April 5, 2019

Update on key bills in the Texas Legislature

Last week was a big week for many important bills at the 86th Texas Legislature.  Here is a quick update on what happened and where the bills will go next.

HB 3167 – Oliverson
Relating to the procedure for approval of certain land development applications by a political subdivision.

This bill is designed to help move projects along during the development phase.  It will require that cities or counties conduct a more thorough comments upon initial review, prohibiting them from reopening comments that have already been cleared.  Last Tuesday, the bill was heard in the House committee on Land & Resource Management, chaired by former Speaker Tom Craddick.  The bill was generally received positively, with several committee members asking questions about the specific timelines and processes laid out in the bill.  HB 3167 was left pending and is expected to be voted out tomorrow.

HB 852 – Holland
Relating to information a municipality may consider in determining the amount of certain building permit and inspection fees

This bill will prohibit a city from setting their fees relative to the valuation of a home.  Although this isn’t a common problem in central Texas, it is a big concern in the DFW area.  Currently, only Elgin uses this method to determine their permit and inspection fees, but this bill is important to prevent central Texas cities from using this method in the future.  The bill was heard in the House committee on Urban Affairs mid-March and was sent to the House Calendars Committee last week.  The powerful Calendars Committee is responsible for setting the agenda for floor discussion.

SB 1266 – Buckingham
Relating to certain regulations adopted by governmental entities for the building products, materials, or methods used in the construction of residential or commercial structures.

In the Senate, SB 1266 was heard in the Senate Business & Commerce Committee.  This bill will prohibit cities from mandating that certain products, materials, or methods be used during construction.  After the committee discussed the bill, it was left pending.  The committee is expected to vote out the bill next week, where it will be sent to the full Senate for discussion.

For more information, contact David Glenn, Director of Government Relations and Policy at david@hbaaustin.com.