Earlier this week, I laid out some of the major policy that successfully made it to Governor Abbott's desk and received his signature. These were important bills that were a major priority for Texans. But there were other bills that I took the lead on this session that also garnered the governor's signature and will become state law.
Here's a rundown of some of the important bills I passed in to law to better serve Texans:
House Bill 533 - HB 533 will allow for all Texas Counties to conduct a tax sale of personal property through an online auction. Additionally, removing the bracket for online sales of personal property will promote consistency for all tax sale processes. Before House Bill 533 became law, only Harris County was authorized to perform a tax sale of personal property via an online auction It will take effect on September 1, 2021.
House Bill 624 - HB 624 increases the legal penalties for personally targeting a Police officer, and are extended to cover an Officer's family. The legal penalty will increase for those who harass, intimidate, threaten, stalk, damage property, or trespass on property belonging to a public servant or their family. Specifically, with intent to intimidate or harass a public servant or family of a public servant due to one's official position as a public servant.
House Bill 692 - Retainage is the practice of withholding a portion of periodic payments to construction companies. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to have situations where retainage is held in excessive amounts, or for an excessive period of time; resulting in situations where contractors must enter into prolonged negotiations to be paid for work that has been completed. HB 692 establishes fair standards for the practice of withholding and payment of retainage for public works construction contracts. House Bill 692 is sitting on the Governor's desk awaiting his signature.
House Bill 988 - improved and enhanced the efficiency and accessibility of the property tax system. The property tax is a significant source of revenue for local governments and school districts, and as a result, it is crucial that taxpayers have a property tax process that is fair and accountable. HB 988 makes numerous taxpayer friendly procedural changes including: access to binding arbitration for tax authority procedural violations; guarantee of informal settlement discussions prior to protest hearings; requires notice and right of protest for changes in account numbers. It also allows a taxpayer to request a single member ARB hearing and creates a complaint process to appraisal district Board for ARB procedure violations and requires ARB to adopt Comptroller approved procedural rules. HB 988 is now headed to the Governor's desk for his signature.
House Bill 3115 - The Texas Constitution protects a person's homestead from being foreclosed on by a judgment lein. However, there can be difficulty in identifying what land is a person's household and whether a judgement lien attaches against said property. HB 3115 seeks to create a limited period of time in which parties with an interest in the transactions can rely on the affidavit with certainty, while protecting the interests of creditors.