Justification for Rule Re-Adoption

JUSTIFICATION FOR RULE RE-ADOPTION

(Effective July 15, 2021)

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) filed a Notice of Intent to Review to consider for readoption, revision, or repeal the rule chapters listed below, in their entirety, under Title 16, Part 4, of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC). This review was conducted in accordance with Texas Government Code §2001.039.

Education and Examination

Chapter 59, Continuing Education Requirements

Procedural

Chapter 60, Procedural Rules of the Commission and the Department

Building and Mechanical

Chapter 70, Industrialized Housing and Buildings

Chapter 73, Electricians

Business and Consumer Safety

Chapter 72, Professional Employer Organization

Public Comments

A combined Notice of Intent to Review for all of the chapters listed above was published in the April 16, 2021, issue of the Texas Register (46 TexReg 2589). The public comment period closed on May 17, 2021.

Chapter 59, Continuing Education Requirements

The Department received 22 public comments in response to the Notice of Intent to Review for this rule chapter. Among the commenters are the Texas Towing & Storage Association, the Independent Electrical Contractors of Texas, the Texas Groundwater Association, the Accessibility Professionals Association, and 18 individuals commenting on their own behalf or on behalf of their business.

Of the comments that were received, six comments were supportive of the rules and nine comments were unsupportive of the rules. Two of the six supportive comments encourage readoption and one of the nine unsupportive comments recommends that the Electrician continuing education program be discontinued. These 15 comments provided critiques or recommendations regarding the amount of continuing education required, continuing education course content, and the value of continuing education as currently provided. The Department has taken the supportive and unsupportive comments into consideration as part of this review.

These same 15 comments also suggested amendments to the rules. The unsupportive comments addressed the content of the courses being redundant, irrelevant, or lacking in value. The supportive comments recommended improvements to administrative processes and methods of providing continuing education. The Department will take these comments under consideration for a possible future rulemaking because any amendments must be made using the standard rulemaking process.

Finally, seven comments were unrelated to the rules under review. These comments were directed to the appropriate division for consideration, and the Department will not take any further rulemaking action as result of these comments.

Chapter 60, Procedural Rules of the Commission and the Department

The Department received six public comments in response to the Notice of Intent to Review for this rule chapter. Of the comments that were received, one comment was in support of readoption of the rules. The Department has taken this comment into consideration as part of this review. Three comments requested amendments to the rules related to persons with criminal histories obtaining licenses and complaint resolution timeframes. The Department will take these comments under consideration for a possible future rulemaking because any amendments must be made using the standard rulemaking process. Two comments were unrelated to the rules under review. These comments were directed to the appropriate division for consideration, and the Department will not take any further rulemaking action as result of these comments.

Chapter 70, Industrialized Housing and Buildings

The Department did not receive any public comments in response to the Notice of Intent to Review for this rule chapter.

Chapter 72, Professional Employer Organization

The Department received one public comment in response to the Notice of Intent to Review for this rule chapter. The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations commented in support of the rules and recommended readoption without changes. The Department has taken this comment into consideration as part of this review.

Chapter 73, Electricians

The Department received 11 public comments in response to the Notice of Intent to Review for this rule chapter. Of the comments that were received, one comment was in support of re-adoption of the rules. The Department has taken this comment into consideration as part of this review. Two comments requested amendments to the rules related to allowing members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to be granted an electrical license without the need for application. One commenter requested an amendment allowing license applicants to use hours spent in educational courses to fulfill licensing requirements. The Department will take these comments under consideration for a possible future rulemaking because any amendments must be made using the standard rulemaking process. Seven comments were unrelated to the rules under review. These comments were directed to the appropriate division for consideration, and the Department will not take any further rulemaking action as result of these comments.

Department Review

The Department has reviewed each of the rule chapters listed above and has determined that the reasons for adopting or readopting the rules in these chapters continue to exist. The rules are still essential in implementing the enabling statute of the Commission and the Department, other statutes applicable to state agencies, and the statutes for each of the affected programs. The rules provide details that are not found in these statutes but are necessary for the operations and functions of the Commission and the Department and for implementation and operation of the programs.

The Department may propose amendments in the future to update, clarify, or supplement the existing rules. Any proposed changes to the rules will be published in the Proposed Rules section of the Texas Register and will be open for public comment before final adoption by the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation, the Department’s governing body, and in accordance with the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001.

Commission Action

At its meeting on July 3, 2021, the Commission readopted the following rule chapters, in their entirety and in their current form: 16 TAC, Chapter 59, Continuing Education Requirements; Chapter 60, Procedural Rules of the Commission and the Department; Chapter 70, Industrialized Housing and Buildings; Chapter 72, Professional Employer Organization; and Chapter 73, Electricians. This concludes the review of these rule chapters in accordance with Texas Government Code §2001.039.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on July 15, 2021.

Brad Bowman
General Counsel
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation