New Texas laws and their effect on East Texans - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

New Texas laws and their effect on East Texans

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LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

As of Monday, several new Texas laws have gone into effect, many of which were signed into law almost a year ago.

A total of 10 laws went into effect on September 1st, but some of them won't even affect East Texans.

For example House Bill 3896; this bill pertains to taxes for the Jack County Hospital District.

However, there are a few that will directly affect East Texans:

House Bill 1318:

This bill gives juveniles a fairer fight in the legal system by providing them with an attorney immediately after they are arrested.

This bill also requires the Texas Indigent Defense Commission to conduct a study to determine what the reasonable caseload is for a criminal defense attorney.

Legislatures hope this will help ensure each juvenile will be represented fairly.

House Bill 2305:

Establishes a registration based system for state inspections, which requires Texans to get their vehicles inspected before they can receive a registration sticker.

However, yesterday that law went into effect for businesses with vehicles running on natural gas.

Lawmakers say this section of the law will encourage businesses to purchase vehicles that run cleaner.

Senate Bill 1705:

This bill went into effect last year, but is just now being implemented. It allows certain employers, government agencies and other appropriate organizations like commercial driving schools to give the driving portion of the driving exam.

This means that drivers under the age of 18 no longer have to go to the DMV to take a driving test, but for East Texans this law doesn't quite apply to us yet.

As of yesterday this law only applies to those driving schools and organizations in the big metropolitan areas, like Houston and Dallas.

“This is a program they are monitoring; it is being done in increments. They chose the metropolitan areas where there is what there is called the DPS mega centers. East Texas is not a mega center; we have small offices located usually in county seats," said Carlton's Driving School owner, Guyla Bryan.

Bryan said it would be close to a year before this law made its way down to East Texas, but she says when it does it will be a great asset not only to the learning drivers, but to other agencies as well.

“As far as wait time this will be a great asset to people, I know at times here in the Lufkin office there has been a waiting time of up to 9 weeks. It will certainly take some of the pressure off the DPS office and not make people wait so long,” Bryan said.

Here are the remaining bills that went into effect on September 1, 2014:

House Bill 5:

Relating to public school accountability, including assessment, and curriculum requirements; providing a criminal penalty.

This Act takes effect immediately, except Section 29 takes effect beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, Section 78(a) takes effect September 1, 2013, and Sections 36(a) and 78(b) take effect September 1, 2014.

House Bill 1245:

Relating to the allocation of money in the judicial and court personnel training fund.

House Bill 3153:

Relating to the operation and administration of, and practice in courts in, the judicial branch of state government and the composition of certain juvenile boards; imposing a fee.

Senate Bill 966:

Relating to creation of the Judicial Branch Certification Commission and the consolidation of judicial profession regulation; imposing penalties; authorizing fees.

This Act takes effect September 1, 2014, except Sections 3.02(a) and (b) take effect September 1, 2013.

Senate Bill 1158:

Relating to higher education for veterans and their families. This Act takes effect immediately, except Subchapter F, Chapter 434, Government Code, as added by Section 5 of this Act, takes effect September 1, 2014.

Senate Bill 1458:

Relating to contributions to, benefits from, and the administration of systems and programs administered by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

This Act takes effect September 1, 2014, except Sections 2, 5, and 11 take effect September 1, 2013.

Senate Bill 1459:

Relating to the powers and duties of and contributions to and benefits from the systems and programs administered by the Employees Retirement System of Texas.

This Act takes effect September 1, 2013, except Section 13 takes effect January 1, 2014, and Sections 23 and 25 take effect September 1, 2014.

One law that was supposed to go into effect on Monday was House Bill 2 which would have repealed the provisions related to the minimum standards required of an abortion facility.

This law didn't go into effect because of a federal ruling against key parts of the law.

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