Bill Text: TX SB323 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Comm Sub


Bill Title: Relating to the review of ballot proposition language for certain political subdivision elections.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 2-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-05-15 - Committee report sent to Calendars [SB323 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-SB323-Comm_Sub.html
  86R33319 SRS-D
 
  By: Huffman S.B. No. 323
 
  (Klick)
 
  Substitute the following for S.B. No. 323:  No.
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the review of ballot proposition language for certain
  political subdivision elections.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter C, Chapter 52, Election Code, is
  amended by adding Section 52.0721 to read as follows:
         Sec. 52.0721.  REVIEW OF BALLOT PROPOSITION LANGUAGE.
  (a)  This section applies only to an election on a measure held by a
  political subdivision located primarily in a county with a
  population of more than 120,000.  This section does not apply to an
  election:
               (1)  for which a statute provides the ballot
  proposition language;
               (2)  for the issuance of bonds by a political
  subdivision; or 
               (3)  for the imposition or increase in the rate of a tax
  for the payment of bonds.
         (b)  Not later than the 123rd day before an election, a
  political subdivision seeking to hold an election on a measure
  shall submit to the regional presiding judge of the administrative
  judicial region that the political subdivision is located in:
               (1)  the ballot proposition language; and
               (2)  a brief statement on the purpose of the
  proposition.
         (c)  A political subdivision that is located in two or more
  administrative judicial regions may select the administrative
  judicial region to which the political subdivision submits the
  proposition language for review.
         (d)  A regional presiding judge shall appoint three judges
  from the administrative judicial region to serve on a panel to
  review ballot proposition language.
         (e)  Not later than the 45th day after the receipt by the
  presiding judge of the ballot proposition language, the panel
  shall:
               (1)  approve the ballot proposition language under
  Subsection (f); or
               (2)  disapprove the ballot proposition language and
  provide the political subdivision with rewritten ballot
  proposition language under Subsection (g).
         (f)  If the panel finds the language of the proposition is
  clear and understandable to the average voter, the panel shall
  approve the language of the proposition for the ballot.
         (g)  If the panel finds the language of the proposition is
  not clear and understandable to the average voter, the language is
  disapproved and may not be used on the ballot at the election. The
  panel shall provide the political subdivision with rewritten ballot
  proposition language that is clear and understandable to the
  average voter for use in the election.
         (h)  Following disapproval under Subsection (g), the
  political subdivision may:
               (1)  hold the election with the rewritten ballot
  proposition language provided by the panel; or
               (2)  submit revised ballot proposition language for
  approval by the panel in the manner provided under Subsections (f)
  and (g).
         (i)  To the extent of a conflict between this section and any
  provision of law requiring a political subdivision to hold an
  election on a measure within a certain period, this section
  controls.
         SECTION 2.  (a)  The change in law made by this Act applies
  only to an election ordered on or after the effective date of this
  Act. An election ordered before the effective date of this Act is
  governed by the law in effect when the election was ordered, and the
  former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         (b)  Not later than February 1, 2020, each regional presiding
  judge of an administrative judicial region shall appoint three
  judges from the administrative judicial region to serve on a panel
  to review ballot proposition language.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect January 1, 2020.
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