Austin, Texas
March 10, 2015

Honorable Harold V. Dutton, Jr., Chair, House Committee on Juvenile Justice & Family Issues
Ursula Parks, Director, Legislative Budget Board
HB697 by White, James (Relating to the waiver of fines, fees, and court costs imposed on a student convicted of truancy.), As Introduced

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

The bill would require county, justice, or municipal courts to waive fines, fees, or court costs in cases of failure to attend school if the court finds that payment of the fine, fee, or court cost would cause financial hardship. These courts already have the authority, but not the requirement, to waive or reduce fees or court costs in these cases if the court finds payment of these obligations would cause financial hardship.  

The Office of Court Administration assumes that most judges currently choose to waive these obligations in cases of financial hardship. Therefore, the number of additional cases in which court costs may be waived would be minimal, and the impact on state revenue would not be significant.

Local Government Impact

Lost revenue from reduced fines, fees, or court costs imposed and collected is not anticipated to have a significant fiscal impact. The City of San Antonio reported that the bill would not have a significant fiscal impact.  The San Antonio Municipal Court attempts to reduce the fees by offering a diversion program; fees and fines are typically waived for participation. Lubbock County Justice of the Peace, Precinct #1 reported that fines for truancy are kept low, and waived if the party is indigent, however, there would be a minimal reduction in revenue per year.

Source Agencies:
212 Office of Court Administration, Texas Judicial Council, 304 Comptroller of Public Accounts
LBB Staff:
UP, ESi, JJ, JQ, KVe, TB