SIGNIFICANT COMMITTEE ACTIONS

H.B. 502 (England), providing that a local law enforcement agency is eligible for peace office training funds only if it annually submits a detailed personnel training report to the state comptroller. Reported from the House Public Safety Committee.

H.B. 987 (Creighton), providing that if a change order involves a decrease or increase of $50,000 or less and is for work within the original bid, the city’s governing body may authorize an administrative official to approve the change order. (Note: the current limit is $25,000.) Reported from the House State Affairs Committee.

H.B. 1545 (Miklos), amending Chapter 143 of the Local Government Code (fire/police civil service) to provide that: (1) if a civil service commission finds that a period of disciplinary suspension should be reduced, the commission may order a reduction in the period of suspension; and (2) if the commission or a hearing examiner orders that a suspended firefighter or police officer be restored to the position or class of service from which the person was suspended, the firefighter or police officer is entitled to immediate reinstatement to the position or class of service from which the person was suspended, notwithstanding any action filed in a court by the city or department head challenging the commission’s decision. Reported from the House Urban Affairs Committee.

H.B. 1831 (Corte), more narrowly and clearly identifying city officials who must receive emergency management training. Reported from the House Defense and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

H.B. 2113 (Walle), allowing a police officer or firefighter, in a city with more than 25,000 in population, to treat September 11 as a paid day off if the officer substitutes another holiday or uses other paid time off and is not required by the city to work to maintain minimum staffing levels. Reported from the House Urban Affairs Committee.

S.B. 39 (Zaffirini), requiring health benefit plans to cover certain expenses related to clinical trials. Reported from the House Insurance Committee.

S.B. 181 (Gallegos), relating to reentry procedures for essential personnel entering an evacuated area during a disaster or other emergency. Reported from the Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee.

S.B. 338 (Van de Putte), creating a “plastic checkout bag” recycling program that would preempt local ordinances on the same topic. Reported from the Senate Business and Commerce Committee.

S.B. 769 (Williams), relating to the recovery by an electric utility of certain expenses relating to weather-related events or natural disasters. Reported from the House State Affairs Committee. (Companion bill is H.B. 1378 by Thompson.)

S.B. 855 (Carona), creating a variety of local-option, voter-approved funding sources for mobility improvement projects in certain counties. Reported from the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee.

S.B. 968 (West), relating to regulating “interactive water features and fountains” that are maintained for public recreation. Reported from the Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee. As reported, this bill would give cities authority over privately owned water features, but could also give the state or county authority over any city-owned water feature.

S.B. 1320 (Wentworth), requiring that certain geospatial data (for example, a map) that has not been prepared by a professional surveyor and is provided by a city must have a notice indicating that the data is for “informational purposes only.” Reported from the Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee.

S.B. 1447 (West), relating to civil remedies of health and safety ordinances. Reported from the Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee. S.B. 1619 (Wentworth), providing that certain actions of a home rule city are not subject to referendum. Reported from the Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee.

S.B. 1732 (West), requiring the Texas Health and Human Services commission to adopt swimming pool safety standards that are at least as stringent as federal law (the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act). Reported from the Senate State Affairs Committee.

S.B. 1742 (Shapiro), placing tighter restriction on the discharge of firearms in a city’s extraterritorial jurisdictions. Reported from the Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee.

S.B. 1947 (West), relating to the authority of two or more cities to designate a joint tax increment financing reinvestment zone. Reported from the Senate Economic Development Committee.

S.J.R. 18 (Ogden), proposing a constitutional amendment that would authorize the legislature to permit the Texas Transportation Commission to designate the area adjacent to a state highway project as a transportation finance zone and dedicating the proceeds of the state sales tax in the zone to the Texas Mobility Fund. Reported from the Senate Finance Committee.

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