CBW C.S.S.B. 365 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.S.B. 365 By: Armbrister Land & Resource Management 4/16/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Under current law, a municipality in Texas is authorized to adopt building codes regulating construction within its jurisdiction, but the differing building codes among municipalities may confuse contractors that work in multiple municipalities, which may cause delays throughout the construction process. Establishing a uniform residential building code and a residential electrical construction code may alleviate the problem. C.S.S.B. 365 provides for the adoption of the International Residential Code as a municipal residential building code and the National Electrical Code as the municipal residential electrical construction code in Texas. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the commissioner of insurance in SECTION 2 (Section 6A, Article 21.49, Insurance Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS C.S.S.B. 365 amends the Local Government Code to adopt the International Residential Code (IRC), as it existed on May 1, 2001, as a municipal residential building code in this state and the National Electrical Code (NEC), as it existed on May 1, 2001, as the municipal residential electrical construction code in this state. The bill provides that the IRC applies to all construction, alteration, remodeling, enlargement, and repair of residential structures in a municipality and provides that the NEC applies to all residential electrical construction applications. The bill authorizes a municipality to establish procedures for the administration and enforcement of the IRC and the NEC and to adopt local amendments to the IRC and the NEC. The bill authorizes a municipality to review and consider amendments made by the International Code Council to the IRC after May 1, 2001. The bill provides that the IRC does not apply to the installation and maintenance of electrical wiring and related components. The bill amends the Insurance Code to authorize the commissioner of insurance (commissioner) by rule to supplement the building specifications in the plan of operation with the structural provisions of the IRC in geographic areas specified by the commissioner. The bill provides that to obtain a certificate of compliance, a person must submit an application for windstorm inspection at the Texas Department of Insurance before beginning to construct, alter, remodel, enlarge, or repair a structure and that failure to submit a timely application may result in a certificate of compliance not being issued unless certain conditions are met. EFFECTIVE DATE January 1, 2002. The provision that requires municipalities to establish rules and take other necessary actions to implement building codes before January 1, 2002, takes effect September 1, 2001. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.S.B. 365 differs from the original bill by adopting the National Electrical Code (NEC) as the municipal residential electrical construction code in this state. The substitute authorizes the commissioner of insurance (commissioner) by rule to supplement the building specifications in the plan of operation with the structural provisions of the International Residential Code (IRC). The substitute provides that the definition of "residential" does not apply to properties with certain characteristics. The substitute removes the provision that modified the date by which alterations must be made to a structure to be exempt from inspection by the State Board of Insurance for compliance. The substitute modifies provisions regarding application submission for windstorm inspection and sets forth provisions regarding the failure of a person to submit a timely application for a windstorm inspection. The substitute provides rulemaking authority to the commissioner to specify by rule requirements for qualified inspectors. The substitute differs from the original by removing certain requirements for considering property insurable for windstorm and hail insurance.