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To combat the high frequency of roofing scams after natural disasters in Texas, a lawmaker has proposed a bill to protect homeowners from such practices, The Dallas Morning News reports. A significant number of roofing scammers come from out of state to prey on homeowners after natural disasters, Rep. Giovanni Gapriglione says. To ease this risk, Gapriglione has proposed a bill requiring all roofers in Texas register with the state.

“We need proof of your name and proof of your address. That’s it,” he said. “It’s the least we can ask if you’re going to put a roof over someone’s head.”

Capriglione has tried to pass bills to clamp down on sham roofers in the past, but the political climate of the state, which opposes any move that looks like industry regulation, has thwarted those attempts. This year, with many Texans still reeling from Hurricane Harvey and Capriglione pushing a less burdensome type of regulation, his bill could pick up momentum.

Under the proposal, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation would create and maintain a database of registered roofers that would include names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and any complaints filed against the businesses. Roofers would be required to disclose their state registration number in any advertisement or contract so a customer could search for them in the database.

The bill would required roofers pay a fee not to exceed $250 for a two-year registration and a fee not to exceed $100 for a renewal. Proof of registration would be required before a roofer could be granted a permit. The Roofing Contractors Association of Texas has expressed support of the bill. Some industry groups, however, including the Texas Independent Roofing Contractors Association, oppose the bill and suggest it is "a de facto licensing bill" and anticipate bill will have adverse affects on small businesses.

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