HBA-ATS H.B. 929 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 929 By: Junell Judicial Affairs 3/16/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Tom Green County is currently experiencing a backlog of cases at the district court level. Although three district courts (courts) serve the county, the growth of the community has led to a 23 percent increase in new cases filed from 1986 to 1996. During that same period, the number of cases disposed of increased by more than 16 percent. At these rates, more cases are filed than are disposed of each year. The result is that the average annual case load for each court has more than doubled in the last decade. Accordingly, county residents have experienced delays in the administration of justice. It is estimated that a new district court could reduce the backlog to levels that would allow courts to dispose of more cases than are filed each year. In anticipation of a new district court, the county commissioners court has approved a resolution to create a fourth district court and has planned for the expense of operating the court. H.B. 929 creates the 396th Judicial District, comprising Tom Green County. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY 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 BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Subchapter C, Chapter 24, Government Code, by adding Section 24.541, as follows: Sec. 24.451. 396TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT (TOM GREEN COUNTY). Specifies that the 396th Judicial District is composed of Tom Green County. Establishes the dates on which the terms of the 396th District Court begin. Provides that indictments within Tom Green County issued by any Tom Green County district court may be returned to the 396th District Court. Provides that Section 24.153 (51st Judicial District (Coke, Irion, Schleicher, Sterling, and Tom Green Counties)) contains provisions that are applicable to the 51st and 396th District Courts. SECTION 2. Amends Section 24.153(c), Government Code, to include the 396th district court judge among the district court judges who are authorized to exchange benches and sit for each other. SECTION 3. Creates the 396th Judicial District and establishes October 1, 1999, as the effective date of this Act. SECTION 4. Emergency clause.