The Texas Legislative Session resulted in several amendments to the Public Information Act (the “Act”), chapter 552 of the Government Code. To help familiarize governmental bodies and members of the public with these changes, the Office of the Attorney General (the “OAG”) is providing the following list of significant or broadly applicable amendments to Texas public information law. This list does not encompass all changes impacting public information. It is also important to note some of these amendments are only applicable to requests received by a governmental body on or after September 1, 2023. This update is provided as a courtesy and should not be relied upon as legal advice. To learn more about these amendments or recent amendments to other relevant laws, please check the Texas Legislature Online Webpage.
|Amended Statute(s)||Relevant Bill||Effective Date||Summary|
|Educ. Code §§ 12.104, 37.108||HB 3||9/1/23||Amends provisions relating to a school’s Multihazard Emergency Operations Plan and Safety and Security Audit.|
|Gov’t Code § 552.108||HB 30||9/1/23||Adds section 552.108(d) which limits the applicability of section 552.108(a)(2) law enforcement exception in certain circumstances.|
|Tax Code § 25.025||HB 1911||Immediately||Amends provisions relating to the confidentiality of certain information for certain university healthcare providers.|
|Various Codes||HB 2190||9/1/23||Amends the terminology used to describe transportation-related accidents from "accident(s)" to "collision(s)" throughout Texas Codes.|
|Util. Code § 182.054||HB 2644||Immediately||Amends provision to provide an additional exception to disclosure prohibition found in section 182.052.|
|Gov’t Code §§ 552.0031, .012, .103, .108, .163, .271, .3031, .306, .310||HB 3033||9/1/23||(1) Defines business days for purposes of the Act.
(2) Adds new training requirement for public officials if the OAG determines the governmental body has failed to comply with a requirement under the Act.
(3) Excludes certain information related to elections from section 552.103 litigation exception .
(4) Requires a governmental body to promptly release basic information responsive to a request under the Act regardless even if the governmental body seeks a ruling under the Act regarding other information subject to the request.
(5) Adds an exception to disclosure for certain OAG settlement communications.
(6) Amends section 552.271 to require payment of unpaid statements if the requestor has exceeded the limit established under section 552.275 and seeks to review information on behalf of another requestor.
(7) Amends procedures for requestors who have exceeded the limit established under section 552.275, including procedures for photo identification of requestors to determine if they have exceeded time limits.
(8) Mandates electronic submission of requests for an OAG decision under the Act unless the governmental body requesting the decision has fewer than 16 full-time employees, is located in a county with a population of less than 150,000, or use of the electronic filing system is impractical or impossible
(9) Amends section 552.306 to add procedures and certain notice requirements after a governmental body has received a letter ruling decision from the OAG.
(10) Requires OAG to make a publicly accessible and searchable database of letter ruling requests and corresponding decisions issued under the Act. The database must be available on January 1, 2024.
|Gov’t Code § 552.138||HB 3130||9/1/23||Amends provision relating to the confidentiality of certain occupational licensing information.|
|Educ. Code § 22.0835(f); Gov’t Code Ch. 411||HB 4123||Immediately||Relates to access to and use of certain criminal history record information. Updates and reorganizes, as applicable, Texas’ criminal background check requirements relating to access to and use of the information and clarifies the duties and responsibilities of an applicable entity with regard to that information and criteria.|
|Elec. Code § 66.058||HB 5180||9/1/2||Amends provision and adds sections concerning the availability of certain election records and procedures related to the production of the records.|
|Gov’t Code § 552.108||SB 435||Immediately||Amends provision and adds sections concerning the permissive inspection of a medical examiner’s report and/or video evidence of a crime by crime victims and/or victim family members in certain circumstances.|
|Educ. Code § 51.971||SB 336||Immediately||Amends provision to expand the definition of “compliance program”.|
|Gov’t Code §§ 552.1176, .11765||SB 510||9/1/23||Amends provisions relating to the confidentiality of certain information, including license application and specified personal information, maintained by the State Bar and state licensing agencies.|
|Tax Code § 25.025||SB 617||Immediately||Amends provisions relating to the confidentiality of certain information for a customs and border protection officer or border patrol agent of United States Customs and Border Protection and certain family members.|
|Gov’t Code § 552.133||SB 983||9/1/23||Amends provision relating to disclosure of information related a competitive matter involving the provision of cable, internet, or broadband services by a public power utility.|
|Gov’t Code § 552.1345||SB 1179||9/1/23||Adds provision relating to the confidentiality of certain information relating to civilly committed sexually violent predators.|
|Occ. Code §§ 1701.167, .168, .205||SB 1445||9/1/23||Requires TCOLE to set and enforce minimum standards for law enforcement agencies, requires law enforcement agencies to access a national law enforcement database before hiring, and eliminates discharge categories from the F-5 separation form.|
|Tax Code § 25.025||SB 1525||Immediate||Amends provisions relating to the confidentiality of certain information for a current or former attorney for the Department of Family and Protective Services.|