GOVERNMENT CODE


TITLE 3. LEGISLATIVE BRANCH


SUBTITLE B. LEGISLATION


CHAPTER 311. CODE CONSTRUCTION ACT


SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS


Sec. 311.001. SHORT TITLE. This chapter may be cited as the Code Construction Act.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.002. APPLICATION. This chapter applies to:

(1) each code enacted by the 60th or a subsequent legislature as part of the state's continuing statutory revision program;

(2) each amendment, repeal, revision, and reenactment of a code or code provision by the 60th or a subsequent legislature;

(3) each repeal of a statute by a code; and

(4) each rule adopted under a code.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.003. RULES NOT EXCLUSIVE. The rules provided in this chapter are not exclusive but are meant to describe and clarify common situations in order to guide the preparation and construction of codes.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.004. CITATION OF CODES. A code may be cited by its name preceded by the specific part concerned. Examples of citations are:

(1) Title 1, Business & Commerce Code;

(2) Chapter 5, Business & Commerce Code;

(3) Section 9.304, Business & Commerce Code;

(4) Section 15.06(a), Business & Commerce Code; and

(5) Section 17.18(b)(1)(B)(ii), Business & Commerce Code.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 117, Sec. 13(b), eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.005. GENERAL DEFINITIONS. The following definitions apply unless the statute or context in which the word or phrase is used requires a different definition:

(1) "Oath" includes affirmation.

(2) "Person" includes corporation, organization, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, and any other legal entity.

(3) "Population" means the population shown by the most recent federal decennial census.

(4) "Property" means real and personal property.

(5) "Rule" includes regulation.

(6) "Signed" includes any symbol executed or adopted by a person with present intention to authenticate a writing.

(7) "State," when referring to a part of the United States, includes any state, district, commonwealth, territory, and insular possession of the United States and any area subject to the legislative authority of the United States of America.

(8) "Swear" includes affirm.

(9) "United States" includes a department, bureau, or other agency of the United States of America.

(10) "Week" means seven consecutive days.

(11) "Written" includes any representation of words, letters, symbols, or figures.

(12) "Year" means 12 consecutive months.

(13) "Includes" and "including" are terms of enlargement and not of limitation or exclusive enumeration, and use of the terms does not create a presumption that components not expressed are excluded.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 340, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1989.

Sec. 311.006. INTERNAL REFERENCES. In a code:

(1) a reference to a title, chapter, or section without further identification is a reference to a title, chapter, or section of the code; and

(2) a reference to a subtitle, subchapter, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, or other numbered or lettered unit without further identification is a reference to a unit of the next larger unit of the code in which the reference appears.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 131, Sec. 1, eff. May 11, 1993.

SUBCHAPTER B. CONSTRUCTION OF WORDS AND PHRASES


Sec. 311.011. COMMON AND TECHNICAL USAGE OF WORDS. (a) Words and phrases shall be read in context and construed according to the rules of grammar and common usage.

(b) Words and phrases that have acquired a technical or particular meaning, whether by legislative definition or otherwise, shall be construed accordingly.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.012. TENSE, NUMBER, AND GENDER. (a) Words in the present tense include the future tense.

(b) The singular includes the plural and the plural includes the singular.

(c) Words of one gender include the other genders.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.013. AUTHORITY AND QUORUM OF PUBLIC BODY. (a) A grant of authority to three or more persons as a public body confers the authority on a majority of the number of members fixed by statute.

(b) A quorum of a public body is a majority of the number of members fixed by statute.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.014. COMPUTATION OF TIME. (a) In computing a period of days, the first day is excluded and the last day is included.

(b) If the last day of any period is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the period is extended to include the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

(c) If a number of months is to be computed by counting the months from a particular day, the period ends on the same numerical day in the concluding month as the day of the month from which the computation is begun, unless there are not that many days in the concluding month, in which case the period ends on the last day of that month.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.015. REFERENCE TO A SERIES. If a statute refers to a series of numbers or letters, the first and last numbers or letters are included.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.016. "MAY," "SHALL," "MUST," ETC. The following constructions apply unless the context in which the word or phrase appears necessarily requires a different construction or unless a different construction is expressly provided by statute:

(1) "May" creates discretionary authority or grants permission or a power.

(2) "Shall" imposes a duty.

(3) "Must" creates or recognizes a condition precedent.

(4) "Is entitled to" creates or recognizes a right.

(5) "May not" imposes a prohibition and is synonymous with "shall not."

(6) "Is not entitled to" negates a right.

(7) "Is not required to" negates a duty or condition precedent.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 220, Sec. 1, eff. May 23, 1997.

SUBCHAPTER C. CONSTRUCTION OF STATUTES


Sec. 311.021. INTENTION IN ENACTMENT OF STATUTES. In enacting a statute, it is presumed that:

(1) compliance with the constitutions of this state and the United States is intended;

(2) the entire statute is intended to be effective;

(3) a just and reasonable result is intended;

(4) a result feasible of execution is intended; and

(5) public interest is favored over any private interest.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.022. PROSPECTIVE OPERATION OF STATUTES. A statute is presumed to be prospective in its operation unless expressly made retrospective.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.023. STATUTE CONSTRUCTION AIDS. In construing a statute, whether or not the statute is considered ambiguous on its face, a court may consider among other matters the:

(1) object sought to be attained;

(2) circumstances under which the statute was enacted;

(3) legislative history;

(4) common law or former statutory provisions, including laws on the same or similar subjects;

(5) consequences of a particular construction;

(6) administrative construction of the statute; and

(7) title (caption), preamble, and emergency provision.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.024. HEADINGS. The heading of a title, subtitle, chapter, subchapter, or section does not limit or expand the meaning of a statute.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.025. IRRECONCILABLE STATUTES AND AMENDMENTS. (a) Except as provided by Section 311.031(d), if statutes enacted at the same or different sessions of the legislature are irreconcilable, the statute latest in date of enactment prevails.

(b) Except as provided by Section 311.031(d), if amendments to the same statute are enacted at the same session of the legislature, one amendment without reference to another, the amendments shall be harmonized, if possible, so that effect may be given to each. If the amendments are irreconcilable, the latest in date of enactment prevails.

(c) In determining whether amendments are irreconcilable, text that is reenacted because of the requirement of Article III, Section 36, of the Texas Constitution is not considered to be irreconcilable with additions or omissions in the same text made by another amendment. Unless clearly indicated to the contrary, an amendment that reenacts text in compliance with that constitutional requirement does not indicate legislative intent that the reenacted text prevail over changes in the same text made by another amendment, regardless of the relative dates of enactment.

(d) In this section, the date of enactment is the date on which the last legislative vote is taken on the bill enacting the statute.

(e) If the journals or other legislative records fail to disclose which of two or more bills in conflict is latest in date of enactment, the date of enactment of the respective bills is considered to be, in order of priority:

(1) the date on which the last presiding officer signed the bill;

(2) the date on which the governor signed the bill; or

(3) the date on which the bill became law by operation of law.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 340, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 220, Sec. 2, eff. May 23, 1997.

Sec. 311.026. SPECIAL OR LOCAL PROVISION PREVAILS OVER GENERAL. (a) If a general provision conflicts with a special or local provision, the provisions shall be construed, if possible, so that effect is given to both.

(b) If the conflict between the general provision and the special or local provision is irreconcilable, the special or local provision prevails as an exception to the general provision, unless the general provision is the later enactment and the manifest intent is that the general provision prevail.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.027. STATUTORY REFERENCES. Unless expressly provided otherwise, a reference to any portion of a statute or rule applies to all reenactments, revisions, or amendments of the statute or rule.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 131, Sec. 2, eff. May 11, 1993.

Sec. 311.028. UNIFORM CONSTRUCTION OF UNIFORM ACTS. A uniform act included in a code shall be construed to effect its general purpose to make uniform the law of those states that enact it.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.029. ENROLLED BILL CONTROLS. If the language of the enrolled bill version of a statute conflicts with the language of any subsequent printing or reprinting of the statute, the language of the enrolled bill version controls.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.030. REPEAL OF REPEALING STATUTE. The repeal of a repealing statute does not revive the statute originally repealed nor impair the effect of any saving provision in it.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.031. SAVING PROVISIONS. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), the reenactment, revision, amendment, or repeal of a statute does not affect:

(1) the prior operation of the statute or any prior action taken under it;

(2) any validation, cure, right, privilege, obligation, or liability previously acquired, accrued, accorded, or incurred under it;

(3) any violation of the statute or any penalty, forfeiture, or punishment incurred under the statute before its amendment or repeal; or

(4) any investigation, proceeding, or remedy concerning any privilege, obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture, or punishment; and the investigation, proceeding, or remedy may be instituted, continued, or enforced, and the penalty, forfeiture, or punishment imposed, as if the statute had not been repealed or amended.

(b) If the penalty, forfeiture, or punishment for any offense is reduced by a reenactment, revision, or amendment of a statute, the penalty, forfeiture, or punishment, if not already imposed, shall be imposed according to the statute as amended.

(c) The repeal of a statute by a code does not affect an amendment, revision, or reenactment of the statute by the same legislature that enacted the code. The amendment, revision, or reenactment is preserved and given effect as part of the code provision that revised the statute so amended, revised, or reenacted.

(d) If any provision of a code conflicts with a statute enacted by the same legislature that enacted the code, the statute controls.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.032. SEVERABILITY OF STATUTES. (a) If any statute contains a provision for severability, that provision prevails in interpreting that statute.

(b) If any statute contains a provision for nonseverability, that provision prevails in interpreting that statute.

(c) In a statute that does not contain a provision for severability or nonseverability, if any provision of the statute or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the statute that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of the statute are severable.

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985.

Sec. 311.034. WAIVER OF SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY. In order to preserve the legislature's interest in managing state fiscal matters through the appropriations process, a statute shall not be construed as a waiver of sovereign immunity unless the waiver is effected by clear and unambiguous language. In a statute, the use of "person," as defined by Section 311.005 to include governmental entities, does not indicate legislative intent to waive sovereign immunity unless the context of the statute indicates no other reasonable construction. Statutory prerequisites to a suit, including the provision of notice, are jurisdictional requirements in all suits against a governmental entity.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1158, Sec. 8, eff. June 15, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1150 (H.B. 2988), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.