FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 01/05/2021
Metcalf Files Legislation to Amend Deadline Date for Montgomery County Hospital District Board Filings
AUSTIN – State Representative Will Metcalf (Conroe) has filed legislation, brought by the Montgomery County Hospital District (MCHD) Board of Directors, to correct the deadline date for a MCHD board candidate filing their ballot petition. At present, the District's enabling statute is inconsistent with the deadline date in the Texas Election Code, leaving open the possibility for a candidate to be disqualified from serving but still elected if they do not file a ballot petition by both statutory dates. House Bill 977 will eliminate this confusion by amending the MCHD statute to reflect only the date that is required in the Texas Election Code.
Currently, the Texas Election Code requires that a candidate's application for a place on the election ballot must be filed with the board secretary no later than 5 P.M. on the 62nd day before the election. In addition to this ballot application requirement of the Election Code, the District's enabling statute requires that a ballot petition, signed by at least 10 registered voters, be submitted to the board secretary by a candidate for director at least 25 days before the date of the election. With two different deadlines for filing, it would be possible for a candidate to be placed on the election ballot by the County Elections Administrator for turning in their application by the 62nd day prior to the election, but then be disqualified from serving on the District's board if the candidate did not file the ballot petition by the 25th day before the election. The County Election's Administrator has no authority to remove a name from the ballot 25 days before the election. The unintended consequence would be that a candidate could be elected to the District's board but would be ineligible to serve, creating a vacancy that would have to be filled by appointment. HB 977 seeks to correct this issue and provide for a corresponding date to file both the candidate's ballot application and their ballot petition.
"House Bill 977 is a common sense change to the Montgomery County Hospital District's enabling statute," Metcalf stated. "It eliminates the confusion of having two different filing dates and removes the risk of having a disqualified candidate elected to serve on the MCHD Board of Directors. I thank the members of the MCHD board and their legal counsel for bringing this issue to our attention," Metcalf said.
For more information, contact our Capitol office at (512) 463-0726.
CONTACT: Daniel Giese