TAC legislative staff has highlighted some recently filed bills of interest to county officials.
HB 103 by Rep. Murr — Expands the definition of a "retired judge" to include a person who served as an active judge for at least 96 months in a constitutional county or 48 months if they are a licensed attorney in order to serve as a visiting judge to a constitutional county court.
HB 192 by Rep. Schaefer — Allows an individual to possess a firearm, location-restricted knife, club or prohibited weapon on the premises of any government court or offices utilized by the court, except for a courtroom, jury room, judge's chambers or office of the judge's staff.
HB 291 by Rep. Murr — Consolidates and simplifies the occupational driver's license procedure, providing significant benefits for both courts and applicants.
HB 431 by Thompson — Modifies charitable bingo statutes, including changes to the issuance of licenses and bingo prize fee sharing by counties and municipalities.
HB 497 by Rep. Wu — Authorizes the display of only a rear license plate on a motor vehicle for a $50 annual fee. Requires a special registration sticker signifying only one plate is required.
HB 537 by Rep. Wu — Requires governmental entities, including counties, to furnish records related to an audit to the public upon request and post the final audit online. Exempts audit working papers.
HB 718 by Rep. Goldman — Requires dealerships to issue metal license plates in lieu of paper temporary tags.
HB 914 by Rep. Hefner — Raises the penalty for issuance of a fraudulent temporary tag to a Class A misdemeanor.
HB 1127 by Rep. Martinez Fischer — Increases the number of installment payments for homestead property taxes from three to nine.
HB 1222 by Rep. Metcalf — Allows for only the rear license plate to be displayed on a motor vehicle. There is no associated fee or different registration sticker requirement, the process would be defined through agency rulemaking.
HB 1244 by Rep. Shine — Authorizes a county to provide a homeowner with a discount for paying property taxes early.
SB 157 by Sen. Perry — Increases the statutory reimbursement fee for processing an arrest warrant, capias or capias pro fine from $50 to $75 for a felony, Class A misdemeanor or Class B misdemeanor. Maintains current law's $50 statutory reimbursement fee for the processing of a Class C misdemeanor.
SB 158 by Sen. Perry — Expands the banks a county may select as a depository or sub-depositary of county funds from a bank located in the county to a bank located in the state.
SB 175 by Sen. Middleton — Prohibits political subdivisions from spending public funds to hire individuals required to register as a lobbyist, pay nonprofit state associations that primarily represent political subdivisions, or hire or contract with lobbyists. Should a political subdivision be in violation, a taxpayer is entitled to appropriate injunctive relief, attorney's fees and cost incurred for bringing the action. Repeals the Texas Association of Counties' enabling statute.
SB 196 by Sen. Eckhardt — Authorizes a taxing unit to adopt a homestead exemption in a dollar amount of $5,000 or more by July 1 in the year for which the exemption would apply. Contingent on passage of SJR 20.
SB 277 by Sen. Huffman — Grants "cross-credit" service to a prosecutor or judge who subsequently serves in the other position. Currently, these elected officials lose their seniority service credit.
This and other legislation pertinent to counties may be found on Legislative Bills by Office, a website updated weekly and grouped by county office.