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Summary of Legislation:
Notes: The rulemaking authority granted with respect to negotiated rulemaking and alternative dispute resolutions is subject to the Administrative Procedures Act which is a very transparent process.
1) Article 3. SECTION 3.01. Section 2306.6022, Government Code HB 3361 Says that, “authorized employees may dismiss a complaint if an investigation reveals that a violation did not occur”. This sounds like a responsible course of action. However it does not specify if the complainant has the right to appeal dismissal.
2) Sec. 1201.1031. Criminal history record information requirement for license. This section requires manufactures, retailers, brokers, installers, or salespersons, to undergo criminal history background checks and fingerprinting with the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Additionally it disqualifies one from the issuance of an occupational license or the renewal of a license if their fingerprints and complete criminal background history is not recorded. Applicants are furthermore required to report and record any other criminal justice agency that they may have come in contact with.
The right to pursue one’s own industry is an inherent part of our culture and tradition. Disqualifying otherwise qualified people from the profession of their choice simply because of an encounter with the law at some point in their past is antithetical to our traditions and to free market principles. This leaves an entire segment of society nearly unemployable with no means of providing a quality living in their field of choice or providing adequately for their family.
3) The "emergency cease and desist" that this bill expands concentrates too much power in the hands of regulators by taking away due process rights for market participants. Rather than expanding this power, it should be removed completely.
Currently the director has cease and desist authority related to licensees; this legislation expands the director’s authority by granting power to stop an individual or entity operating without a license. The director would also be authorized to assess administrative penalties on unlicensed individuals or entities of up to $1,000 for each day of the violation if “the director has reasonable cause to believe that a person has violated or is about to violate a provision under his/her jurisdiction." While it may in fact be necessary to stop a person from operating without a license, this should be done with full due process. Due process of law is not a burden for regulators and it serves to protect the legal rights of citizens.
This legislation contains some provisions that serve to limit government, however it also contains provisions that expand government. Due to this conflict between supporting and opposing our liberty principles we are neutral on this bill.