December 19, 2008
TRCC escapes the axe


The Sunset Advisory Commission agreed Tuesday night to recommend that the Texas Residential Construction Commission be reviewed again in four years, instead of the usual 12.

But it said the agency must resolve disputes more quickly and recommended that a recovery fund be established to help compensate homeowners when a builder goes out of business.

The Sunset Commission, a panel of 10 lawmakers and two public members, rejected a staff review that said the agency is ''fundamentally flawed'' and should be abolished. The staff report said the agency is doing more harm than good for homeowners, who must go through the agency's dispute resolution process before they can file lawsuits against builders.

The Legislature, in the session that begins in January, ultimately will decide the future of the agency it created in 2003 at the behest of homebuilders who wanted a process to resolve complaints against their members outside of the legal system.

Sen. Glenn Hegar, a Republican from Katy who is on the Sunset Commission, proposed the streamlined process as a way for homeowners to get to court more quickly.

The Sunset Commission rejected calls from consumer advocates to allow homeowners to bypass the TRCC and go directly to court.

Alex Winslow of the consumer group Texas Watch said compressing the time it takes for the agency to investigate claims is a ''step in the right direction.''

''However, it needs to be coupled with making the process voluntary, so consumers have choices," he said. "For us, that's the bottom line."

Previous entries are here and here; be sure also to read the Observer and John Coby. I stand by the staff review and its declaration that the TRCC is more harmful than beneficial. If it really were good for consumers, they would choose it over going to court. Given that it is compulsory, I cannot accept the claim that the TRCC serves anyone's needs other than the builders who lobbied for its creation. Bad decision, Sunset Committee.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 19, 2008 to Show Business for Ugly People

The Sunset Commission was correct in its judgement to abolish TRCC. The Sunset Advisory Commission on the other hand was totally transparent in its decision not to abolish it. The recipients of the Bob Perry Endowment should know it does not take a rocket scientist to know why they came to this conclusion; the report by Texans for Public Justice on how much each of the lucky recipients received from Perry and his industry might be a good start.
Shame on these elected officals who vote to continue this farce of an agency and shame on them for wasting millions of taxpayer dollars.Obviously their constituents concerns mean nothing to them. Lastly let me correct Mr. Hegar. Victims of shoddy construction don't make it to court. They go the route of another horror called Mandatory Binding Arbitration.

Posted by: Marcia on December 20, 2008 4:50 PM
Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)