The Texas Legislature enacted several bills that could affect Galveston residents and many of those bills will go into effect this weekend on September 1, 2019. The City of Galveston has compiled a comprehensive list of bills of interest for the community available here.
Please note, some of the bills are already in effect and others will not go into effect until 2020.
Here are just a few of note:
The approximately $250 billion two-year budget includes teacher salary increases.
Dogs on restaurant patios: Senate Bill 476 permits food service establishments to allow a customer to be accompanied by a dog in an outdoor dining area if certain requirements are met.
A new smoking age: Senate Bill 21 will raise the age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21.
Disclosure for home sales in floodplains: Senate Bill 339 requires disclosures when a home is in a 500-year floodplain, a flood pool or has flooded during a catastrophic event.
Road lane requirements: House Bill 61 directs that, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, a motor vehicle operator commits a misdemeanor when failing to slow to the required speed and vacate the lane closest to certain utility, municipal solid waste or highway maintenance or construction vehicles.
Package theft: House Bill 37 increases the penalty for thieves who steal mail packages from people’s front porch, penalties will range from a Class A misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.
H.B. 305: Various website posting requirements.
H.B. 347: No more unilateral annexation and annexation update.
H.B. 852: Residential building permit fee may not be based on home value.
H.B. 1177: Carrying of firearms during disaster and firearms update.
H.B. 1495/S.B. 65: Lobby conflicts reporting.
H.B. 1495: Lobby expenditures budget reporting.
H.B. 2439: Building materials limitations.
H.B. 2826: Contingent legal fee contracts and procurement update.
H.B. 2840: Mandatory public comments on posted agenda items.
H.B. 3167: Subdivision plat approval “shot clock.”
S.B. 241: Energy usage reduction goals.
S.B. 1152: Provider can stop paying lower of telephone or video franchise fees on January 1.
S.B. 1303: City maps need to be updated.