Passed 84th Regular Session:
- SJR 17 Proposing a constitutional amendment relating to private road work by certain counties.
Synopsis: SJR 17 amends Texas Constitution, Art. 3, sec. 52f, to increase the maximum population limit for a county to be able to construct and maintain private roads if it imposes a reasonable charge for the work from 5,000 to 7,500. The proposal would be presented to the voters at an election on Tuesday, November 3, 2015. The ballot proposal would read: “The constitutional SJR 17 House Research Organization page 2 amendment to authorize counties with a population of 7,500 or less to perform private road construction and maintenance.”
- SB 570 Relating to the use of fireworks at certain Texas Department of Transportation rest areas; providing a penalty.
Synopsis: S.B. 570 provides a mechanism for counties to have signs posted at rest areas indicating that fireworks are prohibited. There is currently no provision in law for the posting of signage at rest stops where fireworks are prohibited. This bill provides a process for the posting of those signs. S.B. 570 amends current law relating to the use of fireworks at certain Texas Department of Transportation rest areas and creates a criminal offense.
- SB 1237 Relating to Internet broadcasts of open meetings held by the policy board of a metropolitan planning organization.
Synopsis: S.B. 1237 requires a “metropolitan planning organization that serves one or more counties with a population of 350,000 or more shall broadcast over the Internet live video and audio of each open meeting held by the policy board. Subsequently, the organization shall make available through the organization ’s Internet website archived video and audio for each meeting for which live video and audio was provided under this section.”
- HB 20 Relating to the operations of and transportation planning and expenditures by the Texas Department of Transportation and local transportation entities.
Synopsis: HB 20 requires the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to develop a performance-based planning and programming process. The process will be used by the executive and legislative branches to assess how well TxDOT was achieving the goals and objectives they impose. Local transportation entities will be required to develop funding prioritization guidelines and submit them to TxDOT. It will also direct the formation of joint House and Senate select committees to study transportation planning and financing and repeal the statute allowing TxDOT to establish advisory committees.
- HB 1709 Relating to the closing, abandoning, and vacating of a public road by a county; authorizing the imposition of a fee.
Synopsis: The bill permits a commissioners court to establish standard fees, to be paid by an owner of certain property, relating to the closing, abandonment or vacation of a public road. The bill also requires a commissioners court to notify certain public utilities or common carriers of the proposal to close or vacate the public road.
- HB 1949 Relating to the annexation of county roads.
Synopsis: The bill amends the Local Government Code requiring a municipality that proposes to annex a certain area must also annex the entire width of county road and the adjacent right-of-way on both sides of the road. Under the provisions of the bill, if the road annexed is a gravel road, the county would retain control of granting access to the road and its right-of-way from certain property. The bill permits certain areas of land that do not meet the contingency requirement as put forth by provisions of the bill to be annexed if certain conditions exist.
- HB 2092 Relating to the road powers of the Fort Bend County Municipal Utility District No. 182.
Synopsis: The bill amends the Special District Local Laws Code Section 8176.051(a) related to the Fort Bend County Municipal Utility District No. 182 (the “District”) to specify that the District may construct, acquire, improve, maintain, or operate macadamized, graveled, or paved roads or turnpikes, or improvements in aid of those roads or turnpikes, outside (currently only inside) the District.
- HB 212 1 Relating to the repeal of obsolete laws governing county road systems in certain counties.
Synopsis: The bill repeals Chapter 300 (H.B. 490), Acts of the 52nd Legislature, Regular Session, 1951 (Article 6812b, Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes).
- HB 2599 Relating to the ability of certain county assistance districts to annex roads.
Synopsis: House Bill 2599 amends the Local Government Code to authorize the governing body of a county assistance district created by Fort Bend County to include in the district by order a portion of a road, including associated drainage areas, that is located in a municipality located in Fort Bend County if the municipality consents to the inclusion and to use money available to the district to perform maintenance or improvement on such a road or drainage area.
- HB 3302 Relating to highway landscaping projects.
Synopsis: HB 3302 requires the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to develop guidelines for beautification projects on highway rights of way requiring the use of native or regionally appropriate plants. The bill requires TxDOT to allocate money for landscaping improvements for each highway project that cost $5 million or more. The money is to be spent in the TxDOT district where the project was located.