TDCAA Legislative Update: Week 11.1

March 30, 2021

This is a supplement to our Week 11 summary to alert you that the following bills have been posted for consideration in committee on Thursday, April 1, 2021 (and no, this is not an April Fools’ joke). For a full agenda of all bills to be heard at the meetings listed below, please click the link in the committee name; from that notice page, you can click on any listed bill number to find the text of the filed bill.

Thursday, April 1

House Elections – 8:00 a.m., E2.028
HB 6 by Cain relating to election fraud

Senate Jurisprudence – 9:00 a.m., Betty King Committee Room (2E.20)
SB 11 by Huffman re-organizing courts of appeals districts
SB 1529 by Huffman creating the Texas Court of Appeals
SB 1822 by Huffman postponing certain 2020 election dates

House Homeland Security & Public Safety – 10:30 a.m. or upon adj., E2.030 [*new*]
HB 929 by Sherman, aka the “Botham Jean Act”, aka “Bo’s Law”
HB 1550 by Cyrier, the TCOLE Sunset re-authorization bill
HB 1920 by Capriglione relating to firearms in a secured area of an airport
HB 2650 by Jarvis Johnson regarding placement of children after an arrest

Senate Bill 11 – Appellate re-organization

We discussed SB 11 by Huffman (R-Houston) last month (see this update for details), and we told you then that we would let you know when more details were released. Now is that time.

The bill is set for a hearing before the bill author’s committee on Thursday morning. Details of the new bill–which will maintain the location of the current appellate courts but reduce the number of state appellate court districts from 14 to 7 and create two additional appellate court sites–can be found in these documents:

If you want to know which court will hear your appellate cases under this plan–and which counties will be electing the judges sitting on that court–then read these attachments. The committee will hear the bill Thursday morning, and the committee membership can be accessed here.

Senate Bill 1529 – Appellate super-court

While you’re at it, check out SB 1529 by Huffman (R-Houston), which is also teed up for Thursday. This bill would create a single intermediate appellate court based in Austin with exclusive statewide jurisdiction over civil cases brought by or against the State of Texas, a state agency (like OAG), or a state official. The court’s mandate would not include criminal cases, but it could include many civil actions–such as juvenile cases, civil asset forfeitures, CPS cases, mental health commitments, and more–which y’all currently handle on behalf of the State.

We expect there to be further revisions to this proposal as it moves through the process, but if this interests or concerns you, now is the time to engage.

Next week

Due to the upcoming holiday, the Lege will be closed for Good Friday and Easter Monday, resulting in committees that normally meet on Mondays and Tuesdays sliding to later in the week. We’ll provide you with those notices as we are able.

Further updates for these and other committees will appear on our Legislative web page. If you have questions before then, contact Shannon.