83rd Texas Legislature laws go into effect
Published: Monday, September 2, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 00:09
The 83rd Texas Legislature passed several laws over the summer, many of which affect students on college campuses.
SB 1907 requires firearms and ammunition by concealed handgun license holders to remain in private vehicles that are locked on public and private college campuses. The vehicle can be on a street, driveway, parking lot, parking garage or other parking area located on campus.
HB 48 and SB 864 makes it easier for those with a concealed handgun license to renew their license. Those renewing their license used to have to take a minimum 10-15 hour course on handgun proficiency. The new laws now only require a simpler handgun proficiency class that is to reduce the classroom time to 4-6 hours, according to the authors. It also allows online renewal in classes online.
HB 434 allows emergency medical technicians to take a blood sample to test someone for intoxication while driving at the request of an officer. Physicians, qualified technicians, registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses or licensed or certified emergency medical technician were the only ones allowed to take blood before.
HB 3536 puts a fee on the sale of cigarettes and cigarette tobacco products by certain companies. This could in turn increase the prices of cigarettes. The writers of the bill said they are doing this to reduce underage smoking.
HB 347 prohibits the uses of a wireless communication device while operating a vehicle on school property. Hands free devices are allowed such as Bluetooth or speaker phone. A person operating a vehicle may also use the wireless device if they are stopped.
HB 1864 names institutions of higher education “critical government facilities.” This means that in the event of a major natural disaster, Sam Houston State University could be used as a command and control center, shelter, prison or jail, hospital, and more. It also requires that when SHSU is extensively renovating its building they must update it with combined heating and power systems.
HB 1752 creates the Texas Teacher Residency Program. This will be created by March 1, 2014 at a public college that has developed a commitment to investing in teacher education. This program’s purpose is to train teachers how to impact student achievement.
SB 974 renamed the Texas State University- San Marcos to the Texas State University in San Marcos and in the City of Round Rock.