As the new year has kicked off, I would like to provide you with information on new laws that went into effect on January 1, 2016. This is not an exhaustive list, as there are 50 bills with this effective date. As such, here are a handful of bills that may be most relevant to you:
- House Bill 32 cuts the state franchise tax by 25 percent.
- House Bill 283 requires local governments and government boards to provide online video access to all scheduled public meetings. The law applies to county commissions and school boards in areas with populations greater than 125,000 people.
- House Bill 910 allows Texans with Concealed Handgun Licenses (CHLs) to openly carry a handgun in a belt or shoulder holster. Businesses may choose to ban guns, but banning them requires the business to post the mandated signage. Areas previously considered gun-free zones will remain so, including: schools, polling places, courtrooms, and secured areas of airports. Texas is the 45th state to allow the open carry of handguns.
- House Bill 991 requires a motor fuel retailer to display on each pump the current rate of the state and federal motor fuel tax per gallon for each type of fuel. This information must be displayed on the same side of the pump where the price is displayed, and be displayed in a clear, conspicuous, and prominent manner.
- House Bill 1022 amends the Tax Code to expand the definition of “residence homestead” to include property occupied by an owner’s surviving spouse who has a life estate in the property. By expanding the definition, the surviving spouse is now eligible for a residence homestead property tax exemption.
- House Bill 2123 expands healthcare coverage to members of the state military services who have only been employed 60 days instead of 90.
- House Joint Resolution 73 (Proposition 4 on the November 3, 2015 ballot) permits a professional sports team’s charitable foundations to conduct charitable raffles.
If you would like further information on any of these bills, please don’t hesitate to call me or my staff at 817-807-8010 (Keller) or 512-463-0690 (Austin). As always, thank you for the privilege of allowing me to serve you in the Texas House.
Texas House of Representatives