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  H.B. No. 4164
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the improper use and treatment of an assistance animal
  or service animal; increasing a criminal penalty.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 121.006, Human Resources Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 121.006.  [PENALTIES FOR] IMPROPER USE OF ASSISTANCE
  AND SERVICE ANIMALS; OFFENSE. (a) A person commits an offense if
  the person intentionally or knowingly represents [who uses a
  service animal with a harness or leash of the type commonly used by
  persons with disabilities who use trained animals, in order to
  represent] that an [his or her] animal is an assistance animal or a
  [specially trained] service animal when the animal is not specially
  trained or equipped to help a person with a disability. An offense
  under this subsection [training has not in fact been provided,] is
  [guilty of] a misdemeanor punishable [and on conviction shall be
  punished] by:
               (1)  a fine of not more than $1,000 [$300]; and
               (2)  30 hours of community service to be performed for a
  governmental entity or nonprofit organization that primarily
  serves persons with visual impairments or other disabilities, or
  for another entity or organization at the discretion of the court,
  to be completed in not more than one year.
         (b)  A person who habitually abuses or neglects to feed or
  otherwise neglects to properly care for the person's [his or her]
  assistance animal or service animal is subject to seizure of the
  animal under Subchapter B, Chapter 821, Health and Safety Code.
         SECTION 2.  Section 121.006(a), Human Resources Code, as
  amended by this Act, applies only to an offense committed on or
  after the effective date of this Act. An offense committed before
  the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect when
  the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in effect
  for that purpose. For purposes of this section, an offense was
  committed before the effective date of this Act if any element of
  the offense occurred before that date.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2023.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 4164 was passed by the House on May
  12, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 130, Nays 14, 1 present, not
  voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 4164 was passed by the Senate on May
  24, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 29, Nays 2.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________
                     Date          
   
            _____________________
                   Governor