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UNT Dallas College of Law - Library Blog

The 666 Laws of Texas

by Law Library on 2021-10-18T10:00:00-05:00 | Comments

 

On Sept. 1, 2021 666 new laws were passed by the Texas State Legislature. Some of the most important that you should know about pertain to firearm regulations, abortion restrictions, social studies curriculums, policing budgets, and voter rights.

  • SB8, often referred to as the “heartbeat bill” , restricts abortions after 6 weeks into a pregnancy. Those who are opposed to the law say that many don’t know that they are pregnant at this early stage. Instead of government enforcement private citizens can sue abortion providers or those attempting to have an abortion. Also HB 1280 would outlaw abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
  • HB 1927 allows for anyone 21 and older to carry a handgun without a permit.
  • In response to criticism over the potential expansion of critical race theory into public school systems the legislature adopted two bills that could shape how an entire generation of Texas children learn about American history. HB 3979 bans the teaching of the 1619 project, a special issue of the New York Times magazine edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones that commemorated the 400th year anniversary of the 1619 arrival of enslaved Africans to North America. The goal of the project is to center the narrative of American history around the legacy of enslavement. In an effort to “champion patriotism” HB 2497 establishes the 1836 Project which will focus on Texas history after the Texas Revolution and distribute materials through governmental operations.
  • In response to the 2020 BlackLivesMatter movement municipalities across the country have re-evaluated and re-allocated how police department budgets are funded. In an effort to “restore law and order” HB 1900 gives the state authority to reduce sales tax revenue and restrict property tax increases for any municipality that makes changes to their police budget.
  • SB1 brings significant changes to election operations. The law bans overnight early voting, bans drive-thru voting, increases voting by mail rules, sets criminal penalties for voter assistance, and local election officials who distribute mail-in ballots may be subject to a felony offense. Voting right advocates say the law specifically targets voters of color and those with disabilities and is the most recent example of “voter suppression” a vociferous response to the 2020 presidential election where record-breaking turnout occurred in polling places across the country.

For more information about other laws that the Texas legislature passed please visit www.capitol.texas.gov (General Texas Legislature Information)

 https://capitol.texas.gov/Reports/Report.aspx?LegSess=87R&ID=effectivesept1

 (Laws effective Sept. 1, 2021)

Lastly, it’s important to know if they are any upcoming State Representative or State Senator elections in your jurisdiction. Also Election Day 2022 will be the Texas gubernatorial (governor) race.

Stay updated on Texas elections by visiting www.votetexas.gov

Stay Informed. Stay Engaged. Stay Prepared.

Sources:

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/09/01/texas-voting-bill-greg-abbott/

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/08/31/new-texas-laws-september-2021/

- James Glenn, MS-LS Candidate 2023


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