Open Government

H.B. 283 (Fallon/Creighton) - Recording of Meetings: provides that: (1) a home-rule city with a population of 50,000 or more: (a) must make a video and audio recording of reasonable quality of each regularly scheduled open meeting that is not a work session or a special called meeting, and make available an archived copy of such recording on the Internet; (b) may make the archived recording available on an existing Internet site, which could be a publicly accessible video-sharing or social networking site; (c) must make the archived recording available on an Internet site that the city maintains, or provide a link to the archived recording; (d) must make the archived recording available on the Internet not later than seven days after the recording was made, and maintain the archived recording on the Internet for not less than two years after the date the recording was first made available; and (e) is exempt from certain requirements described above if the archived recording cannot be made available as the result of a catastrophe or technical breakdown, after which the city must make all reasonable efforts to make the recording available in a timely manner; and (2) a home-rule city with a population of 50,000 or more may broadcast a regularly scheduled open meeting on television. (Effective January 1, 2016.)

H.B. 685 (Sheets/Hancock) - Production of Public Information: provides that: (1) a public information officer complies with the requirement to promptly produce public information by referring a requester to a publicly accessible website maintained by the city, if the requested information is identifiable and readily available on that website; (2) a city must, when responding by email with the website information described in (1), above, include a statement in conspicuous font indicating that the requester may access the information by inspection or duplication or receipt through the mail as otherwise provided in the Public Information Act; and (3) a city may withhold a utility customer’s confidential personal information (under Utilities Code Section 182.052) without the necessity of requesting a decision from the attorney general. (Effective September 1, 2015.)

H.B. 2134 (Burkett/Hall) - Public Information Requests: provides that, if a request for public information is sent by email, the request may be considered to have been withdrawn if a request from the city for clarification, discussion, or additional information is sent by email to the address from which the request was sent (or another email address provided by the requester) and a response is not received within the period established by state law. (Effective September 1, 2015.)

H.B. 2152 (Fletcher/Estes) - Military Service Information: makes a service member’s military personnel information (name, home and military duty address, rank, title, pay rate or grade, state active duty orders, deployment locations, awards, decorations, length of military service, and medical records) confidential, and excepts from public disclosure information relating to the home address, phone number, emergency contact, social security number, or family member information of a current or former member of the Texas military forces. (Effective September 1, 2015.)

H.B. 2633 (Hernandez/Perry) - Motor Vehicle Accident Information: provides, among other things, that: (1) the release of information about a motor vehicle accident to a “person directly concerned in the [motor vehicle] accident or having proper interest therein,” includes the release to: (a) a person involved in the accident; (b) the authorized representative of a person involved in the accident; (c) a driver involved in the accident; (d) an employer, parent, or legal guardian of a driver in the accident; (e) the owner(s) of the vehicle(s) or property damaged in the traffic accident; (f) a person who establishes financial responsibility for a vehicle involved in the accident; (g) an insurance company that issued a policy covering the vehicle; (h) an insurance company that issued a policy cover any person in the accident; (i) a person under contract to provide claims or underwriting information to certain persons; (j) a radio or television station that holds an FCC license; (k) certain newspapers; and (l) a person who may sue because of death resulting from the accident; and (2) certain redacted accident reports may be requested by any person. (Effective immediately.)

H.C.R. 96 (Hunter/Hancock) - Internet Publication of Legal Notices: directs the speaker of the House of Representatives and the lieutenant governor to create a joint interim committee to study the issue of advertising public notices on the Internet.


Texas Municipal League member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League.