AUSTIN – Over 600 new laws signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott go into September 1, in the state of Texas. These new laws, including the Heartbeat Bill, constitutional carry legislation, and laws that protect law enforcement, were passed during the 87th Legislative Session.
“The 87th Legislative Session was a monumental success, and many of the laws going into effect today will ensure a safer, freer, healthier, and more prosperous Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “I look forward to my continued work with the legislature to build upon these successes and create an even brighter future for the Lone Star State.”
Included in the new laws are:
House Bill 9 enhances the criminal penalty to a state jail felony offense for anyone who knowingly blocks an emergency vehicle or obstructs access to a hospital or health care facility.
House Bill 103 creates an Active Shooter Alert System in Texas.
House Bill 1900 penalizes cities that defund their police departments. The law freezes property tax revenues for cities with a population over 250,000 that defund the police. Under this law, cities that defund the police will lose their annexation powers for 10 years and any area annexed by a defunding city in the past 30 years can vote to dis-annex from the city. It also allows the State of Texas to withhold sales taxes collected by a defunding city and give it to the Texas Department of Public Safety to pay for the cost of state resources used to protect residents of a defunded municipality.
Senate Bill 24 requires police departments to review files of applicants before they are hired to ensure officers with a negative history aren’t passed between departments.
Senate Bill 576 creates a felony offense for the smuggling of persons into Texas.
Senate Bill 768 enhances criminal penalties for manufacturing and distributing fentanyl in Texas.