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House Committee on Elections - 84th R.S. (2015)

Committee Members
Jodie Laubenberg, Chair
Craig Goldman, Vice Chair
Pat Fallon
Celia Israel
Dade Phelan
Ron Reynolds
Mike Schofield
Charges
• Examine the petition process for addressing local ordinances, the time necessary to prepare a petition, the collection of signatures, and the enforcement of local standards required for a petition to be valid. Make necessary recommendations to clarify the petition process to ensure accountability.
• Study and develop recommendations to improve the integrity of Texas voter registration rolls in an effort to ensure the most accurate and up-to-date voter registration rolls, including but not limited to: the interstate voter registration crosscheck program SB 795 (84R), the process by which voters are removed from the registration rolls, the impact being removed from jury duty due to citizenship status has on an individual's voter registration, and ways to educate voters about updating their address when they move. Make appropriate legislative recommendations.
• Evaluate options to improve the transparency of local bond elections, including but not limited to: current processes used to educate voters about how tax dollars will be spent, the time of year bond elections are held, and the description of bond proposals on the ballot. Make appropriate legislative recommendations.
• Examine mail-ballot fraud in Texas. Review recent legislative efforts to address mail-ballot fraud in Texas as well as in other states, and make appropriate legislative recommendations.
• Identify policy options to improve compliance with campaign finance reporting laws by local officials and candidates for local office.
• Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementing of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature. In addition to general oversight, the Committee should specifically:
a. consider any reforms to state agencies to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens;
b. identify issues regarding the agency or its governance that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate;
c. determine whether an agency is operating in a transparent and efficient manner;
d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs; and
e. examine the methods by which local election officials are informed about changes to election law, and potential improvements that would assist these officials in learning of and complying with these changes.

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