Legislative Traffic Update
The 86th legislative session concluded this past May 27th with everyone singing kumbya over property tax changes and education funding increases. A mere 10 weeks later and we have the Speaker of the House giving mea culpas for suggesting that 10 of his close colleagues be challenged and facing calls for his resignation. Bizarre indeed.
On the Traffic Law front during the session there were many bills that we followed and of those that passed there are five that I believe to be very significant;
H. B. 1631 by Strickland ——this bill sets in motion the process for the removal of red light cameras in Texas. At long last....the one caveat in the bill
is the provision that allows cities to remain in the red light business until current contracts run their course. Amendments to contracts after May 7 have no force. The bill was effective upon the signature of the governor, June 2, 2019....
H. B. 2048 by Zerwas———this bill repeals the vilified Drivers Responsibility Program, or DRP. It is a must read for any legislative wonk. The program is repealed and in its place are a series of fine and cost increases too, too numerous to mention along with a lot of fund shifting involving the trauma fund for hospitals and the amounts that cities may keep from fines assessed. Needless to say the costs are going up, but your clients won’t be haunted with increased surcharges for the rest of eternity...
S. B. 604 DMV Sunset
S. B. 616 DPS Sunset
These bills continue the life and functions of the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Public Safety. You need to read the bills together, as they are so closely intertwined. The big news that will come out of the passage of both of these bills is the strong possibility that the drivers license function is headed to the DMV from DPS. the process may take two years but it has been set in motion in these bills.
S. B. 346 by Zaffirini——-Again, another omnibus or ominous fee bill, increasing some, eliminating some, decreasing some. Our president Kelly McMahan followed this bill closely and can answer questions.