Dallas Law Firm Blog

New Laws in Texas for 2015

Dallas Personal Injury Texas lawmakers passed several laws as of January 1, 2015. The following is a quick summary of the new laws in Texas for 2015. These laws are now all currently in effect. Other laws may also become effective in the upcoming months that are not discussed below.

House Bill 62

This bill prohibits Texas judges from holding a significant interest in a business that may own, manage, or operate a privately run correctional or rehabilitation facility. This measure was passed in an effort to reduce potential judicial conflicts of interest, particularly in criminal cases.

House Bill 500

Although most of this bill took effect in 2014, one portion just began in 2015. This bill deals with the $1 million revenue exception for the Texas franchise tax. The final portion that is now law allows tax credits for the certified rehabilitation of historic structures within the state.

House Bill 3153

This bill created four new trial courts, which will hopefully help with the Texas courts’ backlog. Two the courts are already up and running, including the 443rd District Court for Ellis County and the 452nd District Court for Menard, Mason, McColloch, Kimble, and Edwards counties. The 442nd District Court for Denton County was created on January 1, 2015, and the 450th District Court for Travis County will be in effect as of September 1, 2015. A few other courts were also created on January 1, 2015, including a statutory county court in Jim Wells County and a statutory probate court in Cameron County.

House Bill 3838 (also known as Malorie’s law)

This law requires motorcycles that are designed to carry more than one rider have foot pegs and places to hold on for the second passenger (handholds). This law is specifically targeted to three-wheeled motorcycles, altering the training and licensing requirements for use of the vehicles.

Senate Bill 492

This bill was effective as of September 1, 2013, with the exception of two portions. This bill deals with safety standards and license requirements for pediatric extended-care centers. It also allows Medicaid-eligible children up to the age of 20 receive medical care. The two portions that become effective on January 1, 2015 deal with administrative penalties and general enforcement of the law’s requirements. Now an individual needs a license to operate a pediatric extended-care center. This law was not actually put into effect until January 15, 2015.

Senate Bill 426

This bill amended a law about home visits. It will allow specialists to deliver services like parenting classes to at-risk families that meet certain requirements. The majority of the law was effective in 2013, but the latest portion will require the Health and Human Services Commission to report on state-funded home visit programs to the House and Senate health committees. This report should be delivered by December 1 of each even-numbered year.

Senate Bill 1806

This bill allows the Harrison County Court at Law to try felony criminal cases in addition to civil cases. It was passed in an effort to create a more efficient judicial system for Harrison County.