Interm Update: August 2019

August 29, 2019

We have a mea culpa regarding this heat wave. We led off our July Update as follows:

Not sure what we did to deserve such a relatively mild summer so far, but we’ll take our blessings where we can find them after this session!

That went out on July 25, 2019. Three days later, Austin hit 100*F for the first time this year and then did so again and again and again, for 20 of the next 30 days after that—and some of you have had it even worse than us! Sorry about that.

Retirement fix ends

Consider this your unhappy reminder that as of September 1, 2019, the comptroller will no longer send counties the $3,640 per year it takes to cover the increased retirement contributions that elected felony prosecutors started making in 2015. Those of you getting a nice pay raise on that date might not notice this decrease in take-home pay (about $70/week), but others could feel it unless their counties decide to pick up the tab. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!

For more information on raises and the like, review our June posting on this topic.

New info on mental health resources

In conjunction with the Judicial Commission on Mental Health, Judge Barbara Hervey and the Court of Criminal Appeals recently issued their first Texas Mental Health Resource Guide cataloguing various treatment resources available across the State of Texas. An online PDF version of the report is available on our website.

Legislative Update tour recap

Our Legislative Update tour has almost wrapped up! After classes this week in Georgetown (today), Richmond (Friday), and El Paso (Friday), our final legislative update event will be held in Corpus Christi on Tuesday, September 17 (that’s the day before the Annual Update, for those of you headed that way). If you have yet to attend one of our Legislative Updates, consider coming this week as a walk-in registrant or signing up online for the Corpus event here. Almost 3,000 prosecutors, defense lawyers, peace officers, judges, and other interested professionals have already attended one of these courses this summer, so don’t get left behind!

Annual Update is almost here!

It will soon be time to pack up and head to the coast for our Annual Criminal & Civil Law Update in Corpus Christi (September 18–20, 2019)! Registration is still open, so if you have put off making a decision, now is the time to register online. And don’t forget to reserve your hotel room, too—check out our recommended lodging options and book your room today!

Note No. 1: Texas Tech Law School is hosting an alumni reception in conjunction with the TDCAA Annual on September 18 at 5:00 p.m.; please RSVP to [email protected] if you plan to attend.

Note No. 2: Baylor Law School is also hosting a reception at the Annual for alumni and friends. The event will be held on September 19 at 5:00 p.m.; to RSVP, go to www.baylor.edu/law/tdcaareception.

Note No. 3: If your law school isn’t hosting such a reception … why the heck not?!? It’s a great way for them to show appreciation for their alumni who go on to careers in public service, not to mention a chance for people to catch up with old friends. Reach out to your law school and get them thinking about something for the 2020 Annual at South Padre Island!

The new code books are here! The new code books are here!

We have received several pallets’ worth of shiny new books that are ready to be shipped in the upcoming weeks, so now is the time to order your copies of the 2019–21 Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, and Annotated Criminal Laws of Texas if you haven’t already placed an order. Visit www.tdcaa.com/books to get that ball rolling and guarantee that you have your updated code books before most of the new laws go into effect next week.

Quotes of the Month

“The Texas House is a durable institution. It’s in the Constitution, it has survived the Civil War, it has survived the Great Depression, it has survived the Sharpstown Scandal, and it will survive this.”

State Rep. James White (R-Hillister), in response to the ongoing kerfuffle in Austin over a recording of House Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) allegedly targeting fellow GOP House members for primary attacks.

“We’ve got a little work to do but it’ll come back. I’m not done with that issue and I don’t think the House or the Senate is done with that issue.”

State Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, promising members of the State Republic Executive Committee that the House would try again to restrict so-called “taxpayer-funded lobbying” next session.

“The biggest shock to the Austin media was that I actually had a heart.”

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R-Houston), after his office announced that he was admitted to a hospital earlier this month to insert a stent to relieve heart pressure.