Texas Group Wants to End Roofing Bill Geared at Protecting Consumers

It's a problem Texans have faced for decades: Roofing contractors going door-to-door after a big storm.

Consumers like Joseph Dickens said he was convinced to sign a contract and pay thousands up front, but he said the roofing company vanished.  

"Right now, Texas law provides them no protection," said Dallas Attorney Steve Badger.

Badger and Texas Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake Dist. 98) have been instrumental in pushing the Re-roofing Registration Bill (HB 2101), which would require roofing contractors to register with the state, have an actual business address and pay a small registration fee.

But according to Badger, there's one organization that's trying to do all it can to kill this bill.

"The Texas Independent Roofing Contractors Association," he said. "They show up and testify every session in opposition to this legislation."

Carl Isset, a lobbyist for the The Texas Independent Roofing Contractors Association believes the bill would create an added barrier of entry for contractors, which would hurt small businesses.

"I mean, we're talking about thousands of guys up on roofs who will never know that this has passed," said Isset. "The guy on the roof would be sanctioned once and then the next time it's a class A. So, it's going to be difficult, I think, to get that word out."

The Texas Independent Roofing Contractors Association also believes there are already laws in place to protect consumers and that this proposed bill is redundant.

"It seems to me a lot more energy could be spent in informing folks how to choose a good roofer. It's not that hard. But there are protections in place. This bill doesn't change current law," said Isset.

The president of the organization, Jon Conner, believes that the majority of the bill is left wide open for rules and requirements to be determined later by the commission.

But Badger said the Texas Independent Roofing Contractors Association is creating unwarranted fear in Austin.

"This bill is needed for Texas consumers who are getting ripped off by bad contractors. These guys are trying to advance their own personal anti-regulation agenda to the detriment of all consumers in Texas," he explained.

Badger encourages all consumers who care about their homes to contact their representative and support this bill.

He said the bill is currently with the Calandars Committee in Austin and they'll take a vote on the bill this week.

If it passes, it will go to the House floor.  If it doesn't, the bill is killed and they'll have to try again next session, which is in 2021.

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