Governor Greg Abbott just recently put his signature on some new bills into law. Since June 4th, he signed some interesting bills.
Bill 21: Raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in the state of Texas to 21 years of age.
Last Friday, Governor Abbott signed Bill 21 that makes 21 the legal age a person can buy tobacco in the state with the exception of military members.
Texas joins 15 other states that have passed a similar bill.
Bill 3: Tuesday, Governor Abbott signed a bill that will give those working in the Texas educational system a raise. The $11 billion program will help increase pay for teachers and also lower property taxes. The bill also would fund pre-K programs for certain students across the lone star state as well as adding an additional month of learning for struggling students. Also will work with students getting them on grade level reading by third grade.
Bill 476: This bill says that dogs will be allowed in outdoor dining areas if the restaurant wants to participate by hanging up a sign that dogs are allowed. Under this particular bill, owners must assure that their four legged friend is on their best behavior, on a leash and must be under control at all times. Dogs will not be allowed inside of the restaurants.
Bill 234: Monday, Gov. Abbott signed a bill that will block any law enforcement, city and neighborhood associations from adopting or enforcing rules that prohibit children from operating a lemonade stand or any non-alcoholic beverage on private property. This bill was written by state representative Matt Krause (R) Ft. Worth after police in the town of Overton had shut down a lemonade stand due to not having a $150 permit.
Bill 1325: This bill will allow Texas farmers to grow hemp. The bill also will allow the sale of hemp products. Supporters and sellers of the bill had argued that the bill made perfect sense and the governor agreed. The key of the bill is that the product cannot contain more than .03% of the psychoactive element in marijuana. This law is effective immediately.
Bill 317: This bill that was written by Senator Bryan Hughes of Mineola, TX making it legal to hunt and kill feral hogs without a hunting license. Currently the law had stated to prove hogs are a nuisance before killing them rightfully. This bill makes it clear to hunt whether the hogs are doing damage or not.
Bill 672: This bill makes it legal to allow restaurants, bars, or businesses with a mixed beverage license / permit to bring alcohol along with food to houses and/or other off site locations. So this means that you could order a beer to go along with your chicken fajitas as long as the container is sealed and closed. This only applies to those 21 and over also the one delivering must be the legal age of 21 and over. Customers who purchase alcohol with food must show valid I.D. and sign the receipt.
Bill 446: Hand weapons that were previously outlawed such as brass knuckles and key kitty keychains will become legal on September 1, 2019. This measure was written by Joe Moody (D) El Paso. The current law states anyone who possesses these illegal items face a class A misdemeanor which is up to one year and / or a maximum fine of up to $4,000.
Bill 302: This bill overwrites the "no firearms" clause in residential leases. This protects tenants' rights to have lawfully-owned weapons, firearms and ammunition in residences and will allow to move their weapons from their personal vehicle to their residence. This will take effect on September 1st and only affects future lease agreements.
Bill 1631: The ban of red light cameras was signed into law on Saturday, June 1, 2019. This bans all red-light traffic cameras in Texas statewide with the exception of Leon Valley and Balcones Heights until their contract expires. The law prevents counties and officials from refusing to register a vehicle amid unpaid red light traffic tickets.
Bill 866: This bill will mandate that all operators to take out all cast-iron pipes from their system by December 31, 2021. This bill was authorized after 22 were injured severely and 9 were killed in a gas leak explosion. Investigators had found more than two dozen homes across North and Central Texas were blown up due to natural gas leaks.
Bill 306: Military members who returned from Afghanistan and Iraq and are battling illnesses will be able to access a state run registry to get information and the necessary help they need. The registry would allow veterans or their survivors to be contacted in the event that the Department of Veterans Affairs recognized exposure to the pits that burned 24/7 were responsible for their illnesses.
Bill 19: Mental health in public schools were a top priority for Four Price (R) and Kirk Watson (D) to get to the Governor's desk for a signature. This bill will require school districts to offer suicide prevention assistance and mental health curriculum in Texas public schools. Also districts will work with local mental health agencies to look for mental health conditions such as student grief, traumatic experience, PTSD, substance abuse, depression and others.
Bill 734: To create the Olive Oil Advisory board in which five are growers and represent the five regions of olive oil in the state. Their job will be to expand and manage the olive oil industry in Texas.
Bill 1300: This bill will require Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission to take on rules that will set a program running the process of growing oysters. More cultivated oysters will create a better economy for areas and businesses around the Texas Coastal region. Texas was the only coastal state that did not participate in cultivated oyster activities.
The governor also signed "Save Chick-Fil-A" bill into law Monday. The bill was meant to protect private entities from punishment over actions they take due to their religious beliefs. This bill was signed because San Antonio City Council blocked Chick-Fil-A from opening and operating in the San Antonio International Airport. Critics say that the popular fast food chain is anti-gay and oppose gay marriage and should be prohibited in operating in the airport. The bill will go into effect on September 1, 2019.
The bills that failed to make it to Gov. Abbott's desk include social media reform, confederate monuments, and the death penalty because the deadline was not made.
Other bills still await their turn such as school safety reform, tax reform, and infrastructure. The governor has until June 16, 2019 to pass or veto a bill.