As the 87th Texas Legislature concludes its Third Special Session, counties are still implementing the 1,081 bills that passed in the Regular Session. Below are summaries of some bills that
require Commissioners Court attention.
Filing Deadline Extended
Since the legislature has not completed redistricting its boundaries, S.B. 13, Second Called Session, postponed and extended the primary filing period for all offices. If the legislature completes its work by November 15, primary filing will begin on November 29, 2021, and will close on December 13, 2021, and the primary election will remain on March 1, 2022. If the legislature does not complete this process by November 15, filing deadlines and the primary will be further postponed.
Proposition 2 – County Transportation Reinvestment Zones
The Texas Constitution permits cities to finance transportation projects by pledging the tax revenues received from increased property values adjacent to the project. On November 2, 2021, Texas voters will be able to extend this option to counties. Proposition 2 would provide commissioners court with the option to finance transportation projects without increasing taxes on other property owners. Please request support for Proposition 2 in the November election.
Commissioners Online Continuing Education
In July 2020, Gov. Greg Abbott suspended the “classroom” requirement for mandatory Commissioners education to allow interactive distance-learning during the COVID-19 epidemic. However, S.B. 230, 87th Legislature, amended Section 81.0025, Local Government Code, to authorize online continuing education for Commissioners upon approval of the Commissioners Court, except for a County Commissioner in the first 12-month period of the Commissioner’s first term. The Commissioners Court needs to adopt the order below to permit CJCAT credit for online continuing education for its Commissioners.
Order to Approve Online Education for County Commissioners
Whereas, Section 81.0025, Local Government Code, as amended by the 87th Legislature, authorizes online instruction for Commissioners continuing education with the approval of the Commissioners Court, except for a County Commissioner in the first 12-month period of the Commissioner’s first term; and
Whereas, the Commissioners Court of __________________ County, Texas, wishes to authorize online instruction of Commissioners continuing education as permitted by the statute;
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Commissioners Court of __________________ County, Texas, approves and authorizes online instruction for the continuing education of County Commissioners, except for a County Commissioner in the first 12-month period of the commissioner’s first term; and
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be submitted to the Commissioners Education Committee of the County Judges and Commissioner Association of Texas.
Read and Adopted by a vote of _____ayes and _____nays on this ___ day of _________,20__.
Bracket Laws Extended
Over the years, the legislature has adopted numerous statutes that only apply to counties within certain population levels. These “bracket laws” are useful to avoid “one-size-fits-all” legislation. However, if the bracket is not adjusted after each federal census, the statute will apply to different counties. This is called “bracket creep.”
Normally, the legislature adjusts the brackets during the session following the census to avoid unintended “bracket creep.” However, with the delay in census data, it was not possible to complete this adjustment during the session. Instead, the legislature adopted H.B. 2025 to postpone applying the new census to current bracket statutes until September 1, 2023. This means that there will be no change in the counties that are affected by these statutes for two years. Before the next legislative session, please review the effect of population change in your county to determine if these brackets need revision.
For additional information, please call me at 1-800-733-0699.