AG Opinions and Requests

TAC has highlighted recent Attorney General Opinions and Requests for Opinions of interest to counties.

May 26, 2023

Legislative News

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Attorney General Opinions

KP-0443: Discusses the authority of the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council to amend 22 Texas Administrative Code section 465.38(d) regarding the title of individuals with a specialist in school psychology license (RQ-0483-KP). The opinion states that according to the Occupations Code subsection 501.260(a), the council is required to issue a license to licensed specialists in school psychology. A proposed administrative rule that allows licensed specialists to use the titles of &#quot;school psychologist&#quot; or &#quot;licensed school psychologist&#quot; does not contravene specific statutory authority, is not contrary to the general objectives of Occupations Code chapter 501 and does not impose additional burdens, conditions or restrictions. The opinion suggests that a court would likely conclude the proposed rule aligns with chapter 501's objectives and is within the council's authority to adopt.

KP-0444: Addresses whether a tax rate increase election under Tax Code section 26.07 allows a municipality to &#quot;earmark&#quot; a voter-approved increase in its maintenance and operation property tax revenue for purposes other than maintenance or operations. Additionally, KP-0444 examines whether the increased tax revenue can be transferred to a local government corporation (created pursuant to Transportation Code chapter 431, subchapter D) for debt service on the corporation's issued debt (RQ-0508-KP). The opinion concludes that Texas Tax Code section 26.07, which requires a municipality to hold an election if it seeks to increase its tax rates above a specified amount, does not authorize a municipality to earmark use of a voter-approved increase in its maintenance and operation property tax revenue for debt service. It further states that a court would likely determine that a perpetual agreement binding a municipality to transfer increased tax revenue without annual appropriation and without the right to terminate violates article XI, section 5 of the Texas Constitution. This constitutional provision prohibits pecuniary obligations imposed by contracts that lack the right to terminate at the end of each budget period.

Requests for Attorney General Opinion

RQ-0509-KP: Washington County Attorney Renee Ann Mueller. Whether the District Attorney's Office located in a stand-alone building with no other courts or court offices is a building that houses the operations of a district, county or justice court for purposes of an expenditure from the courthouse security fund.