Texas Association of Builders - Texas Builder Magazine, September/October 2019

28 Texas Association of Builders Sept/Oct 2019 Government Relations Legislative Session 86 th As the month of May came to an end, the Texas Legislature adjourned sine die bringing the 86 th Legislative Session to a close. The 140-day legislative session in Austin was quite a whirlwind, bringing forth a variety of issues to be debated by the elected body of the state. While not all issues directly affect the residential construction and development industry, like social issues, healthcare or criminal justice reform, many issues do in fact have positive or negative ramifications on how Texas homebuilders, remodelers and developers conduct business or affect the rights and budgets of Texas homeowners. Inside the Susan Wright, Government Relations Committee Chair SusanWright Government Relations Committee Chair The regular session generated many proactive policies that will benefit the thriving homebuilding industry in Texas. TAB tracked, monitored and partici- pated in the movement of over 1,500 bills while productively working with the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the House, all 181 state legis- lators and numerous state agencies on a wide variety of policy topics and TAB priority initiatives. TAB had six priority initiatives that successfully made it through the legislative process and across the Governor’s desk including: reducing the agriculture rollback tax; streamlining the cost calculation of building permit fees; and prohibiting governmental mandates of products used in construction. Just as important, every bill that TAB opposed was either defeated or amended in the industry’s favor during the 140-day session. The association’s active involvement at the Capitol paired with the powerful grassroots support from its membership influenced the passage of bills that will preserve private property rights, increase access to career and tech- nical education and reduce onerous regulations in Texas. Continue reading for an overview of TAB supported bills that passed during the 86 th Legislative Session. Although the regular session has come to an end, TAB’s role in helping shape positive policy reforms never closes. During the interim and until the start of the 87 th Legislative Session in January 2021, the TAB government affairs team will work with elected officials and candidates during the campaign season to improve and protect the homebuilding industry in Texas.