Joint luncheon with the CTSA (Central Texas Subcontractor Association)
Location:Embassy Suites Austin Central, 5901 North IH 35, Austin, TX 78723
August 13, 2019
11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Speaker: Jennifer Fagan, Vice President for Governmental Affairs at the Texas Construction Association
Topic: Recap of the 86thRegular Session: New Laws Benefit Construction Industry
Recap of the 86thRegular Session
New Laws Benefit Construction Industry
The 86thLegislature convened, as constitutionally required, on the second Tuesday in January of every odd-numbered year, which fell on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. In preparation for the Session, TCA staff worked with the Board to develop TCA’s legislative agenda, and with TCA counsel to draft proposed legislation. Staff met with other stakeholder groups to discuss issues common to our industry, and with opponents in an effort to seek common ground and resolve potential sticking points. TCA staff, members and outside lobbyists also met with several elected officials to explain our issues and to seek their support for TCA’s legislative agenda.
Once again, TCA adopted an ambitious agenda focused on reducing design defect liability, modernizing lien laws, securing retainage liens, reducing construction defect litigation and limiting the statute of repose. Prior to the session beginning, TCA staff secured authors for a majority of the proposed bills. TCA champions this session included Representative Jeff Leach (R-Plano), Representative Ramon Romero, Jr. (D-Fort Worth) and Representative Joe Deshotel (D-Beaumont). If a bill was important to the construction industry these champions either filed it themselves or worked to shepherd it through the process. And although not all of TCA’s priority bills passed, TCA will continue to work with our champions and work hard for our members in anticipation of a successful legislative session in 2021.
Construction Industry Bills to Become Law
Right to Repair on Public Projects
HB 1999by Representative Jeff Leach (R-Plano) requires that prior to litigation, a public entity must obtain a report detailing alleged construction defects and share the report with the contractors. Not later than the fifth day after the date a contractor receives the report, the contractor must provide a copy of the report to each subcontractor whose work is subject to the defect claim. All contractors will then have 30 days to inspect and 120 days to repair damages if they so choose. HB 1999 was signed by the Governor on June 14, 2019, and will apply to any cause of action accrued on or after June 14, 2019.
Construction Defect Litigation by School Districts
HB 1734by Representative Justin Holland (R-Rockwall) increases oversight of construction defect litigation by school districts and requires that proceeds from such litigation be used to repair the construction defects. The changes to the Texas Education Code will apply to any cause of action accrued on or after September 1, 2019.
Contingency Fee Contracts for Legal Services
HB 2826by Representative Greg Bonnen (R-Friendswood) places restrictions on local governments and school districts wishing to enter into contingency fee contracts for legal services. The new restrictions are similar to those currently in effect for state agencies and include requirements such as a requirement that the entity make a public statement setting forth
Jennifer Fagan is currently the Vice President for Governmental Affairs at the Texas Construction Association. Jennifer has worked in and around the Texas Legislature for more than 20 years, starting with her first job out of law school as a Legislative Aide for Appropriations Chairman Robert Junell (D-San Angelo) in 1996.
Before joining TCA she was a Regional Vice President for Government Affairs with Windstream Communications, covering Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Prior to that she worked for Senator Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock) for 11 years as the Director of the Senate State Affairs Committee.
Jennifer received a B.B.A. from Texas Tech University and a J.D. from the University of Tulsa. She and her husband Sean live in Austin with their two children, Peter and Erin.
CONTINUING EDUCATION INFORMATION
* CPE Credit: 1 hour
* Prerequisite: None
* Course Level: Basic
* Advanced Preparation: None