Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 656
By: Noriega
Criminal Jurisprudence


Prior to the 76th Texas Legislature, the law provided that a person
commited a Class B misdemeanor if the person,  in order  to create a state
of intoxication, inhaled, ingested, applied, or used a substance containing
a volatile chemical, or possessed such a substance with the intent to do
so.  The law also provided that a person commited a class B misdemeanor if
the person sold or delivered such a substance to a minor. Recent studies
have found that inhalant use by minors remains problematic in certain areas
of the state.  H.B. 656 increases the penalty to a state jail felony for
selling or delivering a substance containing certain volatile chemicals to
a minor, and provides that the offense is a felony of the third degree if
committed in a drug-free zone.      


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


SECTION 1.  Amends Section 484.005, Health and Safety Code, by amending
Subsection (e) and adding Subsections (f), (g), and (h), as follows: 

(e)  Provides that an offense under this section (Delivery to a Minor;
Criminal Penalty) is a: 

(1)  Class B misdemeanor if the actor is the owner of or is an employee of
a business establishment covered for the location of the sale by a sales
tax permit issued under Chapter 151 (Limited Sales, Excise, and Use Tax),
Tax Code, and the offense was committed at the business establishment; or 

(2)  a state jail felony if the actor is any person other than a person
described above who committed the offense at a business establishment
described above. 

(f) Provides that an offense under this section is a felony of the third
degree if it was committed:  

(1)  in, on, or within 1,000 feet of the premises of a school or any
premises owned, rented, or leased by an institution of higher education; a
playground; or  any real property owned, rented, or leased to a school or
school board;  

(2)  on a school bus;

(3)  in, on, or within 300 feet of the premises of a public or private
youth center, public swimming pool, or video arcade facility. 

(g) Provides that Subsection (f) does not apply to an offense if the
offense was committed inside a private residence, and no person younger
than 18 years of age was present in the private residence at the time the
offense was committed; or the actor was at the time of the offense an owner
or employee described by Subsection (e)(1) and the offense was committed at
a business location described by that subsection. 
(h) Provides that "institution of higher education," "playground,"
"premises," "school," "video arcade facility," and "youth center" have the
meanings assigned by Section 481.134 (Drug-Free Zones), Health and Safety

SECTION 2.  Makes application of this Act prospective.

SECTION 3.  Effective date: September 1, 1999.

SECTION 4.  Emergency clause.