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The 82nd Texas Legislature convenes on January 11, 2011. As it approaches, we anticipate three significant issues concerning our industry to be raised: Energy Conservation, Pool Builder Licensing, and Pool Safety Fencing and Drains. While every issue is important, these three have the greatest potential of placing an unsustainable financial burden on our industry. It is APEC's goal to be actively involved in the drafting of any legislation that addresses these issues. Our expert knowledge will be crucial in identifying viable solutions that protect both the needs of the consumer and the environment without threatening the welfare of our industry.

Local Government

County government follows basically the same format as the state. The governing body of your county is the Commissioners Court. Within that court there are 4 commissioners and a county judge. As the local arms of the state government, each Commissioners Court performs judicial, legislative, and executive functions. To get a glimpse of what is going on in your area, check out your county website. There you will find the Commissioners Court agenda and notices of upcoming public hearings. Members are encouraged to contact APEC lobbyists about any issues on the court's agenda that will have an impact on the pool and spa industry. We can send experts to testify at public hearings and provide critical research that could affect the outcome of a vote. We can also assist local officials in drafting more effective legislation.

Municipalities are independent of counties and carry their own sets of ordinances. City ordinances vary drastically across the state, and pass down mandates that directly affect our industry. It is imperative to understand the specific requirements of your city in regards to pool and spa construction and service. It is equally important to understand where state law ends and municipal law begins. For example, the Texas Local Government Code passes the authority to municipalities concerning pool fences and enclosures. While one city may have very liberal fencing requirements, a neighboring city's code may be very restrictive.

Every major city offers their municipal code through their website, making it very easy for small business owners to stay within compliance at all times. The Texas Local Government Code is also easily accessible online for quick referencing.

As specific calls-for-action requests develop visit here to find the corresponding advocacy tool kit to contact your congressman.

Important Links

Texas Legislature Online  |  Find Your State Representative

State and Local Government Network  |  State, County and Local Government Directory

About the Texas Legislative Process  |  How a Bill Becomes Law

How to Follow A Bill

Dates of Interest -- Glossary  |  Special Session Dates

 

          
 
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