A Brief Look at Activity from the Texas State Legislative Session
Published: August 24, 2018
A brief examination of relevant legislation from the most recent session of the Texas State Legislature.
Deltek’s General Government Services research team has continued with its research project looking at relevant legislation at various state governments with an examination of Texas’s most recent legislative session. This recap follows on similar research on Virginia, California, and New York state legislation in an effort to provide information that may affect how vendors conduct business with these states.
The Texas State Legislature is a bicameral body consisting of the 31 seat Senate and 150 seat House of Representatives. The Legislature meets for its regular session on the second Tuesday in January of each odd-numbered year, with the session limited to 140 calendar days. The 2017 legislative session was from January 10 through May 29, and a special session was held from July 18 through August 15.
In the most recent regular legislative session, 4349 bills were introduced in the House and 2299 were introduced in the Senate. In the House, 664 bills were enrolled into new law, and the Senate had 497 enrolled into law. In the special legislative session, 394 bills were introduced in the House and 122 in the Senate, with 6 enrolled in each house into new laws.
SB533, which was introduced in the Senate and has since been enrolled as a new law, introduced many new changes to state government procurement processes and procedures. One provision of this new law is that Departments will provide additional oversight services for major information resource projects, including risk management, quality assurance services, independent project monitoring, and project management. These oversight services may be provided by a contracted vendor, which may have an impact on companies that provide these services. Another provision requires updates made to the contract management guide that will include policies on interactions and communications between state employees and vendors. Other additions include details regarding the roles and duties of government officials working in procurement. Somewhat related, SB 255, which was also enrolled, also makes some changes to State Agency performance relating to procurement and contract management. Although some of these changes are directed more at government, it nevertheless may have an impact on vendors that do business with the state and interact with these officials.
On another note, SB 532 was introduced and enrolled, which address government purchasing of information technology. Regarding procurement, a provision is included through which state agencies shall consider cloud computing service options when making purchases for a major information resources project. This could be especially relevant for vendors providing cloud-based solutions, as the state may place a new focus on this area in particular.
As state governments continue to put a focus on cybersecurity efforts, SB 1910 was enrolled, which relates to state agency information security plans and IT employees. The new law stipulates that a cybersecurity report will be submitted on even-numbered years to identify preventive and recovery efforts that can be undertaken to improve cybersecurity in the state. The law also requires each state agency to designate an individual as the information security officer. The various sections of the law show the state is taking measures to improve strong cybersecurity standards and capabilities to mitigate threats.
This brief look at a few of the pieces of legislation from the most recent session for the Texas State Legislature provides some insights that may be a starting point for vendors interested in doing business with Texas. For example, IT providers specifically may find some new processes or procedures in place, as well as specific trends to note, such as cloud computing and cybersecurity efforts.
Source: Texas State Legislature