Austin, Texas
                                   FISCAL NOTE
                               75th Regular Session
                                  April 9, 1997
      TO: Honorable Rodney Ellis, Chair            IN RE:  Senate Bill No. 409, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted
          Committee on Jurisprudence                              By: Ellis
          Austin, Texas
         FROM:  John Keel, Director    
In response to your request for a Fiscal Note on SB409 ( Relating 
to the appointment of appellate justices and judges, to the 
nonpartisan election of district judges, to the retention or 
rejection of district and appellate judges, and to the creation 
of certain judicial districts.) this office has detemined the 
         Biennial Net Impact to General Revenue Funds by SB409-Committee Report 1st House, Substituted

Implementing the provisions of the bill would result in a 
net negative impact of $(1,609,800) to General Revenue Related 
Funds through the biennium ending August 31, 1999.  
The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal 
basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions 
of the bill.  

Fiscal Analysis
This bill would amend the Election and Government Codes to provide 
for the retention election of Supreme Court, Court of Criminal 
Appeals and Court of Appeals Justices at the end of their terms. 
 The bill would also provide for the election of judges followed 
by two cycles of retention elections.  The election of judges 
would be on a nonpartisan ballot and would be held in conjunction 
with the general election for state and county officers.  

bill would also create a new district court in Bexar County, 
three courts in Dallas County, one court in Harris County and 
three courts in Tarrant County.  The new district courts would 
be created effective January 1, 1998.  
The Secretary of State (SOS) estimated the number of judges 
who would no longer run for election, resulting in a loss of 
revenue in the primary finance fund, as well as the number of 
district judges who would run in the retention election, resulting 
in a probable gain to the General Revenue Fund.  The SOS assumed 
that two candidates in each of the races would have filed for 
election had the office not been up for retention election or 
would file if the office were up for election.  

The Comptroller 
of Public Accounts estimated that the cost for salary and benefits 
for each new district judge would be $105,270 annually.  The 
cost of creating the eight new courts in fiscal year 1998 would 
be $561,440, and the cost of the courts in fiscal year 1999 
and thereafter would be $842,160 annually.  
The probable fiscal implications of implementing the provisions 
of the bill during each of the first five years following passage 
are estimated as follows:  
Five Year Impact:
Fiscal Year Probable           Probable Revenue   Probable Revenue   
            Savings/(Cost)     Gain/(Loss) from   Gain/(Loss) from                                        
            from General       General Revenue    General Revenue                                         
            Revenue Fund       Fund               Fund                                                    
            0001               0001               0001                                                     
       1998        ($561,440)          $290,400        ($496,600)                                    
       1998         (842,160)                 0                 0                                    
       2000         (842,160)           243,000         (456,000)                                    
       2001         (842,160)                 0                 0                                    
       2002         (842,160)                 0         (793,000)                                    

         Net Impact on General Revenue Related Funds:

              Fiscal Year      Probable Net Postive/(Negative)
                               General Revenue Related Funds
               1998           ($767,640)
               1999            (842,160)
               2000          (1,055,160)
               2001            (842,160)
               2002          (1,635,160)
Similar annual fiscal implications would continue as long as 
the provisions of the bill are in effect.  
The four counties which would have new district courts established 
would have additional costs.  Dallas County officials anticipate 
an annual cost of $3,300,000 for three district courts.  Harris 
County officials expect a cost of approximately $1,850,000 in 
the first year and $1,400,000 annually thereafter.  Tarrant 
County costs are expected to be about $1,950,000 annually for 
three new courts.  Costs for Bexar County are expected to be 
approximately $254,000 annually.  
   Source:            Agencies:   
                                         304   Comptroller of Public Accounts
                                         307   Secretary of State
                      LBB Staff:   JK ,BB