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2019 Free Enterprise, Energy, and Infrastructure Task Force Report

I. Introduction

The Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute’s (TCCRI) Task Force on Free Enterprise, Energy, and Infrastructure met throughout 2018. TCCRI staff met with the Task Force’s legislative co-chairs, legislative staff, and interested private sector stakeholders to discuss pressing public policy issues within the Task Force’s purview.

The “Free Enterprise” section of this Report focuses heavily on occupational licensing, which has been amajor issue at TCCRI for many years. Chief among the policy recommendations on occupational licensingis TCCRI’s model legislation, the Occupational Licensing Consumer Choice Act. The Free Enterpriserecommendations also focus on issues of “local control” and what participants in the Task Force identified as overreaching local governments imposing burdensome local economic regulations at an increasing rate. The recommendations on local regulations range from specific recommendations on preemption to larger policies with a broader impact, such as the Texas REINS Act. This section of the Report also makes two specific recommendations to address issues related to organized labor in Texas.

The “Energy” section of this Report focuses on a single specific issue, but one with a large impact. TheTask Force recommends maintaining a competitive marketplace in energy transmission infrastructure construction.

With respect to “Infrastructure,” this Report recognizes Texas’s growing and ongoing need to maintainand build new roads and highways using the best policy options available, which differ from project to project. Lastly, the Task Force recommends eliminating the annual vehicle inspection requirement in Texas, which costs Texans time and money, while returning little in the way of discernable improvements in safety.

This final Task Force Report lays out the public policy issues that the Task Force focused on. The recommendations made in this final Report range in subject matter and scope, but all should be strongly considered in 2019 when the Texas Legislature meets for the 86th Legislative Session.

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