Major News in the Years-Long Battle Over Re-Regulation in Texas
There's major news in the years-long battle over re-regulation of Texas' successful promulgated rate system. We worked out a resolution that's been endorsed by TLTA's board of directors, the legislators carrying the standing bills with whom we've been working this session, and Texans for Free Enterprise, who joined their network of allies in commitment to this long-term solution.
We are now working together to support passage of legislation that will resolve this lengthy debate while preserving our promulgated rate system and improving statutory language regarding our rate hearing process.
Putting this matter to rest will allow us to focus our time and resources on the many other matters of key importance to our industry and the consumers we serve.
The compromise language that is now being advanced would do the following:
- It clarifies the process whereby an interested person can request a rate hearing, and it outlines the process for the Insurance Commissioner's consideration of that request. The parties that currently have the ability to automatically trigger a hearing, including TLTA and OPIC, remain unchanged.
- Additionally, the bill sets up a process whereby an interested person who has requested a hearing can ask that the hearing be moved to a contested format, and it sets out a process for the Commissioner to review and accept or deny that request through a hearing on the request.
- Finally, the bill provides interested individuals access to participate as a party in the hearing while retaining other parties' opportunity to challenge the standing of that individual and remove their party status.
TLTA believes the legislation as now drafted provides needed clarity regarding who can participate in the rate hearing process, and it outlines a process for how that access is attained while still maintaining the commissioner's discretion to act as appropriate when setting hearings or providing standing.
This is good public policy that clarifies the ways in which the public can continue participating in the rate setting process.
A committee substitute for HB 3228 that's limited to the new measures listed above was heard in the House Insurance Committee on Tuesday. The bill was favorably received and the committee chair, members and bill author all expressed appreciation to the two parties for finding common ground so that a resolution could be reached in this longstanding dispute. It was also noted importantly that everyone has agreed there will not be any attempts to amend this bill throughout the process.
Watch a Video of the Hearing on HB 3228 (Advance to 2:01:30) »