ADDITIONAL BILLS OF INTEREST
In lieu of the usual Recent Actions section, this section will list some of the bills that – in addition to those in the final marching orders above – could be detrimental to municipal authority and are still alive as stand-alone legislation. In addition, any of them could be amended to other bills at any time.
- H.B. 3372 (T. King)/H.B. 3391 (S. Miller) – Rainwater Harvesting: would enact various provisions relating to the promotion of rainwater harvesting. Of particular interest to cities, the bills would – among other things – provide that: (1) the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality develop rules regarding the installation and maintenance of rainwater harvesting systems that are used for indoor potable purposes and connected to a public water supply system; (2) a person who intends to connect a rainwater harvesting system to a public water supply system for use for potable purposes must give written notice of that intention to the municipality in which the rainwater harvesting system is located before connecting the rainwater harvesting system to the public water supply system; and (3) a city is not generally liable for issues relating to the connection of the rainwater harvesting system.
- H.B. 3823 (Thompson) – 911 Dispatcher Training: would – among other things – provide that the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education shall require a state, county, special district, or municipal agency that employs telecommunicators (defined as “a person acknowledged by the commission and employed by or serving a law enforcement agency that performs law enforcement services on a 24-hour basis who receives, processes, and transmits public safety information and criminal justice data for the agency by using a base radio station on a public safety frequency”) to provide each telecommunicator with 24 hours of crisis communications instruction approved by the commission on or before the first anniversary of the telecommunicator's first day of employment.
- S.B. 361 (Duncan) – Indemnification: would prohibit “broad form indemnity” in construction contracts, which could increase litigation and insurance costs for cities.
- S.B. 766 (Estes) – Sport Shooting Ranges: would limit the authority of cities to regulate sport shooting ranges.
- S.B. 1420 (Hinojosa) – Red Light Photo Enforcement: This is the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) sunset bill. The bill – among many other things – would: (1) provide that a local authority may not install a photographic traffic signal enforcement system at an intersection approach located on a state highway under the jurisdiction of TxDOT unless TxDOT, after notice and a public hearing, approves the installation of the system; and (2) prohibit TxDOT from approving the installation of a photographic traffic signal enforcement system under (1) in a city with a population of less than 40,000.
The good news is that, while some of the above bills could be detrimental to cities, the list is fairly short. Of course, during this time of numerous amendments and conference committees on hundreds of bills, League staff will remain vigilant as we attempt to ferret out any “legislative tomfoolery” in the final days of session.