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  83R433 RWG-F
 
  By: Hunter H.B. No. 2934
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to electronic communications during a public meeting and
  the definitions of public information and official business under
  the public information law; creating an offense.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 551.143, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsections (c) and (d) to read
  as follows:
         (a)  A member or group of members of a governmental body
  commits an offense if the member or group of members knowingly:
               (1)  conspires to circumvent this chapter by meeting in
  numbers less than a quorum for the purpose of secret deliberations
  in violation of this chapter; or
               (2)  transmits an electronic communication during a
  public meeting.
         (c)  In this section, "electronic communication" includes an
  e-mail, Internet posting, text message, or instant message.
         (d)  Subsection (a)(2) does not apply to an electronic
  communication that:
               (1)  contains only administrative or ministerial
  information; or
               (2)  is sent:
                     (A)  to a family member, contains only information
  about a family matter, and does not relate to the transaction of
  official business; or
                     (B)  in relation to an emergency situation.
         SECTION 2.  Section 552.002, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a) and (c) and adding Subsections (a-1) and
  (a-2) to read as follows:
         (a)  In this chapter, "public information" means information
  that is written, produced, collected, assembled, or maintained
  under a law or ordinance or in connection with or related to the
  transaction of official business:
               (1)  by a governmental body; [or]
               (2)  for a governmental body and the governmental body:
                     (A)  owns the information;
                     (B)  [or] has a right of access to the
  information; or
                     (C)  spends or contributes public money to write,
  produce, collect, assemble, or maintain the information in whole or
  part; or
               (3)  by an individual who holds public office, is a
  member of the staff of a public office holder, or is an officer or
  employee of a governmental body [it].
         (a-1)  Public information includes any electronic
  communication:
               (1)  transmitted through a device provided to an
  individual by a governmental body for official use on behalf of the
  governmental body; or
               (2)  maintained on a government server.
         (a-2)  Public information of a governmental body exists on a
  device not provided by the governmental body when that device is
  used by a public office holder, a member of the staff of a public
  office holder, or any other official or employee of the
  governmental body in connection with or related to the transaction
  of official business.
         (c)  The general forms in which the media containing public
  information exist include a book, paper, letter, document, e-mail,
  Internet posting, text message, instant message, other form of
  electronic communication, printout, photograph, film, tape,
  microfiche, microfilm, photostat, sound recording, map, and
  drawing and a voice, data, or video representation held in computer
  memory.
         SECTION 3.  Section 552.003, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subdivision (2-a) to read as follows:
               (2-a)  "Official business" means any matter over which
  a governmental body has authority or administrative or advisory
  duties.
         SECTION 4.  The changes in law made by this Act to Sections
  552.002 and 552.003, Government Code, apply only to a request for
  information that is received by a governmental body or an officer
  for public information on or after the effective date of this Act.
  A request for information that was received before the effective
  date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the date the
  request was received, and the former law is continued in effect for
  that purpose.
         SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect January 1, 2014.