Texas Watch

Accountability

Press Statement on Senate Approval of HB 1774, One of the Blue Tarp Bills

For Immediate Release

On a vote of 21-8, the Texas Senate gave preliminary approval to HB 1774 today, one of the #BlueTarpBills. The legislation slashes the penalty for property insurers that wrongfully delay weather-related claims, forces many cases into federal court where it takes twice as long to receive justice, and adds cost and uncertainty for property owners who attempt to legally challenge insurers' decisions.

Executive Director Ware Wendell released the following statement:

Protect Children. Punish Predators. Oppose the Immunity Amendment to HB 5

HB 5 seeks to improve the foster care system. But a dangerous immunity amendment tacked on in the Senate would give immunity to private contractors that make placement decisions. If they negligently place these children in the hands of predators, these private entities should face full accountability. Immunity only leads to danger. Keep kids safe. Oppose this immunity amendment.

HB 1964 Leaves Texas Tenants High and Dry

Cheaters should never win. But tomorrow, the Texas House will debate legislation that would let cheating landlords off the hook.

Under Texas law, landlords are not allowed to profit from water and can only pass along the actual cost of the utility to their tenants. When scamming landlords are caught hiking up these charges, tenants can band together and hold them accountable in court. There’s strength in numbers, allowing individual tenants to stand up to large, out-of- state apartment management companies. 

House Passes Blue Tarp Bill

This Friday, the Texas House voted 92 to 55 to pass HB 1774, one of the #BlueTarpBills. The passage of this legislation would provide cover for already powerful insurance companies, while gutting the rights of Texas families, businesses, churches, and schools. This vote is a blow to Texas property owners.
But, the fight is still not over. We need you to raise your voice and help us defeat this insurance giveaway. 

Press Release: HB 1774 House Vote

The Texas House voted this evening 91 to 55 for preliminary approval of HB 1774, one of the #BlueTarpBills pushed by the insurance industry and their allies this session. The bill slashes penalties for property insurers that wrongly delay weather-related claims, pushes cases into federal courts where it takes twice as long to receive justice, and threatens access to justice by increasing costs, delay, and risk for those wronged by insurers. The bill has broad application beyond hail claims and would impact millions of Texas property owners if signed into law.

Texans Across the Board are Against the Blue Tarp Bills

Texans across the political spectrum are against The Blue Tarp Bills. The bills are a giveaway to insurance companies, striping policyholders of their legal protections and making it even easier for insurers to deny, delay, and underpay the valid claims of property owners. The Texas House will debate this dangerous legislation as early as this Thursday.

Press Release: Bill that lets cheating landlords off the hook passes Senate

Today, the Texas Senate passed SB 873, which lets cheating landlords off the hook. Currently, when tenants are overcharged on their water bill, residents can band together to hold their landlord accountable in court. But, the proposed legislation breaks up these claims, forcing tenant disputes into a bureaucratic process run by the Public Utility Commission that few, if any, will access.

Innovation, not immunity

Today, Texas Watch submitted written testimony against SB 2205, which immunizes manufacturers and developers of autonomous vehicles in certain cases. We believe that the Texas Legislature should fight for innovation, not immunity. Read the full testimony below:

Pure gravy

HB 1774 and SB 10, more aptly referred to as the Blue Tarp Bills, reduce incentives for insurers to pay valid claims on time and in full. By slashing the penalty for insurers that delay and underpay Texas families, businesses, churches, and schools from 18% to 10%, the bills are a giveaway for insurers. The illicit profits they would make from slow-paying their customers would be...pure gravy. 

Sign the petition to preserve policyholder protections here