Three critical pieces of legislation supported by AGC Texas Building Branch are scheduled to appear before the House Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee on Monday.
While it will be the first time the bills have been presented before a committee this year,
the hearing is a key first step in the process for the legislation to become law.
It's unlikely the bills will receive a vote Monday; however, this is the time to explain to the committee why the legislation will help solve problems in the industry. The hearing also allows lawmakers to stake out early positions on the bills and sets the stage for negotiations and amendments as the bills advance through the legislative process.
Below are brief descriptions of the three bills:
School Construction Defects
The bill would require any damages or settlement amounts from lawsuits involving ISD (independent school district) construction defects to be spent on repairing the defects.
The bill would expand current law to require school distrcts to not only spend the recovered funds on defects for "instructional" facilities" but rather for any "district" facility. The bill also contains a provision for the Attorney General's Office to enforce such payments.
Right to Repair
The bill creates a "right to repair" construction defects on public, commercial construction projects before being sued.
Specifically, the governmental entity seeking to sue for the defect must first have an i
ndependent, third-party professional engineer inspect the defect and make a written report. Then, the governmental entity
must allow each party subject to its lawsuit to have at least 150 days from the time the report is made to inspect and correct any construction defect identified in the report.
Statute of repose
The bill would shorten the time period for suing for design or construction defects (this time period is known as the "statute of repose").
The bill reduces the statute of repose from 10 years to 4 years for patent (i.e., visible or obvious) defects and from 10 years to 8 years for latent (i.e., hidden) defects