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LEGISLATIVE BUDGET BOARD
Austin, Texas
 
CRIMINAL JUSTICE IMPACT STATEMENT

87TH LEGISLATIVE REGULAR SESSION
 
April 28, 2021

TO:
Honorable Briscoe Cain, Chair, House Committee on Elections
 
FROM:
Jerry McGinty, Director, Legislative Budget Board
 
IN RE:
HB4555 by Guillen (Relating to a person running for office that has been convicted of a felony.), As Introduced

The provisions of the bill addressing felony sanctions are the subject of this analysis.  The bill would amend the election code as it relates to a person running for office that has been convicted of a felony and expanding the criminal offense of tampering with a governmental record.  Under the provisions of the bill, a person filing as a candidate who has been convicted of a felony who fails to acknowledge a felony conviction on any form would have committed a state jail felony or a Class A misdemeanor.  Under current statute, the related offense of tampering with a governmental record is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor unless the intent is to defraud or harm another, in which case it is punishable as a state jail felony.

A state jail felony is punishable by confinement in a state jail for a term from 180 days to 2 years and, in addition to confinement, an optional fine not to exceed $10,000 or Class A misdemeanor punishment. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by confinement in county jail for a term not to exceed one year and, in addition to confinement, an optional fine not to exceed $4,000.

Creating an offense for which a criminal penalty is applied is expected to result in additional demands upon the correctional resources of counties or of the State due to an increase in the number of individuals placed under supervision in the community or sentenced to a term of confinement within state correctional institutions.  In fiscal years 2018 through 2020, 796 people were arrested, 175 were placed onto community supervision, and 104 were admitted into state correctional institutions for tampering with a governmental record under existing statute. The universe of people who could potentially be found to have committed the expanded offense is limited to those who have filed for an election and who have previously committed a felony offense. This is further reduced to those who do not appropriately acknowledge the felony offense on the governmental record. This analysis assumes the provisions of the bill addressing felony sanctions would not result in a significant impact on state correctional populations or on the demand for state correctional resources.




Source Agencies:
LBB Staff:
JMc, SLE, LM, MP