SB 47

85(R) - 2017
Senate Criminal Justice
House Criminal Jurisprudence
Senate Criminal Justice
House Criminal Jurisprudence
Open Records
Criminal Procedure
Juvenile Justice

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Positive


Judith Zaffirini


Gene Wu

Bill Caption

Relating to a study on the availability of information regarding convictions and deferred dispositions for certain misdemeanors punishable by fine only. 

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated. 

Bill Analysis

This bill would require that The Office of Court Administration of the Texas Judicial System conduct a study on how counties across the state maintain their records regarding misdemeanors punishable by fine only. The study must investigate the public availability of conviction records for adult and juvenile misdemeanors, and the records relating to suspension of sentence and deferral of final disposition. The study will also review if records have become more, or less, available over time. Finally, this study will see whether local agencies destroy their records, their criteria for their destruction, and their retention schedules for these records.  

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill supports our limited government principle by initiating a process which could lead to reforming the way records are kept on low level fine-only misdemeanor offenses. These records of low level offenses, if they show up on a criminal background investigation, could have a disproportionate affect on a person's ability to gain meaningful employment in their field of choice. While this is only a study, it is foreseeable that results of the study could form the basis for reforms that benefit limited government and individual liberty. We support SB 47.

Organizations Supporting

Mental Health America of Texas
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Texas
Texas Appleseed