AUSTIN (KXAN) — For many the new year means making resolutions to change, but there are also some major changes to local laws Texans should be aware of.
New laws that go into effect starting Jan. 1, 2016:
- Open carry (HB 910) Licensed handgun owners can openly carry holstered handguns everywhere starting Jan. 1. Businesses can prohibit handguns in their stores, but now they need a new sign to legally keep guns out.
- Epinephrine (HB 1550) Rules for pharmacists administering epinephrine through an auto-injector device. The Board may add rules to ensure the health and safety of the public. According to the rules epinephrine may be administered in emergency cases.
- Driver’s licenses (HB 1888) Fee authorized, penalty increased for commercial driver’s licenses and learner’s permits operating vehicles. Under this law restrictions have been made to learner’s permit holders, who may only drive commercial motor vehicles.
- Alcoholic Beverage Code (HB 1905) Repeal of certain state and local taxes. Airlines and trains are exempt from a tax on serving alcohol.
- Residential Taxes (HB 2259) Conditions removed for imposing taxes on residential properties.
- Health services (SB 200) Continuing functions of the Health and Human Services Commission, who provide health services for Texans. The commission specifically focuses on preventing and early intervention for health problems.
- Health task forces (SB 277) Under this law the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Oversight Task Force, and The Advisory Committee on Inpatient Mental Health Services has been abolished. State agencies inspecting health facilities must follow the checklist provided by the inspection department.
- Real estate (SB 699) Regulation of real estate professionals by the Texas Real Estate Commission. Changes made to buying, and selling options for real estate. Advice advised to real estate owners looking to short sell.
- Liability companies (SB 859) Each partner in a limited liability partnership must pay $200 on the day they file their annual reports. Reports sent in past the due date must pay “$200 for the number of partners as of May 31” of the year the report was due.
- Franchise tax (SB 1049) Exemptions from the tax on franchises owned by veterans.
- Practices in court (SB 1139) Increased filing fees, composing juvenile boards, how the Texas government judicial branch administers and practices in court.
- Tax procedures (SB 1760) Property tax forms may be signed electronically. A property owner may designate a lessee to act on their behalf.