SIGNIFICANT COMMITTEE ACTIONS

H.B. 138 (Callegari), Relating to the acquisition of and compensation for real property, including blighted property, for public purposes through condemnation or certain other means. Reported from the House Committee on Land and Resource Management.  As reported, the bill would provide – among other things – that:

  1. the term "blighted area" means an tract of real property that presents four or more of the following conditions for one year after a property owner receives notice of the condition: (a) the property contains uninhabitable, unsafe, or abandoned structures; (b) the property has inadequate provisions for sanitation; (c) there exists on the property an imminent harm to life or other property caused by fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, storm, or other natural catastrophe declared to be a disaster; (d) the property has been identified by the federal Environmental Protection Agency as a Superfund site or as environmentally contaminated to an extent that the property requires remedial investigation or a feasibility study; (e) the property has been the location of substantiated and repeated illegal activity of which the property owner knew or should have known; (f) the maintenance of the property is below county or municipal standards; (g) the property is abandoned and contains a structure that is not fit for its intended use because the utilities, sewerage, plumbing, heating, or a similar service or facility of the structure has been disconnected, destroyed, removed, or rendered ineffective; or (h) the property presents an economic liability to the immediate area because of deteriorating structures or hazardous conditions;
  2. the current statutory provisions relating to urban renewal eminent domain apply only to a tract of blighted property (as opposed to "slum" areas);
  3. a municipal governing body must determine that each unit of property (as opposed to an “area,” as is current law) be designated as blighted, and make corresponding procedural changes to urban renewal laws;
  4. notwithstanding any other law, an area may not be considered a blighted area on the basis of a condition described in number (1) above unless the city has given notice in writing to the property owner regarding the imminent harm to life or other property caused by the condition of the property, and the property owner fails to take reasonable measures to remedy the harm caused by the property; and
  5. an area may not be considered blighted solely for aesthetic reasons.

H.B. 256 (Hilderbran), Relating to state-issued certificates of franchise authority to provide cable service and video service.  Reported from the House Committee on State Affairs.

H.B. 274 (Creighton), Relating to attorney’s fees, early dismissal, expedited trials, and the reform of certain remedies and procedures in civil actions.  Reported from the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence.

H.B. 305 (Harless), Relating to the punishment prescribed for burglary of a vehicle.  Reported from the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence.

H.B. 351 (Veasey), Relating to the expunction of records and files relating to a person's arrest.  Reported from the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence.

H.B. 507 (Button), Relating to notice for certain transactions involving local government entities.  Reported from the House Committee on Technology.

H.B. 628 (Callegari), Relating to contracts by governmental entities and related professional services and to public works performance and payment bonds.  Reported from the House Committee on Government Efficiency and Reform. As reported, the bill would generally consolidate the provisions of current law relating to alternative delivery systems for construction projects into one chapter in the Government Code.  The bill would also, among many other things: (1) prohibit a reverse auction procedure for a public works contract for which a performance or payment bond is required; (2) provide that the board of trustees of a school district may enter into an agreement for the design, construction, or renovation of improvements to real property not owned or leased by the district if the improvements benefit real property owned or leased by the district, such as the design, construction, or renovation of highways, roads, streets, sidewalks, crosswalks, utilities, and drainage improvements; and (3) prohibit the use of an interlocal contract to purchase construction services unless the services are in connection with the construction of a specific facility to be jointly owned, used, or financed by the parties to the contract or: (a) the services are in connection with a job order contract; (b) the governing body of the governmental entity for whom the work will ultimately be performed approves the purchase in open session; (c) public notice is provided in a manner consistent with a direct contract for job order contracting services; and (d) work orders under the contract comply with state law.

H.B. 800 (C. Anderson), Relating to an interlocal contract between a governmental entity and a purchasing cooperative to purchase roofing materials or services. Reported from House Committee on Government Efficiency and Reform.  As reported, this bill would provide that an interlocal contract between a governmental entity and a purchasing cooperative may not be used to purchase roofing materials or services, including materials or services for construction, repair, or replacement of a roof unless the contract is a renewal of a contract based on a request for proposal submitted before September 1, 2011. 

H.B. 956 (Marquez), Relating to the state fire marshal's investigation of the death of a firefighter who dies in the line of duty or in connection with an on-duty incident. Reported from the House Committee on Urban Affairs.  (Companion bill is S.B. 396 by Deuell.)

H.B.984 (Truitt), Relating to agreements between contiguous municipalities regarding jurisdiction of cases in municipal courts.  Reported from the Senate Jurisprudence Committee.

H.B. 1047 (Schwertner), Relating to the impoundment of a motor vehicle if operated without financial responsibility and a driver's license.  Reported from the House Committee on Transportation.  As reported, the bill would authorize a peace officer to impound the vehicle of a person only if detailed procedures are followed and the person: (1) is involved in a motor vehicle accident or is stopped for an alleged violation of a local traffic ordinance, a state traffic law, or any other law that applies to the operation of a vehicle on a roadway; and (2) operates a motor vehicle without insurance.

H.B. 1092 (Christian), Relating to the exemption from certain construction requirements for volunteer fire departments in certain counties. Reported from the House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures. (Companion bill is H.B. 1231 by Hopson.)

H.B. 1164 (Keffer), Relating to enforcement actions by the Texas Board of Professional Engineers against political subdivisions and certain public officials.  Reported from the House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures

H.B. 1178 (Flynn), Relating to employment protection for members of the state military forces.  Reported from the House Committee on Defense and Veterans’ Affairs.

H.B. 1406 (Riddle), Relating to the persons authorized to take a blood specimen from a vehicle operator to test for alcohol concentration or other intoxicating substances.  Reported from the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence.

H.B. 1457 (Fletcher), Relating to interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications for law enforcement purposes. Reported from the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety (Companion bill is S.B. 687 by Huffman.)

H.B. 1626 (Flynn), Relating to the use of alternate electronic reporting databases for over-the-counter sales of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and norpseudoephedrine.  Reported from the House Committee on House Homeland Security and Public Safety

H.B. 1959 (Thompson), Relating to appeal of the refusal of an alcoholic beverage license or permit based on a certification of an area’s wet or dry status. Reported from the House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures.  As reported, the bill would provide that if a county clerk, city secretary, or city clerk certifies that the location or address given in an application to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is not in a wet area or otherwise refuses to issue the certification, the applicant is entitled to a hearing before the county judge to contest the certification or refusal to certify.

H.B. 2048 (Lyne), Relating to the collection and enforcement of state and local hotel occupancy taxes.  Reported from House Committee on House Ways and Means.

H.B. 2174 (Hartnett), Relating to the establishment of the judicial access and improvement account to provide funding for basic civil legal services, indigent defense, and judicial technical support through certain county service fees.  Reported from the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence.

H.B. 2443 (Price), Relating to persons remaining on and parking vehicles on state highway right-of-way.  Reported from the House Committee on Transportation.

H.B. 2477 (Harless), Relating to the provision of bilingual election materials. Reported from the House Committee on Elections. (Companion bill is S.B. 1039 by Ellis.)

H.B. 2490 (Solomons), Relating to the regulation of certain metal dealers.  Reported from the House Committee on Environmental Regulation.

H.B. 2686 (Lucio), Relating to the impoundment of a motor vehicle involved in an accident if operated without financial responsibility.  Reported from the House Committee on Transportation.

H.B. 2889 (Madden), Relating to the expunction of records and files relating to a person’s arrest. Reported from the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence.  (Companion bill is S.B. 1473 by Hinojosa.)

H.B. 2902 (Zerwas), Relating to the release of extraterritorial jurisdiction by certain general-law municipalities.  Reported from the House Committee on Land and Resource Management.

H.B. 2944 (Coleman), Relating to Internet availability of bonds and other debt obligations issued by local governments. Reported from the House Committee on County Affairs.  As reported, the bill would: (1) require the Bond Review Board to develop and maintain a searchable computerized database of outstanding bonds and other debt obligations issued by each local government; and (2) require local governmental entities to provide information to the Bond Review Board that is determined to be necessary for the database.   

H.B. 3001 (Thompson), Relating to the electronic monitoring of certain high-risk sex offenders.  Reported from the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence.

H.B. 3037 (Chisum), Relating to contested case hearings for environmental permits. Reported from the House Committee on Environmental Regulation.

H.B. 3082 (Isaac), Relating to the location of certain mobile voting stations.  Reported from the House Committee on Elections.

H.B. 3391 (D. Miller), Relating to rainwater harvesting and other water conservation initiatives.  Reported from the House Committee on Natural Resources.

H.B. 3393 (Hughes), Relating to the filing by a court reporter of an official transcript of a court proceeding.  Reported from the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence.

H.B. 3486 (V. Taylor), Relating to municipal regulation of dogs used for search and rescue or law enforcement purposes.  Reported from the House Committee on Urban Affairs.

H.B. 3530 (Ritter), Relating to the functions of the Texas Water Development Board, including the functions of the board and related entities in connection with the process for establishing desired future conditions in a groundwater management area. Reported from the House Committee on Natural Resources.  This bill is the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) sunset bill. The bill would, among other provisions: (1) require the TWDB to develop and implement a policy to encourage the use of negotiated rulemaking and alternative dispute resolution procedures; (2) make changes to the manner in which defaults on TWDB financial assistance is handled by the board; (3) require the TWDB to create a uniform water use calculation system for municipal water use and require that the system be used in water conservation plans and certain other reports required by statute; (4) require the executive administrator of the TWDB to designate the director of the Texas Natural Resources Information System to serve as the state geographic information officer and, among other duties, support the geographic data needs of emergency management responders during emergencies; (5) require the TWDB to establish advisory committees, including local governmental representative members, to assist the board with state geographic data issues; (6) require regional water plans to be consistent with the desired future conditions adopted for the relevant aquifers located in the regional water planning area. (Companion bill is S.B. 660 by Hinojosa.)

H.B. 3547 (Alvarado), Relating to enforcement by a local government of fire safety standards at certain child-care facilities.  Reported from the House Committee on Urban Affairs.

H.B. 3610 (Thompson), Relating to periodic rate adjustments by electric utilities.  Reported from the House Committee on State Affairs.  (Please see S.B. 1693 by Carona in Recent Floor Actions in this edition.)

H.B. 3692 (Gallego), Relating to peace officer interaction with persons with mental illness and to a person's incompetency to stand trial.  Reported from House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence.  As reported, the bill would: (1) require a peace officer answering an emergency call to attempt to determine whether any person involved is a person with mental illness and, if so, and if no offense has been committed: (a) require the officer to notify local mental health authorities; (b) allow an officer to provide assistance to the mentally ill person; (c) authorize the officer take the person into custody; (2) require a peace officer answering an emergency call to attempt to determine whether any person involved is a person with mental illness and, if so, and if an offense has been committed, authorize the officer to issue a citation in lieu of arrest or take the person into custody; (3) provide, in regard to an incompetency trial, that a suggestion of incompetency is the threshold requirement for an informal inquiry which may be satisfied solely by a representation from any source; and (4) require the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education to establish minimum curriculum requirements for preparatory and advanced programs that include training in mental illness.

H.J.R. 137 (Ritter), Proposing constitutional amendments relating to the funding of certain water projects.  Reported from the House Committee on Natural Resources.  As reported, the resolution would amend the Texas Constitution to provide that the Texas Water Development Board may issue general obligation bonds, at its determination and on a continuing basis, for one or more accounts of the Texas Water Development Fund in amounts such that the aggregate principal amount of the bonds issued by the board that are outstanding at any time does not exceed $6 billion.

S.B. 9 (Williams), Relating to homeland security.  Reported from Senate Committee on Transportation and Homeland Security.  As reported, the bill would require a law enforcement agency to: (1) verify the immigration status of a person held in custody; or (2) notify the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement if the agency is unable to verify the person’s immigration status.

S.B. 365 (Ogden), Relating to distributed generation of electric power. Reported from the Senate Business and Commerce Committee.  (Companion bill is H.B. 225 by Strama.)

S.B. 396 (Deuell), Relating to the state fire marshal’s investigation of the death of a firefighter who dies in the line of duty or in connection with an on-duty incident. Reported from the House Committee on Urban Affairs.  (Companion bill is H.B. 956 by Marquez.)

S.B. 545 (Seliger), Relating to employment records for law enforcement officers, including procedures to correct employment termination reports.  Reported from the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety.

S.B. 812 (Zaffirini) Relating to the service requirement benefits of certain retirees who resume employment within the Texas Municipal Retirement System.  Reported from the Senate State Affairs Committee.  As reported, this bill would modify the reemployment provisions related to retirement under the Texas Municipal Retirement System so that a person who resumes employment with the same employing city after at least 12 months separated from the city is entitled to a lump sum payment of his suspended annuity payments.  

S.B. 904 (D. Patrick), Relating to the eligibility of certain overseas voters to receive a full ballot. Reported from the House Committee on Elections. (Companion bills are H.B. 1697 by P. King and H.B. 1773 by L. Taylor.)

S.B. 1164 (Wentworth), Relating to optional annuity increases and annual supplemental payments for certain retirees and beneficiaries of the Texas Municipal Retirement System. Reported from the Senate State Affairs Committee. As reported, this bill would give the members of the Texas Municipal Retirement System another option when calculating possible increases in annuities or supplemental benefits given to retirees and beneficiaries of deceased retirees. (Companion bill is H.B. 2934 by Castro.)

S.B. 1420 (Hinojosa), Relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas Department of Transportation. Reported from the House Committee on Transportation. (Companion bill is H.B. 2675 by Harper-Brown.)

S.B. 1505 (Uresti), Relating to the appraisal for ad valorem tax purposes of a real property interest in oil or gas in place. Reported from the Senate Finance Committee.  As reported, the bill would change the method by which a real property interest in oil and gas in place is appraised by: (1) using the average price of the oil or gas interest for the preceding calendar year; and (2) eliminating the comptroller-computed market condition factor multiplier and instead using a price adjustment factor. (Companion bill is H.B. 889 by Lewis.)

S.B. 1529 (Hinojosa), Relating to the date by which law enforcement agencies must report arrests to the Department of Public Safety.  Reported from the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.

S.B. 1565 (Ellis), Relating to encouraging public participation by citizens by protecting a person's right to petition, right of free speech, and right of association from meritless lawsuits arising from actions taken in furtherance of those rights. Reported from the Senate State Affairs Committee.  (Companion bill is H.B. 2973 by Hunter.)

S.B. 1579 (Ogden), Relating to state fiscal matters related to general government. Reported from the Senate State Affairs Committee.  As reported, the bill would – among many other things – provide that: (1) a state agency that receives an appropriation from the state may, notwithstanding any other law, adopt fees or charges of any amount to cover any costs the agency incurs in performing its lawful functions; and (2) the Texas Enterprise Fund may be used for the Texas homeless housing and services program administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. (Companion bill is H.B. 3665 by Otto.)

S.B. 1583 (Ogden), Relating to state fiscal matters related to law enforcment and criminal justice. Reported from the Senate Finance Committee.  As reported, the bill would: (1) require an auto insurer to pay to the automobile burglary and theft prevention authority a fee of $2 per motor vehicle year of insurance for insurance policies delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed by the insurer; and (2) require that 50 percent of each fee collected be appropriated only to the authority. (Companion bill is H.B. 3649 by Otto.)

S.B. 1584 (Ogden), Relating to state fiscal matters related to natural resources and the environment. Reported from the Senate Finance Committee.  As reported, the bill would:  (1) require the Texas Railroad Commission (TRC) to provide for the imposition of reasonable surcharges as necessary on fees imposed by the TRC that are required to be deposited to the credit of an oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund in amounts sufficient to enable the TRC to recover the costs of performing certain functions related to oil and gas regulation and  cleanup; (2) authorize the money in the oil and gas regulation and cleanup fund to be used for any purpose related to the regulation of oil and gas development, including oil and gas monitoring and inspections, oil and gas remediation, oil and gas well plugging, public information and services related to those activities, and administrative costs and state benefits for personnel involved in those activities; and (3) abolish the current oil-field cleanup fund.  (Companion bill is H.B. 3418 by Darby.)

S.B. 1798 (West), Relating to a presumption that certain retailers are engaged in business in this state for the purpose of the use tax.  Reported from the Senate Finance Committee.  (Companion bill is H.B. 1317 by Naishtat.)

S.B. 1816 (Zaffirini), Relating to county and municipal land development regulation.  Reported from the Senate International Relations and Trade Committee.  (Companion bill is H.B. 2803 by Raymond.)

S.J.R. 4 (Hinojosa), Proposing a constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board. Reported from the Senate Finance Committee.


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