Q: Our District has not yet updated our procurement documents to reflect recent changes from two new bills (Senate Bills 13 and 19) passed in the most recent Legislative session. Is this something we need to do?
A: Yes. Both Senate Bill 13 and Senate Bill 19 will require school district vendors to certify compliance with these two new provisions if the vendor’s company meets certain requirements.
School districts must update their procurement documents, including their vendor packet, to address recent changes made by the Texas Legislature, including two new bills passed in the 87th regular session—Senate Bill 13 and Senate Bill 19.
Both Senate Bill 13 and Senate Bill 19 require vendors to certify compliance with these two new provisions if their company meets the following requirements: (a) is not a sole proprietorship, (b) the company has 10 or more full-time employees; and (c) the contract has a value of $100,000 or more that is to be paid wholly or partly from public funds.
Senate Bill 13 is codified in Section 2274 of the Texas Government Code. The statute now provides that if the vendor meets the above-referenced criteria, the vendor must certify that it does not currently and will not boycott energy companies during the term of the contract. The term “boycott” means “refusing to deal with, terminating business activities with, or otherwise taking any action intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with a company because the company (a) engages in the exploration, production, utilization, transportation, sale, or manufacturing of fossil fuel-based energy and does not commit or pledge to meet environmental standards beyond applicable federal and state law, or (b) does business with a company described by paragraph (a).”
Senate Bill 19 is codified in Section 2274.001 and requires vendors that meet the above-referenced criteria to verify that their company does not currently and will not discriminate against firearm and ammunition industries. Sole-source providers are exempt from this certification. Discrimination against firearm and ammunition industries means: (1) refusing to engage “in the trade of any goods or services with the entity or association based solely on its status as a firearm entity or firearm trade association”; (2) refraining “from continuing an existing business relationship with the entity or association based solely on its status as a firearm entity or firearm trade association”; or (3) terminating “an existing business relationship with the entity or association based solely on its status as a firearm entity or firearm trade association.” Discrimination against a firearm and ammunition industry does not include: (1) established policies of a merchant or retail seller that restricts or prohibits the listing or selling of ammunition or firearms; and (2) a company’s refusal to engage in the trade of any goods or services, decision to refrain from continuing an existing business relationship, or decision to terminate an existing business relationship to comply with federal, state, or local law, policy, or regulations or a directive by a regulatory agency, or for any traditional business reason that is specific to the customer or potential customer and not based solely on an entity’s or association’s status as a firearm entity or firearm trade association.”
From a practical perspective, compliance with these new laws can occur in two ways:
- Update to your procurement documents to include within the packet a statement affirming that the company does not boycott energy companies or discriminate against firearm and ammunition companies with signatures from the company/firm representatives when submitting proposals or bids for the contract (similar to CIQ forms or 1295 disclosures); or
- Inclusion of a provision in the contract itself that states the vendor does not boycott energy companies or discriminate against firearm or ammunition companies.
Importantly, both SB 13 and SB 19 only apply to contracts entered into after the effective date of the laws (Sept. 1st for both). To the extent that you have entered into a contract since September 1, 2021 that you believe does not contain the required attestations from your vendor, it is wise to reach out to your school attorney to discuss options for a contract addendum.
Please consult with your local school attorney to obtain SB 13 and SB 19 certification templates or review of your vendor packets to ensure compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations.