Local government budget notices; public records.

Authors: Senator Susan Glick, Senator Erin Houchin

Co-authors: Senator Jean Breaux, Senator Lonnie Randolph, Senator Jon Ford, Senator John Broden

Sponsors: Representative Bruce Borders

Co-Sponsors: Representative Sheila Klinker, Representative John Price, Representative Clyde Kersey


Reinstates the following expired statutes concerning local government budget notices through 2020: (1) A provision that if the budget notice is not timely published due to the fault of a newspaper, the notice is a valid notice if it is published one time at least three days before the budget hearing. (2) A provision allowing the department of local government finance (DLGF) to correct certain errors or omissions that cause the budget notice to inaccurately reflect the tax rate, tax levy, or budget of a political subdivision. (3) The requirement that a political subdivision must give notice by publication to taxpayers of the estimated budget, the current and proposed tax levies of each fund, and the amounts of excessive levy appeals to be requested. Allows a state or local government public agency to charge a fee for the time required by the public agency in excess of two hours, to search for a public record. Restricts the hourly rate charged for the search. Prohibits a public agency from charging a fee for the public agency to: (1) transmit a public record by electronic mail; or (2) permit a person (not including a commercial entity) to use a cellular phone to copy a public record that contains the person's name. Provides that if a public record is in an electronic format, a public agency (excluding the office of the county recorder) shall provide an electronic copy or a paper copy, at the option of the person making the request for a public record. Provides that a search fee collected by a department, agency, or office of a county, city, town, or township shall be deposited in the general fund of the county, city, town, or township.