The 86th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature
ended on Monday, May 27th. Top stories heading into this session included the
destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey, the tragic school shooting in Sante Fe
ISD, and a tough November election cycle for Republicans. After arriving in Austin in January, the
Texas House of Representatives elected a new Speaker for the first time since
2009. There was also a renewed call for cooperation by the Speaker, Lieutenant
Governor, and Governor, who pledged to work closely together on priority issues
like education and tax reform. As a spirit of compromise and moderation defined
the legislative session, the House Freedom Caucus saw a couple of members
resign, and the Democrats saw their influence in the House grow.
In January, Governor Abbott announced his emergency
priorities for the session, including school finance, teacher pay raises,
property tax reform, school safety, disaster recovery, and mental health
issues. Thanks to a strong Texas economy, state budget writers began the
legislative session with billions in extra revenue and a record $15 billion in
the state’s Rainy Day Fund. This meant the Legislature could avoid the fights
over proposed cuts to health care and higher education that have marked recent
Unlike the 2017 legislative session, which was dominated by
partisan fights over immigration, abortion, and transgender bathroom access,
this session was relatively quiet. Lawmakers approved a roughly $250 billion
state budget, and passed several major policy initiatives including:
- school finance reform that greatly increases per
student funding, expands pre-kindergarten classes, invests in early reading
preparedness, provides teacher pay raises, and streamlines the school finance
- a property tax reform package that requires
local voter approval if tax revenue increases by more than 2.5-3.5% from the
- a major school safety measure that increased
safety training for school employees, availability of mental health resources,
and emergency awareness systems
- increased investments in the state’s Teacher
- raising the state’s legal smoking age to 21
- legalizing the agricultural production of hemp
and expanding permissible medical uses of CBD oil
- repeal of the Driver Responsibility Program and
local red-light camera laws
PROPERTY OWNERS’ ASSOCIATIONS
A few bills passed this session that directly impact
homeowners and associations in Texas, including:
234 by Rep. Matt Krause, which prohibits property owners’
associations from regulating the sale of lemonade or similar beverages by
children on property located in the subdivision if the child has permission of
a property owner to be there. There are also similar provisions in the bill
that apply to local government regulations of lemonade stands. TCAA was
successful in amending the bill to require permission by a property owner and
to limit a property owners’ association’s liability for any injury or activity
related to such sales.
302 by Rep. Dennis Paul provides a defense for owners, tenants,
and guests carrying, storing, or possessing a firearm or ammunition in
apartments or condominiums.
1025 by Rep. Dwayne Bohac deals with candidacy for and membership on
the board of certain property owners’ associations. Additionally, the bill was
amended to add the text of HB 1396 by Rep. Sam Harless, which limits board eligibility
in relation to cohabitation at the same primary residence, so that only one
director is permitted per primary residence.
2554 by Rep. John Bucy streamlines and reorganizes statutes related
to the ability of property owners’ associations to regulate the display of
Many bills were tracked and analyzed by the TCAA legislative
team that did not become law before the end of the legislative session.
On many of these bills, TCAA worked closely with the bill authors to find
compromise language, and yet the bills did not make it out of the Legislature,
660 by Rep. Matt Shaheen addressed the assessment of fines by
property owners’ associations by requiring that associations must adopt and
record a fining policy that establishes reasonable fine amounts for each type
of violation, and provide a copy of that policy annually to its members.
1737 by Rep. Justin Holland relates to the statutes of limitation and
repose for certain claims involving the construction or repair of an
improvement to real property or equipment attached to real property,
compressing the timeframe available for such claims from 10 years to 8 years.
2302 by Rep. Greg Bonnen, which addressed the issue of when a
property owners’ association may regulate religious displays at a residence.
2596 by Rep. James White (and its companion SB
86 by Sen. Bob Hall) related to the ability of a local government or
property owners’ association to prohibit an individual from raising or keeping
six or fewer chickens at their single-family residential lot, and also override
any similar property owners’ association restrictive covenant.
3445 by Rep. Tracy King shortened the timeframe for an association
board to transition from developer-controlled to resident-controlled, and also
required board meetings of certain associations to be held within 10 miles of
3498 by Rep. Dustin Burrows made multiple changes to the laws
governing mechanic’s, contractor’s, or materialman’s liens.
589 by Rep. Joe Deshotel also addressed mechanic’s, contractor’s,
and materialman’s liens, and extended to condominium unit owners the liability
of a condominium association’s failure to pay a contractor.
3778 and HB
4176 by Rep. Angie Chen Button addressed the ability of
municipalities and property owners’ associations, respectively, to regulate
639 by Sen. Joan Huffman was a wide-ranging bill addressing the
operation and management of condominium unit owners’ associations, including
issues related to the meetings, records, and elections of those groups.
The legislative session has ended, but you should still
contact your local representatives throughout the year and ahead of the 2021
session to share your concerns and opinions. Here’s how to contact your state
You can find Texas Capitol and local district office
telephone numbers for your legislator by searching Who Represents Me? on Texas
E-mail is handled by each office individually. For e-mail
options, see the Texas Senators and House
Membership web sites.
Between now and the next legislative session, TCAA wants you
to get involved with our association and help in our efforts to support and
protect community associations across Texas. Visit the TCAA website for more
information on activities, events, and updates: www.txcaa.org