IEC of Texas Legislative Report

The 88th Texas Legislature

March 2023


The 60th day bill filing deadline was on March 10th and now the committee meetings are in full swing.  This is an updated list of bills we are following.  Action alerts will go out as needed.

Electrical Licensing

HB 823 Allen – Occupational Licensing for inmates – Neutral – This will allow for an inmate to gain electrical licensure while incarcerated.

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.

IEC TX GA Committee voted to support, providing the committee substitute changed the caption limiting it to residential wireman licenses and deleting the CE exemption for instructors of the program.  The committee substitute did take care of our concerns and our Government Affairs Chair and Vice Chair testified for IEC of Texas at the Committee Hearing on 3/15/23.

HB 2350 Harris – Authority of a Political Subdivision to Regulate Certain Activities – Support – This bill would prevent a political subdivision from requiring another local license or one that is more stringent than or inconsistent with law; by ordinance, rule, order, regulation, law, or policy if a person already holds a state issued occupational license to engage in that occupation. It makes the local license void and unenforceable. Hearing 3/22/23 in House Licensing and Administrative Procedures.

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. Hearing scheduled for 3/22/23.

HB 3081 Harrison – Deregulation of Certain Activities and Occupations – This bill eliminates industrial journeyman and journeyman lineman licenses and their tests.

HB 3714 Harrison – Limitations to the Enforcement of Occupational Regulations – Neutral – This will institute annual reviews of all occupational licenses and they must fit within the parameters of public health, safety, or welfare.

SB 1200 Hall – Issuance of a License by the TDLR to certain out of state applicants – Neutral – This would require TDLR to issue a license to an out of state applicant who pays a fee and holds a current license in another state.

SB 1714 Perry – Consequences of Criminal Conviction on a Person’s Eligibility for an Occupational License – Neutral – This will not allow a licensing authority to suspend or revoke a license or disqualify a person from receiving a license or the opportunity to take a test unless the offense is on a list.

SB 1821 Hall – Creation or Expansion of Occupational Licenses – Neutral – Any legislation that creates or expands an occupational license must include a statement to the legislative budget board indicating whether a member of the legislature has requested a review of the legislation and any report regarding the legislation.


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. IEC of Texas signed in favor of the bill and it was left pending in House Business and Industry on 3/20/23

HB 217 Murr – Lien Limitation for Labor or Materials – Oppose – 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 – Support – Required workers compensation insurance coverage – for employees of building and construction contractors and employees of subcontractors on public projects.

HB 723 Thompson/SB 108 Menendez – Neutral – 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 1054 Turner – Classification of Construction Workers (Governmental) – Neutral – 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 – Oppose – 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 – Support – 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 – 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. Committee Action pending 3/15/23.

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. Committee Action Pending House State Affairs 3/15/23.

HB 2265 Leach/SB 803 Hughes – Compensatory Damages Caused by Delays Under Governmental Contracts – Support – 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 2422 Lozano – Sales Tax Holiday for Tools and Equipment for Skilled Trades – Support – 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 – Support – 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 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.

HB 2539 Noble – Compensability of Injuries Sustained at a Non-Jobsite Location – Neutral at this time – 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.

HB 2657 Leach –Voidable Contract Provisions – Support – A provision in a construction contract and owner that incorporates the terms and conditions of another document, by reference or otherwise, is voidable by the original contractor if on written request, the owner does not provide a copy of the incorporated document to the original contractor on or before the 10th day before the contract is executed. This also applies to a subcontractor and an original contractor and a subcontractor and another subcontractor.  This can also not be waived by contract or other means.

HB 2928 Turner – Payment or Application of Funds Under Construction Contracts – Support – If a construction contract contains a provision that allows a party to the contract to wholly or partly withhold payment owed under one contract to satisfy a claim or damage under another contract, that provision is voidable by the parties whose payment may be withheld.

HB 3268 Talarico – Repealing Certain Restrictions and Prohibitions of Labor Unions – Oppose – This bill repeals the right to work section in the labor code and the unlawful practice of a labor union and employers partnering which would allow a person to be denied the right to work and it would allow the requirement of not being a member of a labor organization a reason to not get or keep a job.

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 of sub has not received a written, fully executed change order for 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.

HB 3785 Guillen – Franchise Tax Credit for Taxable Entities that Employ Certain Apprentices – Support – This bill establishes a tax credit for employers who employ apprentices while learning a vocation or work based learning program.

HB 4239 Vasut – Property Owner Liability for Personal Injury Claims – Support – This bill makes the owner not liable for a death of a contractor or subcontractor repairing a home, business or structure if the contractor or subcontractor does not maintain workers comp insurance.

HB 4741 Manuel – Employment of Apprentices on Certain Public Works Projects – Neutral – A percentage of workers on public works contracts have to be done by apprentices.

SB 936 Hancock/HB 2753 Smithee – Collective Bargaining on Publically Funded Public Work Contracts – Support – This would be an expansion of current state law prohibiting PLAs for projects with governmentally administered financial assistance. It prohibits consideration of PLAs for all projects using public dollars & debt issuance. Committee action pending Senate Business and Commerce 3/14/23.


Employer Rights:

HB 27 Goodwin – Employer Choice of Benefits – Support – 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 – Support – 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.


Employee Rights:

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