Bill Text: TX HB1550 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-05-11 - Postponed 5/12/21 11:00 AM [HB1550 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB1550-Introduced.html
  87R6291 JCG-D
 
  By: Cyrier H.B. No. 1550
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas Commission
  on Law Enforcement.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 1701.002, Occupations Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         Sec. 1701.002.  APPLICATION OF SUNSET ACT. The Texas
  Commission on Law Enforcement is subject to Chapter 325, Government
  Code (Texas Sunset Act). Unless continued in existence as provided
  by that chapter, the commission is abolished and this chapter
  expires September 1, 2023 [2021].
         SECTION 2.  Section 1701.059, Occupations Code, is amended
  by amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (d) to read as
  follows:
         (b)  The training program must provide the person with
  information regarding:
               (1)  the law governing [legislation that created the]
  commission operations;
               (2)  the programs, functions, rules, and budget of the
  commission;
               (3)  the scope of and limitations on the rulemaking
  authority of the commission;
               (4)  the results of the most recent formal audit of the
  commission;
               (5) [(4)]  the requirements of:
                     (A)  laws relating to open meetings, public
  information, administrative procedure, and disclosing conflicts of
  interest; and
                     (B)  other laws applicable to members of a state
  policy-making body in performing their duties; and
               (6) [(5)]  any applicable ethics policies adopted by
  the commission or the Texas Ethics Commission.
         (d)  The executive director of the commission shall create a
  training manual that includes the information required by
  Subsection (b). The executive director shall distribute a copy of
  the training manual annually to each member of the commission. Each
  commission member shall sign and submit to the executive director a
  statement acknowledging that the member received and has reviewed
  the training manual.
         SECTION 3.  Section 1701.151, Occupations Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         Sec. 1701.151.  GENERAL POWERS OF COMMISSION; RULEMAKING
  AUTHORITY. The commission may:
               (1)  adopt rules for the administration of this chapter
  and for the commission's internal management and control;
               (2)  establish minimum standards relating to
  competence and reliability, including education, training,
  physical, and mental[, and moral] standards, for licensing as an
  officer, county jailer, public security officer, or
  telecommunicator;
               (3)  report to the governor and legislature on the
  commission's activities, with recommendations on matters under the
  commission's jurisdiction, and make other reports that the
  commission considers desirable;
               (4)  require a state agency or a county, special
  district, or municipality in this state that employs officers,
  telecommunicators, or county jailers to submit reports and
  information;
               (5)  contract as the commission considers necessary for
  services, facilities, studies, and reports required for:
                     (A)  cooperation with municipal, county, special
  district, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in training
  programs; and
                     (B)  performance of the commission's other
  functions; and
               (6)  conduct research and stimulate research by public
  and private agencies to improve law enforcement and police
  administration.
         SECTION 4.  Subchapter D, Chapter 1701, Occupations Code, is
  amended by adding Sections 1701.165, 1701.166, and 1701.167 to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 1701.165.  ADVISORY COMMITTEES. (a) The commission
  may appoint advisory committees to perform advisory functions as
  determined by the commission.
         (b)  A member of an advisory committee who is not a member of
  the commission may not receive compensation for service on the
  committee. The member may receive reimbursement for actual and
  necessary expenses incurred in performing committee functions as
  provided by Section 2110.004, Government Code.
         (c)  A member of an advisory committee serves at the will of
  the commission.
         Sec. 1701.166.  SUBPOENA. (a) The commission may request
  and, if necessary, compel by subpoena the production for inspection
  or copying of records, documents, and other evidence relevant to
  the investigation of an alleged violation of this chapter or a
  commission rule, other than a document described by Section
  1701.457.
         (b)  The commission, acting through the attorney general,
  may bring an action to enforce a subpoena issued under Subsection
  (a) against a person who fails to comply with the subpoena.
         (c)  Venue for an action brought under Subsection (b) is in a
  district court in:
               (1)  Travis County; or
               (2)  any county in which the commission may conduct a
  hearing.
         (d)  The court shall order compliance with the subpoena if
  the court finds that good cause exists to issue the subpoena.
         Sec. 1701.167.  EXAMINATION OF LICENSE HOLDER.  (a) The
  commission shall adopt rules specifying the circumstances under
  which the commission may request that a license holder submit to an
  examination described by Section 1701.306 by a psychologist,
  psychiatrist, or physician selected by the commission to determine
  whether the license holder continues to meet the standards required
  by that section.
         (b)  If the license holder refuses to submit to the
  examination, the commission shall issue an order requiring the
  person to show cause for the person's refusal at a hearing on the
  order scheduled for not later than the 30th day after the date
  notice is served on the person. The commission shall provide notice
  under this section by personal service or by registered mail,
  return receipt requested.
         (c)  At the hearing, the person may appear in person and by
  counsel and present evidence to justify the person's refusal to
  submit to examination. After the hearing, the commission shall
  issue an order requiring the person to submit to an examination
  under this section or withdrawing the request for the examination.
         (d)  Unless the request is withdrawn, the commission may
  suspend the license of a person who refuses to submit to the
  examination.
         (e)  An appeal from the commission's order under this section
  is governed by Chapter 2001, Government Code.
         (f)  If the results of an examination under this section show
  that the person does not meet the standards of Section 1701.306(a),
  the commission shall suspend the person's license.
         (g)  Records relating to a request or order of the commission
  or a hearing or examination conducted under this section,
  including, if applicable, the identity of the person notifying the
  commission that a license holder may not meet the standards
  required by Section 1701.306(a), are confidential and not subject
  to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code.
         SECTION 5.  Section 1701.202, Occupations Code, is amended
  by amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (d) to read as
  follows:
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (d), on [On] request, a
  license holder is entitled to [may] obtain information regarding a
  complaint made against the license holder under this chapter,
  including a complete copy of the complaint file. On receipt of a
  request under this subsection, the commission shall provide the
  requested information in a timely manner to allow the license
  holder time to respond to the complaint.
         (d)  The commission is not required to provide the identity
  of any nontestifying complainant in response to a request under
  Subsection (b).
         SECTION 6.  Sections 1701.203(a) and (c), Occupations Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The commission shall maintain a system to promptly and
  efficiently act on [jurisdictional] complaints filed with the
  commission. The commission shall maintain information about
  parties to the complaint, the subject matter of the complaint, a
  summary of the results of the review or investigation of the
  complaint, and its disposition.
         (c)  The commission shall periodically notify the complaint
  parties [to the complaint] of the status of the complaint until
  final disposition unless the notice would jeopardize an
  investigation.
         SECTION 7.  Sections 1701.303(b) and (c), Occupations Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  A person who appoints an officer or county jailer
  licensed by the commission shall notify the commission not later
  than the 30th day after the date of the appointment. If the person
  appoints an individual who previously served as an officer or
  county jailer and the appointment occurs after the 180th day after
  the last date of service as an officer or county jailer, the person
  must have on file for the officer or county jailer, in a form
  readily accessible to the commission, [:
               [(1)  new criminal history record information;
               [(2)]  a new declaration of psychological and emotional
  health and lack of drug dependency or illegal drug use[; and
               [(3)  two completed fingerprint cards].
         (c)  A person who appoints or employs a telecommunicator
  licensed by the commission shall notify the commission not later
  than the 30th day after the date of the appointment or employment.
  [If the person appoints or employs an individual who previously
  served as a telecommunicator and the appointment or employment
  occurs after the 180th day after the last date of service as a
  telecommunicator, the person must have on file in a form readily
  accessible to the commission:
               [(1)  new criminal history record information; and
               [(2)  two completed fingerprint cards.]
         SECTION 8.  Subchapter G, Chapter 1701, Occupations Code, is
  amended by adding Section 1701.3065 to read as follows:
         Sec. 1701.3065.  CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION FOR
  LICENSE ISSUANCE. (a) The commission shall require that an
  applicant for a license submit a complete and legible set of
  fingerprints, on a form prescribed by the commission, to the
  commission or to the Department of Public Safety for the purpose of
  obtaining criminal history record information from the Department
  of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
         (b)  The commission may not issue a license to a person who
  does not comply with the requirement of Subsection (a).
         (c)  The commission shall conduct a criminal history record
  information check of each applicant for a license using
  information:
               (1)  provided by the individual under this section; and
               (2)  made available by the Department of Public Safety,
  the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and any other criminal justice
  agency under Chapter 411, Government Code.
         (d)  The commission may:
               (1)  enter into an agreement with the Department of
  Public Safety to administer a criminal history record information
  check required under this section; and
               (2)  authorize the Department of Public Safety to
  collect from each applicant the costs incurred by the Department of
  Public Safety in conducting the criminal history record information
  check.
         SECTION 9.  Section 1701.404(b), Occupations Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  The commission may certify a sheriff, sheriff's deputy,
  constable, other peace officer, county jailer, or justice of the
  peace as a special officer for offenders with mental impairments if
  the person:
               (1)  completes a training course in emergency first aid
  and lifesaving techniques approved by the commission;
               (2)  completes a training course administered by the
  commission on mental health issues and offenders with mental
  impairments; and
               (3)  passes an examination administered by the
  commission that is designed to test the person's:
                     (A)  knowledge and recognition of the
  characteristics and symptoms of mental illness, intellectual
  disabilities [mental retardation], and developmental [mental]
  disabilities; and
                     (B)  knowledge of mental health crisis
  intervention strategies for people with mental impairments.
         SECTION 10.  The heading to Subchapter K, Chapter 1701,
  Occupations Code, is amended to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER K. DISCIPLINARY GROUNDS AND PROCEDURES
         SECTION 11.  Subchapter K, Chapter 1701, Occupations Code,
  is amended by adding Section 1701.5011 to read as follows:
         Sec. 1701.5011.  EMERGENCY SUSPENSION.  (a) The commission
  shall adopt rules specifying the circumstances under which the
  commission may issue an emergency order, without a hearing,
  suspending a person's license for a period not to exceed 90 days
  after determining that the person constitutes an imminent threat to
  the public health, safety, or welfare.
         (b)  An order suspending a license under this section must
  state the length of the suspension in the order.
         (c)  If an emergency order is issued without a hearing under
  this section, the commission shall set the time and place for a
  hearing to be conducted not later than the 10th day after the date
  the order was issued. A hearing under this section to affirm,
  modify, or set aside the emergency order shall be conducted by the
  State Office of Administrative Hearings. The order shall be
  affirmed to the extent that good cause existed to issue the order.
         (d)  The commission by rule may prescribe procedures for the
  determination and appeal of an emergency order issued under this
  section, including a rule allowing the commission to affirm,
  modify, or set aside a decision made by the State Office of
  Administrative Hearings under Subsection (c).
         (e)  A proceeding under this section is a contested case
  under Chapter 2001, Government Code.
         SECTION 12.  Chapter 1701, Occupations Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter P to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER P. PANEL TO REVIEW LAW ENFORCEMENT REGULATION
         Sec. 1701.721.  DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "panel"
  means the panel established under Section 1701.722.
         Sec. 1701.722.  PANEL ESTABLISHED; COMPOSITION.  (a)  A
  panel to study the regulation of persons licensed under this
  chapter and the entities authorized by law to employ those persons
  is established.  The panel consists of the following 17 members:
               (1)  nine members who are knowledgeable on criminal
  justice matters, including law enforcement personnel,
  representatives of victims' rights groups, educators, judges, and
  local elected officials, appointed as follows:
                     (A)  three members appointed by the governor;
                     (B)  three members appointed by the lieutenant
  governor; and
                     (C)  three members appointed by the speaker of the
  house of representatives;
               (2)  three members who represent the public, one
  appointed by the governor, one appointed by the lieutenant
  governor, and one appointed by the speaker of the house of
  representatives;
               (3)  the chair of the Senate Committee on Criminal
  Justice;
               (4)  the chair of the House Committee on Homeland
  Security and Public Safety;
               (5)  the chair of the board of the Texas District and
  County Attorneys Association or the chair's designee; and
               (6)  as nonvoting members:
                     (A)  the executive director of the commission; and
                     (B)  the attorney general or the attorney
  general's designee.
         (b)  In appointing members of the panel under Subsection
  (a)(1), the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the house
  of representatives shall each appoint: 
               (1)  one representative of a rural county or a small
  municipality; and
               (2)  one representative of a law enforcement agency.
         (c)  The governor shall designate a chair and vice chair of
  the panel. The panel shall meet at the call of the chair.
         Sec. 1701.723.  ADVISORY COMMITTEES. The panel may
  establish one or more advisory committees to assist the panel in its
  duties under this subchapter. Advisory committee members may
  include any person with knowledge or experience relevant to the
  study conducted under Section 1701.729.
         Sec. 1701.724.  OPEN MEETINGS; PUBLIC HEARINGS. (a) The
  panel, and any advisory committee established by the panel, is
  subject to Chapter 551, Government Code.
         (b)  Notwithstanding Chapter 551, Government Code, or any
  other law, the panel and any advisory committee may meet by
  telephone conference call, videoconference, or other similar
  telecommunication method. A meeting held under this subsection by
  telephone conference call, videoconference, or other similar
  telecommunication method is subject to the requirements of Sections
  551.125(c)-(f), Government Code.
         (c)  The panel shall hold a public hearing at least once
  every month to solicit testimony and provide information to the
  public regarding the work of the panel.
         Sec. 1701.725.  CONFIDENTIALITY OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS.
  Preliminary drafts of the final report and legislative
  recommendations, memoranda of panel members expressing opinions,
  formulations, or recommendations, and panel members' notes and
  correspondence with individuals who are not panel members are
  confidential and not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552,
  Government Code.
         Sec. 1701.726.  SUBPOENA. (a) The panel may issue a
  subpoena as provided by this section.
         (b)  The panel may request and, if necessary, compel by
  subpoena:
               (1)  the production for inspection and copying of
  documents and other records relevant to the panel's duties under
  this subchapter; and
               (2)  the attendance of a witness for examination under
  oath.
         (c)  A subpoena under this section may be issued throughout
  this state and may be served by any person designated by the panel.
         (d)  The panel, acting through the attorney general, may
  bring an action to enforce a subpoena issued under this section
  against a person who fails to comply with the subpoena.
         (e)  Venue for an action brought under this section is in a
  district court in:
               (1)  Travis County; or
               (2)  any county in which the commission may conduct a
  hearing.
         (f)  The court shall order compliance with the subpoena if
  the court finds that good cause exists to issue the subpoena.
         Sec. 1701.727.  REIMBURSEMENT. A member of the panel or an
  advisory committee of the panel is not entitled to compensation for
  service on the panel or on an advisory committee of the panel but
  may be reimbursed for travel and other reasonable and necessary
  expenses incurred in connection with the member's service on the
  panel or advisory committee as provided by the General
  Appropriations Act.
         Sec. 1701.728.  ASSISTANCE BY COMMISSION. The commission
  shall provide facilities and administrative support as reasonably
  necessary for the panel to carry out its duties.
         Sec. 1701.729.  STUDY. The panel shall study and make
  recommendations regarding the regulation of persons licensed under
  this chapter and entities authorized by law to employ those
  persons. In conducting the study, the panel shall consider the
  following:
               (1)  the standards of conduct applicable to persons
  licensed under this chapter, including whether statewide standards
  should be developed and who should develop, review, and update
  those standards;
               (2)  the education and training requirements for
  persons licensed under this chapter, including:
                     (A)  the requirements for the issuance of each
  type of license and the frequency with which those requirements are
  reviewed and updated; and
                     (B)  the continuing education requirements for
  each type of license and the frequency with which those
  requirements are reviewed and updated;
               (3)  the commission's regulation of training programs
  and schools; and
               (4)  the accountability to the public of persons
  licensed under this chapter and of entities authorized by law to
  employ persons licensed under this chapter, including:
                     (A)  the need for statewide standards applicable
  to the entities and who should develop, review, and update those
  standards;
                     (B)  changes to the commission's authority to
  discipline a license holder for violations of law or other
  misconduct;
                     (C)  appropriate procedures to protect a license
  holder's rights during a disciplinary proceeding; and
                     (D)  the reporting of terminations under
  Subchapter J.
         Sec. 1701.730.  REPORT; CERTAIN VOTES REQUIRED. (a) Not
  later than June 1, 2022, the panel shall deliver a report to the
  governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of
  representatives, each member of the legislature, and the Sunset
  Advisory Commission on the areas of study described by Section
  1701.729, including any legislative recommendations adopted by the
  panel.
         (b)  A legislative recommendation may be adopted by a
  majority vote of a quorum of the panel.
         (c)  The report under this section may be issued only if the
  report is adopted by a two-thirds vote of the total membership of
  the panel. 
         Sec. 1701.731.  EXPIRATION. The panel is abolished and this
  subchapter expires December 31, 2022. 
         SECTION 13.  (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b) of
  this section, Section 1701.059, Occupations Code, as amended by
  this Act, applies to a member of the Texas Commission on Law
  Enforcement appointed before, on, or after the effective date of
  this Act.
         (b)  A member of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement who,
  before the effective date of this Act, completed the training
  program required by Section 1701.059, Occupations Code, as that law
  existed before the effective date of this Act, is only required to
  complete additional training on the subjects added by this Act to
  the training program required by Section 1701.059, Occupations
  Code.  A commission member described by this subsection may not
  vote, deliberate, or be counted as a member in attendance at a
  meeting of the commission held on or after December 1, 2021, until
  the member completes the additional training.
         SECTION 14.  (a) Notwithstanding Section 1701.317,
  Occupations Code, not later than September 1, 2024, the Texas
  Commission on Law Enforcement shall conduct a criminal history
  record information check in the manner provided by Section
  1701.3065, Occupations Code, as added by this Act, on each person
  who on September 1, 2021, holds a license issued under Chapter 1701,
  Occupations Code.
         (b)  The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement may suspend the
  license of a person who holds a license under Chapter 1701,
  Occupations Code, who does not comply with a request by the
  commission to provide information or fingerprints, in a form and
  manner prescribed by the commission, that would enable the
  commission to conduct the criminal history record information check
  as required by this section.
         (c)  The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement may adopt rules
  to implement this section, including rules to stagger the
  implementation of this section.
         SECTION 15.  Not later than September 1, 2021, the governor,
  lieutenant governor, and speaker of the house of representatives
  shall appoint members to the panel in accordance with Section
  1701.722, Occupations Code, as added by this Act.
         SECTION 16.  (a) For purposes of Section 1701.002,
  Occupations Code, as amended by this Act, the Sunset Advisory
  Commission shall conduct a limited-scope review of the Texas
  Commission on Law Enforcement for the 88th Legislature. The review
  must provide:
               (1)  an update on the progress of the Texas Commission
  on Law Enforcement in implementing the recommendations made by the
  Sunset Advisory Commission to the 87th Legislature; and
               (2)  an evaluation of any legislative recommendations
  related to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement made by the panel
  established under Subchapter P, Chapter 1701, Occupations Code, as
  added by this Act.
         (b)  The Sunset Advisory Commission's recommendations to the
  88th Legislature may include any recommendation the commission
  considers appropriate based on the limited-scope review conducted
  under this section.
         SECTION 17.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
feedback