• GOVERNOR ABBOTT SIGNS TFFA LANDMARK LEGISLATION

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    Senate Bill 2119 by Sen. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston) and Rep. Craig Goldman (R-Fort Worth) was the top priority legislation for TFFA this session. The bill transfers the regulatory programs for both motor fuel metering and motor fuel quality testing from the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). 

    Last Friday, Governor Greg Abbott signed SB 2119 into law, effective immediately.

    The bill’s passage is big news for the fuel industry as it marks the end of 90+ years of regulation by TDA and the beginning of an important relationship with a new state agency in TDLR. There were a lot of risks with trying to make the move at the Texas Capitol, but in the end with the signing of the bill, TFFA can declare a major legislative success. 

    SB 2119 includes a fifteen-month transition period where TDA, TDLR and TFFA will work together to smoothly transfer the registrations, program fees, penalty policies and all other regulatory operations from one state agency to another. TFFA will be reaching out to member companies from all sides of the fuel industry to assist in this transition process over the next few months. TFFA is pushing to make the transition as quickly as possible for the benefit of both the industry and the state agencies involved. 

    Several TFFA members have reported an uptick in random fuel quality kits and complaints.  Please notify TFFA if you have noticed an increase in actions from TDA within the last month. 

    TFFA will keep you updated on the progress of the transition process and in the next few days be on the look out for a full Texas Legislative recap on all bills for the fuel and convenience industry in the 2019 Legislative Session.
     
    TFFA Supports Moving Fuel Programs from TDA to TDLR
    Senate Bill 2119 by Sen. Carol Alvarado (D – Houston) and Rep. Craig Goldman (R – Ft. Worth)
    SB 2119 moves both the Weights & Measures Program and the Fuel Quality Program from the Texas Department of Agriculture to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
    STATUS: Signed by the Governor – Effective Immediately
     
    TFFA Supports Short Term TDA Fix
    House Bill 2366 by Rep. Drew Darby (R – San Angelo)
    Following the passage of HB 2174 last session, our industry has seen many problems with TDA’s implementation of the new fuel quality testing regime. HB 2366 would require customers who complain to provide a receipt and further clarifies how the fuel quality program should be run.
    STATUS: HB 2366 passed out of the House and moved over to the Senate.
    With the progress of SB 2119 TFFA quit pushing HB 2366
     
    TFFA Supports Credit Card Skimming Solution
    House Bill 2945 by Rep. Mary Ann Perez (D – Houston) and Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D – Laredo)
    TFFA members agree that the #1 problem that our industry needed to address this session is credit card skimming. HB 2945 creates a credit card fusion center, in conjunction with the Department of Public Safety, to be the central intelligence unit for fighting credit card skimming in Texas. The center will have the responsibility of educating consumers, retailers, service technicians, and law enforcement on how to best combat the spreading problem of credit card skimming. In addition, the bill directs the Attorney General’s office to create a list of guidelines for best practices for retailers to defend against credit card skimmers. TFFA testified before both the House and Senate Committees in favor of the bills.
    STATUS: Signed by the Governor – Effective September 1, 2019
     
    TFFA Supports Increased Penalties for Credit Card Skimming
    House Bill 869 by Rep. Cole Hefner (R – Mt. Pleasant) and Sen. Bryan Hughes (R – Mineola)
    TFFA supports efforts to include credit card skimming to the list of predicate charges for prosecution of organized crimes. This change would strengthen penalties for criminals engaged in credit card skimming at fuel pumps, which should in turn deter credit card skimming.
    STATUS:  Signed by the Governor – Effective September 1, 2019
     
    TFFA Supports Statewide Standards for Employment Regulations
    Senate Bill 2485 by Sen. Brandon Creighton (R – Conroe) – City regulation of employment benefits
    Senate Bill 2486 by Sen. Brandon Creighton (R – Conroe) – City regulation of employee scheduling 
    Senate Bill 2487 by Sen. Brandon Creighton (R – Conroe) – City regulation of paid sick leave
    Senate Bill 2488 by Sen. Brandon Creighton (R – Conroe) – City regulation of ‘ban the box’

    TFFA is a member of the ASSET business coalition that is working to maintain a business friendly regulatory environment that encourages statewide employment standards in lieu of local labor regulations that are increasingly being imposed in a patchwork of city ordinances across Texas. ASSET has proposed SB 2485, SB 2486, SB 2487, and SB 2488 to fix address these issues.
    STATUS: SB 2485, SB 2486, SB 2487 and SB 2488 all passed the Senate and passed the House Committee on State Affairs, but died in House Calendars. 

    TFFA is disappointed in the failure of these bills, but will look to the Texas Supreme court for protection from these unfair local labor ordinances      

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