HB 165 Modifies provisions relating to counties

     Handler: Hegeman

Current Bill Summary

- Prepared by Senate Research -

HCS/HBs 165 & 196 - This act modifies provisions relating to counties.

COUNTY COMMISSIONER RECALL (Sections 49.055 to 49.057)

This act establishes procedures for removing a county commissioner in first class counties by recall petition. These procedures are subject to the following limitations:

• The county commissioner who is named in the petition shall have held office for at least six months;

• The recall election shall be held at least nine months before the end of the commissioner's term; and

• The recalled commissioner shall not be a candidate in a special election to fill the vacancy created by his or her recall.

Under this act, in order to recall a county commissioner, a petition containing a written statement providing the grounds for recall must first be filed with the county election authority within 60 days of receiving its first signature. The petition must receive signatures from eligible voters equal to at least 10% of the total number of votes cast in the last election held for the county commission seat of the commissioner sought to be removed.

Within 10 days of the date the petition is filed, the county election authority will determine whether the petition is signed by the requisite number of voters. If the petition is deemed insufficient, the election authority will attach a certificate to the petition stating the petition is insufficient. The petition may be returned to the person who filed the petition and may be amended within 10 days of the issuance of the certificate.

Once the election authority deems the petition sufficient, the election authority shall submit the petition to the commission without delay, and the commission shall order the question to be submitted to the voters of the county.

Following the order by the commission, a special election will be held on the recall petition as soon as practicable. If a majority of the votes cast in the election are against recalling the commissioner, then the commissioner shall serve out the remainder of the term he or she was elected to serve. However, if a majority of the votes cast in this election are in favor of recalling the commissioner, then a vacancy shall exist in such office.

These provisions are identical to provisions in SB 907 (2020) and SB 324 (2019) and similar to HB 580 (2019).

COURTHOUSES (Sections 49.310 and 476.083)

Additionally, this act provides that in the absence of a local agreement otherwise, for any courthouse that contains both county offices and court facilities, the presiding judge of the circuit may establish rules and procedures for court facilities and areas necessary for court-relating ingress and egress and other reasonable court-related usage, but the county commission shall have authority over all other areas of the courthouse.

Additionally, a presiding judge of each circuit containing one or more facilities operated by the Department of Corrections with a certain amount of inmates as provided in the act may appoint a circuit court marshal to oversee the physical security of court facilities, including courtrooms, jury rooms, and chambers of the court.

These provisions are similar to provisions in SS/SCS/SB 27 (2021) and SB 526 (2021).


Under current law, a person may appeal an assessment of his or her property to the county board of equalization.

This act provides that upon receiving an appeal, the county board of equalization or its representative shall promptly issue a receipt to the person lodging the appeal, confirming that the appeal has been received. If the appeal is lodged in person, such receipt shall be issued immediately. If the appeal is lodged via mail or electronically, such receipt shall be issued within two business days.


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