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Update: Elections Calendar Bills Pass the Senate

By Nanette Forbes
TAC Legislative Staff

SB 100 and SJR 37 by Sen. Leticia Van De Putte (D-San Antonio) were adopted by the Senate with amendments on Thursday, April 14.

SB 100 changes election dates to accommodate the requirement of the federal Military Overseas Voting Empowerment Act (MOVE), which allows 45 days for processing of military overseas ballots. The bill passed with three amendments:

  • Amendment No. 1 by Van de Putte:
  • Designates the secretary of state to provide various procedures regarding voter registration, ballots for overseas military voters under the MOVE Act, and be the state coordinator between military and overseas voters and county election officials.
  • Amendment No. 2 by Van de Putte:
  • Gives a governing body of a general-law municipality the option to adopt a resolution changing the length of terms of its members to two years.
  • Amendment No. 3 by Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston):
  • Adds the May uniform election date in even-numbered years for a political subdivision other than a county.
    A county elections administrator is not required to enter into a contract to provide election services for an election held in May of even-numbered years.

SB 100 would force an automatic resignation from office for certain district and county officers who announce their candidacy for an office they do not currently hold when they have more than one year remaining in their terms. To overcome this problem, Van de Putte introduced SJR 37 to repeal Article XVI, Section 65. Two amendments were adopted for SJR 37:

  • Amendment No. 1 by Patrick:
  • If officers filing for candidacy have more than one year remaining in their terms, they automatically resign their office in order to run for another office. This amendment adds an additional 30 days for filing. With the additional 30 days, an officer will not have to resign to run.
  • Amendment No. 2 by Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston):
  • Provides that the proposed revision of Article XVI, Section 65 is contingent upon passage of SB 100.

SB 100 and SJR 37 were adopted by the Senate and have been received in the House but not yet referred to committee.