IEC of Texas Legislative Report
The 88th Texas Legislature
The legislative session has been moving slowly. The IEC of Texas lobby team is working diligently to Protect our Industry. Below is an update of the bills of interest we are following. The 60th day deadline for bill filing is fast approaching on March 10, 2023. Be on the lookout for IEC of Texas Legislative Action Alerts when the hearings begin as we will need to testify on several important issues that will affect the electrical industry.
HB 823 Allen – Occupational Licensing for inmates – This will allow for an inmate to gain electrical licensure while incarcerated.
HB 1391 Schaefer – Regulation of Residential Wireman – 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.
HB 2453 Guillen – Digital Licenses – 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.
HB 679 K. Bell – Voidable Contract Provisions (Governmental) – 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.
HB 217 Murr – Lien Limitation for Labor or Materials – Amends the law adding that the amount of the lien claimed by a subcontractor may not exceed the lesser of the contract price minus previous payments received by the original contractor and the claimant on the subcontract.
HB 778 Walle/SB 283 Eckhardt – Required workers compensation insurance coverage – for employees of building and construction contractors and employees of subcontractors on public projects.
HB 1286 Guillen – Construction Standards for Recreational and Vehicle parks – construction of a recreational vehicle park or campground on private land must follow the NFPA 1194 codes.
HB 723 Thompson/SB 108 Menendez – Employer Inquiries into and Consideration of Wage History Information – An employer commits an unlawful employment practice in violation of this chapter and Chapter 21 if the employer: verbally or in writing inquires into an applicant’s wage history information from the applicant or from a previous employer of the applicant; or requires disclosure of an applicant’s wage history information as a condition of employment. An employer commits an unlawful employment practice if the employer discharges or in any other manner discriminates against, coerces, intimidates, threatens, or interferes with an employee, applicant, or other individual because the individual inquired about, disclosed, compared, or otherwise discussed an employee’s wages or an applicant’s prospective wages.
HB 857 Gervin-Hawkins – Payment Bonds for Public Work Contractors – The prime contractor on a public works project shall provide a payment bond if the contract is in excess of $100,000 and the government entity is not a municipality or a joint board created in Chapter 22 of the Transportation Code.
HB 1054 Turner – Classification of Construction Workers (Governmental) – A contractor shall properly classify each individual providing construction services as either an employee or an independent contractor in accordance with commission rules. The commission may impose a penalty against the contractor.
HB 1055 Turner – Unemployment Benefits during Labor disputes – Disqualification of benefits during a labor dispute does not apply to persons: not participating in the labor dispute, does not belong to a grade or class of workers which were employed at the premises of the labor dispute immediately before the beginning of the dispute, that have been locked out of the individual’s place of employment, who have been placed on emergency leave without pay by the employer.
HB 1963 Leach – Construction Contract Trust Funds – This will amend the property code to have an artisan, laborer, mechanic, contractor, subcontractor or materialman who labors or furnishes labor or material for the construction or repair of an improvement on specific real property in Texas is a beneficiary of any trust funds paid or received in connection with the improvement or reserved or required to be reserved in connection with the improvement.
HB 2022 Leach/SB 873 King – Residential Construction Defects – 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 preform 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.
HB 2265 Leach/SB 803 Hughes – Compensatory Damages Caused by Delays Under Governmental Contracts – a construction contract between a governmental entity and a contractor may not prohibit or limit the award of compensatory damages to the contractor for a delay caused solely by the governmental entity.
HB 2409 Reynolds – Updating the International Residential Code/International Building Code – to May 1, 2021 from May 1, 2012.
SB 674 Eckhardt – Updating Codes for Municipal and Counties Statewide – This bill makes the National Electrical Code as it existed on May 1, 2023 as the Municipal Electrical Code for the state and applies to all residential and commercial electrical construction applications; the ICC International Energy Conservation Code as it existed on May 1, 2023 as the energy Code for the state. It makes the May 1, 2023 International Residential Code the residential code and the ICC Building Code is updated to the current year.
HB 2422 Lozano – Sales Tax Holiday for Tools and Equipment for Skilled Trades – this would exempt the sale of a skilled trade’s tools and equipment from sales and use taxes if the sale takes place during a period beginning at 12:01am on the first Friday in September and ending 11:59pm on the following Monday.
HB 2429 Morrison – Data Used in Determining General Prevailing Wage Rates for Public Work – This would allow the state to utilize collected data from the Texas Workforce Commission as well as from the US Department of Labor to determine the general prevailing wage rates for public work.
HB 2468 Burrows/SB 1033 Perry – Eligibility of an Injured Employee for Lifetime Income Benefits Under Workers Compensation – this bill adds a physically traumatic injury to the brain resulting in a permanent major neurocognitive disorder or a psychotic disorder.
HB 2518 Bell – Public Work Contracts including Contracts on Public Property Leased to a Nongovernmental Entity – 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.
HB 2539 Noble – Compensability of Injuries Sustained at a non-jobsite Location – This will not allow an injury to be compensable if the injury arises while the employee performs job duties for an employer at the employee’s home or a location that is not owned, operated, or controlled by the employer, or at which the employee is not specifically required to be to perform the employee’s job duties.
SB 1001 Schwertner – Regulation of Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment – This will allow the TDLR to conduct inspections of electric vehicle supply equipment.
Repeal of Franchise Tax – HB 391 Goldman, HB 1226 Metcalf, HB 2213 Landgraf
HB 27 Goodwin – Employer Choice of Benefits – No civil action can be taken against an employer based solely on the employer’s choice or offer of a particular employee benefit.
SB 130 Campbell – Prohibition Against Local Regulation of Employment Benefits – a municipality or county may not adopt or enforce an ordinance, order, rule or regulation that requires an employer in the municipality or county to provide benefits. Benefits are defined as anything of value that an employee receives from an employer in addition to monetary compensation.
HB 2127 Burrows/SB 814 Creighton – The Texas Regulatory Consistency Act – The purpose of the act is to provide regulatory consistency across the state and return the historic exclusive regulatory powers to the state.
- Minimum Wage bills – HB 169 Reynolds, HB 737 Walle, HB 1919 Goodwin, SB 582
- Paid Sick Leave bills – HB 307 Bernal, HB 404 Collier, HB 893 Reynolds
- Employment Leave bills – HB 494 Meza
- Failure to Pay Wages – HB 1549 Romero
- Rest Breaks for Contractors (w/Governmental Entities) – HB 495 Meza
IEC of Texas