State Representative Ernest Bailes is sending multiple bills to be signed by Governor Abbott. With six days left in session, Rep. Bailes foresees more legislation directly benefiting House District 18 will make it to the finish line.
HB 2714 streamlines the occupational licensing requirements for LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) container manufacturers by tailoring the Railroad Commission’s oversight to ensure compliance with industry and federal health and safety standards. The bill also enables the RRC to update its rules pertaining to LPG activities to reflect changes within the regulated industry. Lastly, HB 2714 updates antiquated notice provisions within the LPG statute to allow the RRC to distribute certain notices electronically which will allow for the expedient, efficient, and cost-effective notification of affected persons. This bill has been signed by the Governor.
HB 3865/SB 925 seeks to update the current Comptroller practice of basing eligibility of tax credits for low producing gas wells and oil leases on the higher production rates reported to the Railroad Commission or Comptroller’s office. This will allow the agency to automate what is now a manual review of information, increasing efficiency and ensuring that only those that meet the appropriate production levels qualify for the tax credit. This bill has been signed by the Governor.
HB 892 grants regulatory authority to combat illegal gambling occurring at so-called game rooms. Certain businesses have been violating gambling statutes by paying cash to patrons playing amusement redemption machines, or 8-liners. Criminal activity has led to public nuisances, and law enforcement continues to face difficulties closing down the game rooms violating the law. This bill addresses these concerns by providing the tools to bring game rooms into compliance via registration and permitting requirements, fees, disclosure of ownership, inspection schemes, and civil and criminal penalties. HB 389 by Rep. Bailes, similar to HB 892, provides the same regulatory authority to Liberty County to address illegal gambling. Both bills have been sent to be signed by the Governor.
HB 1820 will allow the voters of Liberty County to establish a county-wide drainage district via a local election. Liberty County is prone to flooding, especially where there are low-lying areas and undersized culverts. Currently, there are three active drainage districts located in different areas, but they do not encompass the county as a whole. If the measure is passed, these existing districts will dissolve and transfer assets, debts, and obligations to the Liberty County Drainage District. This bill has been sent to be signed by the Governor.
“There are still deadlines approaching in the final week of session, and I hope to pass more meaningful legislation before the clock runs out on Sine Die,” Bailes said.