Not every piece of legislation fits a specific category, but almost all legislation can affect your business. TAB tracks about three – fourths of all legislation for simple reason – to maintain a strong business climate in Texas.
We cast a wide net on issues that are very important, and don’t fit a specific issue area. In an effort to keep Texas’ economy growing, and to keep good paying jobs coming to Texas, TAB’s general business priorities include:
Administrative Hearings. Support reforms to the administrative hearings process within the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) for licensing, tax enforcement or other business-related actions that will prevent abuse of the process, ensure fairness, reduce timeframes wherever practical and allow Texas to remain economically competitive. Support changes to the administrative hearings process to ensure that the executive or appointed head of an agency referring a matter to a hearing can overrule a proposal for decision by SOAH only with a reasoned justification.
Auto Insurance Choice. Support changes in state law allowing drivers to choose between the current system, in which they can sue for non-economic damages, and a new system under which they would waive the option to recover non-economic damages.
Civil Liability for Businesses. Oppose legislation that would create a new cause of action against Texas employers that choose to disallow guns at their place of business.
Coastal Barrier. Support the feasibility study, planning, engineering and funding of a coastal barrier that will protect the vital industrial base of the Texas Gulf Coast from catastrophic storm damage.
Contracting. Oppose legislation that restricts the ability of private parties to contract.
Corporate Sale of Liquor. Support free-market principles for the corporate sale of liquor. Texas is the only state in the nation that disallows publicly traded companies from selling liquor. There is no business case for doing so, except allowing the government to narrow competition through mandates.
Immigration Reform. Oppose measures that attempt to resolve federal comprehensive immigration reform at the state level. TAB supports and advocates for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level and supports measures that are within the purview of the state authorities, such as human trafficking and property crimes.
Industrial Facility Operation in Emergencies. Support clarification of the law relating to plant closures during emergencies. There is current confusion over how individual facilities will interface with government agencies during evacuation orders, including personnel availability for safe shutdowns who stay at the plant during emergencies and who need to return to work for timely plant startups.
Industrial Facility Security. Oppose industrial facility security legislation at the state level to avoid the piecemeal effect of different requirements in each state, and support reasonable legislation at the federal level.
Insurance Fraud. Support anti-fraud insurance legislation and enforcement. Fraud costs Texas businesses and individuals millions of dollars in the insurance marketplace.
Mineral Rights. Support mineral owners’ access as they exercise their mineral rights while ensuring fair treatment for surface landowners.
No Pay, No Play. Support reforms that would prevent uninsured motorists from collecting pain and suffering damages if they are in an accident with an insured driver.
Outsourcing and Offshoring. Oppose legislation that infringes on a company’s right to outsource resources. Outsourcing (contracting out a non-core function of a business such as accounting or payroll) is not a new phenomenon. Nor is the fact that some of this work is conducted outside of the U.S. (offshoring). Offshoring has been a relatively small fraction of U.S. job loss and accounts for less than one percent of all U.S. jobs. Both outsourcing and offshoring are tools companies use to remain competitive in a world market and to preserve manufacturing jobs in Texas and the U.S.
Professional Licensing. Oppose any legislation that would further regulate the activities of a private corporation or other business entity, including the activities of the full-time employees or other personnel under the direct supervision and control of the business entity, by requiring the employees to hold professional licenses. Licensing should only be required where deemed appropriate and where it would affect the public at large.
Private Property Rights. Support private property owner land management for species, rangeland and natural resources. Oppose state acquisition or conservation of private or state lands for parks, wildlife management areas or conversion easements unless certain criteria are met. These criteria include consent of all the surface and mineral owners, funding for appropriate long-term land management and an economic analysis of the impact of conservation to local and state governments including education.
Procurement. Re-visit SB 20 (84th Legislature) due to its hindrance on communication between state vendors and state agencies. TAB encourages establishing a new framework for better collaboration between the public and private sectors to ensure that rules are clarified for greater communication between government and business outside of the open procurement process.
Property and Casualty Insurance. Oppose legislation that would create a prior approval insurance regulatory structure. TAB believes that the marketplace is the best mechanism for determining the right rate for insurance policies. Oppose any additional regulations on companies that could substantially hurt business and job growth in Texas.
Public Information Laws. Oppose legislation that would make private entities subject to open records laws or force the release of proprietary information in governmental entities’ contracts with businesses.
Record Votes. Support the recording of legislative votes on second reading during and after floor debate in the Texas Legislature.
Relocation of Facilities in Municipal and State Rights-of-Way (ROW). Support a return to the long-standing state law whereby utilities that have placed facilities in public ROW to serve the state’s citizens are not forced to pay for relocations required by governmental entities for improvements and projects beyond normal roadway widening and straightening.
Right-of-Way (ROW) Fees. Support legislation to promote fair policies and criteria to be used by municipalities in the determination and assessment of ROW fees and ROW crossing fees payable by telecommunications providers, electric utilities and pipeline companies with facilities in a public ROW. Support limiting such fees to a city’s cost of administration and maintenance of the ROW and requiring that such fees be assessed in a competitively neutral manner.
Sarbanes-Oxley. Oppose efforts to enact a “Sarbanes-Oxley” law on the state level. The federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and subsequent regulations establish unnecessary stringent corporate reporting requirements and stiff penalties for corporate accounting fraud and do not need to be duplicated at the state level.
Staff Counsel. Oppose legislation to limit the use of staff counsel by insurance companies to defend policyholders.
Vehicle Sales. Maintain Texas’ prohibition of the direct sales of vehicles to consumers.