Legislation Becomes Effective September 1
The League recently summarized almost 300 bills passed during the recent legislative session that affect cities in some way. A complete list of those bills is available in the May 31 edition of the Legislative Update. A number of those bills will become effective September 1, including:
- H.B. 259 (Simmons/Paxton) – Electioneering: prohibits a city that owns a building used as a polling place from restricting electioneering during early voting and on Election Day, including the posting, use, or distribution of political signs or literature on the building’s premises outside the prescribed limits, but allows a city to enact reasonable regulations concerning the time, place, and manner of electioneering.
- S.B. 1368 (Davis/Alvarado) – Public Information Act: provides that most information created by a city official – regardless of whether it is created on a personal electronic device or with a personal email account –is subject to the Texas Public Information Act.
- S.B. 637 (Paxton/Flynn) – City Debt: requires, among other things, additional information in the document ordering a bond election.
- S.B. 656 (Paxton/Button) – Budget and Tax Rate Adoption: imposes, among other things, additional requirements related to the budget and tax rate adoption process.
- H.B. 674 (Ratliff/Carona) – Zoning: requires a city in a county with a population of 100,001 or more to provide written notice of a residential or multifamily zoning change to the school district. (Cities in a county with a population of 100,000 or less have to send the notice only if requested by the school district.)
- H.B. 252 (Larson/Hegar) – Water Shortage Reporting: requires that each municipally owned utility notify the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality when the utility is reasonably certain that the utility’s water supply is less than 180 days.
- S.B. 654 (West/Anchia) – Civil Actions: authorizes a city to bring a civil action or use quasi-judicial enforcement procedures to enforce an ordinance relating to: (1) animal care and control; and (2) water conservation measures, including watering restrictions.