SB 1964

84(R) - 2015
Senate State Affairs
Senate State Affairs
County Affairs

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral


Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa

Bill Caption

Relating to certain fees assessed in Hidalgo County district courts including fees assessed by the Hidalgo county clerk.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State anticipated.

Local Government Impact

The Comptroller of Public Accounts contacted Hidalgo County to determine the fiscal impact. Hidalgo County's fiscal year (FY) begins January 1. Hidalgo County reported that the county would collect an estimated $1.9 million per year in new revenue for FY 2016- FY 2020, assuming that all filings remain at the current levels. FY 2015 would be prorated for four months, totaling $600,000 in additional revenue resulting from the new fines.

Bill Analysis

SB 1964 would allow Hidalgo County court clerks to collect a filing fee of $20 for civil court cases and require a county clerk to to collect a fee of $10 for the filing for real property records, both to be used to fund the construction and renovation of court facilities. The fee would expire in 2030 unless rescinded earlier by the commissioners' court of the county.

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill affirms the principle of limited government.  While the bill does carry a fiscal impact, it is an appropriate one. A legitimate function of limited government is to provide a justice system. It is important to have courthouses to carry out that justice system that are adequate to the size of the population and that do not require constant maintenance because of their age, which would potentially cause more costs than simply updating the building. SB 1964 achieves these goals while placing the financial burden on those who actively use the system by filing cases, therefore we support this legislation.