Proposed Amendments to Procedural Rules of the Commission and the Department 16 TAC Chapter 59

see also Amendments Proposal Filed May 23, 2016

Chapter 59. Procedural Rules of the Commission and the Department

Proposal Filed: May 10, 2016 - Published in the Texas Register: May 27, 2016

Deadline for Public Comment: June 27, 2016

Underlined text is new language.

[Strike-thru text] is deleted language

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) proposes amendments to existing rules at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 59 §59.3, 59.10, 59.20, 59.21, 59.30, 59.51, 59.80 and 59.90, regarding the Continuing Education Requirements.

The proposed amendments update the continuing education requirements for the different professions regulated by the Department and general language clean up. The proposed amendments are necessary to allow the Department to streamline continuing education requirements across several professions. The proposed amendments provide the Department with better enforcement tools to hold the continuing education providers accountable to the consumers they serve.

The proposed amendments to §59.3 add "booting operators", "elevator contractor responsible party and registered elevator inspector", and "property tax professionals" to the occupations which are required to take continuing education. Also, licensed court interpreters was removed from the listed professions since the Department no longer has regulatory authority over the profession.

The proposed amendments to §59.10 add "current on the payment" to the definitions and clarifies the definition of continuing education provider. Editorial changes are made to renumber the section.

The proposed amendments to §59.20 removes the requirement for a separate provider registration per occupation and adds the requirement for the provider to be current on all fees.

The proposed amendments to §59.21 adds the requirement for providers seeking renewal to be current on all fees.

The proposed amendments to §59.30 allows the Department to approve courses in increments of less than one hour and prevents the Department from approving a continuing education course from a provider that is not current on required fees.

The proposed amendments §59.51 requires the course completion report to include the total amount of continuing education record fees owed to the Department, if any. The proposed amendments also require the provider to pay all required fees and prohibits the provider from enrolling a participant into a continuing education course without Department approval if fees are owed.

The proposed amendments to §59.80 adds a record fee and clean up expired language.

The proposed amendments to §59.90 allows the Department to seek an administrative sanction against a person for failing to pay the Department all required fees, including record fees, or administrative penalties and allows the Executive Director to probate a license.

William H. Kuntz, Jr., Executive Director, has determined that for the first five-year period the proposed amendments are in effect there will be no direct cost to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rules. There is no estimated decrease or increase in revenue to the state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rules.

Mr. Kuntz also has determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed amendments are in effect, the public will benefit by having better skilled and informed professions in the designated occupations.

There will be no anticipated economic effect on small and micro-businesses that are required to comply with the rules as proposed.

Since the agency has determined that the proposed amendments will have no adverse economic effect on small or micro-businesses, preparation of an Economic Impact Statement and a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, under Texas Government Code §2006.002, is not required.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted by mail to Neta Lamas, Legal Assistant, General Counsel's Office, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, P.O. Box 12157, Austin, Texas 78711; or by facsimile to (512) 475-3032, or electronically to erule.comments@tdlr.texas.gov. The deadline for comments is 30 days after publication in the Texas Register.

The amendments are proposed under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51, which authorize the Commission, the Department's governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the proposal are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the proposal.

§59.3. Purpose and Applicability.

These rules are promulgated to establish continuing education provider and course requirements for the following occupations regulated by the Department of Licensing and Regulation:

(1) Air conditioning and refrigeration contractors, as provided by Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1302. Additional continuing education requirements relating to air conditioning and refrigeration contractors may be found in Chapter 75 of this title.

(2) Auctioneers, as provided by Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1802. Additional continuing education requirements relating to auctioneers may be found in Chapter 67 of this title.

(3) Booting operators, as provided by Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2308. Additional continuing education requirement relating to booting may be found in Chapter 89 of this title.

(4) [(3)] Cosmetologists, as provided by Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 1602 and 1603. Additional continuing education requirements relating to cosmetologists may be found in Chapter 83 of this title.

(5) [(4)] Electricians, as provided by Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1305. Additional continuing education requirements relating to electricians may be found in Chapter 73 of this title.

(6) Elevator contractor responsible party and registered elevator inspector, as provided by Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 754, Subchapter B. Additional continuing education requirements relating to responsible parties may be found in Chapter 74 of this title.

[(5) Licensed court interpreters, as provided by Texas Government Code, Chapter 57, Subchapter C. Additional continuing education requirements relating to licensed court interpreters may be found in Chapter 80 of this title.]

(7) [(6)] Polygraph examiners, as provided by Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1703. Additional continuing education requirements relating to polygraph examiners may be found in Chapter 88 of this title.

(8) [(7)] Property tax consultants, as provided by Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1152. Additional continuing education requirements relating to property tax consultants may be found in Chapter 66 of this title.

(9) Property tax professionals, as provided by Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1151, Subchapter D. Additional continuing education requirements relating to property tax professionals may be found in Chapter 94 of this title.

(10) [(8)] Registered accessibility specialists, as provided by Texas Government Code, Chapter 469. Additional continuing education requirements relating to registered accessibility specialists may be found in Chapter 68 of this title.

(11) [(9)] Towing operators, as provided by Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2308. Additional continuing education requirements relating to towing operators may be found in Chapter 86 of this title.

(12) [(10)] Water well drillers and pump installers, as provided by Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 1901 and 1902. Additional continuing education requirements relating to water well drillers and pump installers may be found in Chapter 76 of this title.

§59.10. Definitions.

The following terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

[(1) Department--The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.]

(1) [(2)] Commission--The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation.

(2) [(3)] Continuing Education Courses or Courses--Department-approved courses that may be completed to satisfy continuing education requirements.

(3) [(4)] Continuing Education Provider or Provider--A person registered by the department to offer continuing education courses, in any occupation that offers continuing education.

(4) Current on the Payment--A provider applicant or provider is considered current on the payment of any required fees or administrative penalties if the provider applicant or provider is making payments as provided by an agreed payment schedule with the department.

(5) Day--A calendar day.

(6) Department--The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

§59.20. Provider Registration.

(a) (No change.)

[(b) A separate provider registration is required for each occupation (electrician, auctioneer, etc.) for which an applicant wishes to provide continuing education courses.]

(b) [(c)] To register, an applicant shall:

(1) file a completed application on the appropriate department-approved form; [and]

(2) pay all applicable fees; [.]

(3) be current on the payment of any unpaid required fees, including record fees, or administrative penalties; and

(4) demonstrate the capability to meet the requirements of this chapter and other applicable department requirements.

[(d) To be registered as a provider, an applicant must demonstrate the capability to meet the requirements of this chapter and other applicable department requirements.]

§59.21. Provider Registration Renewals.

(a) (No change.)

(b) To renew a registration, a provider shall:

(1) file a completed application for renewal on the appropriate department-approved form; [and]

(2) pay all applicable fees; and [.]

(3) be current on the payment of any unpaid required fees, including record fees, or administrative penalties.

(c) (No change.)

§59.30. Continuing Education Course.

(a) - (k) (No change.)

(l) The department may [not] approve courses in increments of less than one hour of continuing education credit.

(m) - (n) (No change.)

(o) The department may not approve a continuing education course from a provider that is past due or not current on the payment of any unpaid required fees, including record fees, or administrative penalties.

§59.51. Responsibilities of Providers.

(a) - (d) (No change.)

(e) A provider must submit to the department, on the appropriate department-approved form, a course completion report no later than seven days after the course completion date. The report shall include the following information:

(1) name and number of course;

(2) course completion date;

(3) provider name and number;

(4) the location where the course was taught;

(5) the number of participants to whom a certificate was issued; [and]

(6) the name, license type and license number of each participant to whom a certificate of completion was issued; and [.]

(7) the total amount of continuing education record fees owed to the department, if any.

(f) - (l) (No change.)

(m) A provider must pay all required fees, including record fees, or administrative penalties, in a manner prescribed by the department.

(n) Upon notification by the department that a provider is past due or not current on the payment of any unpaid required fees, including record fees, or administrative penalties, a provider may not enroll a participant in a continuing education course without department approval.

§59.80. Fees.

(a) (No change.)

(b) Provider renewal application fee--[$250 per occupation for registrations expiring before April 1, 2014; ]$200 [for registrations expiring on or after April 1, 2014].

(c) - (d) (No change.)

(e) Record fee, if required--$5 per licensee.

(f) [(e)] All fees paid to the department are non-refundable.

§59.90. Sanctions--Administrative Sanctions and Penalties.

(a) (No change.)

(b) Any of the following actions by a person is a violation of this chapter and may result in the assessment of administrative penalties or administrative sanctions against the person:

(1) - (4) (No change.)

(5) Fraud or misrepresentation regarding maintenance of records, teaching method, program content, or issuance of certificates; [or]

(6) Failing to cooperate with the department in an investigation or audit; or [.]

(7) Failing to pay the department all required fees, including record fees, or administrative penalties.

(c) An order of suspension issued under this section may be probated upon reasonable terms and conditions as determined by the commission or executive director.

(d) (No change.)

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on May 10, 2016.

William H. Kuntz, Jr.
Executive Director
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation