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Summary: Concerns have been raised that performance measures were not established to determine the success and cost-effectiveness of specialty courts in Texas and that the state laws governing the various types of specialty courts are not codified in a common place. SB 462 would consolidate statutes relating to specialty courts, would implement oversight, and would change the composition of the Specialty Courts Advisory Council.
Analysis: SB 462 attempts to improve efficiency and oversight in the specialty courts. However, according to the Legislative Budget Board, this bill comes with a negative fiscal impact of $4.8 million through the biennium. This bill would create new fees such as a program fee for drug courts not to exceed $1,000, a program fee for the first offender prostitution prevention program not to exceed $1,000, and a program fee for veterans court programs not to exceed $1,000. While we agree with the intent of this bill and like many of its provisions, it is an expansion of the cost of government. We remain neutral on SB 462.