Porter Hedges Publishes a White Paper on the 2013 Texas Legislative Changes Affecting the Construction Industry

Following the conclusion of the 83rd Texas Legislature, Porter Hedges Construction Section has published a white paper reviewing the updates to Texas law that will directly affect the construction industry. While there were many bills introduced into the Texas legislature in 2013 that might have brought about major changes for the construction industry, they did not pass. The legislature only passed one bill which will have any significant impact for contractors. This bill will implement a waiver of sovereign immunity for some claims against the State of Texas and its agencies. The sovereign immunity bill has significant limitations and caveats. Please see the attached white paper for a detailed review.

A few of the other bills that passed the legislative session include the following topics:

  • classification of employees on public work projects;
  • modifications to various provisions relating to governmental entities;
  • limitation on number of design build projects;
  • restrictions on disaster remediation contracts; and
  • limiting liability of employers who employ those with criminal convictions.

For the most part, these bills updated existing statutes, corrected errors in prior legislation or increased procedural efficiency. Many of the bills take effect on September 1, 2013; some take effect next January.

Several bills were introduced that sought to overhaul the mechanic’s lien laws and amend the construction trust fund statute. However, neither effort was successful this time around. Both topics will likely be the subject of significant study and drafting before the 2015 session.

The white paper discusses and analyzes these issues in depth, click here for a copy.

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