New Laws Go into Affect

The Texas State Capitol in Austin. Image courtesy of the State of Texas.

While most of Hunt County was partying, shooting fireworks or enjoying each other’s company, 26 new laws came into affect at the stroke of midnight this morning.  Only three or four will directly affect consumers.

Identification Requirements to use Credit and Debit and Prepaid Debit Cards

Merchants now have the right to request a buyer to present a government issued, photo identification when presenting a credit, Prepaid debit or bank debit card at the point of purchase. The new law allows the retailer to refuse the credit or debit card as a form of payment.  This includes gift cards.

Voter ID

The Supreme Court upheld the requirement for Texans to be able to vote without presentation of a government issued, photo identification.  The new law allows voters with a “reasonable impediment” to show a bank statement or payroll stub as a form of identification.

Milk Haulers

Commercial trucks that haul raw milk may now haul up to 90,000 pounds in the tank trailers.  The law used to prohibit more than 80,000 pounds of milk per tank-trailer.

Automobile and Truck Odometers

A new electronic version of the odometer form is now available whenever a vehicle is sold.  This applies to dealers as well as individuals.

Prepaid Calling Cards

Prepaid calling cards are taxed at a lesser rate than the general sales tax.

Property Protest of County Appraisals.

The appraisal protest has been amended to allow property owners to have a louder voice during the process.

Mammograms

The insurance reimbursement amount now allows for a 3D-mammogram instead of the obsolescent 2D of yesteryear.  This law forces insurance companies to pay at the lesser rate.  There were about twenty more laws going into effect but they do not directly affect consumers.

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