HBA-KDB C.S.S.B. 247 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.S.B. 247 By: Shapleigh State Affairs 4/18/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Current law excepts from public disclosure information regarding the home address, home telephone number, and social security number of a peace officer or an employee of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) as well as information that reveals whether such an individual has family members. Any of these individuals can elect to except this information from disclosure. Because of an exception to the open records law, the burden is on the governmental body to prove that the information is excepted. The current exception is also discretionary in nature, meaning that an agency is not required to exempt the information from disclosure. In addition, there is concern that some tax appraisal districts continue to disclose home addresses of such individuals in appraisal records, which can be potentially dangerous to an individual's family and property. C.S.S.B. 247 excepts from disclosure a peace officer's, county jailer's, or a TDCJ employee's home address, home telephone number, social security number, certain appraisal records, or information that reveals whether an individual has a family if the individual chooses to except such information and informs the appropriate governmental body. 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.S.B. 247 amends the Government Code to provide that information that relates to the home address, home telephone number, or social security number of an individual who is a peace officer, county jailer, or an employee of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) or information that reveals whether the individual has family members is confidential. The bill prohibits such information from being disclosed to the public if the individual to whom the information relates chooses to restrict public access to the information and appropriately notifies the governmental body of this choice. The choice to restrict public access to such information remains valid until rescinded in writing by the individual. C.S.S.B. 247 amends the Tax Code to provide that information in appraisal records is confidential and is available only for the official use of the appraisal district, this state, the comptroller of public accounts (comptroller), and taxing units and political subdivisions of this state if the information identifies the home address of an individual who is a peace officer, county jailer, or TDCJ employee and the individual chooses to restrict public access to the information on the form prescribed for that purpose by the comptroller. Such a choice remains valid until rescinded in writing by the individual. The bill does not prohibit the public disclosure of information in appraisal records that identifies property according to an address if the information does not identify such an individual in connection with the individual's address. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.S.B. 247 modifies the original bill by providing that an employee of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and a county jailer, in addition to a peace officer, may choose to restrict public access to personal information. The substitute conforms the original to Texas Legislative Council style and format.