Several new Texas laws go into effect Sept. 1

Some laws passed during the last legislative session took some time to work out the details
Monday, September 01, 2014
Texas state legislators meet every other year, but some laws passed more than 12 months ago are finally effective today, September 1, 2014.

"These are the more complicated laws," says State Representative Garnet Coleman, a Democrat from Houston. "We're talking about legislation that we pass and then give to the regulatory agencies. They have to figure out the best way to implement the laws and that can take time."

That's certainly the case with House Bill 5, the sweeping legislation changing the course load requirements for graduating high school seniors. Now, there are multiple tracks a student can choose his or her freshman year. The non-binding track guides a student through classes which offer preparation for college or a job in the workforce.

Also effective today is a new law which makes it easier to go through the inspection/registration process for businesses with fleets of vehicles running on natural gas. The streamlined process is intended to encourage businesses to purchase and run the cleaner burning cars and buses.

Juveniles charged with crimes are now getting a fairer shake in the state's legal system. A law effective today provides indigent juveniles with appointed counsel immediately after arrest. Previously, juveniles who couldn't afford attorneys would get much farther into the legal process before being appointed an attorney.

The state's new abortion law, House Bill 2, will not go into effect as intended today. A federal judge ruled against key parts of that law which would have shuttered abortion clinics not meeting certain enhanced medical stan

HB 5
Relating to public school accountability, including assessment, and curriculum requirements; providing a criminal penalty.
This Act takes effect immediately, except Section 29 takes effect beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, Section 78(a) takes effect September 1, 2013, and Sections 36(a) and 78(b) take effect September 1, 2014. READ ABOUT HOUSE BILL 5

HB 1245
Relating to the allocation of money in the judicial and court personnel training fund. READ ABOUT HOUSE BILL 1245

HB 1318
Relating to the appointment of counsel to represent certain youths and indigent defendants.
This Act takes effect September 1, 2013, except Sections 1 and 6 take effect September 1, 2014. READ ABOUT HOUSE BILL 1318

HB 2305
Relating to motor vehicle inspections; creating an offense; changing the collection method for certain fees.
This Act takes effect March 1, 2015, except Section 53(a), (b), and (c) take effect September 1, 2013, and Section 548.104(d)(3), Transportation Code, as added by this Act, takes effect September 1, 2014. READ ABOUT HOUSE BILL 2305

HB 3153
Relating to the operation and administration of, and practice in courts in, the judicial branch of state government and the composition of certain juvenile boards; imposing a fee. READ ABOUT HOUSE BILL 3153

This Act takes effect September 1, 2013, except Section 1.02(a) takes effect January 1, 2014; Section 1.05(a) takes effect September 1, 2014; Sections 1.04(a), 2.02(a), and 2.03(a) take effect January 1, 2015; and Sections 1.06(a) and 2.06(a) and (b) take effect September 1, 2015.

HB 3896
Relating to the Jack County Hospital District; authorizing the imposition of a tax.
This Act takes effect immediately, except Section 1 takes effect September 1, 2014. READ ABOUT HOUSE BILL 3896

SB 966
Relating to creation of the Judicial Branch Certification Commission and the consolidation of judicial profession regulation; imposing penalties; authorizing fees.
This Act takes effect September 1, 2014, except Sections 3.02(a) and (b) take effect September 1, 2013. READ ABOUT SENATE BILL 966

SB 1158
Relating to higher education for veterans and their families. This Act takes effect immediately, except Subchapter F, Chapter 434, Government Code, as added by Section 5 of this Act, takes effect September 1, 2014. READ ABOUT SENATE BILL 1158

SB 1458
Relating to contributions to, benefits from, and the administration of systems and programs administered by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
This Act takes effect September 1, 2014, except Sections 2, 5, and 11 take effect September 1, 2013. READ ABOUT SENATE BILL 1458

SB 1459
Relating to the powers and duties of and contributions to and benefits from the systems and programs administered by the Employees Retirement System of Texas.
This Act takes effect September 1, 2013, except Section 13 takes effect January 1, 2014, and Sections 23 and 25 take effect September 1, 2014. READ ABOUT SENATE BILL 1459
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