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IEC of Texas Legislative Report

The Texas 88th Legislative Session Update

June 2023 Veto Period

The 88th Legislature Governor’s Veto Period ended on June 18, 2023 at midnight. Below are the bills we are following and that finally passed. Several of the bills passed are beneficial to the electrical contracting industry. The House adjourned Sine Die in the 1st Called Special Session, but the Senate is still convening and is in a battle with the Governor over property tax issues. As a reminder, this 1st special session covers:

“Legislation to cut property-tax rates solely by reducing the school district maximum compressed tax rate in order to provide lasting property-tax relief for Texas taxpayers.”

“Legislation solely for the purpose of increasing or enhancing the penalties for certain criminal conduct involving the smuggling of persons or the operation of a stash house.”

There will also be an impeachment trial for Ken Paxton in the Senate, which should convene in August. The Senate will convene June 20th to consider rules for the Paxton trial.

Electrical Licensing

HB 1391 Schaefer - Regulation of Residential Wireman - Support - This will allow an applicant for a residential wireman license to either have at least 4000 hours of on-the-job training under the supervision of a master or residential wireman or successfully complete a two-year career and technology education program (at an institution of higher education or a private school) and pass a residential wireman exam. Signed by the Governor; earliest effective date 6/9/23

HB 2453 Guillen - Digital Licenses - Support - This bill will allow a state licensing agency to issue a digital license, certificate of registration or other legal authorization providing certain rules must be followed. Signed by the Governor; earliest effective date 9/1/23

Electrical Contracting

HB 679 K. Bell - Voidable Contract Provisions (Governmental) - Support - an offer to contract may not contain a term requiring a person to have a specified experience modifier in order to accept the offer. It may not require a person to have a specified experience modifier in order to submit a response to the contract solicitation. A contract solicitation, an offer, a construction contract or an agreement collateral to or affecting a construction contract that has a specified experience modifier is void and unenforceable if it violates these parameters. Signed by the Governor; earliest effective date 9/1/23

HB 2022 Leach/SB 873 King - Residential Construction Defects - Support - This will make a contractor liable only to the extent a defective condition proximately causes an actual physical damage to the residence, an actual failure or lack of capability of a building component to perform its intended function or purpose or an imminent danger to the safety of the occupants of the residence. The bill also allows the contractor to conduct up to three inspections and the time to complete the repairs. Signed by the Governor; earliest effective date 9/1/23

HB 2024 Leach/SB 939 King - Residential Statutes of Limitation of Repose - Support - This will make a claim arising out of the design, construction, or repair of a new residence; of an alteration of or repair or addition to an existing residence, or an appurtenance to a residence; a claimant must bring suit for damages for a claim against a person who constructs or repairs an improvement to real property no later than 10 years after the substantial completion of the improvement. If the contractor provides a written warranty, then the claimant must bring suit within 6 years after substantial completion. The bill also provides that a written warranty must provide a minimum of two years for plumbing, electrical, heating and air-conditioning. Signed by the Governor; earliest effective date 6/9/23

HB 2127 Burrows/SB 814 Creighton - Preemption of Certain Municipal and County Regulation - Neutral - The purpose of the act is to provide regulatory consistency across the state and return the historic exclusive powers to the state. Signed by the Governor; earliest effective date 6/14/23

HB 2453 Guillen - Relating to Issuance of Digital Licenses - Neutral - this bill allows state licensing agencies to provide digital licenses. Signed by the Governor; earliest effective date 9/1/23

HB 2518 K. Bell - Public Work Contracts including Contracts on Public Property Leased to a Nongovernmental Entity - Support - This bill adds a person who leases any public property to the statute and a Government Entity that enters into a public work contract with a prime contractor or authorizes a nongovernmental entity leasing a public property from the governmental entity to enter into a public works contract with a prime contractor. It also requires a notice of commencement of work from a non-governmental entity leasing a public property A person commits an offense if the person materially misrepresents information in a notice of commencement resulting in a Class A misdemeanor. A government entity is not liable as a surety if a person leasing property from the entity fails to submit to the entity notice of commencement required. Signed by the Governor; earliest effective date 9/1/23

HB 3485 Bell - Contractor’s or Subcontractor’s Right to Elect Not to Proceed with Additional Work Under a Contract - Support - A contractor or a subcontractor may elect not to proceed with additional work directed by a government entity if the contractor or sub-contractor has not received a written, fully executed change order for the governmental entity directed additional work and the aggregate actual or anticipated values of the additional work which the contractor has not received a fully executed change order exceeds 10% of the original contract amount. A contractor who elects not to proceed is not responsible for damages associated with this election. Signed by the Governor; earliest effective date 9/1/23

SB 1001 Schwertner - Regulation of Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment - Neutral - This bill allows the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to regulate and inspect electrical vehicle supply equipment. The bill states the equipment must be installed and operated in accordance with Chapter 1305. Signed by the Governor; earliest effective date 9/1/23

Renea Beasley
Executive Director
IEC of Texas