New laws on the horizon: state legislators enact 700+ changes for September 1, 2023

KBTX News 3 at Ten(Recurring)
Published: Aug. 31, 2023 at 9:46 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -State lawmakers were busy this past legislative session, passing more than 1,000 laws with more than 700 that go into effect on Friday, September 1, 2023.

Bills to improve crime, health, public safety, infrastructure, and more.


Senate Bill 1551 deems the failure to provide or display a driver’s license during a traffic stop as a class C misdemeanor, subject to a $500 fine. Furnishing false identification becomes a class B misdemeanor, potentially leading to a maximum of 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

House Bill 898, often referred to as the ‘Slow Down, Move Over’ law, increases penalties for drivers who fail to switch lanes or reduce speed when encountering first responders working along roadways.

Senate Bill 505 introduces a $200 annual fee for renewing electric vehicle registrations, coupled with a $400 fee for the purchase of new electric vehicles, in addition to the standard fees. Hybrid vehicles are exempt from these fees.

School Safety & Education

House Bill 3 mandates the presence of armed officers at all Texas schools and necessitates mental health training for staff members who interact with students. Armed personnel can encompass peace officers, school resource officers, school marshals, or school district employees. Districts that do not comply have the option to invoke a ‘good cause exception,’ provided they present an alternative plan.

House Bill 114 compels schools to enroll students caught with vaping devices into alternative education programs, a step above traditional detention.


House Bill 1500 brings about modifications to electricity trading on Texas’ primary power grid to encourage the utilization of on-demand power sources, such as natural gas-fueled plants.

Law Enforcement & Public Safety

House Bill 1486 grants mental health leave for 9-1-1 telecommunicators and dispatchers. Some telecommunication officers, despite being the first point of contact during emergencies, are currently not recognized as first responders like their peers.

House Bill 3858 authorizes qualifying law enforcement agencies to establish mental health wellness initiatives for officers, aided by a state grant program.

Crime-Drug and Alcohol Offenses

House Bill 28 heightens the penalty for aggravated assaults involving a deadly weapon that result in traumatic brain or spinal injuries to a first-degree felony.

House Bill 6 enhances penalties for individuals engaged in the manufacturing or sale of fentanyl that leads to a person’s death. It designates fentanyl overdoses as ‘poisonings,’ enabling the pursuit of murder charges against those responsible for administering the fatal dose.


House Bill 17 grants courts the authority to remove district attorneys from office due to misconduct, especially if they decline to prosecute specific crimes.

House Bill 567, known as the CROWN Act, prohibits discrimination based on race-related hair characteristics within workplaces, schools, and housing, including protections for braids, locks, and twists.

For a complete list of laws that go into effect Friday click here.