Texas Civil Justice League

Thank you to all who have signed witness cards for our bills!  It is tremendously helpful to show cross-industry business support for liability and legal reform issues, and your support is greatly appreciated.

Texas Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Economic Development
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 9:00am/ADJ

Please attend the hearing or send a representative to sign a card in support of HB 1794 by Geren (companion to SB 1509 by Hancock)  This committee collects paper witness affirmation cards, so you must do this at the hearing room location at 9:00 or very soon after.

HB 1794 Relating to suits brought by local governments for violations of certain laws under the jurisdiction of, or rules adopted or orders or permits issued by, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; affecting civil penalties.Good Faith Remediation
HB 1794 by Geren 5-6-15 Referred to Senate Natural Resources & Economic Development.  Set for hearing on Tuesday, May 12.  PLEASE SIGN A CARD IN SUPPORT.
SB 1509 by Hancock 5-8-15 Not again placed on intent calendar.
SB 1509 has passed the Senate.  HB 1794 has passed the House, and is now in committee in the Senate.  SB 1509 has appeared on Senate Intent Calendar twice, so it is eligible for consideration if it appears again.(TCJL PROGRAM) TCJL SUPPORTS.  Recent lawsuits have sought to collect hundreds of millions of dollars of civil penalties against Texas businesses for alleged environmental violations going back for decades—even though the businesses have been working with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to remediate the problem and, in some cases, did not even own the property when the alleged violations occurred. In one of the cases, a jury rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the business should pay billions even though it spent millions to clean up a mess that it inherited from another company. The proposed legislation will address this type of lawsuit abuse by assuring that businesses pay punitive civil penalties only for their own conduct, not for the actions of others. The legislation will also assure that businesses that remediate in good faith will not be punished as long as they comply with applicable state enforcement orders.

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