Senate Research Center

S.B. 1421

85R7368 JXC-F

By: Estes


Natural Resources & Economic Development




As Filed






Currently, state agencies are required to obtain statutory authorization under Chapter 411, Government Code, in order to access criminal history record information maintained by the Department of Public Safety (DPS). Under Chapter 411, at least 30 state agencies and entities currently have authority to access this information.


S.B. 1421 enables to the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) to access criminal history record information for anyone applying for a job, contract, volunteer position, or internship with the RRC. S.B. 1421 would not prohibit the RRC from hiring an applicant with a criminal history, but would merely allow the RRC a more complete picture of potential employees or contractors, given that RRC jobs sometimes require employees to enter private property.


The RRC would be required to destroy all information obtained through this statute within six months of receipt. The RRC would also not be allowed to release or disclose criminal history information obtained through this statute, unless ordered by a court or through the consent of the employee, contractor, or volunteer in question.


As proposed, S.B. 1421 amends current law relating to access to criminal history record information by the Railroad Commission of Texas.




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




SECTION 1. Amends Subchapter F, Chapter 411, Government Code, by adding Section 411.1403, as follows:


Sec. 411.1403. ACCESS TO CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION; RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS. (a) Entitles the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) to obtain from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal Justice Information Services Division (FBI), or another law enforcement agency (agency) criminal history record information maintained by DPS, FBI, or an agency that relates to a person who is an applicant for employment with, or who is or has been employed by, RRC, or a consultant, contract employee, independent contractor, intern, or volunteer for RRC or an applicant to serve in one of those positions.��


(b) Authorizes criminal history record information obtained by RRC under Subsection (a) to be used only to evaluate an applicant for employment with, or a current or former employee of, RRC.


(c) Prohibits RRC from releasing or disclosing information obtained under Subsection (a) except on court order or with the consent of the person who is the subject of the criminal history record information.


(d) Requires RRC, after the expiration of any probationary term of the person's employment or by a certain date, to destroy all criminal history record information obtained under Subsection (a).


SECTION 2. Effective date: upon passage or September 1, 2017.