Bill Text: TX HB3 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Comm Sub


Bill Title: Relating to the authority of the legislature, governor, and certain political subdivisions with respect to disasters, including pandemic disasters, and emergencies.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 2-0)

Status: (Engrossed - Dead) 2021-05-28 - Senate appoints conferees-reported [HB3 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB3-Comm_Sub.html
 
 
  By: Burrows (Senate Sponsor - Birdwell) H.B. No. 3
         (In the Senate - Received from the House May 12, 2021;
  May 13, 2021, read first time and referred to Committee on State
  Affairs; May 24, 2021, reported adversely, with favorable
  Committee Substitute by the following vote:  Yeas 9, Nays 0;
  May 24, 2021, sent to printer.)
Click here to see the committee vote
 
  COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR H.B. No. 3 By:  Birdwell
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
 
  relating to the authority of the legislature, governor, and certain
  political subdivisions with respect to disasters, including
  pandemic disasters, and emergencies.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 418.002, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 418.002.  PURPOSES. The purposes of this chapter are
  to:
               (1)  reduce vulnerability of people and communities of
  this state to damage, injury, and loss of life and property
  resulting from natural or man-made disasters [catastrophes, riots,
  or hostile military or paramilitary action];
               (2)  prepare for prompt and efficient rescue, care, and
  treatment of persons victimized or threatened by disaster;
               (3)  provide a setting conducive to the rapid and
  orderly restoration and rehabilitation of persons and property
  affected by disasters;
               (4)  clarify and strengthen the roles of the governor,
  state agencies, the judicial branch of state government, and local
  governments in prevention of, preparation for, response to, and
  recovery from disasters;
               (5)  authorize and provide for cooperation in disaster
  mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery;
               (6)  authorize and provide for coordination of
  activities relating to disaster mitigation, preparedness,
  response, and recovery by agencies and officers of this state, and
  similar state-local, interstate, federal-state, and foreign
  activities in which the state and its political subdivisions may
  participate;
               (7)  provide an emergency management system embodying
  all aspects of predisaster preparedness and postdisaster response;
               (8)  assist in mitigation of disasters caused or
  aggravated by inadequate planning for and regulation of public and
  private facilities and land use;
               (9)  encourage state agencies, local governments,
  nongovernmental organizations, private entities, and individuals
  to adopt the goals of the strategic plan of the Federal Emergency
  Management Agency for preparing for, responding to, and recovering
  from a disaster that emphasize cooperation among federal agencies,
  state agencies, local governments, nongovernmental organizations,
  private entities, and individuals in each activity or project
  undertaken to ensure that this state is prepared to effectively
  respond to and recover from a disaster; and
               (10)  provide the authority and mechanism to respond to
  an energy emergency.
         SECTION 2.  Section 418.004(1), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
               (1)  "Disaster" means the occurrence or imminent threat
  of widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property
  resulting from any natural or man-made cause not related to the use
  of force or violence such as civil unrest, riots, or insurrection.
  The term includes[, including] fire, flood, earthquake, wind,
  storm, wave action, oil spill or other water contamination,
  volcanic activity, epidemic, pandemic, air contamination, blight,
  drought, infestation, explosion, [riot, hostile military or
  paramilitary action,] extreme heat, cybersecurity event, other
  public calamity requiring emergency action, or energy emergency.
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter B, Chapter 418, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 418.0125 to read as follows:
         Sec. 418.0125.  CERTAIN POWER RELATED TO BUSINESSES RESERVED
  TO LEGISLATURE. (a) Notwithstanding any other law, during a
  declared state of disaster, only the legislature has the authority
  to restrict or impair the operation or occupancy of businesses in
  this state by category or region to appropriately respond to the
  disaster.  The legislature may only exercise the authority granted
  by this subsection in a county after consulting with the county
  judge of each county impacted by the disaster.
         (b)  The governor by proclamation shall convene the
  legislature in special session to respond to a declared state of
  disaster if the governor finds that the authority of the
  legislature under Subsection (a) should be exercised and the
  legislature is not convened in regular or special session.
         SECTION 4.  Section 418.014, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (b) and (c) and adding Subsection (c-1) to
  read as follows:
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c) or (c-1), the state
  of disaster continues until the governor:
               (1)  finds that:
                     (A)  the threat or danger has passed; or
                     (B)  the disaster has been dealt with to the
  extent that emergency conditions no longer exist; and
               (2)  terminates the state of disaster by executive
  order.
         (c)  A state of disaster may not continue for more than 30
  days unless renewed by the governor, subject to Subsection (c-1).
  The legislature by law may terminate a state of disaster at any
  time.  On termination by the legislature, the governor shall issue
  an executive order ending the state of disaster.
         (c-1)  Unless authorized by the legislature while convened
  in a regular or special session, the governor may not renew a state
  of disaster to continue for more than 60 days or declare a new state
  of disaster based on the same or substantially similar findings as a
  prior state of disaster that:
               (1)  exists in at least two-fifths of the counties in
  this state; or
               (2)  affects at least half of the population of this
  state, according to the most recent federal decennial census.
         SECTION 5.  Section 418.0155, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subsections (c) and (d) to read as follows:
         (c)  The governor's office shall publish the list compiled
  under Subsection (a) on the office's Internet website.
         (d)  Each state agency impacted by the suspension of a
  statute or rule on the list compiled under Subsection (a) shall
  publish on the agency's Internet website a list of those statutes
  and rules. The agency's list must be:
               (1)  posted or updated within 24 hours of any
  suspension; and
               (2)  accessible by selecting or viewing not more than
  two Internet web pages after accessing the agency's Internet home
  page.
         SECTION 6.  Section 418.016(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  Subject to Sections 418.0125 and 418.0165, the [The]
  governor may suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute
  prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business or the
  orders or rules of a state agency if strict compliance with the
  provisions, orders, or rules would in any way prevent, hinder, or
  delay necessary action in coping with a disaster.
         SECTION 7.  Subchapter B, Chapter 418, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 418.0165 to read as follows:
         Sec. 418.0165.  LIMITATION ON POWER TO SUSPEND LAWS OR
  RULES. (a) Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, the
  governor may not suspend:
               (1)  a provision of this chapter or Chapter 433; or
               (2)  a law or rule related to the application of Chapter
  325 (Texas Sunset Act), the suspension of which results in the
  continuation of a state agency beyond the date prescribed in
  statute for the abolishment of the agency.
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (d), the governor may
  suspend a provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Election
  Code, or Penal Code only during the first 30 days of a declared
  state of disaster.
         (c)  If the governor finds that a suspension authorized by
  Subsection (b) should be continued for more than 30 days and the
  legislature is not convened in regular or special session, the
  governor by proclamation shall convene the legislature in special
  session to respond to a state of disaster.
         (d)  Except as provided by this subsection, the governor may
  not suspend a provision of the Election Code related to the
  qualifications or procedures for early voting by mail or to the
  procedures for accepting a voter during any voting period,
  including procedures related to voter identification, residency,
  and signature requirements, except that the governor may suspend
  Section 86.006(a-1), Election Code, only for the purpose of
  allowing a voter registered to vote at an address located in a
  disaster area to deliver a marked ballot voted under Section
  86.006(a-1) to the early voting clerk's office on or before
  election day.  This subsection does not prohibit the governor from
  suspending a provision of the Election Code to extend the voting
  period for early voting by mail as necessary to address the declared
  disaster.
         SECTION 8.  Subchapter B, Chapter 418, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 418.027 to read as follows:
         Sec. 418.027.  PREEMPTION OF DECLARATION OF LOCAL DISASTER.
  A declaration of local disaster issued under Subchapter E may not
  conflict with, or expand or limit the scope of, a declaration of
  disaster issued under this subchapter unless expressly authorized
  by a proclamation or executive order issued by the governor under
  this chapter.
         SECTION 9.  Section 433.001, Government Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 433.001.  PROCLAMATION OF STATE OF EMERGENCY. On
  application of the chief executive officer or governing body of a
  county or municipality during an emergency, the governor may
  proclaim a state of emergency and designate the area involved. For
  the purposes of this section an emergency exists in the following
  situations:
               (1)  a riot or unlawful assembly by three or more
  persons acting together by use of force or violence;
               (2)  if a clear and present danger of the use of force
  or violence exists; or
               (3)  a natural or man-made disaster related to the use
  of force or violence such as civil unrest or insurrection.
         SECTION 10.  Section 433.002, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (d) to read as
  follows:
         (b)  Subject to Section 433.0025, the [The] directive may
  provide for:
               (1)  control of public and private transportation in
  the affected area;
               (2)  designation of specific zones in the affected area
  in which, if necessary, the use and occupancy of buildings and
  vehicles may be controlled;
               (3)  control of the movement of persons;
               (4)  control of places of amusement or assembly;
               (5)  establishment of curfews;
               (6)  control of the sale, transportation, and use of
  alcoholic beverages, weapons, and ammunition, except as provided by
  Section 433.0045; and
               (7)  control of the storage, use, and transportation of
  explosives or flammable materials considered dangerous to public
  safety.
         (d)  A directive issued under this section applies only
  within the jurisdictional boundaries of the county or municipality
  for which an application was made under Section 433.001.
         SECTION 11.  Chapter 433, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Section 433.0025 to read as follows:
         Sec. 433.0025.  CERTAIN POWER RELATED TO BUSINESSES RESERVED
  TO LEGISLATURE. (a) During a state of emergency, only the
  legislature has the authority to restrict or impair the operation
  or occupancy of businesses in this state by category or region to
  appropriately respond to the emergency.
         (b)  The governor by proclamation shall convene the
  legislature in special session to respond to a state of emergency if
  the governor finds that the authority of the legislature under
  Subsection (a) should be exercised and the legislature is not
  convened in regular or special session.
         SECTION 12.  Section 433.003, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (c) to read as
  follows:
         (a)  Except as provided by Subsections [Subsection] (b) and
  (c), a directive expires 72 hours after the time of proclamation of
  the state of emergency for which it was issued.
         (c)  Unless authorized by the legislature while convened in a
  regular or special session, the governor may not proclaim
  successive states of emergency to continue for more than 60 days or
  proclaim a new state of emergency based on the same or substantially
  similar findings as a prior state of emergency that:
               (1)  exists in at least two-fifths of the counties in
  this state; or
               (2)  affects at least half of the population of this
  state, according to the most recent federal decennial census.
         SECTION 13.  Section 418.019, Government Code, is repealed.
         SECTION 14.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only
  to an order, proclamation, regulation, or directive issued on or
  after the effective date of this Act.
         SECTION 15.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
 
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