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News News
New Laws for the New Year
Article By: by Texas State Rep. Larry Phillips
Posted: 12/20/2013 Views: 1137  Impressions: 6240
Categories: Politics



Most bills that pass during a regular legislative session take effect on September 1 of that same year. A bill can take effect immediately if it receives a 2/3 vote in both the House and Senate. However, it is sometimes necessary to delay the date the new law becomes effective. This week, I will write about a few laws that will take effect on January 1, 2014.
House Bill 97 allows for the exemption from or a limitation on the ad valorem taxation of part of the appraised value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization. This bill was contingent on the passage of a constitutional amendment presented to voters in November. The amendment, Proposition 4, was passed by voters, and the legislation will take effect on January 1 and will apply to 2014 property taxes.
House Bill 1349 was passed during the regular legislative session and strikes the requirement that an applicant for a concealed handgun license provide the Department of Public Safety with the applicant's social security number. After January 1, 2014 applicants for new licenses or those renewing existing licenses will no longer have to give DPS their social security number as part of the application.
Currently, credit consumers may place freezes on their credit file to prevent identity thieves from opening lines of credit in their name. Because most children have not established a credit file, they are particularly susceptible to tarnished credit histories if their identity is stolen. Senate Bill 60 allows for a placement of a security freeze on the consumer file or other record created or maintained by a consumer reporting agency regarding a person under 16 years of age. This bill also takes effect on January 1, 2014.
My staff and I wish everyone a joyful Christmas and happy holiday season. For more information regarding any matter of state government, please contact my office by writing to P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768-2910 or by emailing me at larry.phillips@house.state.tx.us. My district office phone number is (903) 891-7297.




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