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10 days remain and only 380 Bills!


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With only 10 days remaining, only 380 bills have gone through the entire process and are on the Governor’s desk.  The last time the Texas Legislature passed fewer was in the 1800s.  We filed several bills, but it was really a session that was weighted toward killing bills.

This session, we tracked 80 bills that could have had an impact on the towing and storage industry.   Below are some of which we were actively involved.

HB 61 by James White relating to the use of certain lighting equipment on escort flag vehicles.  While this bill was centered around escort flag vehicles and the lights they use during the course of their work the changes made to this bill will also allow for tow trucks to use amber and blue lights.  We worked with the Texas Municipal Police Association on this measure, and our member Geoff Nienstedt worked hard with local law enforcement officials to gain support in allowing tow truck drivers to use blue lights.  HB 61 was signed by the Governor on May 7th and will become law on September 1, 2019.

HB 625 by Neave relating to notice and request for a hearing regarding a vehicle that has been towed or booted, would have allowed a person to submit a written request for a hearing concerning a towed car within 60 days of the date the vehicle was towed, excluding weekends and holidays, provided that the vehicle that had been released from the vehicle storage facility to which it was towed within 20 days.  We know what you are thinking.  That is extremely convoluted and doesn’t make much sense.  Southwest Tow Operators opposed this bill in committee and member, Tasha Moore, testified in opposition to the bill.

HB 626 by Neave relating to notice of a person’s right to a hearing placed on a sign prohibiting unauthorized vehicles on a parking facility.  Southwest Tow Operators legislative team worked to oppose this bill.  The bill never received a hearing.

HB 1140 by Tracy King relates to fees for vehicles stored at vehicle storage facilities; authorizing fee increases and decreases; eliminating a fee; eliminating a minimum fee.  Southwest Tow Operators was very supportive of this measure as it moved through the process.  HB 1140 would allow TDLR to adjust the storage fee for impounded vehicles.  This bill was passed out of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee today and will be heading to the full Senate for debate and final passage. 

HB 2807 by Guillen relating to regulation and liability of certain vehicles on a highway.  Representative Guillen filed this bill on behalf of Southwest Tow Operators.  HB 2807 would have changed the penalties for move over violations.  This bill was heard in the House Licensing and Administration Committee but was faced by opposition in the Local Calendar Committee by some members.  Representative Guillen amended the language on one of his other bills, but that bill died in the Senate, unfortunately.

The legislative session will conclude on Memorial Day, but our work does not end there.  We will set our agenda for the next 18 months so that we will be ready to fill bills in the next session. 

Southwest Tow Operators will continue to work hard on your behalf in Austin. 

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