Several new laws passed by state legislators in 2015 take effect in 2016, including several on Friday.
- Open Carry Handgun Law (House Bill 910)
Allows people with Concealed Handgun Licenses to openly carry a handgun in a belt or shoulder holster.
- Notice and Consent to Abortion (HB 3994)
Underage girls trying to get an abortion without parental consent must appear in court in person and wait up to five days for a judge's decision.
- Municipal Meeting Transparency (HB 283)
Audio and video recordings of open meetings for certain governmental bodies — including elected school boards and county commissioners court — must be made available online.
- Liability Insurance for Uber and Lyft Drivers (HB 1733)
Drivers for Uber, Lyft and any other transportation network company are now required to maintain liability insurance amounting to $50,000 for bodily injury or death of each person in a car crash, $100,000 for bodily injury or death per incident, $25,000 for damage to property of others, uninsured motorist coverage and Personal Injury Protection.
- Leases With No Security Deposit (Senate Bill 1367)
If a tenant signs a lease with no security deposit and is liable for damages when surrendering the property, the landlord must notify the tenant on or before the date the matter is referred to a consumer reporting agency or third-party debt collector.
- Use of Concealed Handgun License as Valid Form of Personal Identification (HB 2739)
Concealed handgun permits are now considered to be valid forms of ID in Texas. A person may not deny the holder of a valid Concealed license access to goods, services or facilities.
Note:This doesn't apply to the operation of a motor vehicle or for airport security puposes, per HB 2739, which took effect Sept. 1, 2015.
Passed laws that take effect later in the year include:
- Campus Carry (SB 11)
Amends the Texas Government and Texas Penal Codes to allow handgun license holders, in some circumstances, to carry a concealed handgun on public and private colleges and universities in Texas and other independent institutions of higher learning. Takes effect Aug. 1.
NOTE: This doesn't apply to public, junior or community colleges until Aug. 1, 2017.
- Three Strike Law for Problem Nursing Homes (SB 304)
Would allow the revocation of the operating licenses of nursing homes accused of three or more "serious health and safety violations" which have caused, or are likely to cause, serious injury, harm, impairment or death. Takes effect Sept. 1.
Some laws have already taken effect, including:
- Promotion of Intimate Visual Material - 'Revenge Porn' (SB 1135)
It became illegal Sept. 1 to broadcast or disclose private, intimate, visual material if that material was disclosed without the person's consent, not expected to be disclosed, caused harm and revealed the identity of the person in any matter. This is now actionable in criminal and civil courts.
- Minimum Score For College-Level Examination Program Credits (SB 453)
The minimum score for a high school student to receive credit through a college-level examination program dropped to 50 from 60 June 19.
- Search and Seizure of Cell Phones (HB 1396)
Effective Sept. 1, Texas police must now obtain a search warrant in order to search a persons's cell phone or wireless communication device.
- Videos of Intoxication Arrests (HB 3791)
As of Sept. 1, everyone arrested for intoxication-related offenses is entitled to any video of the stop, the arrest, interaction with the officer and the procedure where blood was taken, if any video of those incidents exist.
- Body Cameras for Police Departments (SB 158)
A county sheriff or municipal police department may apply to the office of the Governor for a grant for body cameras to be issued to various police officers as of Sept. 1. The body cameras must only be used for law enforcement purposes, and the departments which receive the cameras must create provisions and guidelines for the use and storage of the cameras and video.
- Drug Law Enhancement (HB 1424)
If a person has a previous conviction for manufacture and delivery of controlled substances, the same offense — normally a Class A Misdemeanor — is upgraded to a felony as of Sept. 1. If that person has been convicted of two previous crimes for manufacturing and delivering controlled substances, the crime moves to become a third-degree felony.
- Official State Hashtag (HCR 105)
State legislature designated #Texas as the official hashtag of Texas.
- Official Nickname of Texas (House Concurrent Resolution 78)
State legislature designated "the Lone Star State" as the official nickname of Texas.
NBC 5's Don Peritz contributed to this report.