HB 3902

85(R) - 2017
House Business & Industry
House Business & Industry
Business, Industry, & Commerce
Civil Remedies

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral


Senfronia Thompson

Bill Caption

Relating to commencement and prosecution of certain actions by and to investigations conducted by district and county attorneys under the Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated due to authorizing certain legal actions by county and district attorneys related to the production, sale, distribution or promotion of a mind-altering synthetic substance. Any potential increase to the basic civil legal services subaccount within Judicial Fund No. 573 resulting from the bill's provision requiring settlements and civil penalties collected by district and county attorneys under the new authority, to be equally divided between the basic civil legal services subaccount within Judicial Fund No. 573 and the county,cannot be determined because insufficient information is available.

Bill Analysis

This bill would authorize district or county attorneys to take actions to enforce the portion of the code related to deceptive trade act’s prohibition on the production, sale, distribution, or promotion of certain synthetic substances.  If a district or county attorney accepts assurance of voluntary compliance, or executes and serves a civil investigative demand, they would file the corresponding documents in the county or district court in which the violator resides or does business. This bill also specifies that an action may be taken by a district or county attorney only if the consumer protection division does not intend to act on the matter. Finally, this bill specifies how settlements or penalties collected by the district or county attorney would be divided.   

Vote Recommendation Notes

When industries are selling intoxicating synthetic substances deceptively it is a core function of government to investigate and possibly halt the operation. Allowing district and county attorneys to take action against this conduct satisfies our commitment to limited government because it would provide greater accountability and efficiency.