2015 Legislative Session

During the 84th Legislature Session in the Texas House of Representatives, East Texas Representative, Matt Schaefer, authored and filed multiple bills. Most bills filed were so with the intent to lessen government intervention, however, those listed below that affect our industry would weaken both licensing and enforcement and would therefore have a negative affect on the irrigation industry.

The House Bills that would have this negative impact are listed below. Click on each bill to read the introduced version in its entirety. A synopsis of each is provided for your convenience.

House Bill 848
H.B. 848 has been referred to Licensing & Administrative Procedures as of 3/23/15.
This bill is relating to qualifications for a backflow prevention assembly tester license
and waives the two year work experience requirement in order to receive the BPAT license.

House Bill 2484
H.B. 2484 has been referred to Licensing & Administrative Procedures as of 3/23/15.
This bill is relating to the issuance of occupational licenses to certain out-of-state applicants.
It states that a license issuing state agency may waive all education, training, experience, and exams
required for obtaining a license if the applicant holds an equivalent license from another state.

House Bill 3170
H.B. 3170 has been referred to Licensing & Administrative Procedures as of 3/23/15.
This bill is relating to the regulation of 
occupations by state and states that an individual has the right to
engage in any lawful occupation 
without excessive governmental regulation thereby affecting the need for a license.
Additionally, regarding 
the requirement for a license to engage in a lawful occupation, the individual may present
evidence that the 
regulation burden's the individual's right to engage in said occupation.

House Bill 3713
H.B. 3713 has been filed  as of 3/23/15. This bill is relating to the authority of a municipality to
regulate occupations. 
It states that a municipality may not adopt or enforce any rule or regulation
that establishes 
additional or more astringent licensing requirements for an occupation. In other words,
city may not require a license previously issued by the state. 

NOTE: Please see the above links to read each bill in it's entirety.

In order to make a difference in the legislative process, please take action as soon as possible. The most important thing to do at this point is to write a letter to each Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee member. Next, click the link to find your Texas State House Representative and consider writing him/her a letter as well. 

Click here to contact committee members to oppose these bills.

Click here to find your Texas State House Representative.

When writing your letter please include your opposition to each of the bills (named separately) as they all have a negative affect on our industry. Consider the following talking points explaining the impact that these bills will have on the irrigation industry:

  • The negative affects these bills could potentially pose with regards to public health and safety, more specifically Texas' water supply with H.B. 848.
  • With regards to H.B. 848, experience is critical when it comes to understanding backflow concepts and being able to apply said concepts in the field. Backflow is often one of the most misunderstood concepts and relaxing the requirements for licensure will only increase the chances for cross contamination and negatively impact the industry as a whole.
  • Lessening the licensure procedures in Texas (both obtaining the license and keeping up the license with proper training), whether to be in alignment with other states or not, does nothing but create the opportunity for mishap and does nothing to promote the education of and safe practices within the industry.
  • If one makes the decision to do business in Texas, he/she should be made to comply with all rules and regulations set forth for those already practicing in the state and by lessening those requirements, one can practice in Texas thereby increasing competition for Texas professionals and practicing his/her occupation without the education and safety requirements needed to protect the consumer and the health and safety of our water supply.

Additionally, you may choose to call the Licensing & Administrative Procedures' Committee members' offices. If you choose to do so, please take the following into account:

  1. Be courteous and professional as you will most likely be speaking with a staff member.
  2. Give your name and where you reside and work.
  3. Explain that you are a licensed irrigator and/or BPAT license holder, a member of the TTIA, and that you would like to voice your opposition to H.B. 848, H.B. 2484, H.B. 3170, and H.B. 3713.
  4. Using your input and the talking points above explain why these bills would negatively impact your industry, including lessening consumer protection and putting at risk the health and safety of Texans.
  5. Thank the staff member for considering your opinion in this matter.