CJCAT LEGISLATIVE ALERT
House and Senate Committees continue to conduct hearings, and bill postings change daily. There are already 38 bills on the Senate Intent Calendar, and the House will begin floor votes on its calendar this week. Please review the following and contact the members of the committees and your legislators, and copy email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Backlog in County Jails and Juvenile Justice Facilities
Several bills have been filed to address the backlog in county jail by state inmates, mental health detainees and juveniles. These bills would require that the state agencies accept their responsibilities or provide reimbursement to counties. Please contact your legislators and members of the referred committees and both budget committees and encourage them to approve these bills and fund these issues (include your county’s jail and juvenile costs):
- SB 30 by Huffman – The supplemental appropriation bill provides $9.7M in reimbursement for counties holding TJJD juveniles through August 31. Voted favorably from House Appropriations
- HB 458 by Craddick – Requires Texas Juvenile Justice Department to accept committed juveniles within 30 days. Pending in Juvenile Justice and Family Issues
- HB 1563 by Harless – Requires TDCJ to reimburse counties for their daily cost of an inmate awaiting transfer after 45 days. Referred to House Corrections
- HB 2620 by Geren – Requires TDCJ to reimburse a county after the 45th day at the average daily cost of confinement. Pending in House Corrections
- HB 3363 by Frank – Omnibus bill which requires the state to reimburse counties after the 45th day for TDHS mental health detainees, TJJD juveniles and inmates awaiting transfer to TDCJ. Referred to House Corrections.
- HB 3530 by Neave Criado – Requires Health and Human Services Commissioner to accept a defendant awaiting transfer to a mental health facility within 21 days or reimburse the county $350 per day. Referred to House Public Health.
Bills of Interest
Good Bills – Need Support
- HB 103 by Murr – Allows a retired judge with 96 months of service to serve as a retired visiting judge to a constitutional county court. Referred to House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence
- HB 251 by Murr – Assess visiting statutory probate judge fees against estate. Reported favorably from House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence
- HB 499 by Meza – Allows all counties to adopt countywide voting. Referred to House Elections
- HB 657 by Bailes – Allows a county to post notices on the internet, instead of newspaper, after satisfying certain requirements. Referred to House State Affairs
- HB 1132 by Spiller – Raises bid limit from $50,000 to $100,000. Referred to House County Affairs
- HB 1487 by Gerdes – Creates Rural County Law Enforcement Agency Grant Program which can be used for personnel costs, equipment and training. Meeting set for 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, 3/29 or upon adjournment in House County Affairs
- HB 1591 by Ashby – Retired constitutional county judges would be eligible for a license to carry a handgun by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Referred to House Select on Community Safety.
- HB 1613 by Shine – Creates local government assistance account to provide state aid for 100% disable veterans tax exemptions. Referred to House Ways and Means
- HB 3352 by Gerdes – Allows a county under 150K population to establish a scrap tire monitoring program. Referred to Environmental Regulation
- HB 4487 by Smith/SB 1906 by Sparks – Provides student loan forgiveness to rural attorneys who accept indigent defense appointments. Referred to House Higher Education
- SB 22 by Springer – Rural Law Enforcement Grants. First placement on Senate Intent Calendar
- SB 157 by Perry – Raises warrant fee from $50 to $75 for felony, class A and B offenses. Referred to Senate Criminal Justice
- SB 556 by West – Exempts a county from paying transcript fees to a court reporter who uses county equipment. Referred to Senate Jurisprudence
- SB 778 by Kolkhorst – Requires TJJD to reimburse a county without a juvenile detention facility for court committed juveniles awaiting transfer. Referred to Senate Finance
- SB 782 by Birdwell – Enables DIR’s Chief Privacy Officer to assist counties with data privacy. Referred to Senate Business and Commerce.
- SJR 20 by Eckhardt – Authorizes optional dollar amount county homestead exemption. Referred to Senate Local Government
Problem Bills – Need Work
- HB 14 by Harris – Requires third party review of plat applications at county expense. Pending in House Land and Resource Management.
- HB 159 by Landgraf – Requires an additional publication in a newspaper for the county tax worksheet. Pending in House Way and Means
- HB 192 Schaefer – Limits authority to restrict firearms to court rooms, instead of courthouse. Referred to House Select on Community Safety
- HB 257 by Cortez – Allows the sale of fireworks on July 5. Referred to House County Affairs
- HB 866 by Oliverson – Limits county development authority. Pending in House Land and Resource Management
- HB 1310 by Gamez – 2 day deadline for juvenile detention hearings. Pending in House Juvenile Justice and Family Issues
- HB 1489 by Tepper – Restricts use of Certificates of Obligation. Referred to House Pensions/Investments/Financial Services
- HB 1977 by Morales Shaw – Mandatory juvenile diversion program for county, unless county forces community corrections. Hearing set Monday, 3/27, 2:30 p.m. or upon adjournment House Select on Youth Health & Safety
- HB 2117 by Oliverson – Creates liability for judges up to $10 million for improper release of defendant. Pending House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence.
- HB 2220 by Harrison – Requires election for county revenue increase and eliminates exemptions including de minimis rate. Referred to House Ways and Means
- HB 2221 by Harrison – Requires 60% percent majority of voters to approve a tax rate increase. Referred to House Ways and Means
- HB 2127 by Burrows – Waives immunity and allows claims to be filed in any county for enforcing an invalid order or rule in fields of specified codes. Pending in House State Affairs
- HB 2350 by Harris – Restricts county regulatory authority over certain occupations. Pending in House Licensing and Administrative Procedures
- HB 2665 by Gates – Limits county authority over short-term rentals. Referred to House Land and Resource Management
- HB 2919 by Johnson, Ann – Requires appointment of Guardian Ad Litem for anyone under the age of 18 charged with an offense for anything other than a traffic offense or misdemeanor punishable by fine only. No funding attached. Referred to House Select on Youth and Health & Safety
- SB 171 by Blanco – Requires criminal disposition reporting within 5 days jeopardizing grants. Referred to Senate Criminal Justice
- SB 175 by Middleton – Silences county officials legislative communications and deletes TAC’s enabling statute. Reported as substituted from Senate State Affairs
- SB 295 by Perry – Shifts court costs for paying patients from private facility to county taxpayers. Referred to Senate State Affairs
- SB 351 by Perry – Requires counties to pay for hotel rooms and DFPS staff monitoring. Pending in Senate Health and Human Services.
- SB 990 by Hall- Eliminates the countywide polling place program.
- SB 1104 by Birdwell – Restricts county disaster authority. First placement on Senate Intent Calendar
- SJR 58 by Birdwell – Requires the governor to convene a special session to renew an order to declare a disaster under specific circumstances. First placement on Senate Intent Calendar