HBA-NRS H.B. 1275 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1275 By: Turner, Bob Elections 3/27/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Current law provides that only nonpartisan candidates may run for an office of the mayor, a school board, a hospital board, and a city council. Removing partisanship from certain state and county elective offices would discontinue voting based on party affiliation and may reduce the impact that campaign contributions have on county and state officer elections. House Bill 1275 provides for the nonpartisan general election for certain state and county officers. 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. ANALYSIS House Bill 1275 amends the Election Code to provide that certain state and county officers are subject to nonpartisan election, including certain judges, attorneys, sheriffs, and county officers (Sec. 291.001). The bill prohibits nomination for an office by a political party in a nonpartisan election for certain state and county officers (Sec. 291.002). The bill requires a nonpartisan general election for state and county officers to be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years and requires any non partisan runoff election to be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in December following the general election for state and county officers (Sec. 41.002). The bill provides that, to be entitled to a place on the nonpartisan general election ballot, a candidate must make an application for a place on the ballot, accompanied by an appropriate filing fee or petition (Sec. 291.021). The bill provides that an application for a place on a nonpartisan general election ballot must be filed with the secretary of state, for a district office, or with the county judge, for a county or precinct office and set forth provisions for deadlines for application filing (Secs. 291.022 and 291.023). The bill recodifies and modifies filing fees for certain state and county offices. The bill requires a filing fee received by the secretary of state to be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the general revenue fund and requires a filing fee received by a county judge to be deposited to the credit of the county general fund (Sec. 291.024). The bill sets forth provisions for a petition accompanying an application for a place on the nonpartisan general election ballot in place of a filing fee (Secs. 291.025 and 291.026). The bill requires the authority with whom an application is placed to certify in writing the name of each candidate who files with the authority an application for placement on the nonpartisan general election ballot and prohibits a candidate's name from being certified under certain conditions (Sec. 291.027). H.B. 1275 prohibits a candidate from withdrawing from the nonpartisan general election after the 65th day before election day (Sec. 291.052) The bill provides that the deadline for filing an application for a place on the nonpartisan general election ballot is extended if a candidate dies, withdraws, or is declared ineligible on or before the 65th day before election day and provides that an application for an office sought by a withdrawn, deceased, or ineligible candidate must be filed not later than 5 p.m. of the 60th day before election day (Sec. 291.053). The bill prescribes provisions for omitting a candidate's name from a nonpartisan general election ballot (Sec. 291.054). The bill requires that if a candidate who has made an application for a place on the nonpartisan general election ballot dies or is declared ineligible after the 65th day before election day, that candidate's name is required to be placed on the ballot (291.055). The bill prohibits a candidate from withdrawing from a nonpartisan runoff after 5 p.m. of the 10th day after the date of the nonpartisan general election and sets forth provisions relating to a withdrawal request for a runoff election (Sec. 291.056). The bill sets forth provisions governing the conduct of general nonpartisan elections (Secs. 291.071-291.074). The bill provides that the filing fee for a candidate for nomination in the general primary election is $2,000 for a chief justice or justice of a court of appeals that serves a court of appeals district in which a county with a population of more than one million, rather than 850,000, is wholly or partly situated (Sec. 172.024). The bill sets forth provisions relating to filing an application, including the filing fee and petition requirements, for an unexpired term of a vacated office that is elected by a nonpartisan general election for state and county officers (Sec. 202.008). The bill repeals provisions relating to the drawing for candidates for county and precinct officers following a primary election, the certification of nominees for county and precinct offices for placement on a general election ballot, and provisions for the making of nominations for county or precinct offices by a political party that does not have a state executive committee (SECTION 17). EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.