SB 479

83(R) - 2013
Civil Justice

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa

Bill Caption

Relating to the application of the professional prosecutors law to the district attorney for the 79th Judicial District.

Fiscal Notes

Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for SB 479, As Engrossed: a negative impact of ($28,394) through the biennium ending August 31, 2015.

Bill Analysis

Summary: In the past, Texas has implemented steps to make state prosecutors more professional. Provisions such as tying a state prosecutor's salary to the district judge's salary and prohibiting serving prosecutors from private law practice were contained in the Professional Prosecutor Act (Government Code Chapter 46). SB 479 adds the 79th Judicial District in Brooks and Jim Wells Counties to Chapter 46 of the Government Code.

Analysis: There are currently around eight prosecutors in Texas who are eligible but not subject to Chapter 46 of the Government Code. These prosecutors receive 80% of the district judge's salary. However, they can practice law privately. By putting a prosecutor under Chapter 46 of the Government Code, the prosecutor receives 100% of the district judge's salary but is prohibited from private law practice. Restricting a prosecutor from practicing law privately closes a loophole that may create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest. This legislation does not offend our liberty principles, therefore we do not object to SB 479.