2021 Legislative Analysis Report

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2021 LegislativeAnalysis Report87th Legislature Regular SessionSummary Information on Bills of Interest to County Officials

2021 BOARD OF DIRECTORSPresidentHon. Renee CouchComal County TreasurerHon. Laurie K. English112th District AttorneyHon. Debbie Gonzales IngalsbeHays County CommissionerPresident-ElectMr. Nathan CradduckTom Green County AuditorHon. Lisa JohnsonHemphill County District/County ClerkVice PresidentHon. Tim AddisonYoakum County CommissionerHon. Stacey KempCollin County ClerkSecretaryHon. Cindy Yeatts BrownDenton County TreasurerMrs. Kristen L. KleinGuadalupe County AuditorImmediate Past PresidentHon. Larry GallardoHidalgo County ConstableHon. Carlos B. LopezTravis County ConstableHon. Randy H. RiggsMcLennan County TaxAssessor-CollectorHon. Chuck StatlerTaylor County CommissionerHon. Ben ZellerVictoria County JudgeEx OfficioHon. J.D. ClarkNACo RepresentativeWise County JudgeHon. B. Glen WhitleyNACo RepresentativeTarrant County JudgeHon. Gary MaddoxLamb County SheriffMembersHon. Rick BaileyJohnson County CommissionerHon. Jackie Miller Jr.Ellis County Justice of the PeaceLegislative Services StaffNoe BarriosLegislative Services DirectorAmy RuedasLegislative Operations ManagerAmy BefeldLegislative ConsultantDistrict and County Attorneys AssociationKelsey BernsteinLegislative ConsultantJustices of the Peace andConstables AssociationKaty EstradaLegislative ConsultantTax Assessor-Collectors AssociationAurora FloresLegislative Consultant and CoreLegislative Group CoordinatorCounty Treasurers’ AssociationNanette ForbesLegislative ConsultantCounty and District Clerks’ AssociationAustin McCartyLegislative ConsultantFederal Issues and Sheriffs’ AssociationRick ThompsonLegislative ConsultantCounty Judges andCommissioners AssociationPete WincklerLegislative ConsultantAssociation of County AuditorsTim BrownSenior AnalystCounty Information ProgramZelma SmithFinancial AnalystCounty Information Program

2021LEGISLATIVEANALYSIS REPORT87th Legislature Regular SessionHONORABLE RENEE COUCHComal County Treasurer & TAC Board PresidentSUSAN M. REDFORDExecutive DirectorTEXAS ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES1210 San Antonio St. Austin, TX 78701Toll Free: (800) 456-5974Legislative Department Fax: (512) 478-3573www.county.orgTHIS PUBLICATION IS A RESEARCH TOOL AND NOT THE COUNSEL OF AN ATTORNEY. THISPUBLICATION IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE ADVICE OF AN ATTORNEY. It is provided withoutwarranty of any kind and, as with any research tool, should be double-checked against relevant statutes, caselaw, attorney general opinions and advice of legal counsel, e.g., your county attorney. Each public officer isresponsible for determining duties of the office or position held. Any question regarding such duties should bedirected to competent legal counsel for a written opinion. Copyright 2021 Texas Association of CountiesAug 2021 DG

PUBLISHERTexas Association of CountiesPRODUCTIONMark BarronDavid GarciaRaul MartinezDirk RuedasJody SeabornOUTSIDE SOURCESTexas District & County Attorneys AssociationTexas Association of County AuditorsCounty & District Clerks’ Association of TexasCounty Judges & Commissioners Association of TexasJustices of the Peace & Constables Association of TexasSheriffs’ Association of TexasTax Assessor-Collectors Association of TexasCounty Treasurers’ Association of TexasTexas Legislature Online

2021 LEGISL ATIVE ANALYSIS REPORTTABLE OF CONTENTSINTRODUCTION . 4Behavioral and Mental Health .8Broadband and Cybersecurity.9Civil Liability.10Clerks . 10County Authority.11County Officials.11Court Costs and Fees.13Courts . 13Criminal Justice.15Criminal Procedure.17Economic Development.18Elections.18Emergency Management.20Emergency Services.22Eminent Domain.23Environmental.24Fees and Fines.24Indigent Defense.24Juvenile Justice and Family Issues.25Land Use.25Law Enforcement.25Motor Vehicles.30Offenses.30Property Tax.31Property Tax Exemptions.33Public Finance.33Purchasing.34State Budget.34Telemedicine and Telehealth.37Transportation.37Workers’ Compensation.38Vetoed Bills.38STATE BUDGET CHARTS FOR THE 2022-2023 BIENNIUM. 413

2021 LEGISL ATIVE ANALYSIS REPORTINTRODUCTIONMessage from Executive Director Susan M. RedfordThe Texas Association of Counties (TAC) is the representative voice forall Texas counties. We collaborate with county officials, and through TAC,counties communicate the county perspective to state officials and the public.Understanding how county government works and the value of county serviceshelps state leaders support and preserve counties’ ability to serve their residentseffectively.We are solely focused on providing solutions tailored to the needs of Texascounties, county officials and county employees. As a one-stop shop for our 254counties, we will deliver unbelievable customer service in all we do. Throughour culture of trust, integrity and service, we will build and maintain valuedrelationships with county, state and federal officials. We will be the leadingresource for Texas counties by leveraging our knowledge and expertise togo above and beyond with the services we provide. We are committed toanticipating the needs of counties better than anyone else. Led by counties forcounties, our work benefits all Texans.The regular session of the 87th legislature, which ended May 31, addressedissues exposed by the pandemic and February’s ice storm while also navigatinghotly debated topics such as election security, gun rights, law enforcement andbail reform, and of course, taxpayer-funded lobbying. By producing weeklyvideo updates and newsletters, hosting Tuesday morning webinars and assistingcounty officials at the Capitol, TAC’s Legislative Services department deliveredthe county voice to legislators on hundreds of bills. Your TAC Legislative Servicesteam embodies TAC’s member-driven focus — a focus that the followingpages highlight.4

2021 LEGISL ATIVE ANALYSIS REPORTMessage from Legislative Director Noe BarriosAt the Texas Association of Counties (TAC), we pride ourselves on being avoice for county government, being your voice your advocate on issues thatmatter. TAC’s Legislative Services department helps county officials connectwith state officials in Austin and federal officials in Washington, D.C., to provideimportant facts to the leadership on issues that affect counties. We treasure thisresponsibility.TAC Legislative Consultants worked closely with county officials to provide timelyand relevant information on a myriad of issues throughout the regular session ofthe 87th Legislature. The close collaboration made an impact. Legislators andtheir staff listened, and though things didn’t always go our way, we respectfullydelivered the county voice.The Legislative Analysis Report on the pages that follow provide a summaryof the legislation enacted by the 87th Legislature that affects counties and theTexans served by counties. TAC’s Legislative team proudly delivered your voiceon every issue highlighted in this report. We stand ready to continue to do so.We appreciate the opportunity to serve you. We are Stronger Together!5



2021 LEGISL ATIVE ANALYSIS REPORTANALYSIS OF BILLS BY SUBJECT (Regular Session)BEHAVIORAL AND MENTAL HEALTHHB 1213 by Darby. Relating to court reportercosts incurred in a hearing or proceeding for theinvoluntary detention of a person with mental illness.Summary: Adds court reporter costs to the list ofexpenses eligible for reimbursement to a county thatconducted an involuntary detention hearing for aperson with mental illness. Under current law, a countythat houses a state hospital is required to pay suchcosts.Effective Date: Sept. 1, 2021HB 3088 by Coleman. Relating to the administration ofcertain mental health grant programs established bythe Health and Human Services Commission.Moreover, HB 3088 allows for communities to leveragefunding or contributions from private contributors orlocal governments. Lastly, it amends the GovernmentCode to delete previous text requiring that acollaborative, using money received from a grant bythe Department of State Health Services and privatefunding sources, to be self-sustaining within sevenyears.Summary: Amends the Government Code to reducethe amount of matching funds required for specifiedprograms established by past legislatures that theHealth and Human Services Commission (HHSC)administers from applicable grant recipients. Theseprograms include the Community Mental HealthGrant Program, the Texas Veterans Family AllianceGrant Program, the Mental Health Grant Program forJustice-Involved Individuals, and the grant programfor the establishment and expansion of communitycollaboratives.Effective Date: June 14, 2021SB 49 by Zaffirini. Relating to procedures regardingdefendants who are or may be persons with a mentalillness or intellectual disability.For these programs, HB 3088 makes changes to thematching percentages. The requirement has beenchanged to 25% of the grant amount if the programis in a county with a population of less than 100,000.The match requirements remain equal to 50% of thegrant amount for a program located in a county witha population of at least 100,000 but less than 250,000and 100% for counties with populations of 250,000 ormore.Summary: Adds an exception for defendants whoare no longer in custody regarding Article 16.22 ofthe Code of Criminal Procedure, which requires amagistrate to order an applicable authority or serviceprovider to assess whether a defendant has a mentalillness or an intellectual developmental disorder(IDD).SB 49 adds the sheriff or other person responsible forthe defendant’s medical records while the defendantis in county jail to the list of persons and entities towhom the magistrate must submit a written report ofany mental health or IDD assessment. The measurealso expands the list to include, as applicable, anypersonal bond office for the county in which theAdditionally, the legislation changes the frequencywith which the executive commissioner of HHSC mustsubmit reports evaluating the success of the grantprograms to the governor, the lieutenant governor andeach member of the Legislature from each calendaryear to each even-numbered year.8

2021 LEGISL ATIVE ANALYSIS REPORTdefendant is being confined or the director of theoffice or department that is responsible for supervisingthe defendant while they are released on bail andreceiving mental health or IDD services as a conditionof bail.60,000 and one nonvoting member appointed by theBDO.The BDO is required to establish the broadbanddevelopment program to award grants, low-interestloans and other financial incentives to applicants forexpanding services.The legislation creates provisions related to pilotprograms for jail-based competency restorationservices as well as provisions related to continuity ofprescription medications (Government Code, Sec.511.009 (d)) for the care and treatment of prisoners.The BDO is required to develop a broadbanddevelopment map classifying each designated areaas either eligible or ineligible based on 80% of theaddresses within the area having access to broadbandservices. A provider or political subdivision maypetition the office to reclassify an area of the map.The Texas Commission on Jail Standards must adoptrules and procedures required by Government Code,Sec. 511.009 (d), by Dec. 1, 2021.The BDO is required to prepare, update and publishon the comptroller’s website a state broadband planthat establishes long-term goals for greater access.Effective Date: Sept. 1, 2021The BDO will be governed by a 10-member boardof advisers appointed by the governor, lieutenantgovernor and speaker. The board will includerepresentatives from specified categories, includingmembers who live in urban and rural areas, amember representing the primary and secondaryeducation community and a member who residesin a border county. Members will serve staggeredtwo-year terms and provide guidance to the officeregarding expansion, adoption, affordability and useof broadband services.SB 640 by Menéndez. Relating to a study on theinteroperability needs and technology readiness ofbehavioral health service providers in this state.Summary: Directs the Health and Human ServicesCommission to conduct a study to assess theinteroperability needs and technology readinessof behavioral health service providers, includingthe needs of state hospitals, local mental healthauthorities and county jails.Effective Date: Sept. 1, 2021Effective Date: June 15, 2021BROADBAND AND CYBERSECURITYHB 1118 by Capriglione. Relating to state agency andlocal government compliance with cybersecuritytraining requirements.HB 5 by Ashby. Relating to the expansion ofbroadband services to certain areas.Summary: Creates the broadband development office(BDO) under the Office of the Texas Comptrollerto serve as a resource for information regardingbroadband, engage in outreach regarding broadbandexpansion and serve as a clearinghouse for federalprograms offering assistance to local entities. Toensure Texas is best positioned to benefit frombroadband programs administered by the FederalCommunications Commission (FCC), the act grantsthe BDO the authority to monitor and participate inproceedings of the FCC related to the geographicavailability and deployment of broadband service. HB5 alters the membership of the Governor’s BroadbandDevelopment Council by adding a county clerk andsheriff from a county with a population less thanSummary: Builds on the 86th Legislature’srequirement that any county elected official,appointed official or employee who uses a computerto perform at least 25% of their official dutiescomplete a cybersecurity awareness course designedby the Department of Information Resources.Institutes a new requirement that counties must stayin full compliance or lose criminal justice grantsfor two years; to help counties gain compliance,commissioners courts are granted authority to denyaccess to the system or database to a person who isnot in compliance.Effective Date: May 18, 20219

2021 LEGISL ATIVE ANALYSIS REPORTAdditionally, the bill prohibits political subdivisionsfrom using public funds to settle sexual harassmentclaims including counties, municipalities, schooldistricts, special districts or other subdivisions of stategovernment. The bill bans use of public funds for thefollowing:HB 3746 by Capriglione. Relating to certainnotifications required following a breach of security ofcomputerized data.Summary: Amends the Business and Commerce Codeto require that entities, including counties, reporting abreach of system security to the Office of the AttorneyGeneral (OAG) provide the number of Texas residentsreceiving notification of the breach. The entities mustnotify the OAG if the breach involves at least 250residents. HB 3746 places additional requirements onthe OAG for public postings of breaches. An elected or appointed member of the governingbody of a political subdivision. An officer or employee of the political subdivision.Effective Date: Sept. 1, 2021Effective Date: Sept. 1, 2021CLERKSCIVIL LIABILITYHB 1514 by Landgraf. Relating to the administration ofunclaimed property.SB 45 by Zaffirini. Relating to the prohibition againstsexual harassment in the workplace.Summary: Requires the clerk of the court that ordersan executor or administrator to pay funds to thecomptroller, to provide notification by certified mail ore-mail instead of by personal service of citation.Summary: Expands the definition of employer toinclude a person who employs one or more employeesand adds sexual harassment liability to all employers.Additionally, an employer commits an unlawfulemployment practice if sexual harassment occurs,and the employer knows or should have known it wasoccurring and fails to take immediate appropriateaction.Effective Date: May 18, 2021HB 1831 by Rogers. Relating to annual continuingeducation requirements for certain court clerks.Summary: Allows county and district clerks to carryover from the current calendar year to the followingyear not more than 10 hours of completed continuingeducation courses that exceed the 20 hours ofcontinuing education required each year.Effective Date: Sept. 1, 2021SB 282 by Alvarado. Relating to a prohibition againstthe appropriation of money to settle or pay a sexualharassment claim made against certain members ofthe executive, legislative, or judicial branch of stategovernment and to a prohibition against the use ofother public money to settle such a claim.Effective Date: May 15, 2021HB 3415 by Goldman. Relating to the authority of acounty to require photo identification to file certaindocuments with the county clerk.Summary: Prohibits the use of public funds to settlesexual harassment claims for the following:Summary: Allows clerks in counties with a populationof 800,000 or more to require a person filing adocument in the real property records to present aphoto identification to the clerk to confirm identity ofthe filer. An elected member of the executive, legislative orjudicial branch of state government. A person appointed by the governor to serve as amember of a department, commission, board orother public office within the executive, legislative orjudicial branch of state government.Effective Date: Sept. 1, 2021 A staff person for the previously mentionedindividuals.10

2021 LEGISL ATIVE ANALYSIS REPORTpromote health and safety. Requires the residentialchild detention facility owner, before entering intoa contract with a federal agency, to provide noticeof the proposed facility to the county and meet anyrequirements adopted by the county.SB 1179 by Birdwell. Relating to the procedure fordonating juror reimbursements.Summary: Requires that a person who has reported forjury service be provided a form letter for donation oftheir reimbursement for jury service after jury servicehas concluded and not before.Effective Date: Sept. 1, 2021Effective Date: Sept. 1, 2021SJR 27 by Hancock.Proposing a constitutionalamendment to prohibitthis state or a politicalsubdivision of this statefrom prohibiting orlimiting religious servicesof religious organizations.COUNTYAUTHORITYHB 1239 by Sanford.Relating to the prohibitedsuspension of lawsprotecting religiousfreedom and prohibitedclosure of places ofworship.Summary: Prohibits acounty from enacting,adopting or issuing anorder that prohibits orlimits religious services,including all religiousservices conducted inchurches, congregations orin a place of worship. Theenabling legislation failedto pass, and the proposed constitutional amendmentwill go to the voters.Summary: Amendsthe Civil Practice andRemedies Code toprovide that for purposesof a disaster, the TexasReligious FreedomRestoration Act is not considered a regulatory statuteand may not be suspended. A government agency orpublic official may not issue an order that closes orhas the effect of closing places of worship.Effective Date: Nov. 2, 2021, if voters approve theproposed constitutional amendment in November 2021,or no effect.Effective Date: June 16, 2021SB 186 by Perry. Relating to the authority of acounty to issue bonds to restore or maintain a countycourthouse.COUNTY OFFICIALSHB 840 by Moody. Relating to the selection of publicmembers to serve on a county’s salary grievancecommittee.Summary: Authorizes a commissioners court to issuebonds to restore or maintain a county courthouse.Summary: Amends the Local Government Codeto modernize the process for selection of publicmembers and alternates to serve on a countysalary grievance committee. Current law providesfor random selection of public members andalternates by a specified process under whichthe names of potential committee members arewritten on individual folded slips of paper, mixedand drawn from an appropriate container. HB 840provides an optional alternative process by which aEffective Date: June 7, 2021SB 2188 by Seliger. Relating to the municipal orcounty regulation of residential detention facilities forimmigrant or refugee children.Summary: Authorizes a county to adopt and enforce anordinance, order or other regulation that requires aresidential child detention facility to provide necessaryservices and meet reasonable minimum standards that11

2021 LEGISL ATIVE ANALYSIS REPORTHB 1500 by Hefner. Relating to authority of thegovernor and certain political subdivisions to regulatefirearms, ammunition, knives, air guns, explosives, andcombustibles and certain associated businesses duringcertain disasters and emergencies.Summary: Amends the Government Code and theLocal Government Code to ensure that neither thegovernor nor local governments have the authorityto prohibit or restrict the business or operations ofa firearm or ammunition manufacturer, distributor,wholesaler, supplier or retailer or a sport shootingrange during a declared disaster.Effective Date: Sept. 1, 2021SB 230 by Seliger. Relating to the continuingeducation requirement for county commissioners.Summary: Allows a county commissioner to obtain therequired 16 hours of continuing education virtually,with commissioners court approval, except duringthe first 12-month period of the commissioner’sfirst term, at which time the training must occur inperson.Effective Date: May 26, 2021SB 1339 by Zaffirini. Relating to the authority torequest attorney general advice on questions relatingto actions in which the state is interested.Summary: Adds the head of certain counties’ civillegal departments to the list of attorneys the attorneygeneral is required to advise with respect to certainmatters if requested to do so. The act is bracketedto counties located on the U.S.-Mexico border thathave a population of less than 400,000 and containone or more municipalities with a population of200,000 or more (i.e., Webb County). The headof the department also would have to receiveapproval for the submission of the request from thecommissioners court of the county.commissioners court may direct the county clerk touse a computer to generate a randomized list for theselection of public members and alternates to serveon a county salary grievance committee.Effective Date: Sept. 1, 2021HB 1082 by King, Phil. Relating to the availability ofpersonal information of an elected public officer.Effective Date: May 24, 2021Summary: Amends current law to allow a countyofficial to elect for the county to withhold certainpersonal information such as a home address orhome telephone number from public disclosure.SB 1357 by Hughes. Relating to deadlines associatedwith proposing and adopting a budget for certaincounties.Effective Date: May 19, 202112

2021 LEGISL ATIVE ANALYSIS REPORTamends the Code of Criminal Procedure to makeclear that judges are required to inquire on therecord about the defendant’s ability to pay in Class Cmisdemeanor cases.Summary: Amends the Local Government Code toprovide increased efficiency in the county budgetingprocess. The 86th Legislature’s passage of theTexas Property Tax Reform and Transparency Actmade significant changes to the administration ofproperty tax law. Resulting ambiguities and questionsregarding process and timeline requirementsprompted the filing of SB 1357. The measureprovides a clear process by which a county with apopulation of up to 225,000 may prepare and filea proposed budget for review by the public andby county officials before consideration by thecommissioners court.The Office of Court Administration is required tocreate and make available the forms and materials byJune 1, 2022.Article 7B.001 of the Code of the Criminal Procedure,as amended, and Sec. 82.004 of the Family Code, asamended, apply only to applications for a protectiveorder filed on or after June 1, 2022.Effective Date: June 14, 2021Articles 7B.003 and 17.292 of the Code of CriminalProcedure, as amended, and Secs. 83.007 and 85.0225of the Family Code, as added by SB 1373, apply only toorders issued on or after June 1, 2022.COURT COSTS AND FEESEffective Date: Sept. 1, 2021SB 41 by Zaffirini. Relating to the consolidation andallocation of state civil court costs; increasing certaincivil court costs; authorizing fees.SB 1923 by Zaffirini. Relating to certain criminal courtcosts, fines and fees.Summary: Consolidates civil court costs and filing feesto establish a streamlined process and standardizethese costs across the state. Some changes to feeswere in response to court rulings that declared thesefees unconstitutional. In addition, the legislationprovides specific guidance as to the remittance anddistribution of the court costs and fees to the state,amount retained locally, allowable expendituresof amount collected and how much should bedeposited into the appropriate dedicated revenueaccounts.Summary: Amends certain criminal court costs andfees following the passage of SB 346 by Zaffirini fromthe 86th Legislative Session, consolidating criminalcourt costs and ensuring they were constitutional.There were several criminal court costs thatremained in statute that had constitutional issuesand some fees were inadvertently left out that acourt could no longer collect. SB 1923 makes thosecorrections and pro

District and County Attorneys Association Kelsey Bernstein Legislative Consultant Justices of the Peace and . Katy Estrada Legislative Consultant Tax Assessor-Collectors Association Aurora Flores Legislative Consultant and Core Legislative Group Coordinator County Treasurers’ Association Nanette Forb

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