New Texas laws in 2022

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AUSTIN (Nexstar) – This Saturday, the first day of the New Year, 23 new laws officially come into force in Texas. All were passed by state legislators in the spring of the 87th Ordinary Legislative Session.

Most of the controversial bills passed in this session, including the restrictive abortion law that made national headlines, already came into force in September.

The most controversial bill for January 1 is Senate Bill 23. The Republican authors of the law have said they intend to fight cities that try to “spend the police.”

The bill will require counties with a population of 1 million or more to hold a vote before making any changes, whether funding or reallocation, to the budget of the main agency. law application.

GOP members explained that it would ensure voters have a say in public safety funds, but critics, including State Representative Ron Reynolds, of the city of D-Missouri, argued that it hinders local governance.

“There has been no real effort to quote, non-quote, ‘fund the police’. They just want to reallocate resources and reinvent, so that they can get police reforms. It is a solution in search of a problem. This bill just adds more layers and bureaucracy, and it removes local control, ”Reynolds said.

But Reynolds notes that the rest of the bills coming into force on Saturday enjoyed bipartisan support.

“They’re not controversial, they deal with property taxes, restaurants, and food delivery services,” Reynolds said.

This includes SB 911, which aims to help restaurants across the state. This will make a restaurant with certain alcoholic beverage permits or licenses eligible for a food and beverage certificate, making it easier to access alcohol delivery, but also adding regulations for third-party delivery services.

“The bill says that a third-party delivery service cannot charge a restaurant any fees unless it has previously agreed in writing, again, just basic fairness protection and transparency, so restaurants know exactly what they are committing to. said Kelsey Erickson Streufert of the Texas Restaurant Association.

“The bill also states that a third-party delivery service must remove a restaurant within 10 days if the restaurant has not agreed to participate, and they contact and say, ‘Please remove me from your site from your platform, ”Streufert continued.

She said the bill empowers restaurants and gives them more control over these delivery services. “Now there are teeth, there are real civil remedies, you know, if a third-party delivery service breaks the law,” Streufert said.

Another bill, SB 794, was passed almost unanimously, with only one of 181 members from both chambers voting against. It allows a homestead tax exemption for veterans who have been identified as 100% disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“We put so much emphasis on our veterans, but when it came to that, there was that, almost like a loophole, that they couldn’t take advantage of. It really is one of those bills that the least we can do for our veterans and their families is provide them with this exemption, ”Reynolds said.

Bill 115 also deals with tax exemptions. It will exempt from tax properties owned by charities that provide housing to homeless people. To be eligible, the organization must be established for at least 20 years if it is located in a county and must provide permanent housing.

And if you have a chicken coop or rabbit pen, HB 2535 will prohibit tax assessors from including personal barns or rabbit pens in the value of a home.

For a complete list of the new laws, you can read here.

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