H.B. 3227
                                            By: Junell (Montford)
                              Senate Committee Report (Unamended)

The increasing criminal caseload in the county court at law in Tom
Green County may be better administered if Tom Green County had two
county courts at law.

There are currently 185 statutory county courts in Texas.  These
courts were designed to alleviate the county judge of judicial
responsibilities and to ease the docket load of district courts. 
These courts exist in 74, mostly urban, counties and are funded
almost entirely by the counties authorized to establish such

Countywide, multimember, at-large elections in urban areas exist
now only in the context of judicial elections.  These systems may
result in diluting minority voting strength.  Texas is currently
defending a number of suits challenging countywide, multimember,
at-large elections for judicial candidates and is required to
preclear changes in its elections system to ensure that racial
minority voting strength is not diluted.  The U.S. Justice
Department has refused to preclear any new multimember, urban
district or county courts in Texas since 1989.


As proposed, H.B. 3227 creates the County Court at Law No. 2 of Tom
Green County.


It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not grant any
additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, institution, or


SECTION 1. Amends Section 25.2281, Government Code, to add County
Court at Law No. 2 to the list of county courts at law in Tom Green
County.  Makes conforming changes.

SECTION 2. Amends Section 25.2282, Government Code, by adding
Subsection (a), to prohibit a judge of County Court at Law No. 2 of
Tom Green County from being assigned to serve as a visiting judge
in Bexar, Dallas, Ector, Fort Bend, Harris, Jefferson, Lubbock,
Midland, Tarrant, or Travis County.

SECTION 3. Provides that the County Court at Law No. 2 of Tom Green
County is created January 1, 1997, or on an earlier date determined
by the commissioners court.

SECTION 4. Emergency clause.
           Effective date: 90 days after adjournment.