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    Legislative Services

    County Issues Newsletter | January 2023

    News Article | January 20, 2023

    Bills of Interest

    County News | Legislative News
    Legislative Services

    TAC's legislative staff has highlighted some recently filed bills of interest to county officials.

    HB 39 by Rep. Murr – Increases the penalty for the offense of election fraud to a state jail felony.

    HB 123 by Rep. Goodwin – Allows for the application for an extreme risk protective order by certain individuals under certain circumstances. Clerk of the issuing shall provide notice to the Department of Public Safety.

    HB 125 by Rep. Slaton – Limits local prosecutorial discretion and allows the attorney general to seek a court-ordered injunction to stop a local prosecutor from "limiting election law enforcement."

    HB 153 by Rep. Swanson – Gives voters the opportunity to select "I choose not to vote in this race" instead of voting for the candidates appearing on the ballot or a list of write-in candidates for each race.

    HB 212 by Rep. Bucy – Requires the Secretary of State to work with the Department of Public Safety and Department of Information Resources to implement a program to allow a person to complete a voter registration application over the internet from the official website of the state.

    HB 431 by Rep. S. Thompson – Makes changes to the laws governing charitable bingo including the issuance of licenses and bingo prize fee sharing by counties and municipalities.

    HB 1178 by Rep. Rogers – Allows for all magistrates to have the authority to issue a search warrant to collect a blood specimen from a person who is arrested for certain intoxication offenses and refuses to submit to a breath or blood alcohol test. The bill removes the requirement for the magistrate to be a licensed attorney in the state.

    HB 1317 by Rep. Shine – Requires communications to nonresidential property owners to be sent immediately upon receipt of certain property tax information and payments if the property owner has elected to receive electronic communications.

    HB 1319 by Rep. Shine – Requires counties to allow for electronic payments of commercial and multifamily properties, and prominently post processes for submitting such payments on the county website.

    HJR 51 by Rep. Dean/HJR 73 by Rep. Metcalf/SJR 18 by Sen. Kolkhorst – Lowers the maximum percentage an appraisal district can increase the value of a residential homestead from the previous year, from 110% to 105%.

    SJR 28 by Sen. Middleton – Proposes a constitutional amendment to abolish the office of County Treasurer in Galveston County. Provides that the county may employ or designate another county officer to perform the functions of Treasurer.

    SB 158 by Sen. Perry – Changes the eligibility requirements of a bank selected as a depository or sub-depositary of county money from a bank located in the county to a bank located in the state.

    SB 318 by Sen. Hall – Requires the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to take custody of an individual convicted of a felony not later than the 45th day following the date on which all processing required for transfer has been completed. TDCJ must compensate the county for the cost of confinement for each day the person remains confined in the county jail beyond that period.

    SB 374 by Sen. Huffman – Requires a parole board to dispose of charges against a parolee for revocation due to an administrative violation before the 41st day after a warrant is executed.

    In addition, SB 374 requires a parole board to dispose of charges against a parolee before the 91st day after a warrant is executed if the warrant alleges a new offense and has not been filed in court.

    SB 378 by Sen. Parker – Gives the Attorney General authority to bring suit against district attorneys, criminal district attorneys and county attorneys who have implemented policies that limit the enforcement of any criminal offense, exposing them to civil fines and a potential quo warranto removal action.

    SB 404 by Sen. King – Reestablishes the Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council. The Texas Prosecutor Council, which was in existence from 1977 to 1985, functioned as an oversight body for elected prosecutors, with the authority to accept and investigate complaints against elected prosecutors and issue reprimands or refer claims to a separate judicial proceeding that could result in the removal from office of an elected prosecutor.