86th Legislative Session Wrap Up In Advocacy Solutions
Suzanne BrownPublished: June 11, 2019, 3:40 p.m.
Updated: June 11, 2019, 3:40 p.m.
86th Legislative Session Wrap Up
The 86th Texas Legislative session is officially closed. The Texas business community fared well and the session was productive and effective for the business community. HB 3 passed and is one of the most important investments in Texas public education. The Longview Chamber of Commerce is strong supporter of Pre-K education and believes ensuring young children have full-day Pre-K will provide a strong educational foundation that will support development in the years to come. Young children are the future of Texas businesses, and we want them to have the best advantages possible. The passage of HB 3 is a win for Texas business. Property tax reform passing was also a highlight of this session because it will ease the tax burden on businesses.
Something to focus on for the 87th session will be legislation to preempt city regulation of employment benefits. Private employer policies, like paid sick leave, are best left to negotiations of private employers and their employees.
Several economic development tools will continue moving forward. Also, bills were passed that (1) reduce taxes for telecommunications providers and (2) improve regulations and lower costs for Texas industries.
Here is a quick look at the wins from the 86th legislative session:
- Chapter 312 is the most significant tool in the economic development toolbox. Lawmakers recognized the importance, and the value, by renewing the tax agreements. The Chapter 312 extension in HB 3143 is a win for the Texas economy.
- The passage of SB 1152 reduces taxes of telecom providers by eliminating double taxation of a right-of-way line. Stopping double taxation of telecommunications companies will improve technology infrastructure in Texas – a win for Texas.
- Lawmakers authorized a constitutional amendment allowing Texans to vote whether to approve an additional $3 billion bond to fund the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). TAB is supportive of the ongoing funding and taxpayer support of the innovative research to keep Texas as a leader in cancer research.
- The passage of SB 1264 creates consumer protections against health care billing by prohibiting out-of-network providers balance billing when consumers have no choice over who provides their care, including out-of-network lab work and imaging. TAB has been supportive of this bill to protect consumers from surprise billing in Texas.
A large number of bills that would have increased regulatory and litigation costs to many industries, were defeated.
Texas will become the 15th state in the nation to prohibit the sale of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to anyone younger than 21 years of age, raised from age 18, with an exception for members of the military.
Scorecard for the 86th legislature will be available in September.
Judge Jeff Moseley, President of Tab, states, “Overall, there is still work to be done with respect to city overreach of employment regulations. TAB strongly believes that private employer policies, like paid sick leave, are best left to negotiations of private employers and their employees.”