H.B. No. 1826
  relating to the establishment of an organized retail theft task
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 403, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 403.0302 to read as follows:
         Sec. 403.0302.  ORGANIZED RETAIL THEFT TASK FORCE. (a)  In
  this section, "organized retail theft" means conduct constituting
  an offense under Section 31.16, Penal Code.
         (b)  The comptroller shall appoint a task force to study and
  make recommendations related to preventing organized retail theft
  in this state.
         (c)  The task force must include:
               (1)  at least one representative from a retailer with a
  physical retail location;
               (2)  at least one representative from an online
  retailer; and
               (3)  representatives from local, state, and federal law
  enforcement agencies.
         (d)  The comptroller shall designate a member of the task
  force as the presiding officer.
         (e)  The task force shall meet at least quarterly at the call
  of the presiding officer.  A task force meeting may be conducted
  virtually through the Internet.
         (f)  The task force shall conduct an ongoing study of
  organized retail theft in this state. In conducting the study the
  task force shall:
               (1)  review laws and regulations addressing organized
  retail theft in other jurisdictions, including international
  political and economic organizations;
               (2)  analyze:
                     (A)  the impact of organized retail theft on the
  collection of sales tax;
                     (B)  the long-term economic impacts of organized
  retail theft; and
                     (C)  the advantages and disadvantages of taking
  various actions to reduce organized retail theft; and
               (3)  make recommendations regarding:
                     (A)  organized retail theft outreach and
  prevention programs, including coordination among stakeholders,
  including local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies; and
                     (B)  training for law enforcement officers and
  prosecutors on effective strategies for combating organized retail
         (g)  In conducting the study under Subsection (f), the
  members of the task force may:
               (1)  consult with any organization, governmental
  entity, or person the task force considers necessary; and
               (2)  collaborate and share information relating to an
  active criminal investigation with one another regardless of
  whether the information would otherwise be confidential and not
  subject to disclosure under Chapter 552.
         (h)  Not later than December 1 of each even-numbered year,
  the task force shall prepare and submit a report of the study
  conducted under Subsection (f) to the governor, the lieutenant
  governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, the
  comptroller, and each standing committee of the legislature with
  primary jurisdiction over criminal justice matters.
         (i)  The report submitted under Subsection (h):
               (1)  must include legislative and other
  recommendations to increase transparency, improve security,
  enhance consumer protections, prevent organized retail theft, and
  address the long-term economic impact of organized retail theft;
               (2)  may be submitted electronically.
         (j)  Chapter 2110 does not apply to the duration of the task
  force or to the designation of the task force's presiding officer.
         SECTION 2.  As soon as practicable after the effective date
  of this Act, the comptroller of public accounts shall appoint the
  organized retail theft task force as required by Section 403.0302,
  Government Code, as added by this Act.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2023.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I certify that H.B. No. 1826 was passed by the House on April
  27, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 143, Nays 5, 1 present, not
  Chief Clerk of the House   
         I certify that H.B. No. 1826 was passed by the Senate on May
  17, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 28, Nays 3.
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________