Two years ago, the Texas Legislature passed a bill that could, inadvertently, allow plaintiffs in a civil suit to collect more damages than they should be entitled to. Today, Senator Tommy Williams of the Woodlands took a major step toward fixing that problem. His SB 890 is designed to restore the "one-satisfaction" rule. This means that in lawsuits where there are multiple defendants, that no plaintiff could receive the original damages sued for in addition to any out of court settlements.
The Senate also passed SB 848 by Plano Senator Florence Shapiro. Current Texas laws state that when an application for a development permit is filed, that permission is granted based on the regulations and standards in effect at the time of filing. SB 848 more clearly defines what is meant by "filing." SB 848 would define a permit as filed on the day that an application is delivered to the correct regulatory agency, or on the day that an application is sent, not delivered, through certified mail.
Residents of Randall and Potter Counties would be able to determine whether or not they need a constable if a measure passed by the Senate today becomes law. Senate Joint Resolution 14, by Amarillo Senator Kel Seliger, would permit the commissioners courts of Randall and Potter Counties to call an election in which local residents will be able to vote to dissolve the office of county constable for five years. After five years, another election would be held to decide whether to reinstate that office. Additionally, SJR 14 would permit an election to reinstate the office before five years if a petition signed by 10 percent of the registered voters of that county is obtained. Following the dissolution of the office of constable, all of the powers and duties of that office pass to the county sheriff.
The Senate will reconvene Thursday, April 14, at 8 a.m. for the consideration of the local and uncontested calendar, and will convene in regular session at 10 a.m.