HBA-BSM H.B. 546 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 546 By: Noriega Judicial Affairs 2/28/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE There have been some reported incidents of racial slurs and bias occurring in courtrooms. Judges are required by law to attend judicial training classes. However, such training does not address racial and ethnic sensitivity issues. House Bill 546 adds racial and ethnic sensitivity training in addition to the training already required. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the court of criminal appeals in SECTION 1 (Section 22.111, Government Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 546 amends the Government Code to require the court of criminal appeals to adopt rules requiring the training of judges in issues related to ethnic and racial sensitivity. The rules must require certain judges and judicial officers to complete at least four hours of the training within the first term of office or the judicial officer's first four years of service and provide certification of completion of the training. The rules must also require that each judge and judicial officer complete an additional three hours of training during each additional term in office or four years of service. The bill authorizes the court of criminal appeals to consult with professional groups and associations in the state that have expertise in the subject matter to obtain the recommendations of those groups or associations for instruction content. The instruction must include information related to cultural differences among racial or ethnic minorities. The court of criminal appeals or the court's designee is required to report the name of a judge or judicial officer who does not comply with the above requirements to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. EFFECTIVE DATE August 31, 2001.