Note: Included opinions are from August 8, 2014 through September 12, 2014.
Opinion No. GA-1079 (Videoconferencing): An in-person meeting of an open-enrollment charter school’s governing board must be physically accessible to the public to comply with the Open Meetings Act. Because accessibility depends on particular facts, we cannot conclude that an open-enrollment charter school’s governing board may conduct such a meeting in compliance with the Act beyond its geographic service area.
An open-enrollment charter school’s governing board may conduct an open meeting by videoconference call as provided by Section 551.127 of the Government Code. Provided that the member of the board of the open-enrollment charter school presiding over the meeting is present at a physical location open to the public in or within a reasonable distance of the charter school’s geographic territory, other members of the board may participate in a videoconference call meeting from remote locations outside of the geographic service area, including areas outside of the state.
Opinion No. GA-1078 (Plastic Bag Ordinances): A court would likely conclude that a city ordinance prohibiting or restricting single-use plastic bags is prohibited by Subsection 361.0961(a)(l) of the Health and Safety Code if the city adopted the ordinance for solid waste management purposes. Whether a specific city’s single-use plastic bag ordinance was adopted for such purposes will require a factual inquiry that is beyond the scope of an attorney general opinion. A court would likely conclude that Section 361.096l(a)(3) prohibits a city from adopting an ordinance that assesses a fee on the sale or use of a single-use plastic bag.
Opinion No. GA-1077 (Sex Offender Registration): A court would likely conclude that an order issued under a previous version of Article 42.12, Section 5(c) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, granting a defendant an early termination of deferred adjudication community supervision, does not affect the deferred adjudication’s potential status as an “adjudication” subject to the sex offender registration requirements of Chapter 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Opinion No. GA-1076 (County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zones): A county’s use of tax increment financing to fund transportation projects in a county energy transportation reinvestment zone could be subject to challenge under the equal and uniform taxation requirement in Article VIII, Section l(a) of the Texas Constitution. A county creating a county energy transportation reinvestment zone under Section 222.1071 of the Transportation Code may not place general revenue funds into the tax increment account.
Opinion No. GA-1075 (Dual Office-Holding): The dual office-holding provision of Article XVI, Section 40(a) of the Texas Constitution does not prohibit a board member of the Maverick County Hospital District from serving the county in other official capacities.
Whether the conflicting-loyalties aspect of the common-law doctrine of incompatibility prohibits a board member of the Maverick County Hospital District from simultaneously serving as a commissioner of a municipal housing authority where the two entities have contracted with each other depends on whether holding both offices is detrimental to the public interest or whether the performance of the duties of one interferes with the performance of those of the other. Such a determination is a factual inquiry, which cannot be resolved through the opinion process.
A court would likely conclude that the conflicting-loyalties aspect of the common-law doctrine of incompatibility does not prohibit a board member of the Maverick County Hospital District from simultaneously serving as the Maverick County Treasurer.