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A fiscal note dated March 9, 2015 anticipates no significant fiscal implications to the State or units of local government. It also stipulates that based on information provided by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the TWC should be able to implement the provisions of the bills using existing resources.
By using the Occupations code's definition of a landman as the reference in the Labor code, Senate Bill 529 not only reconciles the definition in both codes, it also clearly reaffirms the status of the landman as an independent contractor that is not eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. The goal of the bill is to avoid any lack of clarity on the status of a landman with regards to unemployment compensation.
As an independent contractor, a landman is not entitled to unemployment compensation: he performs a service for any private for-profit person he/she may contract with, but he/she is not the private for-profit person's employee. Currently though, the Labor code's definition is vague enough to open the door to possible frivolous lawsuits for unemployment compensation.
Senate Bill 529's clarification would play favorably with free markets: it would relieve private for-profit persons willing to contract for the services of a landman of the possible uncertainty regarding the status of the contractor. Consequently, we support Senate Bill 529.