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BILL ANALYSIS

 

 

 

C.S.H.B. 4555

By: Guillen

Elections

Committee Report (Substituted)

 

 

 

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

 

Under current law, an individual who has a previous felony conviction is barred from running for public office unless that individual has been pardoned or otherwise released from the conviction-related disabilities. Concerns have been raised regarding the lack of a requirement on an application for a place on the ballot to provide proof of any pardon or release. C.S.H.B. 4555 seeks to address these concerns by requiring individuals filing to run for public office who have previously been convicted of a felony to present proof that they are eligible to run.

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE IMPACT

 

It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly create a criminal offense, increase the punishment for an existing criminal offense or category of offenses, or change the eligibility of a person for community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision.

 

RULEMAKING AUTHORITY

 

It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution.

 

ANALYSIS

 

C.S.H.B. 4555 amends the Election Code to require a convicted felon to include in an application for a place on the ballot proof that the person is eligible for public office due to the person's pardon or other release from the resulting disabilities of the person's conviction.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE

 

September 1, 2021.

 

COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL AND SUBSTITUTE

 

While C.S.H.B. 4555 may differ from the original in minor or nonsubstantive ways, the following summarizes the substantial differences between the introduced and committee substitute versions of the bill.

 

The original required a convicted felon, to be eligible for public office and before filing as a candidate, to provide proof that the person has been pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disabilities of the person's conviction, whereas the substitute requires the convicted felon to include that proof in an application for a place on the ballot.

 

The substitute does not include the original's provision expanding the conduct of the offense for tampering with a governmental record to include a convicted felon who files as a candidate and fails to acknowledge on any election filing form that the person was convicted of a felony.