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Legal Brief

Legal Brief: Legislature Significantly Changes Calculation of "Business Days" for Responding

September 1, 2023
Hans Graff

Board action is required if your districts intends to designate additional days as non-business days for public information requests.

Public Information Officers for Texas governmental entities should be aware of changes resulting from HB 3033 which are effective September 1, 2023.  The bill makes significant changes to the Texas Public Information Act (TPIA)deadline calculation, requires districts to update their procedures, and requires Board action to take advantage of certain provisions affecting deadline calculations.

The TPIA requires a governmental entity to respond within 10 “business days” to a request for public information. The statute did not define the term “business days.” The Texas Attorney General Open Records Division interpreted “business days” to not include any days the governmental entity was closed to the public for business. Closures such as Thanksgiving, winter holidays, and spring break were not counted as business days when calculating applicable deadlines.

HB 3033 more narrowly defines “business days.” Under the revised statute, the only days that do not count as business days are the following:

·      Weekends – Saturday or Sunday;

·      National Holidays – New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day;

·      State Holidays – Confederate Heroes Day, Texas Independence Day, San Jacinto Day, Emancipation Day, Lyndon B. Johnson Day;  

·      Optional Holidays – Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Good Friday (only if the officer for public information of the governmental body observes the holiday);

·      The Friday before or the Monday after a holiday described above if the holiday occurs on a Saturday or Sunday and the governmental body observes the holiday on that Friday or Monday; and  

·      The statute permits the Board of Trustees to designate up to 10 additional days each calendar year when the district’s administrative offices are closed or operating with minimal staff that may be used in calculating deadlines.

In order to use the 10 additional “non-business days” each calendar year, the Board of Trustees must officially designate these days on an annual basis. If districts wish to take advantage of this provision, they should designate those days through a Board resolution as soon as possible.

Additional changes include:

·      The Attorney General may require a public official to complete training regarding compliance with the requirements of the TPIA if the AG determines the entity has failed to comply with the Act.  

·      The litigation exception in Tx. Gov’t. Code§552.103 is modified to no longer permit withholding of election information relating to a general or special election, unless held by a state entity created by the legislative or executive branch that is directed by one or more elected or appointed members;

·      Sections 552.271 and 552.272 prohibit a requestor who has exceeded a limit established by a governmental entity under552.275 (frequent flyer provision) from inspecting information on behalf of another requestor, unless they have paid each statement issued by the government entity.

·      Requests for an attorney general opinion must be submitted electronically via the OAG’s electronic filing system unless the governmental body has fewer than 16 employees or is located in a county with a population of less than 150,000, or the amount or format of the responsive information makes use of the electronic filing system impractical or impossible. Hand delivery to the Attorney General’s office is still permitted.


Upon receipt of an attorney general’s opinion requiring disclosure of documents, the district must inform the requestor and take any required actions “as soon as practicable but within a reasonable period of time.” The bill defines “reasonable period of time” as“ not later than the 30th day after the date the attorney general issues the opinion.”

Should questions arise regarding the current or proposed school safety requirements, please feel free to contact Leon|Alcala, PLLC for additional guidance.

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