TAA Legislative Update: April 17, 2017
This will be another busy week for legislators. A number of rental housing industry-related bills will be heard this week.
This week at the Capitol:
- This will be another busy week for legislators. The Senate is expected to consider SB 873 by Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe). The bill, part of the Texas Apartment Association’s affirmative legislative package this session, clarifies the process for resolving water billing disputes and requires residents to pursue simpler and less costly administrative remedies before filing a lawsuit. The House companion to this bill is pending in the House Natural Resources Committee.
- On Monday, two House committees will consider legislation supported by TAA. The House Human Services Committee will take up HB 2992 by Rep. Victoria Neave (D-Mesquite). This bill addresses the misrepresentation of assistance animals. TAA is supporting this bill.
- Also on Monday, the House Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee will consider HB 2976 by Rep. John Frullo (R-Lubbock). This bill, which TAA also supports, directs the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to allow a property owner to have a vehicle moved to another space at the property for activities such as resurfacing, restriping, etc.
- Finally, the House Business & Industry Committee will take up a number of proposed bills on Monday, including HB 1966 by Rep. Dennis Paul (R-Houston), which prevents landlords from prohibiting a tenant or guest carrying a concealed handgun in a vehicle, or to and from a vehicle and a tenant’s dwelling. Committee members will also consider HB 3065 by Rep. Joe Deshotel (D-Port Arthur), which rewrites the state’s lien laws. TAA is neutral on HB 1966 and opposes HB 3065.
Also this week:
- The House is expected to consider legislation making changes in the school finance system.
- In addition to our affirmative legislation, the Texas Apartment Association is also tracking more than 500 bills this session. These bills cover a variety of issues, but each could have some impact on the Texas rental housing industry. TAA monitors these bills with your interests in mind. Check back soon for a quick guide to the top “other issues” we’re following this session.
- Keep up with TAA’s legislative agenda and the current status of TAA-supported legislation by visiting the Legislative Issues page of www.taa.org.
New disparate impact white paper from NAA/NMHC
April is Fair Housing month, and the National Apartment Association/National Multifamily Housing Council just released a new white paper reviewing the latest actions of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUD) in cases asserting disparate impact discrimination.
Disparate impact theory provides legal recourse when a business practice or policy has a disproportionate impact on protected classes such as race and sex even when there is no intent to discriminate. NAA/NMHC have cautioned that necessary and routine business practices such as criminal history checks, credit screening and other lease procedures could trigger discrimination claims under disparate impact theory. The new white paper is intended to provide an in-depth review of the latest agency actions on disparate impact that are relevant to rental housing owners, operators, developers and managers.