86th Legislative Session Wrap Up

The 86thTexas Legislature adjourned Sine Die on May 27thafter a long 140-day legislative session. The House and Senate tackled some tough issues since starting in January.  As you know, the only bill that is mandated to be passed is the budget and they did that, but they could not stop there. After the devastation of hurricane Harvey on most of southeast Texas, disaster funding had to be dealt with. The legislature did not just try to pay for what happened they also started the process of planning for future storms. One way they accomplished that was through SB 7, which created a State Flood Infrastructure Fund. Education funding was again a major issue, HB 3 became the School Finance Reform bill. HB 3 did pass and makes great strides to improve all aspects of the public-school experience. 

TPCA had its own list of bills that we worked on, both to pass and kill. Let’s begin with bills we supported:

  • HB 191 By Stephenson, Relating to the disposal of pesticides. 

This is a bill that creates a program that will give agricultural applicators a place to take old chemicals and have them disposed of properly. TPCA supported this effort in the past and we were happy to do it again. HB 191 passed both the House and the Senate and is awaiting the Governor to sign it into law.

  • HB 3631 By Bails, Relating to the confidentiality of the e-mail address of an applicant for or holder of a license issued by certain state agencies.

This is a bill that TPCA brought to the legislature in an effort to make it easier to get email address for licensed operators across the state. This would allow TPCA to have direct communication with the operators in an effort to keep the entire industry up to date on important issues. HB 3631 was passed out of the House and died after it was heard in the Senate committee. The Lieutenant Governor’s office was afraid that the access to these emails would create a market for selling the list. We had great support from both House and Senate members, so we will try this again next session. 

Bills TPCA opposed:

  • SB 2170 By Rodriguez & HB 136 Gonzalez, Relating to pollinator health.

Both of these bills were heard in committee, but did not get voted out and on to the next step in the process.

  • SB 2061 By Menendez, Relating to a prohibition on the application of certain pesticides at public school buildings and other facilities. This was referred to committee, but was giving a hearing.

This is a wonderful example of the education process. After HB 2170 was filed Dauphin Ewart, who serves as the legislative chair met with Senator Menendez’s staff and explained the IPM program as it exists today. Dauphin explained why the program was created and how it works. Because of the time we took to educate and not just oppose, we have created a positive working relationship with the Senator and his office.

  • HB 2483 By Farrar, Relating to the prohibition of certain pesticides on public road rights-of-way. This bill has been heard in committee, but was not voted out.

This is a bill that we work to kill every session. The issue is that if the legislature starts restricting what you can use, where will they stop?

  • HB 4212 By Meza, Relating to the establishment of a professional bee removal training and licensure program. This bill was not giving a hearing in committee and did not pass.
  • HB 2484 By Farrar, Relating to the establishment of the Bee Pollinator Goals Task Force to develop and report on statewide pollinator goals. This bill was not giving a hearing in committee and did not pass.

Governor Abbott has until June 16thto sign or veto all of the legislation that made it to his desk. A fun fact about the session, there were a total of 7324 House and Senate bills filed this session and as of May 24thonly 1025 had passed. When a session comes to an end, most people want measure their success by how many bills were passed. However, the best indicator of success is how many bills we killed. The Structural Pest Control industry is highly regulated today and I think we should always stay vigilant when others outside the business want to change how we do business. We have a saying in the lobby business, “What you pass make business easier for our clients, what we kill keep our clients in business”! I would like to thank our legislative committee, Dauphin Ewart (Chair), Nancy Doyle, Ken Workman, Michael Bosco, Jason Wheeler and Larry Novy for springing into action and providing impactful information for all the legislative issues we tracked this session. 




TPCA is the principal advocate and leadership organization for the professional pest control industry. We encourage the highest quality education, communication, and representation to promote our industry and the public good.