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  H.B. No. 994
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to proceedings that may be referred to and the powers of a
  criminal law magistrate in Bexar County.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 54.906(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  A judge may refer to a magistrate any criminal case for
  proceedings involving:
               (1)  a bond forfeiture;
               (2)  a pretrial motion;
               (3)  a postconviction writ of habeas corpus;
               (4)  an examining trial;
               (5)  the issuance of search warrants, including a
  search warrant under Article 18.02(10), Code of Criminal Procedure,
  notwithstanding Article 18.01(c), Code of Criminal Procedure;
               (6)  the setting of bonds;
               (7)  the arraignment of defendants; and
               (8)  any other matter the judge considers necessary and
  proper, including a [negotiated] plea of guilty or nolo contendere
  from a defendant charged with:
                     (A)  a felony offense;
                     (B)  a misdemeanor offense when charged with both
  a misdemeanor offense and a felony offense; or
                     (C)  a misdemeanor offense [before the court].
         SECTION 2.  Section 54.908(a), Government Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  Except as limited by an order of referral, a magistrate
  to whom a case is referred may:
               (1)  conduct hearings;
               (2)  hear evidence;
               (3)  compel production of relevant evidence;
               (4)  rule on admissibility of evidence;
               (5)  issue summons for the appearance of witnesses;
               (6)  examine witnesses;
               (7)  swear witnesses for hearings;
               (8)  make findings of fact on evidence;
               (9)  formulate conclusions of law;
               (10)  rule on a pretrial motion;
               (11)  recommend the rulings, orders, or judgment to be
  made in a case;
               (12)  regulate proceedings in a hearing;
               (13)  accept a plea of guilty or nolo contendere [for a
  misdemeanor] from a defendant charged with:
                     (A)  a felony offense;
                     (B)  a [both] misdemeanor offense when charged
  with both a misdemeanor offense and a felony offense [offenses]; or
                     (C)  a misdemeanor offense;
               (14)  notwithstanding Article 18.01(c), Code of
  Criminal Procedure, issue a search warrant under Article 18.02(10),
  Code of Criminal Procedure; and
               (15)  do any act and take any measure necessary and
  proper for the efficient performance of the duties required by the
  order of referral.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2011.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 994 was passed by the House on April
  7, 2011, by the following vote:  Yeas 144, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 994 was passed by the Senate on May
  11, 2011, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays 1.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________
                     Date          
   
            _____________________
                   Governor