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Commissioners adopt change in payment process after governor signs new law

During yesterday’s regular meeting, Liberty County Commissioners approved a change to the way some routine and reoccurring expenses will get paid. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 345 on May 31. That bill was approved during the recently completed 86th Texas Legislative Session. It allows specified officers in certain counties to disperse or direct payment of county funds for salaries and expenses. Previously, even though those reoccurring items were part of a county’s adopted budget, each item still had to go before commissioners for approval before payment. The new law allows things like approved salaries, payroll deductions and jury payments already authorized in the county’s budget to be paid without going before the court again. Liberty County First Assistant County Auditor Angela Maselli explained the change during Tuesday’s commissioners’ court, saying the local policy will be more restrictive than the new law allows. Liberty County Judge Jay Knight said the new law means county commissioners will not have to continually meet just to approve previously authorized expenditures. In recent years, he said commissioners’ court was holding special meetings six or seven times a year, just to approve payroll for paydays. So, with that recent change in state law and yesterday’s subsequent action by Liberty County Commissioners Court, the county will now be able pay those bills in a timely manner without extra meetings. The change allows the county to pay routine expenses upon submission of proper pay vouchers to the Liberty County auditor.

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