Mandates that if the Governor finds a state of disaster declaration requires renewal and the Legislature is not convened in regular or special session, the Governor shall convene the Legislature in special session to respond to the state of disaster declaration.

HB 1573 by Rep. S. Thompson – Allows for a county that is participating in the countywide polling place program to designate a movable structure as a polling place.

HB 1648 by Rep. Middleton – Provides that the Texas Association of Counties is not eligible to participate in the Texas County and District Retirement System.

HB 1656 Rep. by Murphy – Clarifies that any executive order, proclamation or regulation issued by the Governor under Chapter 418 of the Government Code, prevails over any order, proclamation or regulation issued by the presiding officer of the governing body of a political subdivision.

HB 1691 by Rep. Tinderholt – Amends Chapter 418 of the Government Code to limit the Governor’s executive order, proclamation or regulation authority related to a state of disaster declaration that would restrict the free exercise of religion, prohibit a religious service in a house of worship, or limit the operation or operational hours of a religious organization. The same limitations apply to the presiding officer of a governing body of a political subdivision.

SB 532 by Sen. Bettencourt – Prevents a magistrate from releasing a defendant on personal bond if the individual is charged with either an offense that he or she is alleged to have committed while on release by personal bond, or a felony offense if the defendant already has two or more felony charges pending. Also sets a minimum bail amount of $10,000 for defendants charged with three or more felony offenses.

SB 533 by Sen. Kolkhorst – Requires a judge or magistrate, prior to setting the amount of a defendant’s bail or releasing a defendant on personal bond, to enter into the record a written statement confirming that the judge or magistrate has reviewed and considered the defendant’s criminal history as part of the proceedings for granting bail.

SB 574 by Sen. Kolkhorst – Requires a commissioners court to approve any expenditure by a county assistance district exceeding $50,000, unless the court had previously authorized the expenditure by a four-fifths vote.