Home > News > Elections & Politics
Elections & Politics

New Texas laws go into effect Monday

Posted Monday, Sep. 01, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
A

New laws

A look at provisions of bills taking effect today in Texas:

HB 5: Relating to public school accountability, including assessment, and to curriculum requirements; providing a criminal penalty. This act takes effect immediately, except Section 29 takes effect beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, Section 78(a) took effect Sept. 1, 2013, and Sections 36(a) and 78(b) take effect today.

HB 1245: Relating to the allocation of money in the judicial and court personnel training fund.

HB 1318: Relating to the appointment of counsel to represent certain youths and indigent defendants. This act took effect Sept. 1, 2013, except Sections 1 and 6 take effect today. September 1, 2014.

HB 2305: Relating to motor vehicle inspections; creating an offense; changing the collection method for certain fees. This Act takes effect March 1, 2015, except Section 53(a), (b), and (c) take effect September 1, 2013, and Section 548.104(d)(3), Transportation Code, as added by this Act, takes effect September 1, 2014.

HB 3153: Relating to the operation and administration of, and practice in courts in, the judicial branch of state government and the composition of certain juvenile boards; imposing a fee. This Act takes effect September 1, 2013, except Section 1.02(a) takes effect January 1, 2014; Section 1.05(a) takes effect September 1, 2014; Sections 1.04(a), 2.02(a), and 2.03(a) take effect January 1, 2015; and Sections 1.06(a) and 2.06(a) and (b) take effect September 1, 2015.

HB 3896: Relating to the Jack County Hospital District; authorizing the imposition of a tax. This Act takes effect immediately, except Section 1 takes effect September 1, 2014.

SB 966: Relating to creation of the Judicial Branch Certification Commission and the consolidation of judicial profession regulation; imposing penalties; authorizing fees. This Act takes effect September 1, 2014, except Sections 3.02(a) and (b) take effect September 1, 2013.

SB 1158: Relating to higher education for veterans and their families. This Act takes effect immediately, except Subchapter F, Chapter 434, Government Code, as added by Section 5 of this Act, takes effect September 1, 2014.

SB 1458: Relating to contributions to, benefits from, and the administration of systems and programs administered by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. This Act takes effect September 1, 2014, except Sections 2, 5, and 11 take effect September 1, 2013.

SB 1459: Relating to the powers and duties of and contributions to and benefits from the systems and programs administered by the Employees Retirement System of Texas. This Act takes effect September 1, 2013, except Section 13 takes effect January 1, 2014, and Sections 23 and 25 take effect September 1, 2014.

Source: Legislative Reference Library of Texas

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

More than a year after state lawmakers wrapped up their work in Austin, the final pieces of nearly a dozen new laws take effect today.

Many Texans likely won’t feel or see much difference from the new laws, since the biggest one — the last provision of the comprehensive abortion law known as HB 2, which required abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers or close their doors — has been overturned.

Had that piece of the law taken effect, all but a handful of abortion clinics were expected to be shuttered.

That leaves around a dozen laws — touching on issues ranging from judicial and court personnel training to higher education for veterans and their families — to take effect today, a result of work last year by the Texas Legislature, according to the Legislative Reference Library of Texas.

In 2013, the Legislature passed more than 1,400 bills.

“The laws that take effect Sept. 1 pertain mostly to obtuse legal issues not of great concern to [the] broader public, except abortion,” said Allan Saxe, an associate political science professor at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Here’s a look at some of them:

Boosting career and technology classes: House Bill 5 requires the State Board of Education no later than today to make sure at least six advanced career and technology education courses are approved for Texas students to satisfy a fourth credit in mathematics.

Expanding legal training: HB 1245 allows personnel of criminal defense attorneys to participate in legal education courses, programs and technical assistance projects already funded for judges, prosecuting attorneys and their personnel, and other court personnel.

Representing indigent Texans and some youths in court: Attorneys are often appointed to represent some youths and indigent Texans in court under HB 1318. A change in the law requires attorneys who are appointed for that work to prepare information showing time spent working on those appointments for the preceding fiscal year for the county where the work was done.

Oversight of the Jack County Hospital District: Various parts of HB 3896 governing the Jack County Hospital District revamp and update guidelines. One portion of the law, which requires the board of directors to serve staggered three-year terms, takes effect today.

Consolidation of state boards: SB 966 consolidates several judicial regulatory boards — including the Court Reporters Certification Board, the Guardianship Certification Board and the Process Server Review Board — into the Judicial Branch Certification Commission as of today.

Helping veterans with higher education: Much of SB 1158 — which is geared to help veterans with higher education by requiring the Texas Veterans Commission to give some oversight, creating veteran college resource counselors and establishing a state award recognizing various colleges and universities for veteran education excellence — has already taken effect. But as of today, the portion requiring the agency to establish an award program to recognize colleges and universities for providing education to veterans will also take effect.

Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610 Twitter: @annatinsley

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?