Bill Text: TX HB766 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Enrolled


Bill Title: Relating to exemptions for disabled peace officers and fire fighters from payment of tuition and fees at public institutions of higher education.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 3-1)

Status: (Passed) 2019-06-14 - Effective immediately [HB766 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB766-Enrolled.html
 
 
  H.B. No. 766
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
 
 
  relating to exemptions for disabled peace officers and fire
  fighters from payment of tuition and fees at public institutions of
  higher education.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  The heading to Section 54.352, Education Code,
  is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 54.352.  DISABLED PEACE OFFICERS AND FIRE FIGHTERS [;
  OPTIONAL EXEMPTION].
         SECTION 2.  Section 54.352, Education Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a), (g), and (h) and adding Subsection (b-1)
  to read as follows:
         (a)  The governing board of an institution of higher
  education shall [may] exempt a student from the payment of tuition
  and [required] fees [authorized by this chapter] for a course for
  which space is available if the student:
               (1)  is a resident of this state and has resided in this
  state for the 12 months immediately preceding the beginning of the
  semester or session for which an exemption is sought;
               (2)  is permanently disabled as a result of an injury
  suffered during the performance of a duty as:
                     (A)  a peace officer of this state or a political
  subdivision of this state; or
                     (B)  a fire fighter, as defined by Section
  614.001, Government Code, employed by this state or a political
  subdivision of this state; and
               (3)  is unable to continue employment as a peace
  officer or fire fighter because of the disability.
         (b-1)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a), the governing board
  of an institution of higher education may not provide exemptions
  under this section to students enrolled in a specific course in a
  number that exceeds 20 percent of the maximum student enrollment
  designated by the institution for that course.
         (g)  For the purpose of [In] this section, an injury is
  suffered during the performance of a duty as a peace officer if the
  injury occurs ["injury suffered during the performance of a duty as
  a peace officer" means an injury occurring] as a result of the peace
  officer's performance of any of the following law enforcement
  duties:
               (1)  traffic enforcement or traffic control duties,
  including enforcement of traffic laws, investigation of vehicle
  accidents, or directing traffic;
               (2)  pursuit, arrest, or search of a person reasonably
  believed to have violated a law;
               (3)  investigation, including undercover
  investigation, of a criminal act;
               (4)  patrol duties, including automobile, bicycle,
  foot, air, or horse patrol;
               (5)  duties related to the transfer of prisoners; or
               (6)  training duties, including participation in any
  training required by the officer's employer or supervisor or by the
  Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
         (h)  For the purpose of this section, a person [peace
  officer] is considered permanently disabled only if the chief
  administrative officer of the law enforcement agency, fire
  department, or other entity that employed the person [officer] at
  the time of the injury, as applicable, determines the person
  [officer] is permanently disabled and satisfies any requirement of
  an institution under Subsection (e).
         SECTION 3.  The changes in law made by this Act apply to an
  exemption from tuition and fees beginning with the 2019 fall
  semester.
         SECTION 4.  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, 2019.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 766 was passed by the House on April
  16, 2019, by the following vote:  Yeas 132, Nays 3, 2 present, not
  voting; that the House refused to concur in Senate amendments to
  H.B. No. 766 on May 23, 2019, and requested the appointment of a
  conference committee to consider the differences between the two
  houses; and that the House adopted the conference committee report
  on H.B. No. 766 on May 26, 2019, by the following vote:  Yeas 143,
  Nays 2, 2 present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 766 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 20, 2019, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays
  0; at the request of the House, the Senate appointed a conference
  committee to consider the differences between the two houses; and
  that the Senate adopted the conference committee report on H.B. No.
  766 on May 26, 2019, by the following vote:  Yeas 29, Nays 2.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor       
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