SB 1970

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

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Joan Huffman

Bill Caption

Relating to increasing the electronic filing fee for certain courts of law.

Fiscal Notes


Based on these per dollar revenue increases, OCA estimates that a $10 increase in statewide electronic filing system fund fee would result in an increase of $3,453,630 in district courts, $1,803,740 in county level courts, and $42,448 in the intermediate appellate courts and Supreme Court, for a total estimated annual revenue increase of $5,299,818 to the state each fiscal year.

Local Government

No significant fiscal implication to units of local government is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

SB 1970 would increase the $20 civil filing fee to $30 in appellate, district and county courts set by HB 2302 in the 83rd Legislative Session. The purpose of the fee is to pay for the costs of complying with mandatory electronic filing and record keeping upgrades. We do not oppose a user fee for the upgrade and modernization of court facilities, however we do note that the $20 fee that exists now was established in 2013 so a 50% increase in the fee seems to be a large increase. It may be wise to consider providing for the fee's expiration rather than allowing it to remain in place indefinitely and potentially increase with each legislative session.

Vote Recommendation Notes

Texas Public Policy Action recommended a neutral vote on HB 2302 in the 83rd Legislature Session. Since the Texas Supreme Court created an unfunded mandate by requiring an electronic filing system for civil cases to be implemented starting in January 2014, the Legislature must fund the mandate. Since this bill increases the fee by $10 in order to cover a shortfall in funding for the mandate, we are remaining neutral on SB 1970. A point of concern, however, is that the fee may be continually increased in the future with no restrictions.