Skip to Content (custom)
Texas Association of Counties
Toggle Navigation (custom)

    Legislative Services

    County Issues Newsletter | February 2024

    News Article | February 23, 2024

    AG Opinions and Requests

    County News | Legislative News
    Legislative Services
    Attorney General Opinions

    KP-0454: Considers whether a school district board of trustees has the authority under Education Code section 37.0811(c)(1)–(2) to adopt local procedures to allow uniformed school marshals to duty belt carry their firearm (RQ-0007-AC). The opinion provides a school district board of trustees may designate an individual to carry a handgun for the protection of students and staff by implementing a guardian plan or utilizing a school security officer. Education Code section 37.0811 provides another option for accomplishing this purpose by generally allowing a school board to appoint one or more school marshals for each campus in the district. Subsection 37.0811(c) authorizes a school marshal to possess a handgun on the physical premises of a school, but only in the manner provided by written regulations adopted by the board of trustees. A school marshal possesses a handgun when it is openly carried on the marshal’s duty belt. Therefore, a court would likely conclude that Education Code subsection 37.0811(c) authorizes a board of trustees to adopt regulations that allow a school marshal to duty belt carry a handgun.

    KP-0456: Asked for consideration of whether an elected county commissioner may use county equipment and labor to maintain an outfall ditch that lies solely on private property (RQ-0512-KP). The opinion provides while in some instances state law authorizes a county to provide for drainage in connection with public roads, which could include the maintenance of a ditch, any such use of county labor and resources on private property must comply with article III, subsection 52(a) of the Texas Constitution. Article III, subsection 52(a) prohibits the gratuitous payment of public funds for a private purpose. The determination whether a particular expenditure or use of public resources comports with article III, subsection 52(a) is, in the first instance, for the commissioners court to make subject to judicial review for abuse of discretion. Thus, this office cannot conclude as a matter of law that Hardin County may maintain an outfall ditch on private property. A county commissioners court is the governing body of a county and administers the county’s business. A single county commissioner may have limited authority to act independently with respect to county roads in his or her precinct but absent such authority a county acts through the county commissioners court.

    KP-0457: Asked whether Johnson County Emergency Services District No. 1 may operate a countywide ambulance service (RQ-0513-KP). The opinion states Section 775.026 of the Health and Safety Code provides that each rural fire prevention district created under former chapter 794 of that Code is converted to an emergency services district operating under chapter 775. Emergency services districts operating under chapter 775 of the Health and Safety Code generally have authority to provide ambulance service. Thus, a court would likely conclude that an emergency services district, even one that was converted from a rural fire prevention district like the Johnson County Emergency Services District No. 1, may generally provide ambulance service because the statutory text says it can.

    Requests for an Attorney General Opinion

    RQ-0530-KP: Erath County Attorney. Asks whether section 6.05(f) of the Tax Code bars the continued employment of the Chief Appraiser if his sibling is elected as the County Tax Assessor/Collector.

    RQ-0531-KP: Parker County Attorney. Asks for consideration of whether Texas Property Code section 52.002 requires a district clerk to prepare an abstract of judgment rendered by a court of appeals.