HBA-KDB S.B. 625 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 625 By: Duncan Judicial Affairs 4/19/2001 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Under current law, the clerk of a court of criminal appeals (clerk) is required to keep hard copies of writs, records, and documents for an indefinite period of time. However, current law does not authorize the clerk to maintain such files electronically, which may require less time and effort than keeping a hard copy of such files and which may increase the speed with which such files are accessed. Senate Bill 625 authorizes the clerk to maintain writs, records, and documents in an electronic storage format. 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 Senate Bill 625 amends the Government Code to authorize the clerk of a court of criminal appeals (clerk), in the performance of the clerk's duties, to maintain writs and other records and documents in an electronic storage format. The bill authorizes the clerk, if the clerk electronically stores writs, records, or documents, to destroy the originals or copies of the writs, records, or documents according to the retention policy. The bill requires the clerk to establish a records retention policy, which is required to provide a plan for the storage and retention of writs and other documents and to include a retention period to preserve the writs and other records in accordance with state law and applicable rules of the court of criminal appeals. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.