Approximately 1,200 bills were signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this year, with some of the new laws becoming official on Sept. 1.
The date of effectiveness is start date for the near-term legislation that was passed in a regular session and will pause Texas lawmaking until officials reconvene in 2017.
New laws can heavily affect civilian life, rearrange parts of government and even make changes that often go unnoticed.
One of the new laws include a law that banned hairdressers from performing their practice away from the salon at events such as weddings. The law was never enforced, but will be reversed on Sept. 1.
According to the Bill H.B. 104 Analysis, there was a concern that provision of cosmetology services at a location other than a licensed facility could be problematic under the law. The background states "it is noted that offering such services at a place other than a licensed facility would better serve clients. H.B. 104 seeks to amend the applicable law to address this concern."
Cosmetologist Miranda Padilla said she didn't know the law existed and says she usually does business outside of the salon where she works for special occasions.
"I think it's more convenient for my clients when I go to them," Padilla said. "They can come to the salon, but on their special day they want to be with their families, taking pictures and making memories."
The committee's agreed that the bill does not create a criminal offense, increase the punishment for an existing criminal offense or category of offenses. It also doesn't grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency or institution.
H.B. 104 amends the Occupations Code to authorize a person who holds a license, certificate, or permit in cosmetology to perform a service at a location other than a licensed facility for a client in preparation for and at the location of a special event, including a wedding. The bill requires the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation, not later than December 1, 2015, to adopt rules to implement the bill's provisions.
Other new laws include providing less aid to college students. No new money will be awarded through the state’s B-On-Time loan program in the fall semester 2015, a program that allowed students to take loans that would be forgiven if they graduated college in four years with at least a B average. According to the bill, any students who were approved for the program before September 2015 will continue to receive funds through their college tenure.
Another bill that was signed will not allow undocumented workers in state government. SB 374 required all state agencies to electronically verify the workers they hire.
Despite the taking away laws that have been passed, numerous bills will make life easier for veterans who reside in Texas.
According to the bills, veterans and their spouses will no longer have to deal with application fees for occupational licenses. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission will fund a grant program for community-based mental health programs for veterans disturbed by their combat experience abroad. The Department of State Health Services will implement a prevention and early intervention plan for veterans at high risk of family violence, the bill states. Additionally, the Texas Veterans Commission will debut the Texas Women Veterans program to address and “increase public awareness about the gender-specific needs of women veterans.”
To see other bills signed by the Texas Governor, visit http://www.legis.state.tx.us/Reports/Report.aspx?LegSess=84R&ID=signedbygov.