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Library-Related Legislation

House Bills

HB 402 by Rep. Senfronia Thompson, relating to the adoption of the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act. Passed by both the House and Senate.

HB 700 by Rep. Ryan Guillen, relating to the use of the skills development fund by certain entities. Referred to the International Relations & Economic Development committee.

The bill expands the types of organizations that can apply for grants from the Skills Development Fund to include public libraries, and local workforce development boards. HB 700 was passed by the House.  After hearing from the Governor’s office that they wanted public libraries removed, the Senate amended and then passed the bill.

HB 703 by Rep. Cody Harris, relating to the confidentiality of birth records. Referred to the Public Health Committee chaired by Rep. Senfronia Thompson.

The bill extends the length of time before birth records enter the public domain from 75 years, to 125 years. TLA opposes the bill, and submitted testimony to the Public Health Committee expressing our concerns. The Texas State Genealogical Society and other organizations worked with the author to modify the bill. The Committee Substitute for HB 703 extends the time from 75 years to 90 years. The substitute passed the committee and was sent to Calendars. The bill was never scheduled for the House floor so did not pass this session.

HB 1960 by Rep. Four Price, relating to the creation of the governor’s broadband council. Referred to State Affairs Committee chaired by Rep. Dade Phelan. The bill was heard March 25 and the author, Rep. Price shared that the bill would be modified to include representatives from a library advocacy group, and K-12 education on the Council. The bill was updated to include a representative from the library community in the membership of the council and passed by the committee. The bill passed both the House and the Senate.

HB 1962 by Rep. Stan Lambert, and SB 618 by Sen. Bob Hall, relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

On November 14, the Sunset Commission voted to continue the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for another 12 years with no major operational changes. Members accepted the Sunset staff report recommendations, and added a new recommendation to allow TSLAC to advertise the agency’s programs and services, and develop educational materials for the public and for sale.

This bill reflects those recommendations.  HB 1962 was referred to the Culture, Recreation & Tourism Committee chaired by Rep. John Cyrier.

HB 1962 was heard by the Culture, Recreation & Tourism Committee on March 12 and left pending in committee. On March 26, the committee substitute was passed. The Committee Substitute for HB 1962 includes an entirely new section titled Archival Legislative Records which we were unaware of.

CSHB 1962 adds Government Code 441.206 “Archival Legislative Records” which specifies the following:

  • The legislative entity that has transferred their records to the commission “retains ownership and legal custody of the records held by the state archives program.”
  • The proposed law would pertain to any state record of the legislative branch, including materials at the state archive and at any repository in the state.
  • The bill would allow the legislature to “retrieve records for the legislature’s use” without restriction and would require TSLAC staff  to assist with the physical retrieval and return of the materials
  • The bill places the responsibility of responding to public information act (PIA) requests with TSLAC, but directs the agency to respond ‘as directed by the officer for public information of the legislative entity that transferred the state records to the commission.’

The House passed the bill, including the new archival legislative records section. The bill is scheduled for a hearing in the  Business and Commerce Committee on May 14, 2019..

Senate Bills

SB 299 by Sen. Boris Miles, relating to a notification requirement if a public school, including an open-enrollment charter school, does not have a nurse, school counselor, or librarian assigned to the school during all instructional hours. Referred to the Senate Education Committee

This bill is identical to the legislation which passed last session but was vetoed by the Governor. It includes the exemption for school districts and charter schools with  enrollment less than 10,000 students.

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