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  S.B. No. 224
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to catalytic converters, including criminal conduct
  involving catalytic converters; providing an administrative
  penalty; creating a criminal offense; increasing a criminal
  penalty; increasing a fee.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
  ARTICLE 1. TITLE
         SECTION 1.01.  This Act may be cited as the Deputy Darren
  Almendarez Act.
  ARTICLE 2. CRIMINAL OFFENSES
         SECTION 2.01.  Section 28.03(b), Penal Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsections (f) and (h), an
  offense under this section is:
               (1)  a Class C misdemeanor if:
                     (A)  the amount of pecuniary loss is less than
  $100; or
                     (B)  except as provided in Subdivision (3)(A) or
  (3)(B), it causes substantial inconvenience to others;
               (2)  a Class B misdemeanor if the amount of pecuniary
  loss is $100 or more but less than $750;
               (3)  a Class A misdemeanor if:
                     (A)  the amount of pecuniary loss is $750 or more
  but less than $2,500; or
                     (B)  the actor causes in whole or in part
  impairment or interruption of any public water supply, or causes to
  be diverted in whole, in part, or in any manner, including
  installation or removal of any device for any such purpose, any
  public water supply, regardless of the amount of the pecuniary
  loss;
               (4)  a state jail felony if the amount of pecuniary loss
  is:
                     (A)  $2,500 or more but less than $30,000;
                     (B)  less than $2,500, if the property damaged or
  destroyed is a habitation and if the damage or destruction is caused
  by a firearm or explosive weapon;
                     (C)  less than $2,500, if the property was a fence
  used for the production or containment of:
                           (i)  cattle, bison, horses, sheep, swine,
  goats, exotic livestock, or exotic poultry; or
                           (ii)  game animals as that term is defined by
  Section 63.001, Parks and Wildlife Code; [or]
                     (D)  less than $30,000 and the actor:
                           (i)  causes wholly or partly impairment or
  interruption of property used for flood control purposes or a dam or
  of public communications, public transportation, public gas or
  power supply, or other public service; or
                           (ii)  causes to be diverted wholly, partly,
  or in any manner, including installation or removal of any device
  for any such purpose, any public communications or public gas or
  power supply; or
                     (E)  less than $30,000, if the property is a motor
  vehicle that is damaged, destroyed, or tampered with during the
  removal or attempted removal of a catalytic converter from the
  motor vehicle;
               (5)  a felony of the third degree if:
                     (A)  the amount of the pecuniary loss is $30,000
  or more but less than $150,000;
                     (B)  the actor, by discharging a firearm or other
  weapon or by any other means, causes the death of one or more head of
  cattle or bison or one or more horses; or
                     (C)  the actor causes wholly or partly impairment
  or interruption of access to an automated teller machine,
  regardless of the amount of the pecuniary loss;
               (6)  a felony of the second degree if the amount of
  pecuniary loss is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000; or
               (7)  a felony of the first degree if the amount of
  pecuniary loss is $300,000 or more.
         SECTION 2.02.  Section 31.03, Penal Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (c) and (e) and adding Subsection (f-1) to
  read as follows:
         (c)  For purposes of Subsection (b):
               (1)  evidence that the actor has previously
  participated in recent transactions other than, but similar to, the
  transaction for [that] which the prosecution is based is admissible
  for the purpose of showing knowledge or intent and the issues of
  knowledge or intent are raised by the actor's plea of not guilty;
               (2)  the testimony of an accomplice shall be
  corroborated by proof that tends to connect the actor to the crime,
  but the actor's knowledge or intent may be established by the
  uncorroborated testimony of the accomplice;
               (3)  an actor engaged in the business of buying and
  selling used or secondhand personal property, or lending money on
  the security of personal property deposited with the actor, is
  presumed to know upon receipt by the actor of stolen property (other
  than a motor vehicle subject to Chapter 501, Transportation Code)
  that the property has been previously stolen from another if the
  actor pays for or loans against the property $25 or more (or
  consideration of equivalent value) and the actor knowingly or
  recklessly:
                     (A)  fails to record the name, address, and
  physical description or identification number of the seller or
  pledgor;
                     (B)  fails to record a complete description of the
  property, including the serial number, if reasonably available, or
  other identifying characteristics; or
                     (C)  fails to obtain a signed warranty from the
  seller or pledgor that the seller or pledgor has the right to
  possess the property.  It is the express intent of this provision
  that the presumption arises unless the actor complies with each of
  the numbered requirements;
               (4)  for the purposes of Subdivision (3)(A),
  "identification number" means driver's license number, military
  identification number, identification certificate, or other
  official number capable of identifying an individual;
               (5)  stolen property does not lose its character as
  stolen when recovered by any law enforcement agency;
               (6)  an actor engaged in the business of obtaining
  abandoned or wrecked motor vehicles or parts of an abandoned or
  wrecked motor vehicle for resale, disposal, scrap, repair,
  rebuilding, demolition, or other form of salvage is presumed to
  know on receipt by the actor of stolen property that the property
  has been previously stolen from another if the actor knowingly or
  recklessly:
                     (A)  fails to maintain an accurate and legible
  inventory of each motor vehicle component part purchased by or
  delivered to the actor, including the date of purchase or delivery,
  the name, age, address, sex, and driver's license number of the
  seller or person making the delivery, the license plate number of
  the motor vehicle in which the part was delivered, a complete
  description of the part, and the vehicle identification number of
  the motor vehicle from which the part was removed, or in lieu of
  maintaining an inventory, fails to record the name and certificate
  of inventory number of the person who dismantled the motor vehicle
  from which the part was obtained;
                     (B)  fails on receipt of a motor vehicle to obtain
  a certificate of authority, sales receipt, or transfer document as
  required by Chapter 683, Transportation Code, or a certificate of
  title showing that the motor vehicle is not subject to a lien or
  that all recorded liens on the motor vehicle have been released; or
                     (C)  fails on receipt of a motor vehicle to
  immediately remove an unexpired license plate from the motor
  vehicle, to keep the plate in a secure and locked place, or to
  maintain an inventory, on forms provided by the Texas Department of
  Motor Vehicles, of license plates kept under this paragraph,
  including for each plate or set of plates the license plate number
  and the make, motor number, and vehicle identification number of
  the motor vehicle from which the plate was removed;
               (7)  an actor who purchases or receives a used or
  secondhand motor vehicle is presumed to know on receipt by the actor
  of the motor vehicle that the motor vehicle has been previously
  stolen from another if the actor knowingly or recklessly:
                     (A)  fails to report to the Texas Department of
  Motor Vehicles the failure of the person who sold or delivered the
  motor vehicle to the actor to deliver to the actor a properly
  executed certificate of title to the motor vehicle at the time the
  motor vehicle was delivered; or
                     (B)  fails to file with the county tax
  assessor-collector of the county in which the actor received the
  motor vehicle, not later than the 20th day after the date the actor
  received the motor vehicle, the registration license receipt and
  certificate of title or evidence of title delivered to the actor in
  accordance with Subchapter D, Chapter 520, Transportation Code, at
  the time the motor vehicle was delivered;
               (8)  an actor who purchases or receives from any source
  other than a licensed retailer or distributor of pesticides a
  restricted-use pesticide or a state-limited-use pesticide or a
  compound, mixture, or preparation containing a restricted-use or
  state-limited-use pesticide is presumed to know on receipt by the
  actor of the pesticide or compound, mixture, or preparation that
  the pesticide or compound, mixture, or preparation has been
  previously stolen from another if the actor:
                     (A)  fails to record the name, address, and
  physical description of the seller or pledgor;
                     (B)  fails to record a complete description of the
  amount and type of pesticide or compound, mixture, or preparation
  purchased or received; and
                     (C)  fails to obtain a signed warranty from the
  seller or pledgor that the seller or pledgor has the right to
  possess the property; [and]
               (9)  an actor who is subject to Section 409, Packers and
  Stockyards Act (7 U.S.C. Section 228b), that obtains livestock from
  a commission merchant by representing that the actor will make
  prompt payment is presumed to have induced the commission
  merchant's consent by deception if the actor fails to make full
  payment in accordance with Section 409, Packers and Stockyards Act
  (7 U.S.C. Section 228b); and 
               (10)  an actor in possession of property consisting of
  one or more catalytic converters that have been removed from a motor
  vehicle is presumed to have unlawfully appropriated the property
  unless the actor:
                     (A)  is the owner, as defined by Section 601.002,
  Transportation Code, of each vehicle from which the catalytic
  converters were removed; or
                     (B)  possesses the catalytic converters in the
  ordinary course of the actor's business, including in the ordinary
  course of business of an entity described by Section 1956.123(1),
  Occupations Code.
         (e)  Except as provided by Subsections [Subsection] (f) and
  (f-1), an offense under this section is:
               (1)  a Class C misdemeanor if the value of the property
  stolen is less than $100;
               (2)  a Class B misdemeanor if:
                     (A)  the value of the property stolen is $100 or
  more but less than $750;
                     (B)  the value of the property stolen is less than
  $100 and the defendant has previously been convicted of any grade of
  theft; or
                     (C)  the property stolen is a driver's license,
  commercial driver's license, or personal identification
  certificate issued by this state or another state;
               (3)  a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the property
  stolen is $750 or more but less than $2,500;
               (4)  a state jail felony if:
                     (A)  the value of the property stolen is $2,500 or
  more but less than $30,000, or the property is less than 10 head of
  sheep, swine, or goats or any part thereof under the value of
  $30,000;
                     (B)  regardless of value, the property is stolen
  from the person of another or from a human corpse or grave,
  including property that is a military grave marker;
                     (C)  the property stolen is a firearm[, as defined
  by Section 46.01];
                     (D)  the value of the property stolen is less than
  $2,500 and the defendant has been previously convicted two or more
  times of any grade of theft;
                     (E)  the property stolen is an official ballot or
  official carrier envelope for an election; [or]
                     (F)  the value of the property stolen is less than
  $20,000 and the property stolen is:
                           (i)  aluminum;
                           (ii)  bronze;
                           (iii)  copper; or
                           (iv)  brass; or
                     (G)  the cost of replacing the property stolen is
  less than $30,000 and the property stolen is a catalytic converter; 
               (5)  a felony of the third degree if the value of the
  property stolen is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000, or the
  property is:
                     (A)  cattle, horses, or exotic livestock or exotic
  fowl as defined by Section 142.001, Agriculture Code, stolen during
  a single transaction and having an aggregate value of less than
  $150,000;
                     (B)  10 or more head of sheep, swine, or goats
  stolen during a single transaction and having an aggregate value of
  less than $150,000; or
                     (C)  a controlled substance, having a value of
  less than $150,000, if stolen from:
                           (i)  a commercial building in which a
  controlled substance is generally stored, including a pharmacy,
  clinic, hospital, nursing facility, or warehouse; or
                           (ii)  a vehicle owned or operated by a
  wholesale distributor of prescription drugs;
               (6)  a felony of the second degree if:
                     (A)  the value of the property stolen is $150,000
  or more but less than $300,000; or
                     (B)  the value of the property stolen is less than
  $300,000 and the property stolen is an automated teller machine or
  the contents or components of an automated teller machine; or
               (7)  a felony of the first degree if the value of the
  property stolen is $300,000 or more.
         (f-1)  An offense described for purposes of punishment by
  Subsections (e)(4)-(6) is increased to the next higher category of
  offense if it is shown on the trial of the offense that:
               (1)  the property stolen is a catalytic converter; and
               (2)  the actor possessed a firearm during the
  commission of the offense.
         SECTION 2.03.  Section 31.03(h), Penal Code, is amended by
  adding Subdivisions (7) and (8) to read as follows:
               (7)  "Catalytic converter" means a catalytic converter
  and any material removed from the catalytic converter.
               (8)  "Firearm" has the meaning assigned by Section
  46.01.
         SECTION 2.04.  Chapter 31, Penal Code, is amended by adding
  Section 31.21 to read as follows:
         Sec. 31.21.  UNAUTHORIZED POSSESSION OF CATALYTIC
  CONVERTER. (a)  A person commits an offense if the person:
               (1)  intentionally or knowingly possesses a catalytic
  converter that has been removed from a motor vehicle; and
               (2)  is not a person who is authorized under Subsection
  (b) to possess the catalytic converter.
         (b)  A person is presumed to be authorized to possess a
  catalytic converter that has been removed from a motor vehicle if
  the person:
               (1)  is the owner, as defined by Section 601.002,
  Transportation Code, of the vehicle from which the catalytic
  converter was removed; or
               (2)  possesses the catalytic converter in the ordinary
  course of the person's business, including in the ordinary course
  of business of an entity described by Section 1956.123(1),
  Occupations Code.
         (c)  The presumption established under Subsection (b) does
  not apply to a person described by Subsection (b)(2) who knows that
  the catalytic converter was unlawfully removed from a motor vehicle
  or otherwise unlawfully obtained.
         (d)  Except as provided by Subsection (e), an offense under
  this section is a state jail felony.
         (e)  An offense under this section is a felony of the third
  degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the person:
               (1)  has been previously convicted of an offense under
  this section;
               (2)  in connection with the offense, engaged in conduct
  constituting conspiracy under Section 15.02 to commit an offense
  under Section 28.03 or 31.03 with respect to a catalytic converter;
  or
               (3)  possessed a firearm during the commission of the
  offense.
         (f)  If conduct constituting an offense under this section
  also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor may be
  prosecuted under this section, the other law, or both.
         SECTION 2.05.  Section 71.02(a), Penal Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  A person commits an offense if, with the intent to
  establish, maintain, or participate in a combination or in the
  profits of a combination or as a member of a criminal street gang,
  the person commits or conspires to commit one or more of the
  following:
               (1)  murder, capital murder, arson, aggravated
  robbery, robbery, burglary, theft, aggravated kidnapping,
  kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault, sexual
  assault, continuous sexual abuse of young child or disabled
  individual, solicitation of a minor, forgery, deadly conduct,
  assault punishable as a Class A misdemeanor, burglary of a motor
  vehicle, or unauthorized use of a motor vehicle;
               (2)  any gambling offense punishable as a Class A
  misdemeanor;
               (3)  promotion of prostitution, aggravated promotion
  of prostitution, or compelling prostitution;
               (4)  unlawful manufacture, transportation, repair, or
  sale of firearms or prohibited weapons;
               (5)  unlawful manufacture, delivery, dispensation, or
  distribution of a controlled substance or dangerous drug, or
  unlawful possession of a controlled substance or dangerous drug
  through forgery, fraud, misrepresentation, or deception;
               (5-a)  causing the unlawful delivery, dispensation, or
  distribution of a controlled substance or dangerous drug in
  violation of Subtitle B, Title 3, Occupations Code;
               (6)  any unlawful wholesale promotion or possession of
  any obscene material or obscene device with the intent to wholesale
  promote the same;
               (7)  any offense under Subchapter B, Chapter 43,
  depicting or involving conduct by or directed toward a child
  younger than 18 years of age;
               (8)  any felony offense under Chapter 32;
               (9)  any offense under Chapter 36;
               (10)  any offense under Chapter 34, 35, or 35A;
               (11)  any offense under Section 37.11(a);
               (12)  any offense under Chapter 20A;
               (13)  any offense under Section 37.10;
               (14)  any offense under Section 38.06, 38.07, 38.09, or
  38.11;
               (15)  any offense under Section 42.10;
               (16)  any offense under Section 46.06(a)(1) or 46.14;
               (17)  any offense under Section 20.05 or 20.06;
               (18)  any offense under Section 16.02; [or]
               (19)  an offense under Section 28.03 that is punishable
  under Subsection (b)(4)(E) of that section;
               (20)  an offense under Section 31.21 that is punishable
  under Subsection (d) of that section; or
               (21)  any offense classified as a felony under the Tax
  Code.
  ARTICLE 3.  REGULATORY PROVISIONS
         SECTION 3.01.  Section 1956.001, Occupations Code, is
  amended by amending Subdivisions (6-b) and (7) and adding
  Subdivision (6-c) to read as follows:
               (6-b)  "Fixed location" means a structure or facility
  that:
                     (A)  is attached to real property;
                     (B)  has a fixed geographic location with a
  physical address; and
                     (C)  is used wholly or partly to conduct an
  activity described by Subdivision (7).
               (6-c)  "Lead material" means:
                     (A)  a commercial grade lead battery, lead-acid
  battery, or spiral cell battery; or
                     (B)  a material or an item readily identifiable as
  being made of or containing lead.
               (7)  "Metal recycling entity" means a business that [is
  operated from a fixed location and] is predominantly engaged in:
                     (A)  performing the manufacturing process by
  which scrap, used, or obsolete ferrous or nonferrous metal is
  converted into raw material products consisting of prepared grades
  and having an existing or potential economic value, by a method that
  in part requires the use of powered tools and equipment, including
  processes that involve processing, sorting, cutting, classifying,
  cleaning, baling, wrapping, shredding, shearing, or changing the
  physical form of that metal;
                     (B)  the use of raw material products described
  under Paragraph (A) in the manufacture of producer or consumer
  goods; or
                     (C)  purchasing or otherwise acquiring scrap,
  used, or obsolete ferrous or nonferrous metals for the eventual use
  of the metal for the purposes described by Paragraph (A) or (B).
         SECTION 3.02.  Section 1956.016, Occupations Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 1956.016.  REGISTRATION DATABASE. The department shall
  make available on its Internet website a publicly accessible list
  of all registered metal recycling entities. The list must contain
  the following for each registered metal recycling entity:
               (1)  the entity's name;
               (2)  the entity's physical address; [and]
               (3)  the name of and contact information for a
  representative of the entity; and
               (4)  a description of the extent to which the entity
  engages in transactions involving catalytic converters based on the
  entity's most recent declaration submitted under Section
  1956.022(a) or 1956.127, as applicable.
         SECTION 3.03.  Section 1956.017(b), Occupations Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  The advisory committee consists of 15 members appointed
  by the director as follows:
               (1)  one representative of the department;
               (2)  two representatives of local law enforcement
  agencies located in different municipalities, each with a
  population of 500,000 or more;
               (3)  two representatives of local law enforcement
  agencies located in different municipalities, each with a
  population of 200,000 or more but less than 500,000;
               (4)  one representative of a local law enforcement
  agency located in a municipality with a population of less than
  200,000;
               (5)  five representatives of metal recycling entities,
  at least one of whom must have substantial business experience with
  transactions involving the purchase or acquisition of catalytic
  converters;
               (6)  two members who represent industries that are
  impacted by theft of regulated material;
               (7)  one sheriff of a county with a population of
  500,000 or more; and
               (8)  one sheriff of a county with a population of less
  than 500,000.
         SECTION 3.04.  Section 1956.022, Occupations Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 1956.022.  ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATE; QUALIFICATIONS.
  (a) The department shall issue a certificate of registration to an
  applicant who:
               (1)  applies and pays a registration fee; [and]
               (2)  presents any relevant evidence relating to the
  applicant's qualifications as required by commission rule;
               (3)  submits a declaration describing the extent to
  which the applicant intends to engage in transactions involving
  catalytic converters removed from motor vehicles in the course of
  the applicant's business activity;
               (4)  presents evidence satisfactory to the department
  that the applicant intends to act as a metal recycling entity and
  use a fixed location to wholly or partly conduct an activity
  described by Section 1956.001(7); and
               (5)  provides the physical address of the fixed
  location described by Subdivision (4).
         (a-1)  If the applicant's business activity involves
  catalytic converters removed from motor vehicles, the declaration
  described by Subsection (a)(3) must state:
               (1)  whether the applicant will engage in a business
  activity described by Section 1956.001(7)(A) or (B) with respect to
  catalytic converters removed from motor vehicles;
               (2)  whether the applicant will engage in a business
  activity described by Section 1956.001(7)(C) but not a business
  activity described by Section 1956.001(7)(A) or (B), with respect
  to catalytic converters removed from motor vehicles; or
               (3)  that the applicant will deal only incidentally
  with catalytic converters removed from motor vehicles.
         (a-2)  An applicant who intends to conduct an activity
  described by Section 1956.001(7) at more than one fixed location
  must complete an application and obtain a certificate of
  registration for each fixed location.
         (b)  The commission by rule may establish qualifications for
  the holder of a certificate of registration under this chapter,
  which may include accepting copies of a license or permit issued by
  a county or municipality authorizing a metal recycling entity to
  conduct business in that county or municipality. The
  qualifications may differ for a holder of a certificate of
  registration under this chapter based on the extent to which the
  person engages in transactions involving catalytic converters
  removed from motor vehicles as stated on the person's declaration
  submitted under Subsection (a).
         SECTION 3.05.  Section 1956.024(a), Occupations Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  To renew a certificate of registration, a person must:
               (1)  submit an application for renewal in the manner
  prescribed by the department; and
               (2)  update the person's declaration submitted under
  Section 1956.022(a).
         SECTION 3.06.  Subchapter A-3, Chapter 1956, Occupations
  Code, is amended by adding Section 1956.030 to read as follows:
         Sec. 1956.030.  FIXED LOCATION. (a) A metal recycling
  entity shall at all times maintain a fixed location and use the
  fixed location to at least partly conduct an activity described by
  Section 1956.001(7).
         (b)  A metal recycling entity shall maintain a fixed location
  as required by Subsection (a) for each certificate of registration
  held by the metal recycling entity.
         SECTION 3.07.  Chapter 1956, Occupations Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter C-1 to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER C-1. CERTAIN TRANSACTIONS INVOLVING CATALYTIC
  CONVERTERS REMOVED FROM MOTOR VEHICLES
         Sec. 1956.121.  DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "motor
  vehicle" has the meaning assigned by Section 541.201,
  Transportation Code.
         Sec. 1956.122.  APPLICABILITY; EFFECT OF LAW.  (a)  
  Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, this
  subchapter applies to the purchase or acquisition, from a person
  described by Section 1956.002(1), of a catalytic converter removed
  from a motor vehicle.
         (b)  This subchapter does not affect any requirement under
  Subchapter A-3, including any requirement applicable to the
  purchase or acquisition of a catalytic converter removed from a
  motor vehicle from a person not described by Section 1956.002(1).
         Sec. 1956.123.  LIMITATION ON PURCHASING OR OTHERWISE
  ACQUIRING CATALYTIC CONVERTERS. A metal recycling entity may not
  purchase or otherwise acquire a catalytic converter that was
  removed from a motor vehicle from a person described by Section
  1956.002(1), unless each of the following is satisfied:
               (1)  the person selling the catalytic converter to the
  metal recycling entity acquired it in the ordinary course of the
  person's business, including in the ordinary course of business of
  any of the following entities:
                     (A)  an automotive wrecking and salvage yard as
  defined by Section 234.001, Local Government Code;
                     (B)  a metal recycling entity registered under
  this chapter;
                     (C)  a manufacturer, distributor, converter, or
  dealer licensed under Chapter 2301, including any department of a
  dealer or converter that repairs or services motor vehicles;
                     (D)  a shop or garage that is engaged in the
  business of repairing motor vehicles; 
                     (E)  a used automotive parts recycler licensed
  under Chapter 2309; 
                     (F)  a motor vehicle demolisher as defined by
  Section 683.001, Transportation Code; 
                     (G)  a school or training program in which
  students are provided instruction on building, repairing, or
  restoring motor vehicles; 
                     (H)  a law enforcement agency;
                     (I)  the National Insurance Crime Bureau; 
                     (J)  a business that is:
                           (i)  located in and regulated by another
  state or a political subdivision of another state; and
                           (ii)  engaged in an activity for which a
  business described by Paragraphs (A) through (I) is regulated by
  this state or a political subdivision of this state; or
                     (K)  a business that is located in a jurisdiction
  outside the United States and operated in a business form
  recognized by the laws of that jurisdiction and that imports
  catalytic converters into the United States in accordance with the
  Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States published by the
  United States International Trade Commission; and
               (2)  any individual acting on behalf of the person
  described by Subdivision (1) has apparent authority to enter into
  the transaction and is acting in the scope of that authority.
         Sec. 1956.124.  CERTAIN RECORDS REQUIRED WHEN PURCHASING OR
  OTHERWISE ACQUIRING CATALYTIC CONVERTER; OFFENSE. (a) A metal
  recycling entity shall maintain an accurate record of each
  transaction in which the entity purchases or otherwise acquires a
  catalytic converter that is removed from a motor vehicle from a
  person described by Section 1956.123.
         (b)  A record meets the requirements of Subsection (a) if it
  contains:
               (1)  a description made in accordance with the custom
  of the trade for the volume of catalytic converters purchased or
  otherwise acquired;
               (2)  the business name of the person from whom the
  catalytic converters were purchased or otherwise acquired; and
               (3)  the date of the transaction.
         (c)  A metal recycling entity shall preserve each record
  required by this section until the second anniversary of the date
  the record was made.  The records must be maintained in an easily
  retrievable format and must be available for inspection as provided
  by Section 1956.125 not later than 72 hours after the time of
  purchase or acquisition.
         (d)  A record containing the information described by
  Subsection (b) that is maintained in accordance with other law or as
  a routine business practice satisfies the requirements of
  Subsection (a).
         (e)  A metal recycling entity commits an offense if the
  entity intentionally or knowingly fails to maintain a record as
  required by this section. An offense under this subsection is a
  Class A misdemeanor.
         Sec. 1956.125.  INSPECTION OF RECORDS.  On request, a metal
  recycling entity shall permit a peace officer, a representative of
  the department, or a representative of a county, municipality, or
  other political subdivision that issues a license or permit under
  Section 1956.003(b) to, during the entity's usual business hours:
               (1)  enter the premises of the entity; and
               (2)  inspect a record required to be maintained by
  Section 1956.124.
         Sec. 1956.126.  EFFECT ON LOCAL LAW. (a) Notwithstanding
  Section 1956.003, a county, municipality, or political subdivision
  of this state may not:
               (1)  with respect to a catalytic converter removed from
  a motor vehicle, restrict the purchase, acquisition, sale,
  transfer, or possession of the catalytic converter by a person
  described by Section 1956.123; or
               (2)  alter or add to the recordkeeping requirements
  provided by Section 1956.124.
         (b)  Subsection (a) does not affect the authority of a
  county, municipality, or political subdivision of this state to:
               (1)  issue a license or permit as provided by Section
  1956.003; or
               (2)  inspect a record as provided by Section 1956.125.
         Sec. 1956.127.  DECLARATION UPDATE. If the business
  activity of a metal recycling entity substantially changes in the
  extent to which the entity engages in transactions involving
  catalytic converters removed from motor vehicles, the entity shall
  update the entity's declaration submitted under Section 1956.022.
         Sec. 1956.128.  ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY. (a) The commission
  may impose an administrative penalty under Subchapter R, Chapter
  411, Government Code, on a metal recycling entity that:
               (1)  violates Section 1956.123 due to the entity's
  failure to exercise due diligence in purchasing or acquiring a
  catalytic converter removed from a motor vehicle; or
               (2)  violates Section 1956.124.
         (b)  The amount of the administrative penalty may not exceed
  $10,000.
         SECTION 3.08.  Subchapter A, Chapter 2305, Occupations Code,
  is amended by adding Section 2305.0041 to read as follows:
         Sec. 2305.0041.  LIMITATION ON BUYING AND SELLING CATALYTIC
  CONVERTERS. A person subject to this subchapter may not buy or sell
  a catalytic converter removed from a motor vehicle unless the
  catalytic converter was removed from the motor vehicle in
  connection with the person's repair of the vehicle.
         SECTION 3.09.  The heading to Section 2305.0051, Occupations
  Code, is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 2305.0051.  REPAIR RECORDS RELATED TO CATALYTIC
  CONVERTERS.
         SECTION 3.10.  Section 2305.0051(a), Occupations Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The owner of a garage or repair shop that sells or
  transfers to any person, including a metal recycling entity
  registered under Chapter 1956, a catalytic converter that was [the
  person] removed in connection with a motor vehicle repair shall
  maintain a record of all repairs for the vehicle that includes:
               (1)  the name and address of the vehicle's owner; [and]
               (2)  the vehicle identification number of the vehicle;
  and
               (3)  copies of all related invoices including, as
  applicable, a notation that a catalytic converter was removed from
  the vehicle.
         SECTION 3.11.  Section 2305.101(c), Occupations Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (c)  An offense under this chapter that consists of the
  violation of Section 2305.0041, 2305.0051, or 2305.007 is a Class A
  misdemeanor.
         SECTION 3.12.  Chapter 2305, Occupations Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter D to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER D. RECORDS OF CERTAIN SALES OR TRANSFERS OF CATALYTIC
  CONVERTERS REMOVED FROM MOTOR VEHICLES
         Sec. 2305.151.  DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "catalytic
  converter" has the meaning assigned by Section 1956.001.
         Sec. 2305.152.  APPLICABILITY. This subchapter applies only
  to a person described by Section 1956.123(1)(A) through (G).
         Sec. 2305.153.  RECORD REQUIRED. (a) A person to whom this
  subchapter applies shall, for each transaction in which the person
  sells or transfers to another person a catalytic converter that is
  removed from a motor vehicle, maintain an accurate record of the
  transaction until the second anniversary of the date of the
  transaction.
         (b)  A record is sufficient to meet the requirements of
  Subsection (a) if it contains:
               (1)  a description made in accordance with the custom
  of the trade for the volume of catalytic converters sold or
  transferred;
               (2)  the name of the person to whom the catalytic
  converters were sold or transferred; and
               (3)  the date of the transaction.
         (c)  A record containing the information described by
  Subsection (b) that is maintained in accordance with other law or as
  a routine business practice satisfies the requirements of
  Subsection (a).
         Sec. 2305.154.  OFFENSE:  FAILURE TO MAINTAIN RECORD. (a) A
  person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly
  fails to maintain a record as required by Section 2305.153.
         (b)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
         (c)  If conduct that constitutes an offense under this
  section also constitutes an offense under another provision of this
  chapter, the person may be prosecuted only under this section.
         Sec. 2305.155.  INSPECTION OF CERTAIN RECORDS. (a)  In this
  section, "licensing authority" and "occupational license" have the
  meanings assigned by Section 58.001.
         (b)  If an occupational license is required for a person to
  engage in a business or occupation described by Section
  1956.123(1)(A) through (G), the licensing authority that issues the
  occupational license may at a reasonable time:
               (1)  enter the premises at which the person engages in
  the regulated business or occupation; and
               (2)  inspect the records or information required to be
  maintained under Section 2305.153.
         (c)  Regardless of whether an occupational license is
  required, an officer of the Department of Public Safety or another
  peace officer may enter the premises of and inspect the records of a
  person described by Section 1956.123(1)(A) through (G), as provided
  by Subsection (b).
         SECTION 3.13.  Section 1006.001(2), Transportation Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
               (2)  "Economic motor vehicle theft" means motor vehicle
  burglary or theft, including theft of a catalytic converter
  attached to a motor vehicle, committed for financial gain.
         SECTION 3.14.  Sections 1006.153(b) and (e), Transportation
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  An insurer shall pay to the authority a fee equal to $5
  [$4] multiplied by the total number of motor vehicle years of
  insurance for insurance policies delivered, issued for delivery, or
  renewed by the insurer. The fee shall be paid not later than:
               (1)  March 1 of each year for a policy delivered,
  issued, or renewed from July 1 through December 31 of the previous
  calendar year; and
               (2)  August 1 of each year for a policy delivered,
  issued, or renewed from January 1 through June 30 of that year.
         (e)  Out of each fee collected under Subsection (b), $1 shall
  be deposited to the credit of the general revenue fund to be used
  only for coordinated regulatory and law enforcement activities
  intended to detect and prevent catalytic converter theft in this
  state. The remainder of each fee collected under Subsection (b) and
  any [or an] amount collected under Subsection (b-1) shall be
  allocated as follows:
               (1)  20 percent shall be appropriated to the authority
  for the purposes of this chapter;
               (2)  20 percent shall be deposited to the credit of the
  general revenue fund, to be used only for criminal justice
  purposes; and
               (3)  60 percent shall be deposited to the credit of the
  designated trauma facility and emergency medical services account
  under Section 780.003, Health and Safety Code, to be used only for
  the criminal justice purpose of funding designated trauma
  facilities, county and regional emergency medical services, and
  trauma care systems that provide trauma care and emergency medical
  services to victims of accidents resulting from traffic offenses.
  ARTICLE 4.  TRANSITIONS
         SECTION 4.01.  The change in law made by this Act to Section
  1956.017, Occupations Code, does not affect the entitlement of a
  member serving on the advisory committee established under that
  section immediately before the effective date of this Act to
  continue to serve for the remainder of the member's term. As the
  terms of members expire after the effective date of this Act, the
  director of the Department of Public Safety shall appoint or
  reappoint members who have the qualifications required by that
  section.
         SECTION 4.02.  Not later than October 1, 2023, a metal
  recycling entity registered under Chapter 1956, Occupations Code,
  on the effective date of this Act shall submit a declaration
  described by Section 1956.022(a)(3), as added by this Act, to the
  Department of Public Safety.
         SECTION 4.03.  Section 1956.022(a), Occupations Code, as
  amended by this Act, applies only to an application for a
  certificate of registration submitted on or after January 1, 2024.
  An application submitted before January 1, 2024, is governed by the
  law in effect immediately before the effective date of this Act, and
  the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 4.04.  As soon as practicable after the effective
  date of this Act, the Department of Public Safety shall adopt rules
  necessary to implement the changes in law made by this Act to
  Chapter 1956, Occupations Code.
         SECTION 4.05.  The changes in law made by this Act to
  Sections 28.03, 31.03, and 71.02, Penal Code, apply 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 on the date 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 4.06.  Section 1006.153, Transportation Code, as
  amended by this Act, applies only to a fee due on or after the
  effective date of this Act. A fee due before the effective date of
  this Act is governed by the law in effect on the date the fee was
  due, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
  ARTICLE 5.  COORDINATION OF STATE AGENCIES TO DETECT AND PREVENT
  THEFT OF CATALYTIC CONVERTERS
         SECTION 5.01.  (a)  In this section, "authority" means the
  Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority.
         (b)  Not later than January 1, 2024, the authority shall
  develop and implement a plan to coordinate efforts with the
  Department of Public Safety, the Texas Department of Licensing and
  Regulation, and the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to:
               (1)  review the records of persons regulated by each
  agency involving the purchase, acquisition, sale, or transfer of
  catalytic converters removed from motor vehicles; and
               (2)  respond to suspicious activities that may be
  detected through the analysis of the records described by
  Subdivision (1) of this subsection.
         (c)  The authority may establish a task force composed of
  persons regulated by the agencies listed in Subsection (b) of this
  section who have substantial business experience in transactions
  involving catalytic converters. The authority shall develop the
  plan described by Subsection (b) of this section with the
  participation of the task force, if established.
         (d)  Except as provided by Subsection (c) of this section,
  the authority may appoint members to the task force as the authority
  determines appropriate.
         (e)  In developing and implementing the plan described by
  Subsection (b) of this section, the authority shall focus on:
               (1)  protecting each step in the legitimate stream of
  commerce that begins with the removal of a catalytic converter from
  a motor vehicle and includes recycling those catalytic converters
  to ensure that the persons regulated by the agencies listed in
  Subsection (b) of this section are not the means for inserting
  stolen catalytic converters into the stream of commerce; and
               (2)  providing risk-based targeting and random
  auditing of the records of the persons regulated by the agencies
  listed in Subsection (b) of this section.
         (f)  The money deposited to the credit of the general revenue
  fund for coordinated regulatory and law enforcement activities
  intended to detect and prevent catalytic converter theft in this
  state as described by Section 1006.153(e), Transportation Code, as
  amended by this Act, may be appropriated to the authority for the
  activities required by this section.
  ARTICLE 6.  EFFECTIVE DATE
         SECTION 6.01.  (a)  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, 2023.
         (b)  Sections 1956.001(6-b) and (7), Occupations Code, as
  amended by this Act, and Section 1956.030, Occupations Code, as
  added by this Act, take effect July 1, 2023.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 224 passed the Senate on
  April 3, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 224 passed the House on
  May 16, 2023, by the following vote:  Yeas 142, Nays 0,
  one present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor