HB 2398

84(R) - 2015
House Juvenile Justice & Family Issues
House Juvenile Justice & Family Issues

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


James White

Bill Caption

Relating to the establishment of judicial donation trust funds to assist needy children and families appearing before justice and municipal courts.

Fiscal Notes

According to the Office of Court Administration, the bill could impose costs to local governments resulting from the need for court clerks to review all past records, for the courts to issue new orders of expunction, for the clerks to provide notice to school districts and law enforcement and the requirement that the court notify the individual of the expunction. The fiscal impact on a local entity would depend on the number of applicable cases in a local government's jurisdiction.

Travis, Midland, and El Paso Counties indicated they may have to add or reassign staff to expunge the records as required by the bill and to meet other requirements of the bill. The impact may be significant but cannot be determined at this time and would vary by jurisdiction.

Bill Analysis

HB 2398 would amend the statutes to reflect the establishment of trust funds to be used to assist needy children or families who appear before a justice or municipal court for a criminal offense. The commissioners court of a county or a body of a municipality may establish eligibility requirements for resources and services that eliminate barriers to school attendance or that seek to prevent criminal behavior. A judge would disperse funds from this account at their own discretion and would now be able to dismiss the offense of parent contributing to nonattendance or failure to attend school charge also using their own discretion. A judge would also be able to dismiss truancy related charges at their own discretion. This bill would also set about a procedure for automatic expunction of truancy records.

Vote Recommendation Notes

HB 2398 would assist judges in helping children -- many of whom are in precarious situations involving their home lives -- to learn personal responsibility in the form of being prepared for school. While we believe strongly it is the role of parents to provide for basic items required for school attendance (backpacks, utensils, basic clothing items, etc.), we support this bill which helps a court enforce truancy laws and regulations using local resources.

Organizations Supporting

Texas Public Policy Foundation