Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Kel Seliger, District 31

For Immediate Release
May 4, 2005
Contact: Christy Bertolino
(806) 374-8994

Seliger Passes First Bill, Restricts Appraisal Districts' Online Records

AUSTIN, Texas--On Monday, Senate Bill 541 (SB 541), filed by Senator Kel Seliger, was sent to the office of Governor Rick Perry to be signed into law. SB 541, the first bill passed by Senator Seliger, would restrict the posting of photographs, floor plans, and sketches of individual residences from appraisal districts' records on the Internet. Passed by the Texas Senate on March 23, 2005, SB 541 was unanimously passed by the House of Representatives Monday. "The passage of a legislator's first piece of legislation is a significant milestone, and I am honored by the support I have received on this measure," Seliger said.

Currently, a local appraisal district may post photographs and floor plans of individuals' homes and property on the Internet. Homeowners across Senate District 31 raised concerns about the safety of their families having this detailed information so accessible to the general public, potentially increasing the vulnerability of homes to thieves and vandals. The photographs, floor plans, and sketches will remain available for the official use of the appraisal district, the state, the comptroller, taxing units and political subdivisions.

"Any measure that protects personal privacy, on however small a scale, is fundamental for all citizens," said Seliger.

Seliger was sworn in to the Texas Senate to serve the citizens of Senate District 31 on March 2, 2004 to complete the term of former Senator Teel Bivins of Amarillo. He was reelected to serve a full, four-year term on November 2, 2004. The district spans 26 counties from the Panhandle to the Permian Basin and includes Amarillo, Midland, Odessa and Big Spring.