By Ron Holmes –
666 new Texas state laws will take effect on September 1, 2021. The Corona Virus Pandemic and the once in a century cold snap (Winter Storm Uri) brought some new laws to the State of Texas. I have selected a handful of those which you may find interesting.
HOUSE BILL 1927 – CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY
Persons over the age of 21 (subject to certain restrictions such as convicted felons) are now allowed to carry a handgun (concealed or open) without a state issued license, which previously involved training and background checks. The prior training required live marksmanship, a feat difficult to accomplish via Zoom. I do hope the new law does not birth a large group of gun carry folks that can’t hit the side of a barn.
Background checks are still required by federal law to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer. Long guns (shotguns and rifles) were previously, and still are, exempted from licensing to carry in public. I have not seen a shotgun wielding citizen on the public streets in a while, but this is Texas so I may see one tomorrow.
HOUSE BILL 1518 – BEER AND WINE SALES ON SUNDAYS
If you are so inclined, you can now buy beer and wine beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays (the previous hurdle was noon.) Mandatory homeschooling may account for this new law. School is back in, but the new law continues.
HOUSE BILL 1024 – ALCOHOL TO-GO
Governor Abbott waived regulations to support the hospitality industry to allow alcohol To-Go sales. The new law provides that beer, wine and mixed drinks can be included in food orders for pick up and delivery in Texas. Did I mention the ill effects of mandatory homeschooling?
HOUSE BILL 1239 – CHURCHES CAN’T BE CLOSED
Going beyond Governor Abbott’s orders on March 19, 2020 and March 31, 2020, this new law provides that places of worship cannot be ordered to close for any reason by any government agency or public official, even during a disaster. Separation of church and state is a part of our fundamental constitutional framework and, to my knowledge, no one is compelled to attend a place of worship.
HOUSE BILL 1535 – MEDICAL MARIJUANA
Access to prescribed low THC cannabis has been expanded to veterans with PTSD, cancer patients and certain other medical conditions and the dosage has been raised from .5% to 1%. No comedic relief on this one. It’s about time.
SENATE BILL 968 – VACCINE PASSPORTS
Although no doubt subject to challenge, vaccine passports are prohibited in Texas, and any business that requires customers to provide proof of vaccination can be barred from state contracts and from receiving state grants. If you oppose the vaccination, your next vacation may be a staycation as the pressure for vaccination cards grows.
SENATE BILL 2 AND SENATE BILL 3 – ERCOT
To prevent another embarrassing and highly inconvenient power grid failure as we experienced during Winter Storm Uri, Senate Bill 2 revamped the makeup of the board of ERCOT and Senate Bill 3 requires power companies to upgrade their power plants and transmission lines to “power through” another round of extreme weather. Public disclosure of flaws in the system are always a good thing. And, having to use a hatchet to chop through a frozen pool to get pails of water to flush my toilets, I personally think improvement is needed.
For more information on these new laws, you may contact Ron Holmes at (469) 916-7700 extension 105, or via email.
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About Ron Holmes
His real estate law practice is as broad as it is deep. Mr. Holmes has served as lead counsel on real transactions all across the United States (more than twenty States), representing public and private companies, both domestic and international, in all manner of real estate transactions, including large scale multi-use land developments and high rise residential condominiums, to acquisitions and sales of operating property portfolios, office, industrial and retail leasing and virtually every other form of real estate development, construction, financing, investing and leasing.Learn more about Ron…