New Year Brings New Laws (Part II)
On January 1, 2012, new laws passed during the 82nd Regular Legislative Session went in to effect for the first time. These new laws range from bills addressing property tax exemptions to regulation of metal recycling entities. Each of the bills that will take effect on January 1 went through a 140 day legislative session. During that 140 day period, these bills went before House and Senate Committees before going before the Texas House and Senate as a whole.
The laws mentioned below represent some of those pieces of legislation that passed and went into effect on January 1:
- House Bill (HB) 2149 Sections 7, 9, 10, 11, and 15 became effective on January 1, 2012. These sections of the bill repeals Election Code provisions requiring the maintenance of a registration omissions list by an election officer at a polling place, the acceptance of a voter with an incorrect voter registration certificate who is not on the precinct list of registered voters, and the acceptance of a voter without such certificate who is on that list. The bill revises the content of the affidavit required for provisional voting by a voter without a certificate who is not on the precinct registration list and the documents contained in envelope no. 4, used for assembling election records after an election.
- (HB) 2357 takes effect on January 1 except for Sections 195 and 246 which take effect on September 1, 2011, and Section 215 takes effect on September 1, 2014. House Bill 2357 amends the Transportation Code to update and reorganize Chapters 501, 502, 504, and 520, relating to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) and certificates of title, vehicle registration, license plates, and miscellaneous provisions, respectively. The bill transfers, renumbers, amends, and repeals provisions in those chapters and other chapters of the Transportation Code. The bill includes numerous technical and conforming changes. One important change which takes effect on January 1 is to Subchapter F which relates to Golf Carts and Utility Vehicles. This subchapter amends the Transportation Code to authorize the commissioners court of a county that borders or contains a portion of the Guadalupe River and contains a part of a barrier island that borders the Gulf of Mexico to allow an operator to operate a golf cart or utility vehicle on all or part of a public highway that is located in the unincorporated area of the county and has a speed limit of not more than 35 miles per hour. The bill requires the golf cart and utility vehicle to have the same equipment required of a golf cart authorized to operate on a public highway within the boundaries of a municipality.
- (HB) 2490 addresses the regulation of crafted precious metal dealers; providing criminal and administrative penalties. The Act takes effect September 1, 2011, except for Section 1956.0612, Occupations Code, as added by this Act, and Sections 1956.067(a) and 1956.069(a), as amended by this Act, take effect January 1, 2012. These provisions relate to the registration as a dealer, a dealer’s temporary location, and a criminal penalty.
Each of these laws went in to effect, or has sections which went in to effect on January 1, 2012. It is important to learn and know about the new laws that were passed by the 82nd Texas Legislature. If you would like to view any of the other legislation that was passed during the 82nd Regular Session and the first called special session on your own, these websites are great resources:
- The Texas Legislature at www.capitol.state.tx.us .
- The Texas House of Representatives at www.house.state.tx.us .
- The Texas Senate at www.senate.state.tx.us .
If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).