April 18, 2019
Major News in the Years-Long Battle Over Re-Regulation in Texas
There's major news in the years-long battle over re-regulation of Texas' successful promulgated rate system. We worked out a resolution that's been endorsed by TLTA's board of directors, the legislators carrying the standing bills with whom we've been working this session, and Texans for Free Enterprise, who joined their network of allies in commitment to this long-term solution.
We are now working together to support passage of legislation that will resolve this lengthy debate while preserving our promulgated rate system and improving statutory language regarding our rate hearing process.
Putting this matter to rest will allow us to focus our time and resources on the many other matters of key importance to our industry and the consumers we serve.
The compromise language that is now being advanced would do the following:
- It clarifies the process whereby an interested person can request a rate hearing, and it outlines the process for the Insurance Commissioner's consideration of that request. The parties that currently have the ability to automatically trigger a hearing, including TLTA and OPIC, remain unchanged.
- Additionally, the bill sets up a process whereby an interested person who has requested a hearing can ask that the hearing be moved to a contested format, and it sets out a process for the Commissioner to review and accept or deny that request through a hearing on the request.
- Finally, the bill provides interested individuals access to participate as a party in the hearing while retaining other parties' opportunity to challenge the standing of that individual and remove their party status.
TLTA believes the legislation as now drafted provides needed clarity regarding who can participate in the rate hearing process, and it outlines a process for how that access is attained while still maintaining the commissioner's discretion to act as appropriate when setting hearings or providing standing.
This is good public policy that clarifies the ways in which the public can continue participating in the rate setting process.
A committee substitute for HB 3228
that's limited to the new measures listed above was heard in the House Insurance Committee on Tuesday. The bill was favorably received and the committee chair, members and bill author all expressed appreciation to the two parties for finding common ground so that a resolution could be reached in this longstanding dispute. It was also noted importantly that everyone has agreed there will not be any attempts to amend this bill throughout the process.
Watch a Video of the Hearing on HB 3228 (Advance to 2:01:30) »
Click the image above to watch the hearing (advance to 2:01:30)
TLTA's other legislative priorities
are advancing in the Texas House and Senate. Both chambers held hearings on the TTIGA update bill (HB 1614
), and the House committee recommended it for their local/uncontested calendar.
Likewise, the RON-related 'papering out' legislation we support (HB 3060
) has been voted out of the Senate and received in the House. The House County Affairs Committee is scheduled to hear HB 3060 today. TLTA Legislative Chair Steve Streiff will be testifying on behalf of TLTA in support of the bill.
Legislation related to certificates of authority that identify who has the authority on behalf of partnerships and corporations to sell real property (HB 1833
) was approved by the House Business and Industry Committee for consideration by the entire House and will now be taken up by the House Calendars Committee. We continue working toward a hearing soon in the Senate.
We are monitoring the progress of these 77 bills
. We continue engaging in productive dialogue with stakeholders and the authors of bills that cause concern for our industry or our strategic partners.
Elsewhere in the Texas Legislature, efforts to repeal the franchise tax and a constitutional amendment that would lower property taxes by raising sales tax rates (a measure endorsed by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Texas House) continue to fight through choppy legislative waters.
Only 39 days remain until the Texas Legislature's 86th Session adjourns Sine Die.