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House Committee on Appropriations - 82nd R.S. (2011)

Committee Members
Jim Pitts, Chair
Sylvester Turner, Vice Chair
Jimmie Don Aycock
Angie Chen Button
Warren Chisum
Myra Crownover
Drew Darby
Dawnna Dukes
Craig Eiland
Helen Giddings
Lance Gooden
Scott Hochberg
Eric Johnson
Susan Lewis King
Dee Margo
Armando Martinez
Ruth Jones McClendon
Doug Miller
Geanie Morrison
John Otto
Diane Patrick
Debbie Riddle
Charles Schwertner
Mark Shelton
Raul Torres
Mike Villarreal
John Zerwas
Charges
• Analyze increases in Texas' overall state debt burden and the role debt plays in the state's fiscal management. Recommend strategies to reduce the state's debt, as well as the calculation of the constitutional debt limit. (Joint with the House Committee on Ways & Means)
• Examine the immediate and long-term impact to the Texas budget of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and other efforts to reduce the federal deficit.
• Examine the investment and management of funds held outside the treasury, including whether the funds are being utilized for their statutory or constitutional purposes, and whether opportunities exist to utilize these funds in the state budget to reduce the demand on General Revenue.
• Examine the growth of constitutionally and statutorily dedicated accounts and their utilization in the budget. Recommend methods to reduce the reliance on dedicated accounts for budget certification purposes, and examine ways to maximize the use of such accounts.
• Examine ways to minimize the timing imbalance of the state's revenues and expenditures, and recommend policies that will minimize the annual short-term borrowing need.
• Monitor the implementation of cost-savings initiatives in health and human services programs directed by HB 1 (82R) and SB 7 (82S1), including the expansion of Medicaid managed care. Study the impact of changes in hospital reimbursement methodology, including implementation of a statewide Standard Dollar Amount and the Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program Medicaid 1115 waiver.
• Study existing financing mechanisms and delivery methods for long-term services and supports in the Texas Medicaid program. Consider best practices, expansion of consumer-directed models, and successful programs in other states. Make recommendations to simplify and streamline existing programs and to provide services in a more cost-effective manner to a greater number of eligible individuals while ensuring an appropriate level of services for those with significant needs.
• Assess the current infrastructure and funding mechanisms for mental health services in both rural and urban areas throughout the state. Study innovative local programs that could be expanded, as well as successful delivery and financial models in other states. Make recommendations to expand access and improve services through increased efficiency, competition, and transparency.
• Evaluate the funding, performance, and administration of the state's adult basic education programs. (Joint with the House Committee on Higher Education)
• Review the current practices for funding capital construction projects at institutions of higher education and make recommendations for alternative approaches, including prioritizing funding projects aimed at strategic statewide goals.
• Monitor the administration of the Correctional Managed Health Care system. Examine the implementation of reforms passed during the 82nd Legislative Session, including the contracts between the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and participating entities under Rider 55 to ensure the expenses incurred match the appropriated amounts.
• Review the status of the sexually oriented business fee and collections to date, as well as funding demands for programs for which the fee is intended.
• Monitor the Texas Department of Public Safety's implementation of the driver's license improvement plan and the use of the funds appropriated to the department for such purposes by the 82nd Legislature. Evaluate the feasibility of privatization with the intent to minimize wait times for Texans. (Joint with the House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety)
• Review and make recommendations for improving the level of funding of the Crime Victims Compensation Fund. (Joint with the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence)
• Examine the effectiveness of the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) since its inception in 2001. Determine whether the emissions reduced justify the amounts that have been appropriated since 2001. (Joint with the House Committee on Environmental Regulation)
• Study transportation funding reforms and develop long-term state funding recommendations, with an eye on any federal reforms that become law. Explore options to eliminate "diversions" from Fund 6 to non-transportation-related programs. (Joint with the House Committee on Transportation)
• Examine strategies to maximize state funding for programs designed to prevent and end homelessness, with an emphasis on programs that have demonstrated a successful coordination of state and local resources. (Joint with the House Committee on Urban Affairs)
• Monitor the performance of state agencies and institutions, including operating budgets, plans to carry out legislative initiatives and planned budget reductions, caseload projections, performance measure attainment, implementation of all rider provisions, and any other matter affecting the fiscal condition of the agencies and the state.
• Study and make recommendations for significantly improving the state's manufacturing capability.
• Find ways to increase transparency, accountability and efficiency in state government.

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