The April 17th issue of the Texas Register outlined several emergency rules put into place due to the COVID-19 crisis, as well as proposed and approved rules from various Texas agencies. The April 24th issue of the Texas Register will be spotlighted in our next regular Advisory send out.

Emergency Rules

26 TAC §500.2 Emergency Health Care Facility Licensing, Hospitals

The Commissioner of HHSC adopted 26 TAC §500.2, emergency rule, to allow licensed hospitals to request a waiver of the requirement that off-site facilities be open or licensed within the past 36 months, at the Commission’s discretion.

26 TAC §500.20 End Stage Renal Disease Facilities

The Commissioner of HHSC adopted 26 TAC §500.20, emergency rule, to allow end stage renal disease (ESRD) facilities to treat and train dialysis patients more effectively in response to COVID-19. This emergency rule allows a currently licensed ESRD to operate an off-site outpatient facility without obtaining a new license at:

  1. An ESRD that is no longer licensed that closed within the past 36 months
  2. A mobile, transportable, or relocatable medical unit
  3. A physician’s office
  4. An ambulatory surgical center or freestanding emergency medical care facility that is no longer licensed that closed within the past 36 months

The following emergency rules restrict entry into respective facilities, and require screening of certain persons authorized to enter such facilities.

  • 25 TAC §133.51 Hospital Licensing
  • 26 TAC §510.48 Private Psychiatric Hospitals and Crisis Stabilization Units
  • 26 TAC §550.212 Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care Centers
  • 26 TAC §551.401 Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability or Related Conditions
  • 26 TAC §553.45 Assisted Living Facilities
  • 26 TAC §558.872 Agencies Licensed to Provide Hospice Services (Inpatient Hospice Services)
  • 40 TAC §19.2801 Dept. of Aging and Disability Services Nursing Facilities
  • 40 TAC §98.65 Day Activity and Health Services Facilities

26 TAC §558.408 Home and Community Support Services Agencies 

The Commissioner of HHSC approved an emergency rule for HCSSA Response. The rule requires screening of staff, clients, and household members and offers alternative methods to provide non-essential services.

28 TAC §35.3 Texas Department of Insurance

The Commissioner of Insurance adopted 28 TAC §35.3 concerning windstorm building codes for structures insured by the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA), as an emergency rule, to limit the effect of the COVID-1D pandemic on construction along the Texas coast. Without this rule, compliance with new building codes and adequate supply and manufacturing operations may not be available or possible due to worldwide disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Proposed Rules

Public Comment for the below proposed rules should be submitted by 5:00 pm on May 18th to

 43 TAC §217.11 Texas Department of Motor Vehicles

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles proposes to amend 43 TAC §217.11, implementing a department policy change that removes barriers to Texas businesses, streamlines administrative processes for efficiency, and protects consumers from fraud. It will extend the deadline to submit to the department an affidavit asking the department to rescind, cancel, or revoke an existing title or application for a vehicle title involved in the process of a rst sale. The deadline is extended from within 21 days of initial sale to within 90 days of initial sale.

 43 TAC §§217.22, 217.27, 217.32, 217.38, 217.41, 217.55, 217.58 – 217.64 Motor Vehicle Registration

The amended and new sections implement SB 604 to allow for digital license plates.

43 TAC §217.144 Inspections

The Texas DMV proposed to amend 43 TAC §217.144,  implementing SB 604 which changed the name of the “Automobile Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority” to the “Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority.” The substance of the training will not change as a result of the name change.

43 TAC §217.182 Fees

The Texas DMV proposes amendments that would implement HB 1548, authorizing the DMV, if necessary, to cover costs of issuing license plates for golf carts or off-highway vehicles, and to charge an administrative fee for the issuance of a golf-cart or off-highway vehicle license plate.

 Adopted Rules

Amendments for the TMVRL Fund and the DEAAG Program

The Texas Military Preparedness Commission adopts amendments to 1 TAC §§4.1 – 4.4, 4.7, 4.30, and 4.32 – 4.4, concerning the Texas Military Value Revolving Loan Fund and the Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant Program, to update the Commission’s policies and procedures used to issue the loans and grants under the DEAAG program and to respond to statutory revisions enacted in SB 2131 and HB 2119.

10 TAC §90.9 Migrant Labor Housing

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs adopts new 10 TAC Chapter 90, Migrant Labor Housing Facilities, §90.9, Dispute Resolution, Appeals, and Hearings, without changes to the proposed text as published in the January 31, 2020, issue of the Texas Register. The proposed new rule was inadvertently not included in the replacement rules of 10 TAC Chapter 90 that were recently approved in October 2019.

Amendments to Chapter 312. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality 

Sludge Use, Disposal, and Transportation

The TCEQ adopts the amendments to §§312.1 – 312.13, 312.41 – 312.50, 312.61 – 312.68, 312.81 – 312.83, 312.121, 312.122, 312.141 – 312.147, 312.149, and 312.150; the repeal of §312.123; and new §§312.123 – 312.130. The adopted rulemaking, related to sludge use, disposal, and transportation, clarifies the intent of existing rule requirements, removes inconsistencies, improves readability.

The following amendments to Chapter 312, provided for under various subchapters, relate to the TCEQ’s general jurisdiction and authority, rule and policy adoption abilities, authority to control water quality in the state, and authority to set standards to prevent waste discharge harmful to public health.

  • 30 TAC §§312.1 – 312.13 General Provisions
  • 30 TAC §§312.41 – 312.50 Land Application and Storage of Biosolids and Domestic Septage
  • 30 TAC §§312.61 – 312.68 Surface Disposal
  • 30 TAC §§312.81 – 312.83 Pathogen and Vector Attraction Reduction
  • 30 TAC §§312.121 – 312.130 Land Application, Storage, and Disposal of Water Treatment Residuals
  • 30 TAC §312.123 Disposal of Water Treatment Sludge
  • 30 TAC §§312.141 – 312.147, 312.149, 312.150 Transporters and Temporary Storage Provisions

34 TAC §3.101 Tax Administration Cigarette Tax

The Comptroller of Public Accounts adopts amendments to §3.101, concerning cigarette tax and stamping activities, without changes to the proposed text as published in the February 28, 2020, issue of the Texas Register. The amendments implement SB 21 and HB 4614, that provide the basis for updates to the section by increasing the legal age for a person importing cigarettes in small quantities and modernizing relevant definitions and rst sale language.

34 TAC §§20.560 – 20.562 Statewide Procurement and Support Services

The Comptroller adopts new rules concerning definitions and certification of contract file, without changes to the proposed text as published in the February 7, 2020, issue of the Texas Register. The Comptroller also adopts new rules concerning certification of vendor assessment, with changes to the proposed text as published in the February 7, 2020, issue of theTexas Register. These rules have been included to implement SB 65, delegating the authority of the procurement director to other persons, to most effectively implement new legislative requirements, as described in more detail in the Texas Register.