HBA-EDN, KDB C.S.H.B. 1979 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.B. 1979 By: Chavez Judicial Affairs 3/15/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The current backlog of pending misdemeanor cases in El Paso County may result in cases not being adjudicated in a timely basis, which may cause delays in sentencing and may increase the chances that individuals released on bail may commit similar offenses. C.S.H.B. 1979 creates County Criminal Court at Law No. 1 of El Paso County and County Criminal Court at Law No. 2 of El Paso County to help reduce the current backlog of cases in El Paso 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. ANALYSIS C.S.H.B. 1979 amends the Government Code to create County Criminal Court at Law No. 1 of El Paso County and County Criminal Court at Law No. 2 of El Paso County. The bill sets forth the jurisdiction of the courts and provides for the transfer of cases among the courts in El Paso County. The bill authorizes a judge of a statutory county court in El Paso County and a judge of a district court in El Paso County to exchange benches and sit and act for each other in any matter pending before the court. The bill also sets forth that provisions relating to the transfer of cases in matters of concurrent jurisdiction and to the exchange of benches between judges do not apply to a county criminal court at law in El Paso County. EFFECTIVE DATE January 1, 2002. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.H.B. 1979 modifies the original by setting forth that provisions regarding the transfer of cases in matters of concurrent jurisdiction and the exchange of benches between judges do not apply to a county criminal court at law in El Paso County. The substitute removes the requirement that county criminal courts created by the bill give preference to criminal law matters and provides that these courts have the criminal and appellate jurisdiction provided by law for county courts, but have no other jurisdiction.