2015 New Laws

The 2015 Texas Legislature did a lot of good work during the 84th Legislative Session.  Many of the most notable bills passed involved the budget, tax cuts, education and transportation.  If you are the typical Texan, you will likely acknowledge that these laws are important and that they will ultimately affect your life in some minor way whether you realize it or not.  That being said, I have skimmed through the most recent legislative update and identified some new laws that might interest you on a more immediate level.  Here is my list of interesting new laws that have, or will soon, go into effect:

  • HB 7 – No more $200 annual occupation tax!!! Practicing in one of the formerly taxed occupations, I am very pleased with this one.
  • HB 910 and SB 11 – These laws concern the new open carry and concealed carry laws. To learn more about these laws, please see my earlier post HERE.
  • HB 11 – More money to fund border security. This is  a high profile, highly debated issue, so I am just going to say that $800 million dollars is a lot of money.  Maybe they should have left the occupation tax in place.
  • HB 40 – There can be no local regulation of oil and gas. If you want to complain about the earthquakes in North Texas, then you need to talk to the people in Austin, not your local city council.
  • SB 339 – Epilepsy patients can now obtain doctor-prescribed, non-recreational “low-THC cannabis.” The first step on the slippery slope to legalizing recreational marijuana.  I would say that it’s never going to happen, but I have been wrong before.
  • HB 1150 – Yes! We can legally buy fireworks to celebrate Texas Independence Day, San Jacinto Day, and Memorial Day.  Of course, if there is a burn ban in place, and there usually is, the question of whether you can actually set off your fireworks is to be determined
  • HB 554 – Finally, if you accidently forget to take your Glock out of your briefcase before entering an airport, you will not immediately be arrested. You will have the option to leave the screening area (or get arrested).  You might miss your flight, but you will not spend the day in a holding cell.
  • SB 462 – This law creates a means by which real estate can be transferred upon death without the time and cost associated with a formal probate. While this law may not immediately affect you, it is certainly something to be aware of when planning your estate.
  • HB 2398 – This is another new law that may not affect you, but it might. This law repeals both the criminal offense and the juvenile offense of truancy.  There is now only the civil offense of truant conduct.  As an added bonus, all past criminal records created as a result of the old laws are being expunged.

That concludes my list of interesting new laws.  What does it say about our state, or maybe just me, that of the 1,300+ laws that were enacted, I could only find ten worth mentioning in this blog?

Please feel free to add to the discussion in the comment section below.  Thanks for reading.