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Relating to restrictions under disaster remediation contracts; creating a criminal offense.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 2856 would provide that a disaster remediation contractor who violates the prohibition from requiring a person to make a full or partial payment under a contract before the contractor begins work, or the prohibition from requiring that the amount of any partial payment under the contract exceed an amount reasonably proportionate to the work performed, commits an offense. The offense would be a Class B misdemeanor, or a third degree felony if the offense was committed with the intent to defraud.
The bill also provides a defense to prosecution if the disaster remediation contractor refunds any payment made in violation of this bill's provisions no later than the 15th day following the receipt of a written demand alleging a violation.
Texas Action supports HB 2856 because it promotes limited government and personal responsibility. It is a legitimate function of a limited government to protect against fraudulent practices, especially following a disaster. This bill also ensures that contractors who violate the rules for payment are held liable for their actions by creating a criminal offense.