666 New Texas Laws Come Into Force September 1 – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
In the odd-numbered years when the Texas legislature sits, a whole slew of new laws usually come into effect on September 1. This year is no exception, with the legislature passing 666 laws that come into force on Wednesday.
While not all of them are listed here, you can see a few of the more important ones below. A link to the full list of new laws can be found at the bottom of the page.
TEXAS BUDGET 2022-23: SB1: House and Senate approve a two-year, $ 250 billion budget that lawmakers say spends less than our current budget and funds public schools better. Our Dallas Morning News partners have more budget information here.
STAR BANNERS ACT: SB4: Requires that the national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner, be played before games played by professional sports teams that contract with the state.
TEXAS HEART RATE ACT: SB8: The Texas Heartbeat Bill prohibits abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur about six weeks after a pregnancy begins and before many women know they are pregnant. The law allows private citizens to enforce the rule, not the state, through civil lawsuits against doctors and others. Similar laws in other states have been successfully challenged in federal court, although lawmakers in Texas are hoping that putting the enforcement in the hands of citizens will help overcome the challenges.
BLOCKING AN EMERGENCY VEHICLE: HB9: Provides for criminal penalties and community surveillance conditions for someone who blocks the passage of an emergency vehicle. Depending on the circumstances, the sanction may be a misdemeanor or a felony.
POLICE COLLARS: SB69: Police officers are no longer allowed to use a strangulation, carotid artery plug or similar cervical tie, unless it is necessary to avoid injuring the officer; Police officers also have a duty to intervene to arrest or prevent another police officer from using force against a person if that force exceeds what is reasonable or if the officer knows that the use of such force is force is a violation of the law or puts a person at risk of bodily harm.
ACTIVE FIRE ALERT SYSTEM: HB103: Also known as the Leilah Hernandez Law, this law creates the Texas Active Shooter Alert System which will be activated via the Federal Wireless Emergency Alert System on the report of an active shooter. It should work the same as orange alerts, blue alerts, etc. are distributed to phones. The information could alert people to the situation, the identity of a suspected gunman or his last known location, or other relevant information. Leilah Hernandez, 15, was the youngest victim killed in a 2019 mass shooting in Midland-Odessa.
THE LAW OF BO: HB929: Known as the Botham Jean Law, or Bo’s Law, this law ensures that cameras worn by law enforcement officers will remain on during an active investigation. The law came after Jean was fatally shot in his apartment by Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger, who was not on duty, who entered Jean’s apartment and mistook him for the his. Testimony in Guyger’s murder trial revealed that Dallas Police Association president Mike Mata asked another officer to turn off a camera inside a police car at the scene of the shooting so Guyger and Mata can talk in private. Mata said Guyger would take a call from his lawyer and was entitled to solicitor-client privilege. Bo’s Law sets guidelines for when a recording can be discontinued given the need for confidentiality in certain situations and places.
POSTAL BULLETIN TRACKING: HB1382: This bill amends the Electoral Code to add electronic tracking of requests for postal ballots. The bill directs the secretary of state to create an online tool for people who submit poll requests to track the location and status of the poll and the poll.
SUNDAY BEER / WINE SALE: HB1518: The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code has been amended to allow the sale of beer and wine after 10 a.m. on Sunday. Prior to September 1, 2021, beer and wine could not be sold until noon on Sunday. Alcohol is still not allowed to be sold on Sundays at any time.
DEFUNDING POLICE PROTECTION: HB1900: Municipalities with more than 250,000 inhabitants that adopt budgets that reduce annual appropriations to police services could face financial sanctions from the state if these reductions are not in line with other budget cuts. The bill also blocks future annexation and allows areas annexed over the past 30 years to appeal for de-annexation decided in an election.
CRIMINALIZE HOMELESS CAMPING: HB1925: This law prohibits camping in public places by homeless people and criminalizes the act by making it a class C offense with a fine of $ 500. The law also says that a political subdivision cannot designate a property to be used by homeless people for camping without an approved plan.
CONSTITUTIONAL DOOR: HB1927: Anyone over the age of 21 who can legally own a handgun can legally carry this handgun in public without a license or training. It is, however, illegal to carry this weapon while intoxicated and the law provides for more severe penalties for criminals illegally caught with firearms. The law was not passed without controversy. Some law enforcement groups said the law would endanger the public and police, while supporters said it would allow Texans to better defend themselves in public while removing unnecessary obstacles to constitutional law. to carry weapons. Texas law also makes certain places still prohibited for firearms, and the new law does not change the places where weapons cannot be carried, including: a polling station; a government meeting open to the public; a courthouse; a school or school-related activity; a running track; prison; an airport; an amusement park; a bar; a restaurant selling alcohol. Learn more about the law here.
PATRIOTIC EDUCATION: HB2497 and HB3979: As the debate over critical race theory continues in the Second Special Session, Texas lawmakers approved two bills in the Regular Session aimed at explaining how the history of America and the Texas is taught in schools. HB2497 is linked to the Texas 1836 Project, an effort to teach “patriotic education” since the state’s war for independence from Mexico. The bill provides for an advisory committee “to promote patriotic education and raise awareness of the Texas values that continue to fuel unlimited prosperity in this state.” Lawmakers also passed the HB3979 standard, which states that “a teacher, administrator, or other employee of a state agency, school district, or open enrollment charter school may not (C) require an understanding of The 1619 projectThe project is a long-running New York Times journalism project that “seeks to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”
ERCOT CHANGES: HB2586 and SB1281: Two laws related to the devastating winter storm of February 2021 and the electricity grid will come into force on Wednesday. HB2586 requires an annual audit of each independent body certified for the ERCOT electrical region. The auditors will examine the board members, salaries, budgets and expenses of each organization. As part of SB1281, a biennial assessment of the reliability of the ERCOT power grid in extreme weather scenarios will be carried out by a certified independent body.
While the aforementioned laws have all been passed and come into force on Wednesday, the state legislature is currently busy in the Second Special Session working on other important points outlined by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, including the GOP-backed electoral integrity, bail, and property tax reform bill, limits on transgender children who participate in sports teams. A third extraordinary session is expected to be convened this fall to address the redistribution.
Not all bills passed by the legislature come into force on September 1. Some came into effect immediately while others have effective dates in the future. Future effective dates vary, some will come into effect on January 1, 2022, while others may not come into effect until 2026.
To see a list of the 666 laws passed by the 87th Texas Legislature that come into effect on September 1, Click here.