HB 1717

83(R) - 2013
Licensing & Administrative Procedures

Vote Recommendation

  • Negative
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Negative


Four Price

Bill Caption

Relating to the continuation and functions of the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners.

Fiscal Notes

Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for HB1717, As Introduced: a positive impact of $112,000 through the biennium ending August 31, 2015. The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.

Bill Analysis

Summary: The Occupations Code sets up the rules for how certain professions or groups of like-professions are to establish their processes for applications, permits, renewals and fees. HB 1717 would change the code for the board of Architectural Examiners and Interior Designers by making it harder to apply for a license as well as increasing the fees and penalties.

Analysis: We recommend that house members vote against this legislation. HB 1717 would require citizens to submit to a fingerprint background check in order to even apply for a license to be an architect. It would also require current architects to undergo these background checks in order to renew their license as well. Criminal background checks for this profession are excessive. The Sunset Review Commission recommended the Board add background checks only because other agencies use them, not because of any empirical evidence that they are necessary. This represents an unnecessary barrier to entry that has no legitimate basis in public safety and serves no public purpose.

Additionally, the Sunset Review Commission has stated that the board does not need to continue to regulate the interior design profession. HB 1717 would require all interior designers to pass an exam before 2016 in order to renew their license.

Requiring background checks for architectural examiners and extending the regulation of interior design are classic protectionist measures which increase barriers to entry and reduce competition for currently practicing professionals. This legislation expands the scope of government, limits individual liberty for people who wish to pursue careers in these fields, and infringes on free markets. We recommend that legislators oppose HB 1717.