HBA-SEB S.B. 1001 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1001 By: Wentworth Judicial Affairs 5/5/1999 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, Texas law allows for the creation of multicounty statutory courts. The size of the probate caseload in a county and the willingness of a county commissioners court to fund staffing play a major role in the decision to create a statutory probate court. A multicounty statutory probate court allows the counties to share the costs and benefits of a statutory probate court. S.B. 1001 establishes guidelines relating to a judge's compensation and the constitution of personnel in a multicounty statutory probate court. 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 25, Government Code, by adding Subchapter E, as follows: SUBCHAPTER E. MULTICOUNTY STATUTORY PROBATE COURTS Sec. 25.2651. APPLICATION OF SUBCHAPTER. Establishes that this subchapter applies only to statutory probate courts composed of more than one county. Establishes that Subchapters A (General Provisions) and B (General Provisions Relating to Statutory Probate Courts) apply to a statutory probate court composed of more than one county, with certain exceptions. Sec. 25.2652. JUDGE. Provides that a judge is elected by the qualified voters of the counties at the election at which other statutory probate court judges are elected. Sets forth a judge's qualifications. Entitles a judge to be paid an annual salary set by a vote of a majority of the total number of the county judges and commissioners of the commissioners courts of the counties. Requires the salary to be apportioned among the counties according to the ratio a county's population bears to the total population of the counties composing the court. Sec. 25.2653. VACANCY. Provides that a vacancy in the office of judge is filled by a joint appointment by the commissioners courts of the counties composing the court, and approved by a vote of a majority of the county judges and commissioners. Provides that an appointee holds office until the next general election and until a successor is elected and has qualified. Provides that this section applies to a vacancy existing on creation of the office of judge. Sec. 25.2654. PERSONNEL. Establishes that the county clerk of a particular county serves as clerk in that county. Provides that the prosecuting attorney representing the state in a statutory probate court in a particular county serves as prosecutor in that county. Requires the sheriff and other court officials in a county to serve in the manner required by law for their offices and entitles them to the compensation, fees, and allowances prescribed by law for their offices. Sec. 25.2655. SEAL. Provides that the seal is the same as provided by law for a statutory probate court, except that it must contain the name of the court as designated by statute. Sec. 25.2656. GENERAL LAW. Provides that the general law relating to statutory probate courts applies, unless this subchapter contains a conflicting provision. SECTION 2. Effective date: September 1, 1999.