87R9519 MTB-D
  By: Cyrier H.B. No. 4538
  relating to the removal, relocation, alteration, or construction of
  certain monuments or memorials located on municipal or county
  property; providing civil penalties.
         SECTION 1.  Section 442.015(b), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (b)  The commission may use distributions from the Texas
  preservation trust fund account to provide financial assistance to
  public or private entities for the acquisition, survey,
  restoration, or preservation, or for planning and educational
  activities leading to the preservation, of historic property in the
  state that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places or
  designated as a State Archeological Landmark or Recorded Texas
  Historic Landmark, or that the commission determines is eligible
  for such listing or designation or for the construction of a
  monument or memorial described by Section 338.003, Local Government
  Code.  The financial assistance may be in the amount and form and
  according to the terms that the commission by rule determines.  The
  commission shall give priority to property the commission
  determines to be endangered by demolition, neglect, underuse,
  looting, vandalism, or other threat to the property.  Gifts and
  grants deposited to the credit of the account specifically for any
  eligible projects may be used only for the type of projects
  specified.  If such a specification is not made, the gift or grant
  shall be unencumbered and accrue to the benefit of the Texas
  preservation trust fund account.  If such a specification is made,
  the entire amount of the gift or grant may be used during any period
  for the project or type of project specified.
         SECTION 2.  Subtitle C, Title 10, Local Government Code, is
  amended by adding Chapter 338 to read as follows:
         Sec. 338.001.  DEFINITION. In this chapter, "monument or
  memorial" means a permanent monument, memorial, or other
  designation, including a statue, portrait, plaque, seal, symbol,
  building name, bridge name, park name, area name, or street name,
  that honors an event or person of historical significance.
  monument or memorial that is located on municipal or county
               (1)  for at least 40 years may be removed, relocated, or
  altered, including alteration to maintain historical accuracy,
  only by approval of a majority of the voters of the municipality or
  county, as applicable, voting at an election held for that purpose;
               (2)  for less than 40 years may be removed, relocated,
  or altered, including alteration to maintain historical accuracy,
  only by the governing body of the municipality or the commissioners
  court of the county, as applicable.
  additional monument or memorial may be added to the surrounding
  municipal or county property on which a monument or memorial is
  located to complement or contrast with the monument or memorial.
  (a) A resident of a municipality or county, as applicable, may file
  a complaint with the attorney general if the resident asserts facts
  supporting an allegation that the municipality or county has
  violated Section 338.002. The resident must include a sworn
  statement with the complaint stating that to the best of the
  resident's knowledge all of the facts asserted in the complaint are
  true and correct.
         (b)  If the attorney general determines that a complaint
  filed under Subsection (a) against a municipality or county is
  valid, the attorney general may file a petition for a writ of
  mandamus or apply for other appropriate equitable relief in a
  district court in Travis County or in the county in which the
  suspected violation of Section 338.002 is alleged to have occurred
  to compel the municipality or county to comply with that section.
         (c)  A municipality or county that is found by a court as
  having intentionally violated Section 338.002 is subject to a civil
  penalty in an amount of:
               (1)  not less than $1,000 and not more than $1,500 for
  the first violation; and
               (2)  not less than $25,000 and not more than $25,500 for
  each subsequent violation.
         (d)  Each day of a continuing violation of Section 338.002
  constitutes a separate violation for purposes of a civil penalty
  under this section.
         (e)  The court that hears an action brought under this
  section against a municipality or county shall determine the
  amount of the civil penalty.
         (f)  A civil penalty collected under this section shall be
  deposited to the credit of the general revenue fund.
         (g)  Sovereign immunity of this state and governmental
  immunity of a county or municipality to suit is waived and abolished
  to the extent of liability created by this section.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2021.