Archived Issues and News
Bill to Protect Small Businesses from Frivolous Lawsuits Passes House
Washington – Thursday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act. This bill, which Congressman Mike Conaway (TX-11) is an original cosponsor of, passed by a vote of 225-192.
“The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides critical access to everyday life for millions of Americans who are living with a disability,” said Rep. Conaway. “Unfortunately, cash-hungry attorneys are taking advantage of the ADA by filing frivolous lawsuits against small businesses- many of which aren’t even aware of the very minor, technical offense they are being sued for. These predatory lawyers often don’t even live in the state, and rely on Google Earth to find local, small businesses to slap with a lawsuit and make a quick buck. Currently, our local businesses aren’t even given a chance to fix the violation before the lawsuit is filed, costing thousands of dollars in lawyers’ fees before the ADA violation can even be addressed.
“The legislation passed today gives small businesses a chance to focus their limited resources on increasing accessibility for disabled Americans, rather than fattening the wallets of out-of-state attorneys. The ADA Education and Reform Act protects all accessibility requirements of the ADA, and encourages businesses to act quickly to address any potential violations- a win for all those involved.”_____________________________________
On August 15, 2017, the Midland Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors officially endorsed the Midland Road Bond and the citizens of Midland voted to pass the bond.
Click here to view a list of New State Laws to take effect on September 1, 2017
UPDATE: U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant, in Sherman, Texas, agreed with 21 states and a coalition of business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that the rule is unlawful and granted their motion for a nationwide injunction. To read more CLICK HERE
In December 2015, the U.S. Chamber led a coalition of 16 national trade associations in a lawsuit challenging the legality of EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). In total, more than 150 challengers have filed suit against EPA, including the Chamber coalition, 27 states and a host of other business, labor and consumer groups. These suits have been consolidated into a single high-profile case, on the fast track to the Supreme Court, with massive implications for the American economy. The Midland Chamber of Commerce joined 166 other state and local business associations from 40 different states in an amicus brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit explaining the devastating economic impact posed by the EPA’s carbon regulations.
UPDATE: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to repeal the CPP. Click here for more information.
For the 4th session in a row, Rep. Tom Craddick (Midland) filed a bill to create a traffic violation for smartphone use while driving. While there is not a statewide smartphone use law for all drivers, Texas has several laws in place that regulate cell phone use while driving. State law bans cell phone use for drivers under 18; school bus drivers are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving with children on the bus; and drivers cannot use a cell phone or other handheld wireless device in an active school zone where signs are present.
The Midland Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors has adopted a resolution In Support of the Reauthorization of the Type 4B Sales Tax for the City of Midland. To read the resolution CLICK HERE. For more information on the Type 4B Sales Tax, please visit: www.4bmidland.com
The Midland Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors has adopted a position in support of the 2016 Tax Ratification Election (TRE) for Midland ISD. Click HERE to read the full position statement.
As part of the $1.1 trillion spending package passed by Congress, President Obama signed legislation into law effectively ending the oil export ban from the 1970’s.
Texas lawmakers approved open carry legislation allowing licensed Texans to carry handguns in plain view in belt or shoulder holsters. Click here to see a summary of new laws passed in the 84th Regular Legislative Session that impact Concealed Handgun Licensing. Private businesses may continue to prohibit the carrying of handguns, whether concealed or open, into their place of business. However, in order to do so, they must post signs on the property to prohibit entry by a licensed holder with a handgun. Click here for examples of what the signs must look like.
The big statewide transportation measure was Proposition 7, and it passed with more than 86% of the vote. The measure raises money for road projects by dedicating a portion of sales tax revenue, as well as diverting a percentage of the motor vehicle sales tax.
We have compiled a Summary Report of the 84th Senate and House Interim Charges, which may affect our members, that we are following.
Letter sent to the EPA regarding proposed Ozone regulations
Letter sent to Elected officials regarding proposed changes to the Texas Franchise Law
Letter sent to Chamber members (via email and FaceBook) advocating that the federal ban on oil & gas exports be lifted