Governor Abbott Vetoes HB 51
Pursuant to Article IV, Section 14, of the Texas Constitution, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, do hereby disapprove of and veto House Bill No. 51 as passed by the Eighty-Sixth Texas Legislature, Regular Session, because of the following objections:
House Bill 51 would require the creation and use of standardized forms for certain actions in criminal cases. The Office of Court Administration can already create forms for courts to use, so House Bill 51 is unnecessary for that purpose. But in going further and mandating that judges use these standardized forms, the bill as drafted could create larger problems. The author’s good intentions are appreciated, but the bill may end up discouraging judges from giving individualized attention to the important matters being waived or otherwise addressed by the forms, and it risks creating loopholes for criminal defendants to exploit whenever the forms are not used. It also could preclude judges from handling these matters orally on the record, which unduly restricts the ability of judges to run their courtrooms.
Since the Eighty-Sixth Texas Legislature, Regular Session, by its adjournment has prevented the return of this bill, I am filing these objections in the office of the Secretary of State and giving notice thereof by this public proclamation according to the aforementioned constitutional provision.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have signed my name officially and caused the Seal of the State to be affixed hereto at Austin, this 15th day of June, 2019.