August is quickly drawing to a close, and in Texas, that means a slew of new laws will be enacted beginning the first of September. 774 new laws passed by the Texas Legislature will go into effect. Many of these laws won't change much in your daily lives, but a few may.

Here's a look at some of those that may have some wide impacts on residents of Texas.

House Bill 114

This one had been getting a lot of publicity as the start of the school year approached. It basically addresses the usage of e-cigarettes, vaping, marijuana, and THC-related products at, or near schools and school functions.

The new law mandates that any student found in possession of, under the influence of, selling, gifting, or delivering any of these substances within a 300-feet radius of any school premises, will be immediately removed and placed in a Disciplinary Alternative Education Program (DAEP).

In talking off the record to several teachers, many educators wonder if there will be enough room at DAEP facilities.

House Bill 3

Staying with the subject of new laws concerning schools, this bill includes the requirement that districts have at least one armed security officer per campus. Exceptions are allowed due to funding issues, but districts must come up with an alternative plan that may involve a school marshal or other armed staff member.

House Bill 3 also increased the per-student safety allotment and districts will receive $15,000 per campus to implement safety measures.  Plus, most school staffers are required to complete mental health training.

Senate Bill 838 (Bonus)'s one more involving school safety. Every classroom will now be required to have a panic alert device of some sort, however, this will not be mandatory until the start of the 2025-2026 school year.

Senate Bill 29

During the height of the COVID outbreak a couple of years ago, a contentious and public battle played out over and over between the Texas government and numerous county and city officials and school districts. This new law prohibits local governments from requiring COVID-related masks, vaccines, or business or school shutdowns. The law does not restrict pandemic rules by private entities

Senate Bill 505

Did you know that every time you put fuel in your vehicle, the state of Texas levies a flat 20-cent per gallon tax on gasoline and diesel fuels? 75 percent of that goes to the state's highway fund, while the other 25 percent goes to public education. This new law makes sure those driving electric vehicles (EV) don't bypass their obligation to our roads and schools.

On September 1, 2023, Texans with an electric vehicle will be charged an additional fee of $200 each year and a $400 fee if they register a new electric vehicle.

House Bill 900

Let's go back to one for the schools, specifically, the school libraries. This bill that was passed in April bans sexually explicit materials. Those books rated with sexually explicit materials will be taken off school shelves. Other books that may not be explicit, but may have references to sex, could remain in school libraries and be checked out by students with the permission of their parents.

Senate Bill 490

Call this one the medical transparency law, if you'd like. If you have ever gone to the emergency room or required surgery or a hospital stay, your medical statement may have been like trying to read the IRS code.

This new law will make Texas hospitals and other healthcare providers give patients an itemized medical invoice before any attempts to collect money. No more shrouded or hard-to-understand items or costs is the intent of this law.

Senate Bill 379

Some refer to this as the 'tampon tax' repeal. The legislation will remove the sales tax on feminine hygiene and baby products. Many pregnancy-related supplies will also be included in this tax repeal. Medicaid coverage for moms was also extended from two months to a year after childbirth.

Senate Bill 15

This one is short and simple. Any student-athletes who compete in intercollegiate athletic competitions at a public institution of higher education must compete based on their biological sex/gender.

These are just a few of the 774 new laws going into effect on September 1. Feel free to browse through all of them in the button below.

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