Legislative Update: Veto Edition

            “Veto” comes from the Latin vetare and means “I forbid.” Wouldn’t it be cool if that’s what a governor got to say in his proclamations?

List of vetoes

            Governor Abbott rolled out his list of 50 vetoes on Thursday. The full list (including links to the bills and their veto proclamations) can be viewed HERE. Some highlights include:

  • HB 1426 by Allen/Burton prohibiting state licensing agencies from considering the criminal records of some who apply for a license
  • HB 2774 by Phelan/Rodriguez creating a new Class C misdemeanor for installation of faulty tires on vehicles
  • HB 2783 by Smithee/Watson authorizing courts to award costs and attorneys’ fees to private litigants in certain Public Information Act lawsuits
  • SB 570 by Rodriguez/Walle criminalizing the violation of administrative rules governing the proper disposal of tires
  • SB 1444 by West/Davis eliminating de novo hearings in CPS cases involving default judgments or agreed orders
  • SB 1912 by Zaffirini/Hinojosa authorizing the creation of mental health public defender offices for civil mental health proceedings

All in all, there isn’t much on that list of 50 vetoed bills of interest to prosecutors, but that is not surprising—no bills passed the Legislature this session over prosecutors’ concerted opposition, so there was little for the governor to have to “fix” with his veto pen. Good work, everyone.

Looking ahead

            The veto period is now over and prefiling of bills for the special session can begin on Monday—although we still have no official proclamation announcing what will be on the call of the special session, so many legislators may keep their powder dry until the governor files that little piece of paper. As a result, things may be quiet for the next month. Therefore, unless events warrant an update, these Friday missives will go on hiatus until the week before the special session is to begin on July 18. But don’t worry, we’ll be at TDCAA World Headquarters between now and then feverishly working on our legislative update books and programs, so please call or email us if you have any questions.

Legislative update CLEs

            Online registration for our popular Legislative Update seminars is NOW OPEN. We are coming to 21 different locations throughout the state this summer to help everyone get up to speed on all the relevant statutory changes made during the session. All attendees qualify for 3 hours or CLE or TCOLE credit and receive a copy of our Legislative Update book. Almost 900 people have already registered and some locations are quickly filling to capacity—for instance, we have only 40 seats remaining at our initial Austin course on July 21—so don’t delay, register today!

Pre-sales begin for 2017 code books

            Pre-sale orders for TDCAA’s 2017 books are now being taken! Receive one of the first shipments of our new Penal Codes, Codes of Criminal Procedure, and other books by pre-ordering now on the TDCAA website (www.tdcaa.com/publications) or by calling us at 512/474-2436.

Quotes of the week

“If they don’t get this done, it’s because they’re lazy, it’s because they have the lack of will, the lack of desire to get this done, and the taxpayers of the state of Texas are not going to tolerate it.”
            —Gov. Greg Abbott, explaining his expectations for the upcoming special session during an interview with a Lubbock radio station last week.


“I personally think [the regular session] was a disaster. They basically disregarded the business community of Texas, just threw us under the bus. … [The Democrats have] moved to the left, and gotten so crazy out of whack. And we’ve got the Republicans who’ve moved far to the right, they’ve gotten crazy out of whack. So we’ve got to get back to the middle here.”
            —Dennis Nixon, CEO of International Bank of Commerce (IBC), expressing the business community’s frustration with the recently completed regular session.


“Nobody wants bad tires on the road, but creating a new crime is not the answer to every problem.”
            —Governor’s veto proclamation for HB 2774, which would have created a new crime   for installing faulty tires on vehicles.


“Capitol Police came and they took a step forward and not a step back. I’m ... thankful to God for keeping us safe with the bravery of these Capitol Police.”
            —Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX), who survived this week’s shooting of members of the Republican Congressional baseball team in Alexandria, Virginia.


“There’s lots of us victims out there and we feel our rights don’t matter.”
            —Jason Haley, theft victim in Oklahoma, after finding out the suspect in his case has a lengthy criminal history of specialty courts, probations, and other diversions. And it’s about to get worse in that state.