CITY-RELATED BILLS FILED
H.B. 504 (Kolkhorst) – Juvenile Delinquency: would provide that: (1) a parent commits a class C misdemeanor if: (a) the parent's child is convicted of or adjudicated as having engaged in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision for disrupting a school activity; (b) the child has not complied with the terms of the child's sentence or a court order relating to the conviction or adjudication; and (c) the parent, with criminal negligence, has contributed to, caused, or encouraged the child to fail to comply with the terms of the child's sentence or a court order relating to the conviction or adjudication; (2) one-half of a fine collected for the new offense shall be deposited to the credit of the operating fund of the child’s school (if the school is a public school) and one-half shall go to the general fund of the municipality in which the offense is prosecuted (or to the county’s general fund if prosecuted in a county court); and (3) in the case of a parent whose child attends a private school, a fine collected for the offense shall be deposited in its entirety to the credit of the general fund of the prosecuting entity.
H.B. 604 (Farabee) – 4B Sales Tax: would permit the expenditure of 4B sales tax revenue on roads, streets, sewer facilities, and storm water drainage facilities that are related to water conservation programs.
H.B. 606 (Farabee) – Volunteer Fire Departments: would exempt volunteer fire departments from the payment of motor fuels taxes. (Companion bill is S.B. 254 by Estes.)
H.B. 615 (S. Turner) – Employee Leave: would require a city to: (1) grant up to ten hours of unpaid leave to an employee who has worked for the city for at least a year for purposes of meeting with school officials; and (2) post notice of employees’ rights under this law.
H.B. 618 (Corte) – Privileged Parking: would exempt from parking meter fees a vehicle with license plates indicating an individual received the Air Force Cross or Distinguished Service Cross, the Army Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, or the Medal of Honor.
H.B. 621 (Elkins) – Public Improvement Districts: would make the following changes to public improvement district law: (1) permit, but not require, level annual installment payment of assessments; (2) permit the city council that created a district to determine which events trigger the running of interest on assessments; (3) provide that assessment liens run with the land; (4) provide that assessment liens are not extinguished by tax foreclosure; (5) permit the use of sale contracts and time warrants for financing of long-term district costs; and (6) permit certain corporations to manage districts.
H.B. 622 (Harless) – Immigration: would suspend any state licenses held by a city if, after notice and a hearing, the state finds that the city employs one or more individuals who are not lawfully present in the country.
H.B. 627 (Anchia) – Elections: would: (1) provide that an election officer serving at an early voting polling place is a deputy voter registrar and has the same authority as a regular deputy registrar; (2) allow for the registration of eligible voters during early voting upon the submission of certain documentation; (3) require an individual voting under (2) above to vote a provisional ballot; and (4) prescribe registration procedures that must be followed by the voter registrar.
H.B. 628 (Anchia) – Human Trafficking: would provide that: (1) the attorney general shall establish and maintain a computerized database regarding persons who are trafficking victims; (2) a state or local law enforcement agency shall report to the attorney general information regarding each trafficking victim identified by the agency; (3) the attorney general shall analyze the information to assist in identifying human traffickers, patterns in trafficking throughout the state, and any other useful information; and (4) the attorney general shall establish a human trafficking prevention task force, which would include representatives of local law enforcement agencies affected by human trafficking, to develop policies and procedures to assist in the prevention and prosecution of human trafficking crimes.
H.B. 632 (S. Turner) – Water and Sewer Utilities: would: (1) mandate that a retail public utility (including a municipally-owned utility) must maintain auxiliary power generators capable of ensuring that, in the event of a local power outage, the retail public utility maintains the ability to provide water to the local distribution system with at least the minimum water pressure required under Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) rules, and sewer services to all existing customers; (2) provide that the TCEQ by rule shall prescribe standards relating to the auxiliary power generators and create and implement an inspection schedule that ensures the inspection of each retail public utility for compliance with the new mandate at least once a year; and (3) authorize the TCEQ to impose an administrative penalty on a retail public utility that violates the new requirement or permit the commission to revoke the utility’s license to operate.
H.B. 637 (Guillen) – Property Tax: would make the following changes to the optional city residential homestead exemption: (1) permit a city to grant an exemption of a percentage of appraised value, as current law allows, or alternatively to exempt a specific dollar amount, similar to the senior homestead exemption; (2) provide that if the city chooses to exempt a specific dollar amount, the amount exempted must be between $5,000 and $30,000; and (3) provide that the city may not grant both types of homestead exemption. (Note: please see H.J.R. 40, below.)
H.B. 638 (Leibowitz) – Electronic Voting Machines: would: (1) prohibit the use of an electronic voting machine in an election unless the machine: (a) has been certified or otherwise approved by means of qualification testing by a nationally recognized test laboratory; (b) 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 (c) 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 nonvisual method; (2) mandate that: (a) a voter be allowed to privately and independently view the paper record copy; (b) a copy of the paper record copy be maintained in a secure storage container; and (c) if the voter finds that the paper record copy does not correspond to the voter’s choices, the paper record copy be destroyed; and (3) allow the use of an electronic voting machine that was acquired before January 1, 2010, and does not meet the above requirements only if: (a) a voter has the option of casting a paper ballot instead of using the machine; (b) a permanent record of each ballot is created at the time the ballot is cast or during the local canvass of the votes; (c) the system is subject to parallel monitoring; and (d) at least 46 days before the date the system is to be used for voting, the authority responsible for holding the election submits a technical security plan for the system to the secretary of state.
H.B. 639 (Thompson) – Human Trafficking: would: (1) create a required, four-hour, basic training program in human trafficking to be included in the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) certification requirements; (2) create a voluntary, advanced human trafficking training program; and (3) require that officers certified before the human trafficking training requirement goes into effect must take the basic, four-hour training before obtaining an intermediate or advanced proficiency certificate from TCLEOSE. (Companion bill is S.B. 89 by Van de Putte.)
H.B. 644 (Zerwas) – Transportation Funding: would provide that money in the state highway fund may not be transferred to or appropriated for use by various state agencies, including the Texas Department of Public Safety.
H.B. 649 (Y. Davis) – Property Tax: would: (1) prohibit an appraisal district or a taxing unit, including a city, from posting the name of the owner of real property on the Internet if the owner has submitted a written confidentiality request to the entity; and (2) require an appraisal district or taxing unit that posts appraisal information on the Internet to provide notice on its main Web site of the right of a property owner to request confidentiality.
H.B. 653 (Bonnen) – Property Tax: would give tax assessors the option to mail property tax bills “Return Receipt Requested.” (Note: under current law, such a designation is mandatory.)
H.B. 656 (Rios Ybarra) – Hotel Occupancy Tax: would permit the expenditure of up to fifteen percent of city hotel occupancy tax revenue on certain ecological tourism events.
H.B. 658 (Jackson) – Immigration: would require a city to: (1) participate in the federal government’s program for electronic verification of employee immigration status (“E-Verify”); and (2) immediately terminate an employee responsible for verifying the immigration status of other employees if the verifying employee fails to participate in E-Verify.
H.B. 666 (Gutierrez) – Municipal Court: would authorize a $50 fee to be assessed upon conviction of any offense to pay for the services of a peace officer who has issued a capias pro fine.
H.B. 667 (Callegari) – Design-Build: would allow the use of a design-build contract for certain civil works projects by a city with a population of more than 100,000. (Companion bill is S.B. 229 by West.)
H.B. 691 (Ortiz) – Alcohol Regulation: would exempt city-owned facilities that are financed by public securities from the “subterfuge ownership” prohibition in Section 109.53 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code. Such an exemption would allow an entity other than the owner of a facility to receive a majority of alcohol-related revenues.
H.J.R. 40 (Guillen) – Property Tax: would amend the Texas Constitution to permit the legislature to make the following changes to the optional city residential homestead exemption: (1) permit a city to grant an exemption of a percentage of appraised value, as current law allows, or alternatively to exempt a specific dollar amount, similar to the senior homestead exemption; (2) provide that if the city chooses to exempt a specific dollar amount, the amount exempted must be between $5,000 and $30,000; (3) provide that the city may not grant both types of homestead exemption. (Note: please see H.B. 637, above.)
S.B. 435 (Ellis) – Renewable Energy: would: (1) mandate that electric utilities (including municipally-owned utilities) shall, not later than January 1, 2020, directly own or purchase sufficient generating capacity or peak load renewable energy credits such that the installed peak load generating capacity from renewable energy technologies in this state will increase to meet certain goals established in the bill; (2) require the Public Utility Commission (PUC) by rule to establish a peak load renewable energy credits trading program; (3) provide that a municipally-owned utility operating a gas distribution system may credit toward its renewable energy goals any production or acquisition of landfill gas supplied to the gas distribution system; and (4) require the PUC to develop a plan to construct transmission capacity necessary to deliver to electric customers during peak load periods, in a manner that is most beneficial and cost-effective to the customers, the electric output from renewable energy technologies.
S.B. 436 (Ellis) – Renewable Energy: this bill is identical to S.B. 435, above.
S.B. 489 (Deuell) – Peace Officers: would: (1) require the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) to develop, maintain, and promote an Internet Web site to promote employment opportunities for police officers; and (2) allow TCLEOSE to charge a reasonable fee to a city police department for its use of the Web site.
S.B. 492 (Nelson) – Emergency Medical Services: would prohibit registered sex offenders from being certified as any type of emergency medical services personnel.