May 5, 2017

This week's Capitol Roundup :

2017 Convention Alert: Last day to register for the hotel group rate is TODAY.  CLICK HERE for more information. 

  • State breach of contract bill clears House
  • Thank you, members, for helping advance two major bills
  • AGC-TBB bills on the move amid deadlines
  • Patrick and Abbott score victories on sanctuary cities and constitutional convention bills

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
-Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Abbott tweeted the comment Thursday after the Texas Legislature passed Senate Joint Resolution 2, which  calls for a convention of states to amend the U.S. Constitution. The measure was amended and passed in the House on a 94-51 vote, and now heads to the Senate.
State breach of contract bill 

House Bill 2128 by Rep. John Cyrier (R-Lockhart)  has passed in the House by a 143-0 vote, and now moves to the Senate where it will be carried by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola). If approved there, it will head to the governor. 

Cyrier's bill would allow for the recovery of attorney's fees that are equitable and just under the law, which can currently only be collected at an hourly rate and if expressly written in the contract. 

Furthermore, Cyrier's bill would include oral change orders when collecting damages for state breach of contract. Currently, the law only allows for written orders to be collected when the state breaches a deal.
Thank you for your efforts!

Thank you to all who were able to make calls to their local House members this week to help move two of our major bills. 

With your help, our goal was accomplished in getting two of our top bills to the next hurdle in the legislative process. Both bills were heard in the House Calendars Committee, whose members decide when the bills will be voted on by the entire House. 

House Bill 2121 by Rep. John Cyrier (R-Lockhart) is scheduled for a May 8 vote on the House floor. The bill, which passed unanimously out of the House Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee, provides for recovery of attorney's fees when the state breaches engineering, architectural or construction services contracts under $250,000. 

House Bill 2343 by Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin) is currently in Calendars and waiting for a date to be set. The measure, which also passed unanimously out of the House Business & Industry Committee, would allow contractors to repair construction defects before being sued.

Again, thank you all for your efforts, without which these bills would not have the support they need. 
With deadlines approaching, AGC-TBB major bills continue to advance in House

Three top AGC-TBB bills were voted out of committee and are one step closer to the House floor. But first, t he bills must be voted out of the Calendars Committee. Next week is the last week for House bills to be considered on the floor.

Arrived in House Calendars Committee

A bill to  decide when the state's mandatory background check applies to school construction projects - HB 3270 by Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) - was voted out of the House Education Committee on a 11-0 vote, and was sent to the Local & Consent Calendars Committee, where it has until May 12 to be voted out

Another bill - HB 3065 
by Rep. Joe Deshotel (D-Beaumont)
- would simplify and streamline the state's lien process with an online system that eliminates hidden claims and fixes notice issues. The House Business & Industry Committee voted the bill out of committee by a 7-0 margin, and it now heads to the Calendars Committee to await a vote by the full House. 

Heading to House Calendars Committee

HB 3434 by Linda Koop (R-Dallas) would create a uniform set of standards for construction contracts by state agencies, which school construction contracts would be required to operate under. The bill passed out of the House Public Education Committee on a 11-0 vote, and is heading to Calendars.
Abbott and Patrick move top priorities through the Legislature

The Legislature has been making waves, as lawmakers scramble to advance big bills before deadlines in both the House and Senate send them to Gov. Greg Abbott before the last day of session on May 29. 

Two bills touted by Abbott and Lt. Gov Dan Patrick have cleared the Legislature and will be signed by Abbott to become law.

Sanctuary Cities

The bill - SB 4 - 
by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock)

- cleared the Senate Thursday on a 20-11 party-line vote after
through the House (94-53) amid hours of debate last week. 
The legislation 
bans "sanctuary cities" and imposes penalties on uncooperative officials. 

The Senate, where Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been advocating for the bill, also accepted the so-called "show-me-your-papers" amendment added by Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) The amendment would allow law enforcement to question a person's immigration status while detained despite not being charged with a crime.  

Abbott has said he will sign the bill into law, which will become effective Sept. 1, 2017.

Constitutional Convention

One of Abbott's four emergency items - a resolution calling for a convention of states to amend the U.S. Constitution - passed the Texas House on Thursday along party lines. 

The measure - SJR 2 
- passed by a 94-51 vote as amended and now heads back to the Senate for approval of the changes. 
Texas would be the 11th state to adopt a call for a national convention, which can only occur when at least two-thirds, or 34 states, support the idea. 

8 - Last day for votes in House committees
12 - Last day for votes in House (full House)
29 - Last Day of 85th Legislature

8 -  AGC TBB Safety Committee Meeting - Austin
18-21 -  AGC TBB Annual Convention - Coueur d'Alene Resort, Idaho

29-30 - AGC-TBB Strategic Planning Meeting

3 -  AGC TBB Safety Committee Meeting - TEXO
17 - AGC TBB Board Meeting - Austin AGC Office