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Texas Civil and Criminal Fees, Proposition 18 (2001)
The Texas Civil and Criminal Fees Amendment, also known as Proposition 18, was on the November 6, 2001 ballot in Texas as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure promoted uniformity in the collection, deposit, reporting and remitting of civil and criminal fees.
|Texas Proposition 18 (2001)|
Election results via: Legislative Reference Library of Texas
Text of measure
The ballot title voters saw on their ballot read as:
|“||The constitutional amendment to promote uniformity in the collection, deposit, reporting, and remitting of civil and criminal fees.||”|
The full text of the measure can be read here.
Proposition 18 amended Section 46 of Article 3 of the Texas Constitution.
The state government provided an explanation of Proposition 18 which read as follows:
|“||The legislature has increasingly turned to fees in both criminal and
civil matters handled by district, county, municipal, and justice of the peace courts as a way of funding certain state programs. Currently, over 35 different fees have been imposed that cities and counties collect and then remit to the comptroller of public accounts for deposit in various funds. Examples of these funds are the children’s trust fund, Section 118.022, Local Government Code (added by Chapter 149, Acts of the 70th Legislature, Regular Session, 1987), the breath alcohol testing account, Article 102.016, Code of Criminal Procedure (added by Chapter 5, Acts of the 72nd Legislature, 1st Called Session, 1991), and the fugitive apprehension account, Article 102.019, Code of Criminal Procedure (added by Chapter 1100, Acts of the 75th Legislature, Regular Session, 1997). Most of the fees are payable on a quarterly basis, but others are due on the 10th of the month, the 15th of the month, or the 30th of the month. Recordkeeping for each of the fees is also not uniform, and the cities and counties are required to use different reporting forms for different fees.
In 1997, the 75th Legislature adopted a consolidated court cost, Article 102.075, Code of Criminal Procedure (added by Chapter 1100, Acts of the 75th Legislature, Regular Session, 1997), which rolled eight different court costs into one lump-sum amount. The comptroller of public accounts was responsible for allocating the amounts collected according to a statutorily determined percentage to each of the funds. The consolidated court cost, while simplifying matters significantly, did not apply to all existing criminal fees or to any civil fees.
The proposed amendment would not require the legislature to adopt a comprehensive program for the collection, deposit, reporting, and remitting of all civil and criminal fees used to fund state programs. It would require, however, that if the legislature does adopt a comprehensive program, then any subsequent civil or criminal fee adopted by the legislature must conform to that program. The 77th Legislature, Regular Session, 2001, considered Senate Bill No. 1378, which would have created a comprehensive program for the collection, deposit, reporting, and remitting of civil and criminal fees used to fund state programs, but did not enact it.
Additionally, the proposed amendment would provide that a fee in a criminal or civil matter all or a portion of which is required to be collected by local officers, clerks, or other local personnel and remitted to the comptroller of public accounts for deposit in the manner provided for in the law imposing the fee may not take effect before January 1 after the regular session of the legislature adopting the fee unless the fee is passed on final consideration in each house of the legislature by a record vote of two-thirds of all the members of that house. The fees adopted by the legislature since 1987 have generally become effective on September 1 after the regular session of the legislature adopting the fee. 
Path to the ballot
- See also: Laws governing direct democracy in Texas
As laid out in Article 17 of the Texas Constitution, in order for a proposed constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot, the Texas State Legislature must propose the amendment in a joint resolution of both the Texas State Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. The joint resolution can originate in either the House or the Senate. The resolution must be adopted by a vote of at least two-thirds of the membership of each house of the legislature. That amounts to a minimum of 100 votes in the House of Representatives and 21 votes in the Senate.
- Texas 2001 ballot measures
- 2001 ballot measures
- List of Texas ballot measures
- History of direct democracy in Texas
- Legislative Reference Library of Texas, "Constitutional amendment election dates," accessed January 14, 2015
- Texas Legislative Council, "Amendments to the Texas Constitution Since 1876," accessed January 14, 2015
- Texas Legislative Council, "Analyses of Proposed Constitutional Amendments: November 6, 2001, Election," September 2001
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
|historical ballot measure article requires that the text of the measure be added to the page.|