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12.12.22 Fox 26 – HOUSTON 

With the new year, comes a few new Texas laws that will take effect on January 1, 2023.

Among the laws are changes that make amendments to the state’s judicial branch of government, education codes, and the Texas Clean Air Act. 

Read summaries of the laws taking effect on the first day of 2023 below.

HB 3774

House Bill 3774 is an omnibus bill relating to the operation and administration of courts in the judicial branch of state government. House Bill 3774 amends the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, Estates Code, Family Code, Government Code, and Local Government Code. Among other provisions, the bill does the following:

  • Creates ten district courts, five statutory county courts, one statutory probate court, and one criminal law magistrate court;
  • Revises the jurisdiction of certain statutory county courts;
  • Grants the magistrates of certain counties jurisdiction in criminal actions;
  • Establishes the duties of certain district and county attorneys;
  • Makes certain changes applicable to proceedings in a justice or municipal court or in juvenile justice and family courts;
  • Provides for public access to the state court document database, if authorized by the Texas Supreme Court;
  • Revises procedures for the transfer of cases between courts and provides for the development of a standardized transfer certificate and an index of transferred documents form;
  • Provides for a code of professional responsibility to regulate the conduct of entities regulated by the Texas Forensic Science Commission, revises the commission’s investigatory power, and authorizes the commission to use appropriated funds for the training and education of forensic analysts;
  • Includes a veterans county service office among the causes to which a juror may donate their daily reimbursement;
  • Provides for the appointment of a judge or magistrate of a district or statutory county court to preside over a regional specialty court program under certain conditions;
  • Authorizes a defendant participating in a veterans treatment court program to be transferred to another such program in a county adjacent to the county where they work or reside;
  • Requires the Texas Supreme Court to adopt rules regarding exemptions from seizure of a judgment debtor’s property;
  • Provides for the protective order registry to include protective orders for victims of sexual assault or abuse, stalking, or trafficking and for the removal of certain vacated orders from the registry;
  • Makes certain changes regarding the regulation of court reporters;
  • Extends the deadline by which the state’s attorney must answer an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed after final conviction in a felony case without the death penalty and provides alternative methods for serving a copy of an application for such a writ on the state’s attorney in a community supervision case; and
  • Authorizes a justice or judge to order the use of the uniform incident fingerprint card to take the fingerprints of an offender who is charged with a fine‑only misdemeanor involving family violence but was not placed under custodial arrest.

SB 12, 87th 2nd C.S.

Senate Bill 12 amends the Education Code, Government Code, and Tax Code to provide for the reduction of the amount of the limitation on the total amount of property taxes that may be imposed by a public school district on the residence homestead of an elderly or disabled individual to reflect any reduction from the preceding tax year in the district’s maximum compressed tax rate. Among other provisions, the bill entitles a district that is not fully compensated through state aid or the calculation of excess local revenue as part of the foundation school program based on the determination of the district’s taxable value of property to additional state aid in the amount necessary to fully compensate the district for the property tax revenue lost due to the reduction. The bill takes effect January 1, 2023, but only if Senate Joint Resolution 2, 87th Legislature, 2nd Called Session, 2021, is approved by voters. 

SB 1210

Senate Bill 1210 amends the Texas Clean Air Act, Health and Safety Code, to prohibit a building code or other requirement applicable to commercial or residential buildings or construction from prohibiting the use of a substitute refrigerant authorized pursuant to the federal Clean Air Act.

For additional information, click here.