HOUSTON(KIAH) — It’s a new year, so there are some new laws in Texas that have gone into effect that people should know about.

Laws like HB531, directly impact Houstonians. The law came about as a direct result of Hurricane Harvey. The law states a landlord must disclose whether the property has flooded within the last five years or is in a 100-year-flood plain. Half of Harris county residents are renters, this law will offer them more protection.

Senate Bill 23, will directly affect Houston because of its population. The law states cities cannot reduce police funds or reallocate them without securing voter approval in a city with a population of 1 million or more.

“It was about police reform and police accountability. This is really to punish big cities, the City of Houston, and urban cities from local control.”

State Rep. Ron Reynolds, D-Missouri City

Supporters of this bill argue it will secure funds for local law enforcement. The Safe Outdoors Dog Act will protect the four-legged residents of Houston. This will make it illegal to chain up pets outside or use restraints with weights attached. The bill will also require that dogs have an adequate shelter that protects them from inclement weather and allow them to stand, sit, turn around and lie down in a normal position.
Failure to provide this for a dog will result in a misdemeanor and a fine. This law won’t take effect until mid-January.