Capitol Update: Helping Small Businesses and Reforming ERCOT

March 22, 2021

Last week, House committees continued working on several important pieces of legislation.  I laid out several bills, including the Texas Small Business Recovery Act and several of the electric reform bills that I wrote about earlier this month.

One of the bills that I laid out is HB 570, the Texas Small Business Recovery Act.  This Act, which passed the House last year, but didn’t make it through the Senate, would provide an incentive for investment funds to invest in small businesses in rural Texas.

Currently there are multiple programs that work to bring businesses to Texas, but we see the majority of those dollars going to large cities.  The Texas Small Business Recovery Act, would help our existing businesses accelerate growth by encouraging investments in businesses that are actually creating new jobs in rural Texas.

The State Affairs Committee heard from witnesses and voted on several important electric reform bills, including:

  • HB 10 – reforms the ERCOT board and makes it accountable to the Legislature,
  • HB 11 requires electric generators to weatherize their facilities to prevent the failures we saw during the winter storm,
  • HB 12 – creates a statewide notification system to alert Texans about coming disasters and electric issues related to them,
  • HB 13 – forms a council to ensure there is communication between natural gas providers and electricity generators during times of crisis, this should help prevent the kind of black outs we experienced during the storm,
  • HB 16 – prevents the billing plans that left consumers with electric bills running into the thousands and tens of thousands for a few days of electricity, and
  • HB 17 – prevents cities and counties from banning the use of natural gas in new construction.

I look forward to these bills coming before the entire House for a vote very soon and advancing these important reforms to the Senate for their consideration.

I want to encourage you to reach out to me about issues that concern you or legislation that you would like to see advanced.  I can be reached at 512-463-0556 or

In addition, my district director, Joe Buck Crisp, will be spending time each month in every county to meet with you about legislative concerns and to help with issues you may be having with the state government.  Please contact our Marshall office at 903-935-1141 to find out when he will be in your town.