Legislative Achievements

HB 1278 (Hughes / Lucio)
Relating to the amount of financial assistance paid to the survivors of certain law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other public employees killed in the line of duty. Raises the death benefit for surviving families from $250,000 to $500,000 and doubles the monthly income for surviving children. The death benefit has not been raised since 2001 and the monthly income for children has not been raised since 1975.

HB 2604 (Dale / Hinojosa)
Relating to a concealed handgun license application that is submitted by a peace officer or a member of the state military forces. Officers can’t purchase a weapon without going through federal background check unless they have a CHL. This bill allows a peace officer to obtain a CHL simply by submitting a current copy of the officer’s license and evidence of employment to DPS, instead of having to go through one’s Department and receive a statement from the department head.

SB 923 (Watson / Zedler)
Relating to the prosecution of the offense of obstruction or retaliation. Protects the personal information of peace officers and other public servants from being released. Creates an offense for posting this information online.

HB 3212 (King/ Menendez)
Relating to peace officer identification cards for certain retired peace officers. Addresses a discrepancy between state and federal law regarding the carrying of concealed firearms by qualified retired law enforcement officers.

HB 326 (Wu/ Hall)
Relating to sworn affidavits provided to support the issuance of a search warrant. Would allow a magistrate to accept sworn statement by telephone or other electronic device in support of a search warrant.

HB 593 (Collier/ Whitmire)
Relating to animal encounter training for peace officers. Mandatory TCOLE canine training bill for law enforcement.
HB 3212 (King/ Menendez)
Relating to peace officer identification cards for certain retired peace officers. Allows officers who have retired after 20 years of service who then go to work elsewhere can return to the department they retired from and obtain their retired credentials from that department after they are no longer employed in law enforcement.

HB 326 (Wu/ Hall)
Relating to sworn affidavits provided to support the issuance of a search warrant. Would allow a magistrate to accept a probable cause affidavit by telephone or other electronic device in support of a search warrant and allow the officer to obtain the warrant electronically instead of having to obtain the warrant in person.

HB 593 (Collier/ Whitmire)
Relating to canine encounter training for peace officers. Requires 4 hours of TCOLE approved mandatory training on canine encounters for new officers hired after January 2016 and any officer who seeks an intermediate or advanced certificate.

HB 503 (Hernandez/ West)
Relating to the use of proceeds from criminal asset forfeiture to provide college scholarships to children of peace officers killed in the line of duty.  Would help assist children who wish to attend a private university or a university located outside of Texas.

HB 1287 (Hilderbran/Estes)
Relating to the contents of an application by certain persons for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of the person’s residence homestead.

HB 1632 (Fletcher/Paxton)
Provides that an officer’s date of birth is included in the list of confidential information protected under the Public Information Act (Open Records).

HB 3559 (Pickett/Eltife)
Protects the Texas Peace Officers’ Memorial Monument by transferring the maintenance of the monument to the State Preservation Board. Allows money to be raised for the monument and requires any entity that raises money for the monument to send the money to the Preservation Board.

HB 3739 (Burnam/Garcia)
Provides that a municipality may not prohibit an employee from becoming a candidate for public office. Further provides that a municipality may not take disciplinary action against an employee solely for because the employee became a candidate for public office.

SB 965 (Williams/Bohac)
Relating to correcting F5 termination reports submitted to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE). Though opposed by CLEAT as originally filed, CLEAT worked with the authors of the bill to ensure that officers rights were protected when they challenged a termination report submitted to TCOLE by an agency head. Language was added at CLEAT’s request to ensure that if an officer successfully challenged a report and it was ordered corrected, then only the corrected report on file with the agency that submitted it.

HB 343 (Fletcher/Huffman)
An on-duty accident involving a peace officer may not be included on the officer’s driver’s license record if the accident resulted in damages to property less than $1,000 even if the officer was at fault. Also provided that the regardless of the damage amount, an accident that is not the officer’s fault may not be included on the officer’s driver’s license record.

HB 554 (Donna Howard/Watson)
Allows Austin EMS to petition the voters for an election to be included under Chapter 143, Local Government Code, the Municipal Civil Service Act.

HB 2650 (Larry Taylor/Huffman)
First responders who are seriously injured in the line of duty are entitled to expedited claims for medical benefits, including all health care required to cure or relieve the effects from a compensable injury.

SB 423 (Lucio/Mendez)
Surviving families of officers killed in the line of duty could apply for insurance coverage if they were eligible for coverage at the time of death, even if they were not on the plan at the time. The bill also provided another opportunity for survivors to re-apply for coverage, until September 1, 2012. The bill also states that the department must file the death benefit claim.

SB 553 (Hegar/Larry Taylor)
Exempts the family of an officer killed in the line of duty from having to pay probate fees associated with probating the will and estate of the officer.

SB 844 (Dan Patrick/Hunter)
Expanded the “escape” offense to include an escape that occurs while a person is lawfully detained, or escapes from “law enforcement facilities” that are not considered correctional facilities.

SB 1010 (Huffman/Workman)
Requires prosecutors to notify a crime victim or surviving family member of a victim if they intend to offer a plea bargain to the defendant in a criminal case.

SB 1600 (Whitmire/Phil King)
Peace officers who are employed by a private security company and performs extra employment for that company does not have to be licensed as security officers under the Private Security Act.

SB 1667 (Duncan/Truitt)
Requires the Teachers Retirement System to collect and maintain records identifying which members of the system are peace officers.

HB 221 (Menendez/Whitmire)
Enhanced penalty for evading arrest to from Class B to a Class A misdemeanor and to a state jail felony if the offender has a previous conviction for evading.

HB 1177 (Guillen/Zaffirini)
Expanded the eligibility for legislative leave to municipalities with a population of 50,000 or more and counties with a population of 190,000 or more. (Previously 200,000/500,000).

HB 1720 (Bohac/Deull)
Prohibited a political subdivision from using public funds for political advertising or communications that contain false information relating to a ballot measure.

HB 1721 (Bohac/Deull)
Expanded penal code statute that prohibits a person from taking or attempting to take a weapon from a peace officer to include detention officers, county jailers, and other employees of a correctional facility.

HB 1831 (Corte/Carona)
Clarified definition of “emergency vehicle” to include privately owned vehicles that are authorized for use as an emergency vehicle.

HB 1960 (Maldonado/Lucio)
Clarified that municipal and county peace officers are entitled to be paid for off duty court appearances and required appearances in other administrative proceedings.

HB 2168 (Chavez/Watson)
Clarified that in an appeal of discipline imposed by a sheriff, the sheriff’s department civil service commission may not enhance or increase punishment.

HB 2347 (Thibaut/Whitmire)
Provided a limited exemption from tuition and fees for peace officers enrolled in criminal justice and law enforcement classes at an institution of higher education.

HB 2580 (Frost/Deull)
Created a peace officer employment opportunity website administered by the Texas Workforce Commission.

SB 872 (Lucio/Menendez)
Clarified that the survivors of peace officers and detention officers killed in the line are entitled to purchase health insurance from the officers employer at the same rate as active employees and provided a limited opportunity to reapply for coverage.

SB 926 (Huffman/Fletcher)
Clarified that officers operating authorized emergency vehicles are exempt from red light camera citations.

SB 1273 (Carona/Fletcher)
Created an offense for interfering or disrupting public safety radio communications.

HB 2283 (Chavez/Watson)
Clarified that deputy sheriffs covered by civil service can’t be removed by a newly elected sheriff without just cause.

SB 457 (Watson/Menendez)
Clarified that children of peace officers killed in the line of duty are eligible for education benefits, even if they are not claimed as a dependent on a federal tax return.

SB 772 (Van de Putte/Menendez)
Established meet and confer rights for park police and airport police in San Antonio and Austin.

HB 155 (Pickett/Lucio)
Protects retirees when the retirement system makes a mistake in the payment of benefits. Establish rules for reporting of mistakes and the repayment of overpayments.

HB 2445 (Driver/Williams)
Protects the rights of officers who are subject to TCLEOSE license suspension after being dishonorably discharged. Provides a hearing for officers who were discharged from “at will” departments.

SB 1104 (Watson/Naishtat)
Established meet and confer rights for Austin EMS.

HCR 236 (Talton/Whitmire)
Honoring fallen police officers on Peace Officers’ Memorial Day and during National Police Week and requiring that state flags be displayed at half-staff on May 15 of each year.

HB 304 (Talton/Deuell)
Established meet and confer rights for police and fire in all municipalities with a population of 10,000 or more, excluding Dallas.

HB 582 (Reyna/Whitmire)
Made it unlawful to take or attempt to take a stun gun (Taser) from a peace officers.

HB 639 (Bailey/Barrientos)
Statewide due process – Required complaints to be investigated and officers may only be fired if there is evidence to prove the allegation of misconduct. Also expanded law to apply to all peace officers, county jailers, and detention officers.

HB 3409 (Rose/Harris)
Civil service law applies to municipalities that reach 10,000 population when certified by the state demographer instead of having to wait until the federal census every 10 years.

SB 1050 (Van de Putte/Bailey)
Clarified that in a municipality covered by civil service, a promotional bypass can be appealed to an arbitrator.

HB 162 (McCall/Carona)
Expanded protections afforded peace officers when exposed to contagious diseases to detention officers and county jailers.

HB 1095 (Menendez/Deuell)
New offense for a person to harass, alarm, or assault a public servant by causing bodily fluids or waste to contact the public servant. Requires a court to order testing of a person charged with this offense and requires the person, if convicted, to make restitution for testing and/or treatment.

HB 1262 (Farabee/Seliger)
Expanded DPS threat database to include detention officers.

HB 1438 (Talton/Whitmire)
Gives in-service credit during the 24-month training cycle to peace officers who are on active duty with the military for 12 months. Also requires a peace officer to be notified that they are not in compliance with required in-service training before their license may be suspended.

HB 1913 (Olivo/Barrientos)
Allowed a municipality that only has a paid police department to adopt civil service instead the requirement that the city have both a paid police department and paid fire department.

HB 1928 (Joe Moreno/Gallegos)
Included detention officers and county jailers in the statute that allows reimbursement of medical expenses when exposed to contagious diseases.

HB 2769 (Talton/Whitmire)
Clarified that a State flag may be presented to the survivor of a deceased former peace officer only if the peace officer is honorably retired.

HB 2823 (Rose/Madla)
Clarified that payments made to disabled peace officers from the Crime Victims Compensation fund may be monthly instead of annually.

SB 716 (Gallegos/Talton)
Required municipalities to make payroll deductions for association or union dues.

SB 863 (Van de Putte/Corte)
Allowed an officer who is on active military duty to take promotional examinations in civil service municipalities.

SB 1673 (Barrientos/Olivo)
Allowed for the creation of a county civil service system in sheriff’s departments in counties that have a population of more than 200,000 but less than 500,000.

HB 1007 (Ritter/Lucio)
Eligibility for low-interest home loan program expanded to include any peace officer, county jailer, or corrections officer, not just municipal officers.

HB 292 (Reyna/Zaffirini)
Expanded ability to require a blood or breath specimen from a suspected drunk driver to cases where the person caused serious bodily injury, not just death.

HB 831 (Reyna/Deuell)
Created offense of pointing a laser pointer at a public safety officer.

HB 1087 (Olivo/Gallegos)
Allowed a county jailer to be paid longevity pay in counties with a population of 150,000 or more.

HB 1247 (Ritter/Madla)
Created the police officer and fire fighter home loan program.

SB 674 (Estes/Rose)
Provided compensatory time to all state peace officers required to work a holiday.

SB 804 (Zaffirini/Yvonne Davis)
Required reasonable accommodation to be made to DPS officers who become pregnant.

SB 841 (Whitmire/Noriega)
Expanded exception for extra job coordinators under the Private Security Act to include all peace officers, not just municipal officers.

HB 776 (Haggerty/Staples)
Created peace officer threat database to be maintained by DPS.

HB 1600 (Jones/Van de Putte)
Increased penalty for taking a weapon from an officer to a third degree felony.

HB 2260 (Danburg/Zaffirini)
Required that a reasonable accommodation be made to municipal and county peace officers who become pregnant.

HB 2384 (Carter/Moncrief)
Amended civil service to allow Fort Worth to adopt meet and confer by election.

HB 3603 (Capelo/Bernsen)
Clarified that a person covered by civil service who is disabled in the line of duty may retire on pension if the municipality fails to extend salary continuation leave.

SB 215 (Bernsen/Keel)
Increased punishment for evading arrest in a vehicle from a Class A misdemeanor to a state jail felony.

SB 379 (Gallegos/Farrar)
Established meet and confer rights for Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority police officers.

SB 523 (Armbrister/Kuempel)
Relating to participation and credit in, contributions to, and benefits and administration of the County and District Retirement System. (CLEAT amendment added 20-year retirement option)

SB 609 (Bernsen/Ritter)
Provided compensatory time to DPS officers required to work holidays.

SB 850 (Barrientos/Tillery)
Provided up to $200,000 out of the Crime Victims Compensation Fund to supplement the salary of disabled peace officers whose insurance or worker’s compensation payments are less than the salary they received before they were disabled.

HB 877 (Flores/Barrientos)
Increased line of duty death benefit from $50,000 to $250,000. Provided education benefits to surviving spouse, not just children. Provided housing and cost of textbooks while attending an institution of higher education, not just tuition. Also provided a monthly payment to a surviving spouse if the officer didn’t qualify for a pension under the officer’s employee pension system at the time of death.

HB 1078 (Solis/Madla)
Amended civil service to provide for the restoration of credit in the pension system and restoration of sick and vacation leave if a suspension is overturned on appeal.

Note: A number of bills were vetoed this session.

HB 640 (Kamel/Cain)
Exempted disabled peace officers from having to pay tuition and fees while attending an institution of higher education.

HB 806 (Greenberg/Wentworth)
Amended offense of obstruction and retaliation (36.06 Penal Code) to provide that the offense applies regardless of the off duty status of a public servant. Douglas S. Goeble and Gil Epstein Act.

HB 2335 (Smith/Harris)
Lowered population bracket to allow creation of crime control districts in counties with a population of 5,000 or more instead of one million. Also allows the governing body of the political subdivision to determine the number of years that the CCD will exist before a new election must be held.

SB 329 (Brown/McReynolds)
Expanded false report to peace officer statute to include false reports made to other law enforcement employees, not just peace officers.

SB 527 (Patterson/Talton)
Prohibited employment discrimination against a peace officer for refusing to take a polygraph examination during an internal investigation.

SB 629 (Lucio/Clark)
Required a civil service municipality to expunge records related to a disciplinary action if the action is overturned on appeal.

HB 1585 (Hirschi/Gallegos)
Required political subdivisions to provide motor vehicle liability insurance for peace officers employed by the subdivision.

HB 1856 (Telford/Armbrister)
Reauthorization of TCLEOSE until September 1, 2009 (Sunset Act). Grants licensee a hearing before the State Office of Administrative Hearings in any case where TCLEOSE proposes to revoke or suspend a license. Mandates training to peace officers on employment issues that affect peace officers, including training on issues related to civil service, compensation, overtime, personnel files, work related injuries, management-employee relations, complaints and investigation of employee misconduct, and appeal of disciplinary actions.

SB 1286 (Gallegos/Talton)
Merged park police, city marshals, and airport police in Houston into the police department and reclassified these officers as Houston police officers.

SB 1581 (Carona/Hartnett)
Imposed stringent rules and requirements on organizations that solicit funds on behalf of law enforcement organizations.

SB 1455 (Lucio/Ron Lewis)
Lowered population bracket of counties from 30,000 to 25,000 for sheriff’s department employees to petition for a pay referendum.

HB 752 (Rhodes/Armbrister)
Established minimum requirements to take law enforcement training courses and prohibited a person from taking the training if they are not eligible to be a peace officer.

SB 520 (Montford/Telford)
Allowed municipalities in TMRS to adopt a 20-year retirement option for employees.

SB 281 (Brown/Nixon)
Increased penalties for evading arrest or detention in a motor vehicle from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor. Increased penalties to a third or second-degree felony if another person suffers serious bodily injury or death as a result of the person fleeing.

HB 2614 (Oakley/Luna)
Expanded jurisdiction of peace officers statewide for offenses other than traffic offenses.

SB 863 (Barrientos/Combs)
Established meet and confer rights to Austin police and fire.

Note: A number of bills were vetoed this session.

HB 712 (Blackwood/Lucio)
Required registration of public safety organizations that engage in telephone solicitation.

SB 97 (Lucio/Blackwood)
Expanded death benefits to peace officers appointed under other laws, not just Article 2.12 CCP. Provided for the purchase of continued health insurance coverage by the survivors of peace officers killed in the line of duty.

SB 404 (Truan/Martin)
Allowed retirees in municipalities with a population of 25,000 or more and counties with a population of 75,000 or more to purchase continued health insurance coverage upon retirement.

HB 504 (Repp/Sibley)
Created offense of resisting transportation under the resisting arrest statute.

SB 64 (Green/Blackwood)
Created offense of failure to identify by a person who is lawfully detained.

SB 406 (Barrientos/Granoff)
Allowed for association leaders to take legislative leave from municipalities with a population of 200,000 or more or counties with a population of 500,000 or more.

SB 106 (Barrientos/Linebarger)
Lowered population bracket for sheriff’s department civil service from 950,000 to 500,000.

HB 427 (Barton/Brooks)
Designated airport police officers as peace officers.

HB 729 (Lewis/Glasgow)
Prohibited a peace officer from being disciplined for not issuing a set number of traffic tickets (ticket quotas).

HB 731 (Blackwood/Lyon)
Created offense of taking or attempting to take a weapon from a peace officer.

SB 892 (Brown/Blackwood)
Established a committee for the purpose of funding, designing, and contructing a memorial for peace officers on the grounds of the Capitol.

SB 916 (Tejeda/Morales)
Expanded penalties for evading arrest in cases where an officer is injured or dies during the course of the offense. Calderon Bill after San Antonio Patricia Calderon.

Note: A number of bills were vetoed this session.

HB 1368 (Valigura)
Created personnel file rules for police officers in civil service municipalities.

SB 82 (Green)
Granted authority for an officer to make arrests outside of their jurisdiction for felonies and certain misdemeanors and covered the officer with state workers’ compensation coverage if they are injured when making the arrest.

HB 280 (Barton)
Increased penalty for evading arrest from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class A if the actor endangered another during the course of the offense.

HB 474 (Beauchamp)
Prohibited the release of an officer’s photograph to the media or anyone else unless the peace officer grants permission for the release.

HB 824 (Barton)
Prohibited municipal residency requirements for employees.

HB 826 (Morales)
Increased penalties for fugitives who fail to identify or repeat offenders.

SB 382 (Edwards)
Regulated telephone solicitations in the name of law enforcement organizations.

SB 800 (Parmer/Blackwood)
Created the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT).

HB 1592 (Hightower/Lyon)
Made changes to the peace officers licensing statute (TCLEOSE) to abolish the use of temporary licenses, required drug testing before licensing, raised the age to be a peace officer to 21 unless the applicant has 60 hours of college or 2 years military service, and allowed TCLEOSE to establish rules regarding re-training if there is a break in employment.

SB 540 (Whitmire/Green)
Clarified that park police, airport police, and city marshals in Houston were covered by municipal civil service after the city ignored legislation passed in 1983

HB 1657 (Messer/Parmer)
CLEAT/TSAFF/TML civil service compromise bill. Cleaned up several ambiguous provisions in the municipal civil service statute. Clarified posting requirements for promotional examinations and what constituted a passing score on the exam, among other things.

HB 882 (Danburg/Doggett)
Created criminal offense for misrepresenting during a telephone solicitation for a charitable donation that the proceeds from the solicitation would go to a police or firefighter organization and/or the solicitation was authorized by a police or fire organization.

HB 1015 (Messer/Lyon)
Amended municipal civil service to allow appointment of deputy chiefs, created a procedure for alternate promotional systems, allowed for disciplinary appeals to independent third-party hearing examiners, created option of uncompensated duty in lieu of suspension, and authorized types of assignment pay.

HB 1750 (Gandy/Lyon)
Allowed the petition for pay raise referendums in municipalities with a population of 10,000 or more and counties with a population of 75,000 or more. The petitioners could also meet with the governmental body to negotiate alternate salary proposals in lieu of conducting the election.

SB 22 (Doggett/Criss)
Prohibited possession of “armor-piercing ammunition”.

SB 155 (McFarland/Evans)
Reauthorized TCLEOSE. Removed training exemptions based on prior experience, restricted reappointment of probationary officers who had not completed training, required new officers to pass commission examination, required 40-hours of in-service training every 2 years, required appointment of non-supervisory peace officer to TCLEOSE.

SB 173 (Parker/Peveto)
Increased penalties for aggravated assault on a peace officer.

SB 786 (Vale/Hernandez)
Lowered population bracket to include Bexar County under sheriff’s civil service.

SB 389 (Whitmire/Green)
Provided civil service to park police, airport police, and city marshals in Houston.

HB 1700 (Florence/Glasgow)
Defined the term “emergency” for the purpose of requiring police officers to work overtime in municipalities with a population of 10,000 or more.

SB 301 (Brooks/Polumbo)
Created sheriff’s department civil service in counties with a population of 1.5 million or more.

Note: Two bills were vetoed this session.

HB 239
Exempted home addresses and phone numbers of peace officers from the Open Records Act.

HB 719
Required new peace officers to complete required training within 6-months of appointment.

HB 979
Allowed officers in municipalities with a population of 10,000 or more to accept compensatory time at a rate of time-and-a-half in lieu of paid overtime.

HB 1325
Amended civil service to expand probationary period to one year. Also included other provisions related to examinations, promotions, compensation, sick leave, and administrative procedures.

SB 324
Required standards, training and certification for persons employed as county jailers.

HB 409
Required municipalities to provide vehicle liability insurance for peace officers and fire fighters.

HB 1218
Amended municipal civil service and required a police officer or fire fighter to be in a classification for two years before they were eligible for promotion.

SB 443
Amended civil service and required the civil service commission to appoint a physician to determine continued fitness for a person to serve as a police officer or fire fighter. Also guaranteed that a disabled police officer or fire fighter could return to their position once they were certified fit to perform their duties.