HB 1242

85(R) - 2017
House Elections
House Elections

Companion Bill

SB 44

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Negative


Mike Schofield

Bill Caption

Relating to petition requirements for an application for a place on the general primary election ballot for certain judicial offices. 

Fiscal Notes

From the LBB: No significant fiscal implication to the state is anticipated. 

Bill Analysis

Under current law, there is no additional petition signature requirement for candidates who file to be on the ballot and pay the filing fee.

This bill would re-establish an extra 250 signature petition requirement for judicial candidates who choose to pay the filing fee, an extra 250 signatures on top of that for judicial candidates who do not pay the filing fee, and a 50 signature requirement from each court of appeals district for candidates for the office of chief justice, supreme court justice, or presiding judge or judge on the court of criminal appeals.

These requirement would only apply to counties with a population of more than 1.5 million, which includes Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, and Bexar counties.

The bill would also add the provision that unless the petition is challenged, an authority is only required to review the petition for facial compliance. The bill would also require a challenge to state specifically how an application for a place on the ballot does not comply with the applicable requirements as to form, content, and procedure, and the authority's review of the challenge would be limited to the specific items challenged and any response filed with the authority by the challenged candidate. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

By increasing ballot access requirements, HB 1242 would infringe on limited government. The bill would also infringe on individual liberty by making it more difficult to run for those offices and reducing voter choice. For these reasons we oppose HB 1242.