The Texas Legislature is moving forward at a frenetic pace. Last week the Texas House passed a series of bills to address different aspects of the Texas electricity grid, and appropriate measures to address the recent failures. As you will recall, Texas Senate previously passed an omnibus piece of legislation addressing the effects of the winter storm, and the House opted to follow a different path.
Recent Committee Action:
HB 1258 (Ashby), was voted out of committee and is headed for the House Local and Consent Calendar, which is where uncontested legislation is often sent for expeditious passage. This legislation is a carryover from last session to streamline the process to identify the deposits of delinquent taxpayers. The new data match protocol is intended to mesh with the current practices and requirements of the Attorney General’s office in the collection of past due child support payments. IBAT worked closely with the Comptroller’s office last session on this issue, and again earlier this year, to provide for a much less tedious and more efficient process in this area. Instead of responding to numerous levies/inquiries on noncustomers, banks will only receive levies on actual customers. The end result should be a significant savings in time and effort. IBAT was the only industry representative asked by the Comptroller’s office to offer testimony is support of the legislation.
IBAT appeared before the House Committee on Pensions, Investments and Financial Services as the industry representative in support of HB 2106 (Perez), the important “clean-up” of the anti-skimmer and card fraud bill. This legislation was voted out of the committee and is headed to the House Floor. The companion bill, SB 964 (Zaffirini), was heard in the Senate and was also voted out of committee. Stay tuned for a “call to action” as these bills are scheduled for floor debate.
Legislation making progress:
• HB 5 (another bill by Representative and fellow community banker Trent Ashby), expanding broadband access was voted out of committee and is headed to the House Floor;
• SB 43 (Zaffirini), which would curb some of the abuses in the wrap mortgage space (banks are exempted), was placed on the Senate Intent Calendar;
• SB 516 (Huffman), an initiative of TBA aimed at increasing criminal penalties for ATM “smash and grab” crimes, was passed by the full Senate and has arrived in the Texas House;
• HB 654 (Lucio, III), amends the Rule Against Perpetuities, providing a more competitive framework for Texas based trust departments; and,
• HB 2533 (Darby), which fixes a glitch in Texas law to allow certified appraisers to do “evaluations” without following USPAP guidelines and to clearly authorize bank employees to perform evaluations without being licensed, was voted out of committee and is headed for the Local and Consent Calendar.
Legislation up for a hearing in the week ahead:
• HB 2825 (G. Bonnen), which among other things requires notice to a seller or lessor if the purchaser or lessee is a scrutinized company (from Sudan, Iran, or a terrorist organization); requires annual reporting by a financial institution to the Military Preparedness Commission of all loans approved for a scrutinized company for real property located within 25 nautical miles of a military base (amend or oppose);
• HB 3308 (Lucio, III), which allows the expansion of Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs (PACE) (oppose);
• HB 1679 (Romero), relating to the survival of a mechanic's retainage lien after the foreclosure of a lien securing a construction loan (oppose); and,
• HB 2237 (Burrows), which is the industry negotiated and supported legislation related to mechanic's, contractor's or materialman's liens (support).
Keep up with the priorities and engage:
IBAT’s legislative priorities will be kept updated as we move through the process. We hope you will join us for a special installment of “Live from Austin” on Thursday, April 8th to hear from the Chairman of our primary jurisdictional committee (Pensions, Investments and Financial Services), Representative Rafael Anchia.