Honorable Abel Herrero, Chair, House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence
Ursula Parks, Director, Legislative Budget Board
HB206 by Márquez (Relating to the punishment for the offense of tampering with certain governmental records based on certain reporting for school districts and open-enrollment charter schools.), As Introduced
The bill would amend the Penal Code relating to the punishment for the offense of tampering with certain governmental records based on certain reporting for school districts and open-enrollment charter schools. Under the provisions of the bill, tampering with certain data reported for a school district or open-enrollment charter school to the Texas Education Agency through the Public Education Information Management System would be punishable as a third degree felony and would provide for enhancement to a second degree felony if the intent was to defraud or to harm. Under current law, tampering with governmental records is punishable at the misdemeanor and felony level and is contingent on intent of the actor and type of governmental document.
A felony of the third degree is punishable by confinement in prison for a term from 2 to 10 years and, in addition to confinement, an optional fine not to exceed $10,000. A felony of the second degree is punishable by confinement in prison for a term from 2 to 20 years and, in addition to confinement, an optional fine not to exceed $10,000.
Expanding the list of behaviors for which a criminal penalty is applied is expected to result in increased demands upon the correctional resources of counties or of the state due to longer terms of probation, or longer terms of confinement in county jail, state jail, or prison. When an offense is changed from a misdemeanor to a felony, there is a transfer of the burden of confinement of convicted offenders from the counties to the state. At present data do not exist that would enable the identification of those tampering with governmental records offenses related to the provisions of the bill from all other tampering with governmental records offenses. For this analysis, it is assumed the number of offenders convicted under the provisions of the bill would not result in a significant impact on the programs and workload of state corrections agencies or on the demand for resources and services of those agencies. It is expected that individuals who would be affected by the provisions of this bill are currently being sentenced for other offenses.