Bill Text: TX HB2713 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the removal, relocation, alteration, or construction of certain monuments or memorials located on public property; providing civil penalties.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 19-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-04-19 - Scheduled for public hearing on . . . [HB2713 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB2713-Introduced.html
  87R6104 YDB-F
 
  By: Hefner H.B. No. 2713
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the removal, relocation, alteration, or construction of
  certain monuments or memorials located on public property;
  providing civil penalties.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 442.015(b), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (b)  The commission may use distributions from the Texas
  preservation trust fund account to provide financial assistance to
  public or private entities for the acquisition, survey,
  restoration, or preservation, or for planning and educational
  activities leading to the preservation, of historic property in the
  state that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places or
  designated as a State Archeological Landmark or Recorded Texas
  Historic Landmark, or that the commission determines is eligible
  for such listing or designation or for the construction of a
  monument or memorial described by Section 2166.5011(c) or by
  Section 338.003, Local Government Code.  The financial assistance
  may be in the amount and form and according to the terms that the
  commission by rule determines.  The commission shall give priority
  to property the commission determines to be endangered by
  demolition, neglect, underuse, looting, vandalism, or other threat
  to the property.  Gifts and grants deposited to the credit of the
  account specifically for any eligible projects may be used only for
  the type of projects specified.  If such a specification is not
  made, the gift or grant shall be unencumbered and accrue to the
  benefit of the Texas preservation trust fund account.  If such a
  specification is made, the entire amount of the gift or grant may be
  used during any period for the project or type of project specified.
         SECTION 2.  Section 2166.5011, Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         Sec. 2166.5011.  REMOVAL, RELOCATION, [OR] ALTERATION, OR
  CONSTRUCTION OF A MONUMENT OR MEMORIAL.  (a)  In this section,
  "monument or memorial" means a permanent monument, memorial, or
  other designation, including a statue, portrait, plaque, seal,
  symbol, building name, bridge name, park name, area name, or street
  name, that:
               (1)  is located on state property; and
               (2)  honors an event or person of historic significance
  [a citizen of this state for military or war-related service].
         (b)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, a
  monument or memorial that is located on state property:
               (1)  for at least 40 years may not be removed,
  relocated, or altered;
               (2)  for at least 20 years but less than 40 years may be
  removed, relocated, or altered only by approval of a concurrent
  resolution authorizing the removal, relocation, or alteration,
  including alteration to maintain historical accuracy, by a
  two-thirds vote of the members of each house of the legislature; or
               (3)  for less than 20 years may be removed, relocated,
  or altered, including alteration to maintain historical accuracy,
  only[:
               [(1)]  by the legislature[;
               [(2)  by the Texas Historical Commission;
               [(3)  by the State Preservation Board; or
               [(4)  as provided by Subsection (c)].
         (c)  An additional [A] monument or memorial may be
  constructed on [removed, relocated, or altered in a manner
  otherwise provided by this code as necessary to accommodate
  construction, repair, or improvements to the monument or memorial
  or to] the surrounding state property on which a [the] monument or
  memorial is located to complement or contrast with the existing
  monument or memorial. [Any monument or memorial that is permanently
  removed under this subsection must be relocated to a prominent
  location.]
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter K, Chapter 2166, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 2166.5015 to read as follows:
         Sec. 2166.5015.  COMPLAINT; EQUITABLE RELIEF; CIVIL
  PENALTY. (a) A resident of this state may file a complaint with the
  attorney general if the resident asserts facts supporting an
  allegation that an entity has violated Section 2166.5011(b). The
  resident must include a sworn statement with the complaint stating
  that to the best of the resident's knowledge all of the facts
  asserted in the complaint are true and correct.
         (b)  If the attorney general determines that a complaint
  filed under Subsection (a) against an entity is valid, the attorney
  general may file a petition for a writ of mandamus or apply for
  other appropriate equitable relief in a district court in Travis
  County to compel the entity that is suspected of violating Section
  2166.5011(b) to comply with that subsection.
         (c)  An entity that is found by a court as having
  intentionally violated Section 2166.5011(b) is subject to a civil
  penalty in an amount of:
               (1)  not less than $1,000 and not more than $1,500 for
  the first violation; and
               (2)  not less than $25,000 and not more than $25,500 for
  each subsequent violation.
         (d)  Each day of a continuing violation of Section
  2166.5011(b) constitutes a separate violation for purposes of a
  civil penalty under this section.
         (e)  The court that hears an action brought under this
  section against an entity shall determine the amount of the civil
  penalty.
         (f)  A civil penalty collected under this section shall be
  deposited to the credit of the general revenue fund.
         (g)  Sovereign immunity of this state to suit is waived and
  abolished to the extent of liability created by this section.
         SECTION 4.  Subtitle C, Title 10, Local Government Code, is
  amended by adding Chapter 338 to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 338. MONUMENTS AND MEMORIALS
         Sec. 338.001.  DEFINITION. In this chapter, "monument or
  memorial" means a permanent monument, memorial, or other
  designation, including a statue, portrait, plaque, seal, symbol,
  building name, bridge name, park name, area name, or street name,
  that honors an event or person of historic significance.
         Sec. 338.002.  REMOVAL, RELOCATION, OR ALTERATION. A
  monument or memorial that is located on municipal or county
  property:
               (1)  for at least 40 years may not be removed,
  relocated, or altered;
               (2)  for at least 20 years but less than 40 years may be
  removed, relocated, or altered, including alteration to maintain
  historical accuracy, only by approval of a majority of the voters of
  the municipality or county, as applicable, voting at an election
  held for that purpose; or
               (3)  for less than 20 years may be removed, relocated,
  or altered, including alteration to maintain historical accuracy,
  only by the governing body of the municipality or the commissioners
  court of the county, as applicable.
         Sec. 338.003.  ADDITIONAL MONUMENT OR MEMORIAL. An
  additional monument or memorial may be constructed on the
  surrounding municipal or county property on which a monument or
  memorial is located to complement or contrast with the existing
  monument or memorial.
         Sec. 338.004.  COMPLAINT; EQUITABLE RELIEF; CIVIL PENALTY.
  (a) A resident of a municipality or county, as applicable, may file
  a complaint with the attorney general if the resident asserts facts
  supporting an allegation that the municipality or county has
  violated Section 338.002. The resident must include a sworn
  statement with the complaint stating that to the best of the
  resident's knowledge all of the facts asserted in the complaint are
  true and correct.
         (b)  If the attorney general determines that a complaint
  filed under Subsection (a) against a municipality or county is
  valid, the attorney general may file a petition for a writ of
  mandamus or apply for other appropriate equitable relief in a
  district court in Travis County or in the county in which the
  suspected violation of Section 338.002 is alleged to have occurred
  to compel the municipality or county to comply with that section.
         (c)  A municipality or county that is found by a court as
  having intentionally violated Section 338.002 is subject to a civil
  penalty in an amount of:
               (1)  not less than $1,000 and not more than $1,500 for
  the first violation; and
               (2)  not less than $25,000 and not more than $25,500 for
  each subsequent violation.
         (d)  Each day of a continuing violation of Section 338.002
  constitutes a separate violation for purposes of a civil penalty
  under this section.
         (e)  The court that hears an action brought under this
  section against a municipality or county shall determine the
  amount of the civil penalty.
         (f)  A civil penalty collected under this section shall be
  deposited to the credit of the general revenue fund.
         (g)  Sovereign immunity of this state and governmental
  immunity of a county or municipality to suit is waived and abolished
  to the extent of liability created by this section.
         SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
feedback