CITY-RELATED BILLS FILED
H.B. 12 (Solomons) – Immigration: would provide that: (1) a city may not adopt a rule, order, ordinance, or policy under which the city prohibits the enforcement of state or federal laws relating to immigration; (2) a city may not prohibit a person employed by or otherwise under the direction of the city from: (a) inquiring into the immigration status of a person who is arrested or lawfully detained; (b) sending information to, or receiving information from, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or exchanging that information with another federal, state, or local governmental entity; (c) assisting a federal immigration officer as needed; or (d) permitting a federal immigration officer to conduct enforcement activities at a municipal jail; (3) a city may not receive state grant funds if it adopts a rule, order, ordinance, or policy prohibiting the enforcement of state or federal laws relating to immigration, or prohibits of enforcement of the laws by consistent action; (4) the attorney general may file a petition for a writ of mandamus or other appropriate equitable relief to compel a city to comply with (1), above. (Companion bill is S.B. 11 by Williams.)
H.B. 251 (Hilderbran) – Wild Animals: would allow a city to sue for an injunction against an individual who owns a wild animal and who does not follow the requirements of the Health and Safety Code.
H.B. 253 (Hilderbran) – School Attendance Officer: would: (1) provide for the enforcement of compulsory public school attendance requirements, ensure reports of abuse or neglect, ensure reports of births, and provide for the prosecution of bigamy; and (2) authorize a peace officer who serves as an attendance officer to make a home visit or otherwise contact the parent of a student who is the subject of an ongoing investigation of abuse or neglect and who is in violation of compulsory school attendance requirements.
H.B. 1384 (Kleinschmidt) – Property Tax: would make land used for supporting outdoor education eligible for appraisal as open-space land for property tax purposes.
H.B. 1388 (Hopson) – Tree Preservation: would prohibit a city from regulating the planting, clearing, or harvesting of trees or vegetation or other uses of trees or vegetation on a particular tract of land in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. (Companion bill is S.B. 732 by Nichols.)
H.B. 1389 (Hopson) – Dangerous Dogs: would increase the penalty for a dog owner whose dog kills a person to a felony of the first degree if the individual killed is under 15 years of age or older than 65 years of age.
H.B. 1391 (Deshotel) – Access to Driver’s License Information: would provide that a person who is certified, or otherwise authorized, to take or analyze a breath specimen is not prohibited from accessing or using electronically readable information derived from a driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, or personal identification certificate.
H.B. 1395 (Parker) – Personal Watercraft and Boats: would: (1) prohibit a person under 13 years of age from operating a personal watercraft; (2) prohibit a person under 13 years of age from operating a motorboat powered by a motor with a manufacturer’s rating of more than 15 horsepower on public waters; (3) provide that a person born on or after September 1, 1993, and operating a vessel powered by a motor with a manufacturer’s rating of more than 15 horsepower on public water is required to take a boater education course, as well as modify other requirements as to persons who are required to take a boater education course; (4) exempt from the boater education course requirement a person who is supervised by a person at least 18 years of age, a customer of a business engaged in renting, showing, demonstrating or testing boats, and a person exempt by rule of the Parks and Wildlife Commission; and (5) authorize the commission to establish a boater education deferral program.
H.B. 1400 (Elkins) – Public Improvement Districts: would, among other things, provide that costs of improvements in a public improvement district may be paid or reimbursed by any combination of certain methods if the improvements are dedicated, conveyed, leased, or otherwise provided to a city, county, or related entity for the benefit of the city, county, or related entity. (Companion bill is S.B. 412 by West.)
H.B. 1401 (Laubenberg) – Local Option Elections: would provide that, if a city annexes area on or after the date a local option liquor election petition is submitted, the city may hold the election only if the petition has enough signatures after including the voters in the annexed area.
H.B. 1402 (Guillen) – Law Enforcement: would provide that certain licensed law enforcement officers are not subject to provisions of law that authorize a licensing authority to suspend or revoke a license, disqualify a person from receiving a license, or deny a person to sit for a licensing examination on the ground that the person has been convicted of certain criminal offenses.
H.B. 1406 (Riddle) – Blood Specimens: would provide, in relation to individuals who take a blood specimen from a vehicle operator to test for alcohol concentration or other intoxicating substances, that: (1) only a physician, qualified technician, registered or licensed nurse, and certain emergency medical technicians may take a blood specimen; (2) emergency medical technicians may take a blood specimen only if authorized by the medical director for the entity that employs the technician and in accordance with a protocol developed by the medical director; (3) a medical director can develop a protocol that allows an emergency medical technician to refuse to: (a) go to the location of a person from whom a peace officer requests or orders the taking of a blood specimen; (b) take a blood specimen if it will impair or interfere with the performance of patient care or other duties; and (c) provide the equipment or supplies necessary to take a blood specimen; and (4) if an emergency medical technician takes a blood specimen, a peace officer must observe the taking and then immediately take possession of the specimen.
H.B. 1412 (Chisum) – Elections: would: (1) require the voter registrar of each county and the secretary of state to provide notice of voter identification requirements and to educate voters about the requirements through certain programs by publishing notice on certain websites; (2) require a voter to present to an election officer at the polling place a voter registration certificate and an acceptable form of identification; (3) provide that, if a voter does not present acceptable identification, the voter shall be accepted for provisional voting only; (4) modify the types of acceptable voter identification documents; (5) make an offense under the bill a second degree felony or a state jail felony if the person is convicted of attempt; (6) provide that a voter who presents a voter registration certificate indicating that the voter is currently registered in the precinct, but whose name is not on the precinct list of registered voters, shall be accepted for voting if the voter’s identity can be verified from the proof presented; and (7) provide that a provisional ballot may be accepted only if: (a) the voter presents acceptable proof of identification at the time the ballot is cast; or (b) the voter submits a copy of the identification to the voter registrar by personal delivery or by mail for examination by the early voting ballot board not later than the sixth business day after the date of the election.
H.B. 1419 (Hughes) – Elections: would prohibit the use of an electronic voting machine in an election unless the machine: (1) has been certified or otherwise approved by means of qualification testing by a nationally recognized test laboratory; (2) meets certain voluntary standards developed and adopted by the Federal Election Commission, the Election Assistance Commission, or the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and (3) creates a contemporaneous auditable paper record copy of each electronic ballot that allows a voter to confirm the choices the voter made through both a visual and a non-visual method. Additionally, the bill would require an election authority using electronic voting machines to: (1) submit, at the request of the secretary of state, complete documentation relating to all hardware, software, and firmware components for the system, as well as all documents relating to the federal qualification process; (2) submit a physical security plan for the system to the secretary of state not later than 90 days before a system using electronic voting machines will be used in an election; (3) submit a list of all changes and modifications to the system, a training plan, and a communication plan explaining how election officers at each polling place will communicate on election day to the secretary of state not later than 46 days before a system using electronic voting machines will be used in an election; and (4) provide notice of the penalties for tampering with an electronic voting machine in each language used at a polling place at which an electronic voting machine is used for voting.
H.B. 1425 (Garza) – Graffiti: would provide that a city may – but is not required to – first offer to remove graffiti for free prior to requiring the property owner to remove the graffiti. (Companion bill is H.B. 1089 by Martinez Fischer.)
H.B. 1433 (Strama) – Property Tax: would extend the charitable organization property tax exemption to include organizations that provide access to affordable financial products and services for low-income individuals, provided the organization is a certified community development financial institution and is exempt from federal income taxes under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code.
H.B. 1435 (Elkins) – Property Tax: would provide that: (1) a taxing unit may not be made a party to a suit to compel the appraisal review board to order a change in an appraisal roll; (2) the movant in a suit to compel an appraisal review board to order a change in an appraisal roll must mail notice of a hearing to the collector for each taxing unit that imposes taxes on the property at issue; and (3) a taxing unit that imposes taxes on the property at issue may intervene in a suit filed to compel an appraisal review board to order a change in an appraisal roll for the limited purpose of determining whether the property owner has forfeited a remedy due to the nonpayment of taxes.
H.B. 1436 (Price) – Elections: would add public junior college districts to the current list of entities with which a school district must hold a joint election. (Companion bill is S.B. 729 by Seliger.)
H.B. 1438 (Lewis) – Property Tax: would allow a city to serve notice of delinquent property taxes to a domestic or foreign limited liability company whose right to transact business in the state was forfeited by the comptroller, or on a limited liability company that was involuntarily terminated or had its registration revoked. (Companion bill is S.B. 582 by Harris.)
H.B. 1451 (Thompson) – Dog and Cat Breeders: would: (1) provide for the licensing and regulation of commercial dog and cat breeders by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation; (2) authorize the department to contract with third-party inspectors, including local law enforcement agencies and local animal control agencies, to enforce or assist in the inspection of, investigation of, and enforcement against commercial dog and cat breeders; (3) authorize the department to establish training requirements, registration procedures, and policies governing third-party inspectors; (4) require that a person inspecting or investigating a dog or cat breeder notify a local law enforcement or local animal control agency not later than 24 hours after discovering evidence of animal cruelty or neglect during an inspection or investigation; and (5) not affect the applicability of an ordinance or other legal requirement of a city or prevent a city from prohibiting or further regulating the possession, breeding, or selling of dogs or cats.
H.B. 1454 (Murphy) – Hotel Occupancy Tax: would define “price” for purposes of the amount paid for a hotel room as the retail price paid by a person for right to use or posses the room, including any booking, handling, or similar fee or charge paid by or on behalf of the person.
H.B. 1455 (Kolkhorst) – Law Enforcement: would allow a law enforcement agency, including a city, to: (1) release an undocumented immigrant into the office of a United States senator or United States representative; and (2) maintain a record of each released undocumented immigrant who is not transferred to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
H.B. 1457 (Fletcher) – Law Enforcement: would: (1) make various changes to the law regarding the interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications for law enforcement purposes; (2) provide that in order to be eligible to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication in a circumstance that is not an immediate life-threatening situation, a designated law enforcement agency must adopt a written policy and submit the policy to the director of the Department of Public Safety for approval; (3) require that, if the director approves the policy described in (2), above, chief law enforcement officers, including police chiefs, would submit to the director a written list of peace officers authorized to possess, install, monitor, or operate wire, oral, or electronic communications interception equipment in a non-life-threatening situation; (4) authorize the department to conduct audits of law enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with the written policy described in (2), above; and (5) require that a peace officer is authorized to operate or monitor the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in a non-life-threatening situation only if the officer completes at least 16 hours of related training. (Companion bill is S.B. 687 by Huffman.)
H.B. 1458 (Harless) – Elections: would: (1) require the voter registrar of each county and the secretary of state to provide notice of voter identification requirements and to educate voters about the requirements through certain programs by publishing notice on certain websites; (2) require a voter to present to an election officer at the polling place a voter registration certificate and an acceptable form of identification; (3) provide that, if a voter does not present acceptable identification, the voter shall be accepted for provisional voting only; (4) modify the types of acceptable voter identification documents; (5) make an offense under the bill a second degree felony or a state jail felony if the person is convicted of attempt; (6) provide that a voter who presents a voter registration certificate indicating that the voter is currently registered in the precinct, but whose name is not on the precinct list of registered voters, shall be accepted for voting if the voter’s identity can be verified from the proof presented; and (7) provide that a provisional ballot may be accepted only if: (a) the voter presents acceptable proof of identification at the time the ballot is cast; or (b) the voter submits a copy of the identification to the voter registrar by personal delivery or by mail for examination by the early voting ballot board not later than the sixth business day after the date of the election.
H.B. 1466 (Hernandez Luna) – Immigration: would authorize a young person who is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States and who has been abused, neglected, or abandoned to petition a court for a declaration that declares the child as a “special immigrant” under federal law.
H.B. 1470 (Miles) – Law Enforcement Complaints: would: (1) create a Texas State Civilian Complaint Review Board that would investigate written complaints against peace officers filed with the board; (2) require the board to send substantiated complaints to the employer, including a city, of a peace officer to take disciplinary action; and (3) require the board to send the complaint to the district attorney if the city does not take disciplinary action against the officer.
H.B. 1471 (Miles) – Official Oppression: would increase the penalty prescribed for official oppression in certain circumstances.
H.B. 1472 (Miles) – Public Information Act: would provide that: (1) a complaint filed against a fire fighter or police officer alleging conduct constituting official oppression must be retained by the city as long as the fire fighter or police officer at issue remains employed by the city; and (2) such a complaint may not be withheld from disclosure under the Public Information Act.
H.B. 1474 (Alonzo) – Immigration: would provide that a city may not require a landlord to: (1) refuse to lease to a prospective tenant or renew the lease of a tenant solely on the basis of the immigration status of the tenant or a member of the tenant’s family; or (2) inquire as to the immigration status of a tenant or prospective tenant or a member of the tenant’s family.
H.B. 1476 (Riddle) – Emergency Medical Services: would revoke the license of any emergency medical services personnel who has been convicted or had a deferred disposition for certain serious offenses.
H.B. 1485 (D. Patrick) – Electric Utility Rates: would add school districts and charter schools to the current list of entities that are entitled to a discounted rate for electric service provided by an electric utility or a municipally owned utility. (Companion bill is S.B. 504 by Davis.)
H.B. 1503 (White) – Elections: would provide that only a TCLEOSE-licensed peace officer is eligible for appointment as a special peace officer at a polling place.
H.B. 1507 (Christian) – Magistrates: would allow any magistrate in a county with a population of less than 100,000 to issue certain types of search warrants.
H.B. 1519 (Isaac) – Traffic Fine Revenue: would provide that, in each fiscal year, a city having a population of less than 1,000 (as opposed to 5,000 in current law) may retain, from fines collected for Rules of the Road violations, an amount equal to 30 percent of the city’s revenue for the preceding fiscal year from all sources, and shall send to the comptroller any remainder portion of a fine collected that exceeds one dollar.
H.B. 1526 (D. Miller) – Automobile Theft: would make the Automobile Burglary and Theft Authority ensure that all grants issued by the authority help increase recovery and clearance rate of vehicle burglaries and theft.
H.B. 1531 (Ritter) – Property Tax: would exempt from property taxes land that is leased to a person to be used as a school.
H.B. 1533 (Eiland) – Elections: would provide that: (1) in conjunction with the Department of Public Safety, the secretary of state shall adopt rules to establish a process by which the issuance of a driver’s license or personal identification card by the department is the sole means of voter identification; (2) an election officer serving an early voting polling place is a deputy voter registrar and has the same authority as a regular deputy registrar; (3) a person who would be eligible to vote in an election, but for the requirement to be a registered voter, shall be accepted during early voting if the person submits a voter registration application and acceptable proof of residence.
H.B. 1537 (Eiland) – Law Enforcement: would: (1) allow a person with knowledge of the commission of a crime to report it to any attorney who prosecutes criminal cases, including a city prosecuting attorney; and (2) allow the criminal attorney, including a city prosecuting attorney, to refer the matter to the police or the appropriate court.
H.B. 1541 (McClendon) – Law Enforcement: would change the way the state Automobile Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority administers and allocates grants to help prevent and solve automobile theft offenses by providing that the authority shall: (1) develop and use standard performance measures for each category of grants provided by the authority in order to assess grantee success in achieving the purposes of this article; and (2) ensure that grants are used to help increase: (a) the recovery rate of stolen motor vehicles; (b) the clearance rate of motor vehicle burglaries and thefts; and (c) the number of persons arrested for motor vehicle burglary and theft. The bill would also require the authority to allocate grant funds primarily based on the number of motor vehicles stolen in, or the motor vehicle burglary or theft rate across, the state rather than based on geographic distribution.
H.B. 1543 (Schwertner) – Property Tax: would eliminate the stipulation that the surviving spouse of an elderly or disabled individual must be disabled in order to qualify for a property tax freeze.
H.B. 1545 (Lewis) – Elections: would provide that the governing body of a political subdivision, other than a county, that holds its general election for officers on a date other than the November uniform election date may, not later than December 31, 2012, change the date on which it holds its general election for officers to the November uniform election date.
H.B. 1552 (Madden) – Sex Offenders: would, among several other provisions: (1) require a city police department designated as the primary registration authority for certain sex offenders to use a required monitoring system to verify the authenticity of any geographically verifiable information contained in the offender’s registration form; and (2) require the manufacturer or vendor of a monitoring system to provide training to a city police department on the equipment.
H.B. 1553 (Larson) – Immigration: would provide that a city that receives appropriated money from the state to provide a health care, educational, welfare, correctional, or other service to an individual must: (1) identify the individual’s country of citizenship before providing the service; (2) determine the cost to the state of providing the service if the individual is a citizen of a foreign country; and (3) submit to the comptroller a report that contains this information. A city that does not submit a report in accordance with the comptroller’s rules is not eligible to receive any disbursement from the state comptroller.
H.B. 1556 (Burnam) – Oil and Gas Drilling: would prohibit the issuance of an oil and gas drilling permit for a site within 1,200 feet of a public school.
H.B. 1558 (Reynolds) – Air Quality Permitting: would require an applicant for certain new facility or expansion of facility permits to, depending on whether the facility is located in a community with certain percentages of minority inhabitants or inhabitants below the federal poverty level: (1) submit an environmental justice report to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ); (2) file a public participation plan with the TCEQ, (3) if within city limits, consult with the mayor to evaluate the need for a community environmental benefit agreement in order to mitigate adverse effects on the community; and (4) participate in a public hearing. (Companion bill is S.B. 549 by Ellis.)
H.B. 1559 (S. Davis) – Records Retention: would: (1) prohibit a court from destroying a court document filed with, presented to, or produced by the court before 1951; and (2) authorize the Supreme Court of Texas to create rules for the retention of such documents.
H.B. 1560 (Scott) – Enterprise Zones: would allow a county commissioners court to nominate a project or activity of a qualified business as an enterprise project if the business is located both in the county and in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of a city primarily located in another county.
H.B. 1561 (Orr) – Red Light Cameras: would: (1) prohibit a city from adopting an ordinance to implement a photographic traffic signal enforcement system unless the city holds an election and a majority of the voters approve the proposition; and (2) require a city that currently has a photographic traffic signal enforcement ordinance to hold a referendum election no later than November 8, 2011, and if a majority of voters do not approve the proposition, allow the city to continue to operate the system until any related administration and enforcement contract expires.
H.B. 1563 (Flynn) – Local Option Elections: would, among other things, extend the period of time between certain local option elections to legalize or prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages from one to three years.
H.B. 1571 (S. Miller) – Motorcycles: would allow the operation and movement of motorcycles between lanes of traffic moving in the same direction during periods of traffic congestion if certain conditions are met.
H.B. 1576 (Garza) – Property Tax: would provide that either an opinion by an independent auditor and licensed certified public accountant included in an audit, or a determination of tax-exempt status by the United States Internal Revenue Service of a community housing development organization or other organization constructing or rehabilitating low-income housing, is prima facie evidence of the facts stated in the opinion or determination for purposes of determining tax exempt status.
H.B. 1593 (Isaac) – Elections: would require the inclusion of a space for a candidate’s e-mail address on an official application for a place on the ballot
H.B. 1594 (Isaac) – Traffic Citations: would allow a city of less than 5,000 to retain all traffic fine revenue (current law provides that such a city is limited to 30 percent of the previous year’s revenue) if less than ten-percent of traffic citations issued by the city’s police officers are for driving five miles per hour or less above the posted speed limit.
H.B. 1595 (Isaac) – Firearm Discharge: would: (1) prohibit a governmental unit, including a city, from bringing suit against a sport shooting range for the lawful discharge of firearms on the sport shooting range; (2) prohibit a city from regulating the discharge of a firearm at a sport shooting range; and (3) allow a city to enforce an ordinance or regulation through injunctive relief against a sport shooting range under certain circumstances. (Companion bill is S.B. 766 by Estes.)
H.B. 1596 (Isaac) – Elections: would eliminate as acceptable proof of identification for voting: (1) official mail addressed to a person by name from a governmental entity; and (2) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows a person’s name and address.
H.B. 1600 (Rodriguez) – Property Tax: would: (1) amend the definition of “qualified open-space land” to include land that has been devoted principally to agricultural use or to production of timber or forest products for three of the preceding five years (instead of five of the preceding seven years, as current law provides); (2) provide that in determining whether agricultural use meets the degree of intensity generally accepted in an area, a chief appraiser shall distinguish between land in an area that is incorporated and land in an area that is unincorporated; and (3) before February 1, require the chief appraiser to deliver an application form, including a brief explanation of the requirements for obtaining an appraisal, to each person whose land was appraised as “qualified open-space land” during the preceding year.
H.B. 1609 (Gonzales) – Driver Responsibility Program: would repeal the state driver responsibility program. (Companion bills are S.B. 624 by Whitmire and H.B. 299 by Berman.)
H.B. 1616 (Geren) – Campaign Reports: would provide that campaign reports required to be filed under the Election Code must list the following amounts received during the reporting period: (1) any credit, interest, rebate, refund, reimbursement, or return of a deposit fee resulting from the use of a political contribution or an asset purchased with a political contribution; (2) any proceeds of the sale of an asset or investment purchased with a political contribution; and (3) any other gain received from a political contribution.
H.B. 1619 (Orr) – Emergency Services Districts: would make various changes to the administration of emergency services districts, including training requirements for board members and a removal procedure whereby the county commissioners may remove a board member.
H.B. 1622 (Menendez) – Graffiti: would change the definition of “gang activity” under nuisance abatement laws by expanding the type of graffiti that is considered gang activity.
H.B. 1626 (Flynn) – Pseudoephedrine: would provide that a political subdivision may adopt an ordinance, rule, or regulation authorizing or requiring a business establishment in that political subdivision that engages in over-the-counter sales of products containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or norpseudoephedrine to use an electronic reporting database in addition to any other reporting or recordkeeping required by state law.
H.B. 1627 (Flynn) – Elections: would allow a city to appoint as alternate presiding election judge of an election precinct a qualified voter that lives anywhere in the city limits if the city cannot find an eligible qualified voter of the election precinct to appoint.
H.B. 1628 (Larson) – Sales Tax: would repeal the state law prohibiting the state comptroller from crediting to the Parks and Wildlife Department or the Texas Historical Commission any amount of taxes imposed on the sale of sporting goods in excess of the amounts appropriated to the department or commission, respectively.
H.B. 1634 (Bonnen) – Unfunded Mandates: would: (1) establish an unfunded mandates interagency work group to consist of the state auditor, director of the Legislative Budget Board, the comptroller, a senator, and a member of the house of representatives; (2) provide that the work group publish and keep updated an advisory list of mandates for which the legislature has not provided reimbursement; (3) provide that a political subdivision must only comply with a mandate for which the legislature has provided reimbursement and allow a political subdivision to act in reliance on the advisory list of unfunded mandates published by the work group; and (4) repeal Government Code Section 320.004, which provides for the review of unfunded mandates.
H.B. 1640 (Dutton) – Law Enforcement: would expand the definition of the crime of official oppression to include excessive force; and (2) make excessive force by a peace officer a third degree felony.
H.B. 1643 (Zerwas) – Development Agreements: would amend the current law relating to development agreements (which includes by reference non-annexation agreements for agriculture-exempt property) to: (1) provide that a city may make a written contract with an owner of land that is located in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the city; and (2) provide that the contract may include only those lawful terms and conditions that the city and the land owner agree to, including among other things: (a) a guarantee of the continuation of the extraterritorial status of the land and its immunity from annexation for any period up to 45 years (i.e., the bill would delete the 15-year term limit in current law); and (b) providing that the total duration of the contract may not exceed 45 years.
H.B. 1647 (Gallego) – Municipal Court: would, among other things: (1) require either party in a criminal case before a municipal court to disclose, as soon as practicable after receiving a timely request from the other party, most evidence pertaining to a criminal case to the other party’s attorney; (2) require the court to permit an attorney representing the parties to make copies of the evidence; (3) permit the city to assert exceptions to required disclosure that is believed to be confidential by law; (4) require a municipal prosecutor to supplement or amend this information as needed; (5) require a defendant who intends to use an alibi defense to file a good faith notice of intent to raise the defense with the court; (6) permit a court to enter a protective order restricting a specific disclosure or permit an in camera review of the documents; and (7) create sanctions for violation of the disclosure requirements.
H.B. 1649 (Marquez) – County Development Authority: would: (1) expand county authority with regard to building code enforcement and fees in the unincorporated area of the county; and (2) provide that an electric, gas, water, or sewer service utility may not serve or connect new residential construction in that area unless the utility receives a certificate issued by the commissioners court that states that the new residential construction meets all applicable county building codes. (Companion bill is S.B. 861 by Rodriguez.)
H.B. 1650 (Hopson) – Purchasing: would provide, among other things, that a governmental entity making purchases of building materials shall give preference to materials offered by resident bidders if the building materials meet state specifications regarding quantity and quality and the cost of the building materials is equal to or less than the cost of other similar materials that are offered by a nonresident bidder.
H.B. 1652 (Alonzo) – Collective Bargaining: would: (1) give fire fighters and police officers the right to organize and bargain collectively without an election to adopt the provisions of Local Government Code Chapter 174 (the collective bargaining chapter); (2) repeal the adoption procedure for collective bargaining provided for in the collective bargaining chapter; (3) require arbitration if a request for arbitration is made under the collective bargaining chapter; and (4) repeal the procedures for collective bargaining for cities over 50,000 that are required to adopt collective bargaining.
H.B. 1665 (King) – Defense Base Authorities: would provide that, on receipt of an application for a permit for a proposed structure in an area located within eight miles of the boundary line of a defense base, the defense community reviewing the application shall notify the defense base authorities concerning the compatibility of the proposed structure with base operations.
H.J.R. 99 (Ritter) – Property Tax: would amend the Texas Constitution to permit the legislature to exempt from property taxes real property sold to a person for use as a school.
S.B. 11 (Williams) – Immigration: this bill is the same as H.B. 12, above.)
S.B. 646 (Nichols) – Texas Forest Service: would: (1) allow the Texas Forest Service (TFS) to provide incident management training to local fire personnel to develop the all-hazard response capability of the state; (2) allow the director of the TFS to establish guidelines for volunteer fire departments to assist TFS with wildfires when local firefighting resources are exhausted; (3) allow TFS to compensate volunteer firefighters if resources are available; (4) require TFS to enact a wildfire protection plan; (5) require TFS to review the frequency, size, and severity of past wildfires or future wildfires when determining funding to volunteer fire departments; and (6) allow TFS to designate a portion of the volunteer fire department assistance fund to be used by local volunteer fire departments to be federal matching grant requirements.
S.B. 649 (Hinojosa) – Affordable Housing: would continue the existence of the Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation for 12 years.
S.B. 729 (Seliger) – Elections: this bill is the same as H.B. 1436, above.
S.B. 732 (Nichols) – Tree Preservation: this bill is the same as H.B. 1388, above.
S.B. 745 (Davis) – Saltwater Pipelines: would allow the Texas Railroad Commission to regulate saltwater pipelines.
S.B. 756 (Seliger) – Water Transport: would: (1) prohibit a person, including a city, from transporting surface water or groundwater more than seventy-five miles from the water’s source; and (2) authorize the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to assess an administrative penalty against a person who violates the prohibition on transport.
S.B. 758 (Deuell) – Sales Tax: would require the state comptroller, upon request, to provide to a city information relating to the amount of sales tax paid to the city during the preceding calendar year by each entity doing business in the city who remits annual sales tax payments of more than $500 to the comptroller.
S.B. 760 (West) – Interlocal Agreements: would allow an interlocal contract between a city and another city or county to be for a specified term of years.
S.B. 763 (Ellis) – Undocumented Persons: would create the offense of unlawful transport of an undocumented person.
S.B. 766 (Estes) – Discharge of Firearms: this bill is the same as H.B. 1595, above.
S.B. 771 (Davis) – Swimming Pool Alarms: would: (1) require residential swimming pools to have an alarm that indicates when a gate is left open when the pool is constructed or remodeled; and (2) limit the enforceability of city ordinances that are less stringent on the issue of residential swimming pool alarms than state law.
S.B. 774 (Zaffirini) – Disabled Peace Officers: would require the governing board of an institution of higher education to exempt a student from the payment of tuition and fees for a course for which space is available if, among other things, the student is permanently disabled as the result of an injury suffered during the performance of a duty as a peace officer and is unable to continue employment as a peace officer.
S.B. 779 (Whitmire) – Animal Cruelty: would: (1) create a registration system similar to that in place for sex offenders for those convicted of certain animal cruelty offenses, including a requirement that such offenders register with the city police department where they live; (2) create a procedure by which a peace officer may check certain identifying information against a state database to determine if a person is required to register under this system; and (3) authorize a police department to release to the public certain information regarding a person required to register under this program and limit the police department’s liability for such a release.
S.B. 806 (Hinojosa) – Historically Underutilized Businesses: would provide that a veteran with a service-connected disability is eligible to be listed as a historically underutilized business by the state. (Companion bill is H.B. 888 by Guillen.)
S.B. 808 (Seliger) – Security Breach: would increase the penalty for the offense of breach of computer security if the breach involves a government owned computer facility or a critical infrastructure facility.
S.B. 812 (Zaffirini) – Texas Municipal Retirement System: would modify the reemployment provisions related to retirement under the Texas Municipal Retirement System.
S.B. 823 (Carona) – Municipal Court: would require a municipal prosecutor to complete at least six hours of training, including training on mental illness and substance abuse.
S.B. 825 (Lucio) – Affordable Housing: would require the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to establish an Office of Rural Community and Small Municipality Housing Initiatives in order to provide training, establish pilot projects, and fund housing initiatives that impact low-income housing in rural areas.
S.B. 826 (Lucio) – Rural Economic Development: would establish grant, loan, and training programs designed to promote economic development and business innovation in rural areas.
S.B. 829 (Patrick) – Professional Services: would provide that: (1) a governmental entity, including a city, may not provide through its officers or employees a commercially available service (e.g., the practice of engineering or architecture, construction services, or construction management services) for an improvement to real property that is not owned or leased by the entity; and (2) a governmental entity, including a city with a population of 50,001 or more, that provides through its officers or employees a commercially available service for an improvement to real property owned or leased by the entity shall provide and make available to the public an accounting of the cost of performing that service. (Companion bill is H.B. 611 by Murphy.)
S.B. 838 (Patrick) – Driving While Intoxicated: would make the offense of driving while intoxicated a Class A misdemeanor if it is shown in trial that the person had an alcohol concentration level of 0.15 or higher.
S.B. 843 (Patrick) – Failure to Identify: would provide that a person commits the offense of failure to identify if the person intentionally refuses to give the person’s name, address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully detained the person and requested the information.
S.B. 844 (Patrick) – Escape from Custody: would provide that a person commits the offense of escape from custody if the person escapes from custody when the person is lawfully detained for an offense.
S.B. 849 (Duncan) – Elections: would, among other things: (1) eliminate the current provision of state law that requires the secretary of state to either prescribe the terms that a county elections administrator must accept, or instruct the county elections administrator to decline to enter into a contract with a city, if a city and county are unable to initially reach an agreement to furnish election services; (2) provide that an election watcher may not be accepted for service if the watcher has possession of a device capable of recording images or sound unless the watcher agrees to disable or deactivate the device; (3) provide that the custodian of keys to early voting ballot boxes must retain possession of the keys until delivered to the presiding judge of the central counting station; (4) require that a plan for counting votes cast on an electronic voting system include a process for comparing the number of voters who signed the combination form with the number of votes cast for the entire election; (5) require a city to post notice of dates of the filing period for an application for a place on the ballot not later than the 30th day before: (a) the first day on which a candidate may file an application; or (b) the last day on which a candidate may file the application, if the election code does not designate a first day on which the candidate may file the application: (6) provide that a withdrawal from a election that is not made in writing and signed by the candidate, or is not timely filed with the appropriate authority or agent of an authority, has no legal effect and is not considered filed; and (7) require a notice relating to a local option liquor election that is published in a newspaper to include: (a) the individual or entity that is applying for the petition to gather signatures for a local option liquor election; (b) the type of local option liquor election; (c) the name of the political subdivision in which the petition will be circulated; and (d) the name and title of the person with whom the application will be filed.
S.B. 854 (Duncan) – Electric Transmission Lines: would provide that, in addition to the notices provided by current law, the Public Utility Commission by rule shall require an applicant for an electric transmission line to provide notice by certified mail to each owner of land that would be affected by the line.
S.B. 861 (Rodriguez) – County Development Authority: this bill is the same as H.B. 1649, above.
S.B. 862 (Rodriguez) – Noise: would: (1) create more stringent daytime noise level requirements for the offense of disorderly conduct; and (2) specifically outline defenses to prosecution for a noise-related disorderly conduct offense, including compliance with city ordinances.
S.J.R. 25 (Hinojosa) – Bonds: would amend the Texas Constitution to provide for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board.
S.J.R. 26 (West) – Interlocal Agreements: would allow a city to enter into a multiyear interlocal contract with another city or county without having to meet interest and sinking fund requirements, even if such contract creates a debt.