Governor Abbott Vetoes HB 1240 (87R)

June 21, 2021 | Austin, Texas | Legislative Statement

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. 1240 as passed by the Eighty-Seventh Texas Legislature, Regular Session, because of the following objections:  

House Bill 1240 would wisely reduce an existing fire-safety penalty from a Class B to a Class C misdemeanor, and I share the goal of keeping Texans safe by increasing enforcement of the penalty.  But House Bill 1240 goes off course in granting broad and unique authority to the county commissioners courts in just a few counties, including Harris County.  Under the bill, these county commissioners courts could designate county employees who are not peace officers to issue criminal citations to citizens—a weighty duty usually reserved for the discretion of trained, accountable law-enforcement officials.  And the bill’s loose language could give the county commissioners courts a blank check to write new safety rules to be enforced criminally by these county employees.  A more refined solution is needed.  

Since the Eighty-Seventh 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 18th day of June, 2021.  

Governor of Texas

View the veto proclamation.