Bar trips and service animals headline New Year's effective laws - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Bar trips and service animals headline New Year's effective laws

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WACO -

Your check at the bar may lighten your wallet a little more, but other Texas laws could have greater effects.

The 83rd Legislature brought hundreds of new Texas laws. Many took effect immediately, some started in September and many took effect on New Year's Day.

PTSD and Service Animals

One of those laws is HB 489 which deals with sufferers of post traumatic stress disorder. Many have service animals and this bill clarifies that they can bring in their dogs to public buildings. Anyone who refuses access can face a misdemeanor charge. Anyone who lies about their dog being a service dog can face charges as well.

Mixed Drinks Tax

HB 3572 adds a tax to mixed drinks. Effective January 1, 2014 there will be a 8.25% tax on mixed drinks at restaurants and bars. Beer and wine already had a tax and this law just makes it consistent.

CHL Application

There were multiple changes to make it easier to apply for a concealed handgun license in Texas in the 2013 legislature. Some quickened the training and others decreased the cost for veteran peace officers. On January 1, HB 1349 took effect which says you do not have to provide your social security number when applying for a CHL.

Sexual Assault and Lease Penalty

SB 946 deals with victims or guardians of a victim who has been sexually assaulted or stalked. The law says the guardian or victim can get out of a property lease without penalty as long as it is within six months of the incident.

Landlords and Utility Bills

HB 1772 has to do with apartments with all-encompassing rent bills that include utilities. It's designed to protect tenants with those bills. Landlords will now have to give notice to tenants if utilities are disconnected. The utility companies will also have to notify tenants if the power goes out for multi-family units.

Nurse's Aid Registry

HB 2683 clarifies what is listed on the background check from a nurse's aid. A nurse's aid can be fired if they're found to have committed an act of abuse, neglect, mistreatment or misappropriation of property. A conviction of exploitation of a child, elderly person or disabled person will also go on a nurse's aid criminal background check.

 

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