New State Laws Take Effect
On September 1, 2019, many of the more than 800 new laws passed by the Texas Legislature took effect. Here are a few of the ones that impact the Frisco business community:
- One change that is coming to state law stops the practice of state agencies revoking occupational licenses due to student loan defaults. According to the Texas Tribune, more than 4,200 Texans — including teachers, security guards, cosmetologists, and pharmacists – were at risk of losing their license because of student loan default in 2017.
- A state law that I have several people ask me about is beer to go and alcohol delivery. For those of you who have been waiting for Texas to become the final state in the nation to allow for the purchase of beer at the taproom to take home, you only have 16 days left.
- Also being created is the Texas Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs Grant Program – a grant program to reimburse some eligible businesses for up to $10,000 per apprentice to help cover training costs, excluding wages. Companies must guarantee employment for participants who successfully complete the program, pay trainees, and provide on-the-job training with an accredited curriculum to participate.
- Texas will become the 16th state in the nation to require citizens to wait until their 21st birthday to buy tobacco and nicotine products — with the exception of young members of the military.
- Texas homeowners can no longer take advantage of a “free roof” under House Bill 2102. Under the new law, roofing contractors who offer to waive a homeowner’s deductible on their property insurance policy could face jail time. The practice has been illegal in Texas since 1989 but had previously been very difficult to enforce under the writing of the statute.
- House Bill 39 will extend the life of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) after repealing the 2022 sunset date and authorizing the agency for another 10 years. Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment in 2007 to create CPRIT and authorized the institution to issue $3 billion in bonds to fund groundbreaking cancer research and prevention programs and services in Texas.
- Health plans are now required to cover diagnostic mammograms at 100% under House Bill 170, the same as screening mammograms.
- Under House Bill 1992, Telemarketers will be banned from calling Texans using fake numbers that show up on the recipient’s caller ID. You can file a consumer complaint with the Texas Attorney General’s office and learn more by clicking here.
- Thieves who steal packages from porches could now face jail time. A new state law creates new penalties that range from a class A misdemeanor to a third-degree-felony for those who steal mail, which includes packages, letters, postcards, etc., depending on the number of addresses mail is stolen from.
- Texas will become the 19th state in the nation to require that a consumer must be 18 to purchase over-the counter cough medicine
- House Bill 3143 extends the Chapter 312 tax abatement program, which allows cities and counties to grant temporary property tax exemptions on new capital investments until Sept. 2029. Additionally, this bill adds more transparency by requiring a more detailed public notice and a 30-day minimum notice before scheduling a public meeting to approve the agreement.
- House Bill 700 expands the use of the Skills Development Fund to local workforce development boards and allows existing eligible entities to continue to provide customized skills training solutions to Texas employers across the state. State lawmakers also increased funding for this program in the new biennial budget.
- A new law requires that home sellers must disclose the property’s flood risk and history. Under Senate Bill 339, sellers must now disclose if a home is located in a 100 year floodplain, a 500 year floodplain, a flood pool, in or near a reservoir, and whether that home has flooded before.
If you have any questions about these or any of the other new state laws taking effect, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.