Senator Bob Deuell

August 31, 2007
CONTACT: Don T. Forse, Jr.
(512) 463-0102

Many Bills Effective Starting September 1

(Austin) -- A great number of the bills passed during the 80th Legislative Session will become effective on September 1. In this article I have highlighted of few of the bills I passed which will now be enacted. For more information on bills passed during the legislative session, and their effective dates, please visit, or please feel free to contact my office.

Contingent payment clauses are payment provisions in construction contracts that shift financial risks of non-payment from one party to another. These clauses are commonly used in the construction industry by general contractors and some subcontractors in order to spread their credit risk to their subcontractors. These clauses have the potential to be used by unscrupulous contractors to avoid payment to subcontractors where the owner has legitimately withheld payment from the contractor because of the contractor's (not the subcontractor's) default. S.B. 324 clarifies the circumstances in which contingent payment clauses will not be enforceable under Texas law.

This bill provides for state accreditation of courses in food safety for food handler certification mirroring the current food manager certification process. It authorizes the Department of State Health Services to accredit an education or training program for basic food and safety for food handlers, requires the executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission by rule to define the basic food safety training or education required to be included in a course curriculum, authorizes a training or education program accredited under this section to require a participant to achieve a passing score on an examination to successfully complete the course for certification, and authorizes a program accredited under this section to be delivered through the Internet.

HOUSE BILL 8 (Jessica's Law)
House bill 8 will enact some of the toughest penalties in the nation for child molesters. Punishments include 25 year mandatory sentences for violent first time offenders, and the option of the death penalty for repeat offenders.

The 79th Legislature approved and funded an Emergency Medical Dispatch pilot program to use emergency medical dispatchers located in regional dispatch centers to provide pre-arrival medical advice to 9-1-1 callers in rural Texas. This type of assistance has been vital in providing for positive outcomes for those in emergency situations where help might be a considerable time or distance away. Due to the success of the pilot program, this bill was passed to allow expansion of the program to other areas of the state. H.B. 1412 establishes a statewide program to use emergency medical dispatchers located in regional emergency medical dispatch resource centers to provide life-saving or other emergency medical instruction to persons awaiting the arrival of emergency medical personnel.

In addition to these four bills, I passed an additional 22 pieces of legislation that will become effective on September 1. All told, 654 measures passed during the 80th Legislative Session are effective as of September 1.

To contact Sen. Deuell about the legislative process, contact the Capitol Office at (512) 463-0102 or mail to Sen. Bob Deuell, Texas Senate, P.O. Box 12068, Austin, TX 78711. The website for the Texas Senate is The e-mail address for Sen. Deuell is: