8.28.21- Laredo Morning Times
As a Texan, there are some laws you’ll need to know about. Ten important new laws passed during the 2021 legislative session will go into effect on September 1.
From the new abortion restrictions to gun policy, one of the new laws is bound to affect your life in one way or another.
Scroll below to learn about the laws:
The controversial “heartbeat” bill will ban abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy or as soon as a heartbeat is detected.
Victims of rape and incest are not exempt, meaning they must carry the pregnancy to term once a fetal heartbeat is detected.
The bill also allows residents to sue abortion providers who they believe to have broken the law.
Open carry law
Texans over the age of 21 will be able to carry a handgun without a license and without passing a training class.
It does not apply to anyone with a criminal record. Background checks are still required by federal law when purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer, according to the Texas Tribune.
Critical race theory
Teachers are now limited on how they discuss certain historical events, race and racism in a classroom.
The law bans discussions over critical race theory, which is an academic term that studies how race and racism have impacted social and local structures in the United States.
According to the Texas Tribune, it does however mandate that students be taught “the history of white supremacy, including but not limited to the institution of slavery, the eugenics movement, and the Ku Klux Klan, and the ways in which it is morally wrong.”
Texans can buy alcohol to-go permanently – something many restaurants and bars pivoted to during the coronavirus pandemic to stay afloat.
It allows beer, wine, and cocktails to be included in delivery and pick-up orders, according to Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
The “Star-Spangled Banner Protection Act” is a conservative-backed bill that would require any professional sports teams in Texas to play the national anthem before the start of a game.
Those that do not follow the law risk losing millions of dollars in state and local tax subsidies, according to Forbes. SPONSORED
Power grid reform
The two new bills will change the state’s power grid and the people who oversee it.
The reform prohibits wholesale electric index plans and changes the dynamic of the ERCOT board so that an appointee from the governor, another from the lieutenant governor and one by the speaker of the House would pick the majority of the members. The governor already appoints the board members of the Public Utility Commission, which oversees ERCOT.
It also requires power plants to upgrade for more extreme weather, according to Texas Tribune.
The new reform comes after the aftermath of the February Texas winter storm that left thousands without electricity and water. Medical marijuana
The expanded law under the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act will now be open for people like veterans who suffer from PTSD, cancer patients, and other medical conditions.
The Senate stripped out a provision that would’ve allowed any Texan with chronic pain to access medical marijuana, according to the Texas Tribune. The new law also raises the dosage limit of THC from .5 percent to 1 percent. Vaccine passports
Vaccine passports will be prohibited in Texas.
Businesses that require customers to provide their vaccination status against COVID-19 will be denied state contracts and could lose state licenses or operating permits, according to the Texas Tribune. Street racing
Texas law enforcement will have the power to seize a vehicle involved in street racing, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Street racing is already illegal in the state, however, the new law relates to the “forfeiture of contraband related to the criminal offense of racing on a highway.”