Top 10 new Texas laws for 2011

August 29, 2011 4:45:13 PM PDT
This September in the Lone Star State means the return of Big Tex and the State Fair of Texas, football and the enactment of nearly 1,500 new laws passed by Texas lawmakers. Androvett Legal Media & Marketing has compiled their list of the top 10 new Texas laws that take effect on Sept. 1.

  1. Concussions in sports (HB2038):
    Any student-athlete showing signs of a concussion must be removed immediately from the game or practice and evaluated by doctor.
  2. Paddling prevention (HB359):
    Parents may now forbid school districts from using corporal punishment on children.
  3. Funeral protests (HB718):
    Those who want to picket a Texas funeral must end their protests three hours before a funeral begins. Protestors also must wait for three hours to pass when funeral services conclude.
  4. Speedier roadways (HB1201):
    Texas' new top speed limit becomes 85 mph, and truckers will no longer have a lower nighttime speed limit. The 85 mph speed limit will be applied only to Texas roads deemed suitable by state officials.
  5. Rape tests (SB1616):
    This law creates a faster timetable for the DNA testing process, requiring police investigators to submit rape-kit evidence for lab review within 30 days of collection. Those labs must then test the samples within three months.
  6. AMBER alert expansion (HB1075):
    This law expands the use of AMBER alerts to help locate adults diagnosed with developmental disabilities.
  7. Driver's ed screening (HB2678):
    All instructors of driver's education will be screened for felonies, including sex offenses, before they're allowed to teach.
  8. Don't mess with H2O (HB451):
    The state will implement its "Don't Mess With Texas Water" program, and signage at major highway water crossings will feature a toll-free hotline to report polluters.
  9. Bar violence (HB2707):
    The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission or a county judge will be able to refuse to issue or renew alcohol-sales permits to bars with a history of bar fights or other violence.
  10. Pork chopper (HB716):
    Texas landowners may lease helicopter seats for feral hog and coyote hunts on their property.