The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) is the governing body that ensures both REALTORS® and consumers are safeguarded in real property transactions. TREC oversees licensing, educational training, advertising and other issues related to real estate agents and brokers. In the 85th Legislature there were several TREC related bills that if passed as originally written, would have adversely impacted the REALTOR® community in Texas. The original language of House Bill 2534 and its sister bill Senate Bill 2212 created stringent advertising rules for agents and brokerages. If the original bill had passed, it would have led to costly advertising expenses for HAR members.
The HAR Governmental Affairs team worked with the TAR Governmental Affairs team and closely monitored these bills throughout the legislative session. Other efforts included sending letters to Houston area elected officials and a visit to the Capitol in Austin to represent HAR in committee hearings regarding these bills. In the end, the bill was amended to protect the interests of TREC, REALTORS® and the consumer. On May 28, Senate Bill 2212 was sent to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk after passing in both the House and the Senate. The bill will become law in September. To read the bill in its entirety, visit www.capitol.state.tx.us.
Governor Greg Abbott declares there will be a special legislative session
The Texas Constitution requires there be a 140-day legislative session every other year. A special session is a convening of state lawmakers outside of the regular session. Only the governor may call the Legislature into special session. On June 6th, Governor Greg Abbott held a press conference and announced that there would be a special session beginning July 18, 2017. Governor Abbott announced an agenda of 20 issues that would be covered in the special session.
There are six agenda items that directly relate to real estate and private-property rights:
- School Finance
- Property Tax Reform
- Tree Ordinances
- Preventing Retroactive Rulemaking
- Speeding up Local Government Permitting Process
- Municipal Annexation Reform
Please be on the look-out for updates via social media and e-mail from your HAR Governmental Affairs Department as the special legislative session begins.