By Frank J Corte Jr and Harvey Hilderbran, Capitol Chairman’s Alliance, LLC
This update brings the Texas Dry-cleaning Operators good news that we have sponsors in both the Texas Senate and the House of Representatives to carry the DCRP extension legislation. A lot of appreciation to several Texas members of the SDA who took the time to meet with key members of the legislative process that resulted in us having State Senator Kelly Hancock of North Richland Hills and State Representative Stan Lambert of Abilene to be the primary authors and the leaders in their respective chambers on this issue. Both legislators are members of the committees that most likely have a hearing on this issue before it comes for a vote on the Senate and House floor. HB 2072 by Lambert was filed on February 23rd and the Senate version should be filed by Senator Hancock soon.
While COVID-19 will have a significant impact on the legislative session the most recent extreme weather conditions will take a lot of attention from legislative leaders. Not only did the extreme weather delay many actions for a week, both the Senate and House started hearings the following week to review what happened with the power shortage and ERCOT. Speaker Phelan appointed house members to committee assignments at the end of the first week of February. The Senate Finance and Redistricting Committees are the only other Senate committees to meet so far and in the House of Representatives only the Appropriations Committee has met to organize.
During our discussions with DCRP supporters in the House and Senate, it was recommended to consider making the extension for the program to be 20 years versus 30 years as we had originally proposed. While this was the extension length in the bill proposed in 2017, it was felt that making it 20 years would make the legislation more acceptable from possible detractors. The 30-year period could be a period too long before the legislature will need to look at this issue again. It is important to accept this recommendation from those who want to help us pass this measure, therefore we have revised the proposed legislation to extend the DCRP until 2041. This version will be the bill filed in the House and Senate.
The actions for the next 60 days will be our continued efforts to communicate with members of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development and the House of Representatives Committee on Business and Industry, as they move forward to vote this measure out of committee. We also plan to meet with staff members in each committee of the chambers, as well as the staff members of the Lt Governor’s and Speaker of the House Representatives to advocate for the DCRP extension.
As mentioned in the first paragraph of this update, we want to thank those SDA members for taking the time away from their businesses to talk to key legislative leaders. However, this action will be an on-going process even when the bill is voted out of committee and to moves to the chambers of the Senate and House for a vote. We will need your continued support to communicate with members of the legislature until this is signed by the Governor.
For more information on the DCRP Coalition or to contribute, click here.
March 6 DCRP Virtual Meeting
Here directly from the Coalition members and lobbyists on the progress of this effort, Saturday, March 6, at 11:00 am. Click here to register.