FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/24/2011
ZEDLER BILL TO SAVE TAX DOLLARS AND BOLSTER CONSTABLE RECRUITING
AUSTIN – Today, the Texas Senate passed House Bill 1241 by Rep. Bill Zedler (Arlington), which provides county constables new tools to save taxpayer resources and assist with recruiting volunteer reserve deputies.
This legislation gives permissive authority for a constable to provide a blanket surety bond for their volunteer deputies, as well as allow counties to self-insure their bonds if the commissioners court chooses. Under current law, each deputy must execute an individual bond, which is often paid for or subsidized by the constable's office.
Rep. Zedler worked with Constable Clint Burgess of Tarrant County to push the idea forward. Constable Burgess was recently named "Citizen of the Year" by the Mansfield Chamber of Commerce. He represents Tarrant County, Precinct 7, which includes portions of Arlington, Burleson, Dalworthington Gardens, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Kennedale, Mansfield, and Rendon.
"Not only is providing individual bonds an unnecessary burden on a constable's budget, it can also hinder recruiting. This bill can help every constable's office in Texas save tax-payer dollars by avoiding unnecessary fees, as well as bring in quality volunteers," said Burgess.
In Texas, a constable is an elected official that serves as a peace officer within a county. The number of constables per county varies based on population. Among other things, their duties may include: process serving writs and other documents for courts, executing judgments and warrants, delivering subpoenas to witnesses, acting as a bailiff, and assisting the attorney general's office with child support enforcement.
A member of the House Committee on Government Efficiency and Reform, Rep. Zedler said, "I am always looking for innovative solutions to best leverage tax dollars. This is a good example of the legislature providing counties a useful tool to increase organizational efficiency and save taxpayer money."
House Bill 1241 is supported by the Justices of the Peace and Constables Association of Texas, and was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Chris Harris (Arlington). It is now on its way to the governor's desk for further consideration. If signed by Governor Rick Perry, this legislation will take immediate effect.
Representative Bill Zedler represents District 96, located in Tarrant County. He serves on the House Committee on Government Efficiency and Reform and the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence. Additionally, Rep. Zedler is a member of the legislative TEA Party Caucus, and the Texas Veterans Caucus.
Contact: Phil Fountain
Phone: (512) 463-0374