Senate Research Center   H.B. 178
77R1966 KLA-DBy: Luna, Vilma (West, Royce)


In the State of Texas, there are approximately 1,600 assistant district
attorneys, assistant criminal district attorneys, and assistant county and
district attorneys, many of them having more than four years experience.
Although these assistant prosecutors are largely responsible for the
enforcement of the state's felony criminal laws in Texas courts, their
salaries are paid largely by individual counties.  The salaries for
experienced prosecutors have lagged behind the salaries available in the
private sector for experienced attorneys.  H.B. 178 provides state
longevity pay for certain assistant felony prosecutors who have accrued at
least four years of lifetime service credit. 


This bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a
state officer, institution, or agency. 


SECTION 1.  Amends Chapter 41, Government Code, by adding Subchapter D, as


Sec. 41.251.  DEFINITIONS.  Defines "assistant prosecutor," "full-time
employee," and "part-time employee." 

Sec. 41.252.  LONGEVITY PAY.  Provides that an assistant prosecutor is
entitled to longevity pay to be included in the assistant prosecutor's
monthly compensation under certain conditions.  Requires the district
attorney, criminal district attorney, or  county attorney in the county in
which the assistant prosecutor is employed to certify the eligibility of
the assistant prosecutor to receive a longevity pay supplement under this

Sec. 41.253.  AMOUNT.  Provides that the monthly amount of longevity pay is
$20 for each year of lifetime service credit.  Provides that the increase
is effective beginning with the month following the month in which the
fourth year of lifetime service credit is accrued.  Prohibits an assistant
prosecutor from receiving as longevity pay from the county under this
subchapter more than $20 for each year of lifetime service credit,
regardless of the number of positions the assistant prosecutor holds or the
number of hours the assistant prosecutor works each week or more than
$5,000 annually. 

Sec. 41.254.  LIMITATIONS ON LAW PRACTICE.  Prohibits an assistant
prosecutor who receives longevity pay under this subchapter from engaging
in the private practice of law if, from all funds received, the assistant
prosecutor receives a salary that is equal to or more than 80 percent of
the salary paid by the state to a district judge.  Authorizes an assistant
prosecutor who becomes subject to this section to complete all civil cases
that are not in conflict with the interest of any of the counties of the
district in which the assistant prosecutor serves and that are pending in
court before the assistant prosecutor exceeds the salary cap. 
Sec. 41.255.  FUNDING.  Requires the county to pay a longevity pay
supplement under this subchapter out of the county general fund.  Prohibits
the county from reducing the salary of the assistant prosecutor to offset
the longevity pay supplement.  Requires the counties, if an assistant
prosecutor performs services for more than one county, to apportion the
longevity pay supplement according to the ratio a county's population bears
to the total population of the counties in which the assistant prosecutor
performs services.  Requires the state to reimburse a county for amounts
expended for longevity pay supplements under this subchapter.  Requires a
county seeking reimbursement under this section to certify to the
comptroller on a quarterly basis the amount of reimbursement that the
county is entitled to receive.  Requires the comptroller to issue a warrant
to the county in the amount certified. 

Sec. 41.256.  CHANGE IN STATUS.  Provides that if an assistant prosecutor
ceases being a full-time employee after the first workday of a month but
otherwise qualifies for longevity pay, the assistant prosecutor's
compensation for that month includes full longevity pay. 

Sec. 41.257.  ACCRUAL OF LIFETIME SERVICE CREDIT.  Provides that an
assistant prosecutor accrues lifetime service credit for the period in
which the assistant prosecutor serves as a full-time, part-time, or
temporary assistant prosecutor.  Provides that an assistant prosecutor who
is on leave without pay for an entire calendar month does not accrue
lifetime service credit for the month.  Provides that an assistant
prosecutor who simultaneously holds two or more positions that each accrue
lifetime service credit accrues credit for only one of the positions.
Provides that an assistant prosecutor who begins working on the first
workday of a month in a position that accrues lifetime service credit is
considered to have begun working on the first day of the month. 
SECTION 2.  Effective date: January 1, 2002.
SECTION 3.  Provides that Chapter 41D, Government Code, as added by this
Act, applies to lifetime service credit accrued under that subchapter
before, on, or after the effective date of this Act.