AUSTIN, TX. — Yesterday, Rep. Drew Springer (R – Muenster) filed several bills for the benefit of rural Texas. Information on the individual bills can be found below (click on the HB ### for complete bill).
HB 2514 gives school districts in rural areas the more flexibility with their school start date. Many schools in rural areas have struggled with the late school start date because it significantly shortens the classroom time in the fall, a time very important to agriculture and the rural way of life.
HB 2515 helps schools and other entities required to hold elections by requiring the Secretary to let them know about election deadlines by either email or standard mail.
HB 2516 ensures that fines collected for burn violations be returned to the county of offense to be distributed by the commissioner’s court to local volunteer fire departments. This will keep the money collected local and ensure it is being used for the purpose most believe it is intended to go to.
HB 2517 requires citizens to give notification before starting a controlled burn. This will save fire departments valuable time and resources by eliminating redundant trips when people call in smoke. If the department knows a fire is authorized in the area, they are able to tell without making a physical trip to the location.
HB 2518 eliminates an unfunded mandate on counties by lowering the minimum compensation for jurors to the amount of funding the state provides. This will save counties $6 per juror, per day — a sum that will add up over time.
HB 2519 takes away an unfunded mandate on counties by changing the requirement of establishing a library to an option of establishing one.
HB 2520 gives judges the flexibility to impose larger penalties on juveniles that commit crimes if they deem it necessary.
HB 2521 allows a local Economic Development Committee to develop plans that positively impact the middle class in your area while still allowing for low-income housing development.
HB 2522 changes the Historically Underutilized Business program to reflect the shifting demographics in the State of Texas. This bill will level the playing field for all businesses, regardless of the race of the owner, to compete for state contracts.
All of these bills help return common sense to government and open up more choices for rural communities. If you have any questions about any of these pieces of legislation, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] for more information.