Issued March 29, 2017
Above link pulls up a Report on 36 bills that I identify as pertinent to Texas property owners association as the bills wend their way through the 2017 Texas Legislature. The first page lists the bills in numerical order of filing - House and Senate Bills separately, and identifies the "topic" assigned (by me) to each bill. The next 10 pages of the Report have thumbnail descriptions of the 36 bills - in alpha order of topics. The last two pages are devoted to the TWO Omnibus Bills - one page for each, so you can see all of their components at a glance.
Good News!
Today is the 79th day of the 140 day Session. Plenty of time remains for bills to clear all hurdles to becoming law. Thanks to a lack of action on the meaty POA Bills, I've been able to obsess about a comma in an open records bill, undress a foreclosure bill that's masquerading as an auctioneers bill, and cogitate about the possible affects of the "bathroom bills" on POAs with common area facilities. No shortage of things to worry about.  
What's New and Hot?
Of the 36 POA-pertinent bills in Report #4:

1 is out of Committee (chamber #1)
1 is being heard today in Committee (chamber #1)
5 have been heard and are pending in Committee (chamber #1)
23 have been assigned to Committees (chamber #1)
6 are waiting to be assigned to Committees (chamber #1)

HB 1470 by Villalba  is NEW to Report #4. It's so artfully camouflaged, I failed to spot HB 1470 as a change of residential FORECLOSURE law. Whoa!! And it's not in the Property Code with the other foreclosure laws. Whoa!! More than a few brain cells died figuring out the affects of HB 1470. Read about it on Page 3 of 12 of my Report #4. Thanks to Ft. Worth attorney Cecil Thomas for alerting me to HB 1470.

OMNIBUS POA Bills are waiting for Committee assignments in their chambers of origin. Collectively, the bills comprise 12 law changes. 

SB 408 by Watson is not in Report #4. I hyperventilated for days  about a missing comma in SB 408 that could have made "governmental bodies" out of POAs that perform government-type services, such as mowing rights-of-way. Watching the archived video of the Senate committee hearing I found solace in Sen. Watson's testimony that services by a private entity had to be done with public funds. There was a lot of testimony against the bill - unrelated to my concern. The sentence that worried me was substantially reworded in a floor amendment when SB 408 passed the Senate. Thanks to Austin attorney Rick Meyer's Nonpro fit Law and Policy blog for making me aware of SB 408 .
Substitutes & Pendings (Smoke & Mirrors)
Even tho the Texas Legislature has a world-class website and you can watch committee hearings on your phone, there's no way to know what's going on under the dome unless you're a lobbyist, and even then . . .  

Substitutes (Lege lingo for switcheroo).  A lawmaker files a bill which is posted on the State website and scheduled for a committee hearing that's open to the public. Citizens study the posted bill and travel to Austin to testify for or against. When the bill is called, the author may present a "substitute" - a version of the bill that's not available to the public. He may say something about the changes being improvements or responses to "stakeholders". People who testify on the original bill often don't know whether or how their testimony relates to the substituted version. The substitute won't be posted on the State website unless approved by the committee as a "Committee Substitute" or "CS".  The substitute that's voted out of committee may be very different from the substitute presented at the hearing. It's the darndest thing. 

Pendings .  The first challenge for any bill is getting heard in committee. The second challenge is getting out of committee. Between those two steps, the bill is pending in committee. A committee rarely votes on a bill at the time of the public hearing. A pending bill is ripe to be voted "out of committee" at any time - without any further public hearing, no matter now much the bill changes while pending. A bill that's voted on and approved by a committee is often a "back room" substitute. Some pending bills die in committee. (No tears)
2017 Dates of Interest - 
January 10, 2017 - Opening day of 85th Regular Session
March 10, 2017 - Deadline for filing bills (with some exceptions)
May 29, 2017 - Last day of Session - 140th day (no exceptions)
June 18, 2017 - Last day Governor can veto or sign a bill that passed 
August 28, 2017 - Effective date for bills without specific effective dates
Here are some of the word-use quirks about this newsletter. 

I use  HOA (homeowners association) and POA (property owners association) interchangeably (and inconsistently) to refer to the mandatory membership association for any type of common interest development ( CID ) - condos, townhomes, subdivisions, masters, mixed-use, and subs.
As a convenience, I divide the universe of CIDs into two camps. A CID is either a condominium or a subdivision.  Condos are subject to Property Code Chapter 82 (TUCA). Any CID that's not a condo is - by default - a subdivision . Residential subdivisions are subject to Property Code Chapter 209. Both condos and subdivisions are subject to Property Code Chapter 202.  (Siri, which Chapter do I need?)
This newsletter's voice belongs to Sharon Reuler, about whom there's more info than you want or need on  Sharon Reuler, PC  website.
You may forward this newsletter to your people. I invite you to tell me about my mistakes and to share with me what you know about pending POA bills. The contact info below tells you how to reach me. If I'm not responsive, it's because I'm joyfully tied-up with my day job. Although I aspire to be active on social media, I'm still old school. 
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