Photo above: SDA President Danny Bahlman (left) with TX Representative Drew Darby (right).
Legislative Update on Texas Dry Cleaning Remediation Program
By Frank J Corte Jr and Harvey Hilderbran of Capitol Chairman’s Alliance, LLC
May 3, 2021
The end of the session is less than 28 days away, but the DCRP Extension Legislation has passed both the House and Senate and will soon be on the Governor’s desk. Most everything is done except following it to the last step of getting the Governor’s signature, which may be in early June. In case anyone wants to know the vote on final passage, it was 139 ayes, 2 nays, and 2 present but not voting (PNV). The two PNVs are Speaker Phelan, and Speaker Pro Temp Moody. Very rarely does the presiding officer of the session vote either yea or nay. The two nay votes were Rep. Jared Patterson of Frisco and Rep. Shelby Slawson of Stephenville.
As many know SB 872 was set for the Local and Consent calendar quickly last week for this past Friday. Before that we had made the decision to put together a Dry Cleaner Day at the Capitol, prior to it coming to the House floor for a vote. We did that this past Thursday and I think the results were helpful with the efforts of volunteers from Texas SDA members who were able to make it to the Capitol to work the House membership. A special thanks to Erika Paine, Ron Caffey, Ian Noble, Marty Moore, Allan Cripe, Doug Lipsey, Paul Hoodless, Richard Thum, Jess Culpepper, and of course Danny Bahlman who made their way to Austin and visited the offices of the 149 members of the Texas House to tell them that we wanted their support and to vote yes for SB 872. You will be able to tell we had a good representation from around the State to do the task at hand. We also need to give some appreciation to others in the Texas SDA delegation who attended Zoom meetings to talk to key members of the legislative process. Some of these meetings were with legislative members who had for some reason back in 2017 voted against it or we were seeking their support to be the primary authors of the legislation. So, thank you Fran Stone, Lynn Ingram, Belinda Short, Darryl Flynn, Sheri Brunson, Don Lusk, Brian Robertson, and Kevin Kell. It was truly a team effort to get the football across the goal line.
So many have asked when will the Governor sign SB 872, that is a good question. By the Texas Constitution, the governor has 20 days after the Legislature adjourns to sign or veto any legislation that has passed the legislative process. Once the measure has been signed by the presiding officers of both the House and Senate. It will be sent to the Governor’s office. His policy staff will review the bill, the testimony, the legislative history, and his staff will make a recommendation to the Governor to either sign it or veto it. Both Harvey and I will be engaged with his staff during this process to ensure the legislation becomes effective into law. Since the legislation had a clause stating that if there was over two-thirds majority of votes in passing the measure, it will go immediately into effect once the Governor signs his approval.
We look forward to our next update to be the final actions from the Governor on this legislation.