Representative Deshotel lobbies for bills to delay background checks in hiring, hurricane coastal barrier

Representative Deshotel lobbies for bills to delay background checks in hiring, hurricane coastal barrier

The House Select Committee on Texas Ports, Innovation & Infrastructure, which I chair, held its first hearing on Monday, March 13.

The committee heard invited testimony on critical issues affecting Texas ports and infrastructure from the US Army Corps of Engineers, Texas Department of Transportation, Texas A&M Transportation Institute and various Texas port directors. As chairman, I will make sure that my committee works constructively to find solutions and ways to innovate our ports and infrastructure.

On Monday, March 20, I went before the House Committee on Business & Industry and laid out House Bill 548. This bill will eliminate an employer’s ability to ask questions regarding an applicant's criminal history on an initial application form. HB 548 requires some employers to wait until a job applicant has been selected for an interview before asking about criminal history or conducting a criminal record check.

Unfortunately, there is a stigma attached to people in the hiring process who have a criminal past. By delaying the background check inquiry until later in the hiring process, applicants are given a fair chance to be employed.

HCR 106 is a concurrent resolution I authored that declares the State of Texas supports the development and construction of a coastal barrier to protect the Gulf Coast region from storm surges and flood damages. It also calls on the United States Congress to provide sufficient federal funding for the construction of the project, as well as expedite the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers design and construction project.

I laid out HCR 106 in front of the House Committee on Land & Resource Management on Wednesday, March 22nd. The concurrent resolution was passed unanimously out of committee, and will wait its turn to be heard on the house floor. Past events have shown how vulnerable our coast is to hurricanes and tropical storms, and it is vital that we take the necessary steps to improve our coastal defense.

- Representative Joe Deshotel