HBA-KMH H.B. 54 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 54 By: Cuellar Criminal Jurisprudence 4/23/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND & PURPOSE Current laws in Texas do not require a person to rescue a victim except where there is a special relationship between the rescuer and the victim. Courts have been wary of creating such a duty but have approved of protections for persons who volunteer assistance. H.B. 54 creates an exception to the general rule of assistance by requiring an individual to assist a peace officer in making an arrest or in preventing the commission of a crime in certain instances, when requested by the peace officer. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Chapter 42, Penal Code, by adding Section 42.13, as follows: Sec. 42.13. FAILING TO ASSIST PEACE OFFICER. Establishes that it is a Class B misdemeanor offense for a person to refuse or fail to assist someone the person knows, or should have known, to be a peace officer who requests the person's assistance in making an arrest of another person or preventing the commission of a crime by another person in such cases in which a reasonable person, under the same existing circumstances, would have assisted the officer. SECTION 2. Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 3. Emergency clause.