The following bills passed in the 85th legislative session affecting building inspection departments.
Building officials should review for possible impacts to their department operations. It is suggested that you seek counsel with your city attorney in order to address these legislative concerns.
H.B. 3329 – Permits and registration for electricians (see recommendations.) Significant impact to operations and may require amendments to local code adoption ordinances, fee schedules, business licenses, and/or other local ordinances.
H.B. 3257 – Impacts gas pipe products and initially started out as a bill requiring inspections on portable boilers. A floor amendment was added as follows:
Subchapter E. Regulation of boilers and fuel gas systems.
Section 755.071 Restriction on regulation. Notwithstanding any other law, a state agency, or political subdivision may not restrict the use or installation of a specific fuel gas pipe product that is approved for use and installation by the International Fuel Gas Code.
It appears that this provision prevents a municipality from prohibiting the use of any approved fuel gas pipe. Recently there has been a push to prohibit some types of CSST (see SB 1715). This would stop that practice.
H.B. 2040 – Allows a county to file a criminal citation to a builder that does not provide proof that the new home passed inspection. Should not impact local building departments, but does provide the county additional options.
H.B. 1004 – Allows cellular “nodes” aka “shoebox cell antenna” or small antennas to be placed on poles in right-of-way and limiting the fees that can be charged. This will impact building inspection if permits are required for cellular antennas and these systems need AC power.
H.B. 1449 – This bill prohibits a city from imposing “linkage fees” which are fees added to a new home permit that support an affordable housing program.
H.B. 2019 – Regulates manufactured homes and limits who may reconstruct them if they are not deemed salvage. No significate impact to building inspection departments.
S.B. 744 – Provides for credit for planted trees toward a tree mitigation fee. For cities that do not allow credit for planted trees and/or for building departments that calculate tree mitigation fees, this bill could have a significant impact.
S.B. 639 – Provides immunity from lawsuit to builders that allow students to tour jobsites as part of a career or technology program. No impact to building departments, but is something that we can promote to building trade classes in our respective cities.