March 8 , 2019

Inside this edition of Capitol Roundup:

Three of AGC Texas Building Branch's top priority bills are scheduled for a hearing in a House committee on Monday

Christina Morales wins runoff election in Houston's House District 145

Please feel free to forward this information to others and reply by email with any changes or additions you'd like to see.

Click here  to access past editions of Capitol Roundup.
AGC Texas Chapters

Quote of the Week

"America would be a very different place if Texas had remained Mexican."

- Phil Collins
The pop star  made the remark in a 2012 interview with the Houston Chronicle as he released his book, "The Alamo  and Beyond: A Collector's Journey." Happy Texas Independence Week!
Three AGC-TBB priority bills slated for House committee hearing

Three critical pieces of legislation supported by AGC Texas Building Branch are scheduled to appear before the House Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee on Monday.  While it will be the first time the bills have been presented before a committee this year,  the hearing is a key first step in the process for the legislation to become law.

It's unlikely the bills will receive a vote Monday; however, this is the time to explain to the committee why the legislation will help solve problems in the industry. The hearing also allows lawmakers to stake out early positions on the bills and sets the stage for negotiations and amendments as the bills advance through the legislative process.  Below are brief descriptions of the three bills: 

School Construction Defects 
House Bill 1734 by Rep. Justin Holland (R-Rockwall)

The bill would require any damages or settlement amounts from lawsuits involving ISD (independent school district) construction defects to be spent on repairing the defects.

The bill would expand current law to require school distrcts to not only spend the recovered funds on defects for "instructional" facilities" but rather for any "district" facility. The bill also contains a provision for the Attorney General's Office to enforce such payments. 

Right to Repair 
House Bill 1999 by Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano)

The bill creates a "right to repair" construction defects on public, commercial construction projects before being sued. 

Specifically, the governmental entity seeking to sue for the defect must first have an i ndependent, third-party professional engineer inspect the defect and make a written report. Then, the governmental entity  must allow each party subject to its lawsuit to have at least 150 days from the time the report is made to inspect and correct any construction defect identified in the report.
Statute of repose 
House Bill 1737 by Rep. Justin Holland (R-Rockwell)

The bill would shorten the time period for suing for design or construction defects (this time period is known as the "statute of repose"). 

The bill reduces the statute of repose from 10 years to 4 years for patent (i.e., visible or obvious) defects and from 10 years to 8 years for latent (i.e., hidden) defects
Morales wins Alvarado's House seat in Houston's district 145

Democrat Christina Morales won Tuesday's special election runoff, as she received enough votes in Houston's House District 145 to take the seat vacated by Carol Alvarado. 

Christina Morales
After an eight-candidate contest in January left just Morales and fellow Democrat Melissa Noriega, Morales received roughly 61 percent of the vote Tuesday night, over Noriega's 39 percent. In the initial contest in January, Morales had received 36 percent support, while Noriega had garnered 31 percent of votes. 

Alvarado gave up the House seat in when she was elected to the Texas Senate in December.

With the race for House District 145 complete, there remains just one empty seat in the chamber, that left by  former Rep. Justin Rodriguez, D-San Antonio, who is now a Bexar County commissioner. The seat will be filled after a March 12 runoff election between Democrat Ray Lopez and Republican Fred Rangel. 
April 2019
FRI 26th - TBB Board meeting
May 2019
MON 27th - Last Day of 86th Legislature
June 2019
WED 5th - SAT 8th - Convention @ Jackson Hole, WY
August 2019
THU 22nd - OCA awards @ Georgetown, TX
FRI 23rd - Board meeting
November 2019
FRI 15th - Board meeting