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Information for those regulated by state agencies


As the 2017 legislative session is in the rearview mirror, many of the laws passed have recently gone into effect. State agencies are tasked with proposing and adopting rules that implement the measures passed by the legislature. To take one agency as an example, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, "TDLR", oversees more than 130 license types and related industries, and more than 500,000 licensees. Those numbers numbers continue to grow as the legislature continues to transfer programs over to TDLR. As these new areas are brought into TDLR's fold, TDLR must pass rules relating to these areas. For example, TDLR just announced its new rules relating to Massage Therapists. Massage Therapists are just one of six new areas covered by TDLR after last session. You can see the announcement and the changes here.

The process is designed to provide notice and the opportunity to participate in the development of the rules. In my practice I have not only been involved in drafting and advocating for legislation on behalf of clients, but I have also worked on behalf of my clients with various agencies throughout the rule making process. And there are occasions when there is a dispute as to the meaning of a rule, or a dispute as to whether the agency had the authority to adopt the rule in the first place. In those instances, we head to the courthouse.

Many people think once a piece of legislation passes that it is the end of the process. This could not be further from the truth. Legislation that directs a state agency to do (or not to do) something usually requires the agency to propose and adopt rules. In addition, as an industry or profession changes, the rules often need to be reviewed and modified. The law also allows regulated industries and individuals to petition the agency to adopt a new rule. So whether an agency is directed by the legislature to adopt new rules, the agency adopts new rules on its own, or someone petitions the agency to make a rule change, you need to be involved.

If you are a licensed professional, or your business is regulated by one of the many state agencies, and you have questions regarding a rule, a proposed rule, or the need for a rule change, feel free to give us a call at The Law Offices of J Pete Laney. Avoid learning of a rule that may negatively affect your business after the rule has already been adopted. Get involved and make sure your ideas and concerns are heard and addressed.