TAC Legislative Services staff has highlighted some recently filed bills of interest to county officials.
HB 329 by Rep. Cain – Provides measures to prevent a noncitizen from registering to vote and voting; gives the secretary of state the authority to inspect a county’s voter registration list for compliance; withholds Chapter 19 funds from a county that is not in substantial compliance in removing noncitizens from its voter registration list; requires a person to pass an examination, created by the secretary of state, on election law and procedures before serving as an election judge at a polling place during early voting in person and on election day; and requires the secretary of state to investigate a voter who has executed a declaration of reasonable impediment to meet voter identification requirements.*
HB 463 by Rep. Shaheen – Removes a person’s eligibility to serve as a poll watcher if they have been convicted of a felony offense or a misdemeanor offense with conduct directly attributable to an election.*
HB 574 by Rep. Bonnen – Expands the definition of the offense of election fraud to include if a person knowingly counts invalid votes; alters a report to include invalid votes; fails to count valid votes; or alters a report to exclude valid votes. Increases election fraud offense from a class A misdemeanor to a state jail felony.*
HB 611 by Rep. Swanson – Amends the oath a person is required to take when providing assistance to a voter by swearing they did not pressure or intimidate the voter in making their selection for assistance. Increases the offense of providing a false statement while under oath from a class A misdemeanor to a state jail felony.*
HB 970 by Rep. Dutton – Requires prosecutors to collect certain information about each case presented to their office and the source of such information. Further requires prosecutors to maintain records of the information for at least 10 years. Also requires collection of office policies and internal information about each attorney employed. Requires prosecutors to make certain collected information public.
HB 974 by Rep. Price – Relates to reimbursements for telemedicine medical services for specific programs. Directs the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to implement policies and procedures to improve access to care through telemedicine, telehealth, tele-monitoring, and other telecommunication or information technology solutions. See also SB 412 by Sen. Buckingham.
HB 1179 by Rep. Pacheco – Extends the electioneering line from 100 feet to 300 feet from the building of an election polling place.*
HB 1313 by Rep. Deshotel – Requires all witness examination and testimony before a grand jury to be recorded by either a court reporter or by use of an electronic recording device. Currently, only the examination of the accused or suspected person is required to be recorded.
SB 252 by. Sen. Bettencourt – Expands the definition of “misuse” with respect to abuse of office offenses. Gives the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) full concurrent jurisdiction over such offenses by removing the requirement that the OAG first obtain consent from the appropriate local county or district attorney before prosecuting.
SB 509 by Sen. Perry – Changes the amount of the reimbursement fee paid by a defendant for a peace officer’s services in executing or processing an arrest warrant, capias, or capias pro fine from $50 to $75 for a defendant convicted of a class A or class B misdemeanor. The amount remains at $50 for a defendant convicted of a class C misdemeanor.
* Voter integrity bill.