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    Legislative Services

    County Issue | February 2023

    Blog | February 24, 2023

    Bills of Interest

    HB 310 by Rep. Bucy – Requires the secretary of state to coordinate with the Department of Criminal Justice, Department of Public Safety and any other relevant agency to determine if an ineligible voter who has committed a felony becomes eligible to vote and can apply for a voter registration application. The secretary of state shall notify the person that their felony conviction no longer disqualifies them from registering to vote.

    HB 848 by Rep. Reynolds – Allows for straight-party voting.

    HB 2272 by Rep. Swanson – Establishes term limits, expands qualification requirements and sets procedures for conflict of interest, recusal and complaint proceedings against associate judges in child protection cases. Requires prosecutors to represent the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) in these proceedings and no longer requires DFPS to employ its own attorneys for representation in these proceedings.

    HB 2381 by Rep. Vasut – Amends the Property Code to increase a justice court's jurisdiction limit from $10,000 to $20,000 in certain cases regarding the repair of residential rental property. Increasing the limit in these cases aligns with other justice courts' civil jurisdiction.

    HB 2390 by Rep. Isaac – Prohibits commissioners court from designating a polling place on the campus of an institution of higher education located within the county.

    SB 70 by Sen. Zaffirini – Creates an interagency workgroup to identify legislative mandates for which the legislature has not provided reimbursement. Does not apply to mandates that are complying with the Texas Constitution, federal law or court order to maximize receipt of federal funds that were approved by voters in a general election or that affect employee pensions/benefits.

    SB 921 by Sen. Hughes – Adds the definition of "preferential voting system," which permits a voter to rank each candidate through a numerical designation from whom the voter favors most to whom the voter favors least. In an election requiring a majority vote, a candidate must receive more than half of the votes as originally cast.

    SB 950 by Sen. Kolkhorst – Permits the attorney general to defend a state prosecutor's action in a federal court if the prosecutor is a defendant because of the prosecutor's office. The cause of action relates to the enforcement of a state statute and the prosecutor requests the attorney general's assistance in the defense.

    SB 972 by Sen. West – Requires a poll watcher who has been appointed to serve at a precinct polling place to deliver a form of identification that contains the full name and address of the poll watcher to the presiding judge at the time the watcher reports for service.

    SJR 44 by Sen. Huffman – Allows a judge or magistrate to deny bail for those accused of first degree felony sexual offenses, violent offenses or continuous human trafficking if they determine, by clear and convincing evidence after a hearing, that setting bail is insufficient to reasonably ensure the accused's appearance in court or the safety of the community, law enforcement or the victim of the alleged offense.