Issued May 2, 2017
A FIRST!  Texas HOA lawmaker stars on prime time reality TV. On Friday May 5th, former State Senator John Carona will be the disguised star of Undercover Boss, a CBS reality tv show in its eighth season. Carona is the founder and CEO of Associa, a national HOA management company based in Dallas. As an Undercover Boss, Carona will be working three different jobs on Associa-managed communities. As a Texas lawmaker for 12 Sessions, Carona was a go-to for HOA bills during his terms as State Representative (1991-1996) and State Senator (1997-2014). In the annals of HOA laws, Senator Carona is best known as the author of the 2001 bill that became Chapter 209 of the Texas Property Code - the Texas Residential Property Owners Protection Act. You may be too young to remember the 2001 Session when Senators Carona and Lindsay almost duked it out on the Senate Floor over the foreclosure aspects of the Chapter 209 bill. Senator Lindsay waged - and lost - a floor fight to abolish HOA foreclosures that was fueled by national media coverage of a Houston HOA's foreclosure on the home of elderly widow Winonah Blevins. 2001 was a dramatic landmark session for Texas HOA laws, to be sure. To see what the Senator is up to now, watch CBS on Friday May 5 at 7 pm Texas time.
What Happened to Last Week's 4 Hearing Bills?
3 of the 4 are still stuck in committee (Hurrah!!!)

Out of Committee: HB 3868 by Smithee re: criminal background checks
Still in Committee:
     HB 2320 by Fallon - the anti-developer "Declarant control" bill
     HB 3528 by Vo - the 6-headed anti-HOA Omnibus collections bill 
     HB 3868 by Ashby - ill-conceived attempt to stop delinquent owners from buying more lots

If you want a bill to become law, being "out of committee" is GOOD, and being "in committee" is BAD (unless it's scheduled for a hearing). On April 24 the House Committee on Business and Industry held public hearings on 21 bills, of which 4 are POA Bills that I covered in Report #6. The hearing was an all day affair - starting at 10 a.m. and running late into the night - except for a few hours when the B&I Committee members were in the General Session.

Per custom, committees don't vote on a bill at its hearing. The hearing is for testimony. A bill remains in committee until "voted out" at a later committee meeting, which can occur with little notice. One of the 4 made it out, the other 3 have only days to get out of committee to remain viable for 2017. Here's hoping they stay stuck.
Texas POA Bills Reports #7 
These reports cover 37 bills that I identify as pertinent to Texas property owners associations. The bills are divided into two reports - one for ACTIVE bills that are moving, another for the INACTIVE ones that haven't yet been scheduled for a first hearing.

ACTIVE Report #7 [link] covers  28 active b ills in numerical order, and identifies the "topic" I've assigned to each bill. The next 9 pages have thumbnail descriptions of the 28 active bills - in alpha order of topics. The last page is devoted to the Omnibus Collections Bill, so you can see all of its components at a glance.

INACTIVE Report #7 [link] covers 9 bills that have seen no action since being filed - bills that are close to running out of time. The number "9" is a tad deceptive because 4 of the inactive bills have companions (their twins) which are active and moving.  
POA Bills. Of the 37 POA-pertinent bills in Report #7:
9 have been approved by Chamber 1 - status #4
9 are out of Committee in Chamber 1 - status #3
had hearings and are pending in Chamber 1 Committee - status #2
3 are being heard this week in a Chamber 1 committee - status #1
9 have been assigned to Committees in Chamber 1 - status #1 (Inactive Report)

Timeline. May 2nd  is the 113th day of the 140 day Session. Only 27 days to go. There is still time for any bill - even one that hasn't had its first hearing - to become law. If you're trying to stop a bill, keeping slugging! Every day that a bill doesn't move increases the odds that it won't clear all the hurdles before Sine Die.
Chickens are still Foul
Having heard about the pending Chicken Bill on the news, some homeowners were lining up to buy chicken coops. Whoa! Two points. ONE - the Chicken Bill (Senate Bill 1620 by Taylor) looks unlikely to become law. Although the Senate passed the bill, its been stuck at the starting gate in the House for more than a month. It has just about run out of time.  TWO - even if it were to pass, the Chicken Bill doesn't touch HOAs. It speaks only to cities, counties, and special districts. (See Report #5 for more about the Chicken Bill.)
Who IS your lawmaker?
This link takes you to the Legislature's look-up. (Don't be embarrassed - few of us know.)  

How to Oppose or Support a Bill - Please see POA Bills Report #6 - available on my Blog page.

HOAs are legal entities for which Texas has "entity laws" - mostly found in the Texas Business Organizations Code. Austin attorney Rick Meyer pens the " Nonprofit Law and Policy Blog" that covers the 2017 Session.  
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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