It’s that time again to start watching the potential law changes that are coming out of Austin and may result from bill passage in the 83rd Legislature. There may be some big changes in our future if the House and Senate can stay on track and pass a large portion of the bills that have been submitted. One of the most dramatic bills trying to be passed is an overhaul to the Mechanic’s Lien Statutes. Everyone who has dealt with the Mechanic’s Lien statutes in Texas agrees that they are a mess and need reworking. However, most lawyers would agree that it would be impossible to legislate every issue that comes up under the lien laws. I believe that the bill which is currently being presented completely reworks the current Mechanic’s Lien Statute. Therefore, such a big change is unlikely to be passed in its infancy stage. So, instead of going over the proposed Mechanic’s Lien changes, I thought I would go over a couple of other construction related Bills.
Since everyone always loves government regulation, Texas is trying to pass additional regulations (HB 613 & SB 802) to require foundation repair contractors to require licenses to be able to work in Texas. HB 613 attempts to create an Advisory Board that would be made up of seven members appointed by the presiding officer of the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation. The Board would then be responsible for determining all the details of the regulations and licensing. While they are still working on some of the details, here are the some of the requirements, that are actually set forth in HB 613 & SB 802 relating to foundation repair contractors:
- Insurance requirement;
- Fee for licensing;
- Exam to obtain license; and
- Requirement to notify the local municipality (where work is done) of such license.
HB 888 & SB 311 are directed towards the roofing industry. These bills are a little heftier than the ones covering the foundation industry. For all of you that remember the TRCC, these bills seemed similar to a “mini” TRCC for the roofing industry instead of just regulating licensing. Unlike the foundation bill, that has been voted on and has made it out of committee, this bill was left pending in committee and during the committee meeting the sponsoring Senator, John Corona, has begun giving up many aspects of the bill. So, while I don’t think that the roofers have any changes in their near future with these current bills, I wouldn’t doubt we would see the next legislature try again to regulate the roofing industry but with a little lighter hand approach.