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No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 772 would add a new section to Chapter 775 (Emergency Services Districts) of the Health and Safety Code. Specifically, this legislation would allow an emergency services district (ESD) in Tarrant County to employ or contract with private legal counsel. If the ESD does not employ or contract with private legal counsel then the county attorney, district attorney (DA), or criminal DA would have to represent it.
If the DA or county attorney already represents the ESD, the ESD would be allowed to employ or contract with additional representation from private legal counsel.
Lastly, this legislation and ESD must reimburse the county for services provided by a DA or county attorney.
This legislation aims at ensuring Tarrant County ESDs are able to obtain legal counsel. This is good for two reasons: first this would alleviate the sometimes burdensome workload of a DA or county attorney by allowing ESDs to obtain private legal counsel instead. Secondly, and most importantly, this would allow ESDs to acquire effective legal representation, which is critical in this litigious society we now live in.
We support SB 772 because it is in accordance with the proper role of government to be able to provide itself legal representation so that it may potentially reduce the burden on the tax payers to pay significant rewards arising from a lawsuit.