AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Republican Chairman in the Texas House of Representatives wants to allow NCAA athletes in the state to get paid. This comes after the California Governor signed into law a bill allowing athletes to hire agents, get sponsorships and get paid when people use their likenesses.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever said this before, but the California Governor absolutely got this one right,” wrote Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, on Twitter. “I plan on working on similar legislation here in Texas that frees our collegiate athletes & allows them to earn money from the use of their own names, images & likenesses.”
Rep. Leach is a member of House leadership, chairing the House Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence.
The would-be Texas law would not look the exact same as the California law but Leach hopes to start a meaningful conversation.
KXAN has reached out to the three dominant figures in Texas politics for a response — Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton — and has not yet heard back.
If a change would happen, it wouldn’t be possible until January 2021 when lawmakers return for their regular session. Gov. Abbott could always call a special session but political watchers and lawmakers tell KXAN that is not likely.