NewsCommunityVista SemanalLocal


New laws that go into effect on New Year's Day, how they might affect you

Posted at 6:43 PM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 20:26:56-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A batch of new laws are going into effect this week for Texans. They cover a wide range of issues, from taxing bingo winners to tougher reporting standards for sexual harassment on college campuses.

Starting this week, college and university employees could be criminally charged if they don't report sexual harassment, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking.

Senate bill 212 makes it a class b misdemeanor if a university employee does not report allegations to the university’s title ix coordinator.

And surprise! No more.

Senate bill 1264 protects people who have state-regulated health plans from surprise medical bills.

The new law applies in emergencies and situations when you didn't select the doctors.

It lets health care providers apply for mediation to resolve issues with payment with insurers... Keeping the consumers out of the disputes.

On the topic of money,

House bill 914 which changes the prize fees for bingo. Organizations won’t have to collect a fee for a non-cash prize anymore if they are more than $5. But if a person wins at least $5 cash, they'll have to pay a 5% fee for the prize amount. The bingo organization will collect that fee and then give 50% of it to the Texas Lottery Commission.

House bill 4390 takes on data breaches.

A business will now have up to 60 days after a data breach happens to report it.

If the breach involves at least 250 customers, the business owner also must notify the attorney general.

And for those near the water, Senate bill 7 changes the flood funds.

It moves $1.7 billion from the state’s rainyday fund to the Texas Water Code.

That money will help pay for flood control projects and repairs across the state, especially, in counties where the median household income is less than about 50 thousand dollars a year.