As of September 1, 2021, 666 new Texas state laws have gone into effect. Passed during the 87th Texas Legislative session, ten notable new laws include:

Permitless Carry
House Bill 1927, referred to as the “Firearms Carry Act,” establishes that anyone 21 years of age and older who legally owns a gun may carry it in public without the need for a government-issued license.

The Heartbeat Bill
Senate Bill 8 declares that with the exception of medical emergencies, abortions will not be permitted once a fetal heartbeat has been detected.

New Beer and Wine Sales Hours on Sundays
House Bill 1518 changes the hours of wine and beer sales from 12 pm on Sundays to 10 am on Sundays. Liquor sales, however, are still prohibited on Sundays, as well as on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas.

Felony for Blocking Emergency Vehicles
House Bill 9 establishes that anyone knowingly blocking the passage of an emergency vehicle will be subjected to a felony charge and required to serve time in state jail.

Elimination of “Critical Race Theory” Curriculum
House Bill 3979 limits educators from including curriculum that “presents any form of race or sex stereotyping or blame on the basis of race or sex.” Under this law, teachers are prohibited from stating that any one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex. Additionally, educators are not permitted to teach students that individuals are inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive on the basis of an individual’s race or sex.

Felony Charge for Prostitution
House Bill 1540 makes buying sex a felony. Previously, prostitution was cited as a misdemeanor. This bill also aims to punish those who recruit victims into the trade of sex or drug trafficking.

National Anthem Requirement
Senate Bill 4 introduces the requirement for professional sports teams contracted with the State to play the National Anthem at their games.

Restriction of Law Enforcement Budget Cuts
House Bill 1900 discourages municipalities with populations of more than 250,000 residents from cutting law enforcement budgets. If municipalities of this size or larger proceed to cut law enforcement budgets, their city sales taxes will be subjected to reappropriation in order to pay for expenses incurred by the Texas Department of Public Safety. This law also caps property tax rates in cities that do move forward with cutting law enforcement budgets.

Police Required to Wear Body Cameras
House Bill 929 requires police officers to wear body cameras while participating in investigations. This bill mandates that video footage and audio recordings must be activated during such investigations.

Expansion of Medical Marijuana Usage and the Establishment of Review Boards
House Bill 1535 expands the list of diagnoses deemed eligible for low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cannabis prescriptions. This list includes diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer regardless of whether it is terminal, and other medical conditions described as “debilitating” by the Texas Department of State Health Services. This bill also dictates that institutional review boards will be established for reviewing and approving research programs of THC-based patient treatments. Prior to this bill, the legal weight of what was considered “low-THC cannabis” was 0.5% of the product’s content. HB 1535 increases the allowable weight to 5%.