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4 Document(s) [ Subject: ]

Committee: House Pensions
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Employees Retirement System of Texas | Health insurance | Pension liabilities | Public retirement systems | State employee early retirement programs | Teacher Retirement System of Texas | Texas County and District Retirement System | Texas Municipal Retirement System |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 P387
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [46 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Review the state's oversight of pension systems and study the effectiveness of corrective mechanisms, including the Funding Soundness Restoration Plan and Pension Review Board Funding Guidelines. Make recommendations to enhance state oversight and to maintain or achieve soundness among local pension systems.
2. Evaluate the governance structures, including investment oversight, of the Employee Retirement System (ERS), Teacher Retirement System (TRS), Texas Municipal Retirement System, Texas County and District Retirement System, and Texas Emergency Services Retirement System. Identify best practices and make recommendations to strengthen oversight within the systems.
3. Review and evaluate health incentive programs within the group benefit programs at ERS and TRS. Identify best practices among similar programs and barriers to implementation. Make recommendations for achieving further savings through existing and/or new programs.
4. Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature.
Committee: Senate Finance
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Franchise taxes | Information Resources, Texas Department of | Local government debt | Medical education | Mental health services | Pension liabilities | Property taxes | Sales taxes | State budgets | State government debt | State purchasing | Tax and expenditure limits | Tax holidays |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 F49
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [86 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Property Tax Process: Study the property tax process, including the appraisal system, and recommend ways to promote transparency, simplicity, and accountability by all taxing entities. (Charge to a select subcommittee on Property Tax Reform and Relief)
2. Reduce Tax Burden: Examine and develop options to further reduce the tax burden on property owners. (Charge to a select subcommittee on Property Tax Reform and Relief)
3. Franchise Tax: Study the benefits, including the dynamic effects, of continuing to phase out the franchise tax. Consider alternate approaches to funding the Property Tax Relief Fund.
4. Spending Limit: Examine options and make recommendations for strengthening restriction on appropriations established in Article VIII Section 22 of the state constitution, including related procedures defined in statute. Consider options for ensuring available revenues above spending limit are reserved for tax relief.
5. Fiscal Responsibility: Review the budgeting format of other states, such as whether they use strategy-based budgeting, program-based budgeting, or some other approach and discuss the level of transparency with each approach. Review and make recommendations to reduce state debt liabilities, including state pension liability. Consider how to incentivize state agencies, boards, and commissions to identify and realize savings to taxpayers.
6. Coordinating Behavioral Health Services and Expenditures: Monitor the state's progress in coordinating behavioral health services and expenditures across state government, pursuant to Article IX Sec. 10.04. Identify ways state agencies that provide mental health services are collaborating and taking steps to eliminate redundancy, create efficiency, utilize best practices, ensure optimal service delivery, and demonstrate expenditures are coordinated and in furtherance of a behavioral health statewide strategic plan. Identify barriers that prevent the coordination of behavioral health services. Make recommendations to maximize use of state funding for mental health.
7. Sales Tax Holiday: Review the state's current sales tax holiday structure and determine its economic benefit to the state. Evaluate and consider the merits of any potential expansion of the tax holiday either in the application of the sales tax exemption or the timing of the holiday.
8. Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Finance Committee during the 84th Legislature, Regular Session and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following: 1) Tax relief provided to property owners; 2) The gradual phase out of the franchise tax; 3) Support for and the enhancement of graduate medical education; 4) Efforts of the Department of Information Resources (DIR) to modernize the technology of state agencies; 5) The implementation of required changes to state agency contracting, purchasing, and accounting procedures; and 6) Monitor the implementation of Health and Human Services Commission Rider 50.
Committee: House Pensions
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Employees Retirement System of Texas | Financial investments | Governmental Accounting Standards Board | Law enforcement | Pension liabilities | Pension Review Board, Texas | Public retirement systems |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 P387
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [16 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the impact that fluctuations in global financial markets have had on public pension funds. Analyze assumed rates of return on investments, structures among asset classes, long-term and shorter-term investment goals, and make appropriate recommendations to ensure the investment structure of public pension funds are meeting fiduciary responsibilities.
2. Examine Texas pension funds’ compliance with Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Financial Reporting Statements 67 and 68, and identify the effect the reporting requirements are having on the state's pension systems.
3. Examine the immediate and long-term fiscal impact to the state of the unfunded liabilities for the Law Enforcement and Custodial Officer Supplemental Retirement Fund (LECOS) as part of the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS). Make appropriate legislative recommendations.
4. Examine the fiscal and policy impacts of structural reforms that would increase state public pension plans' ability to achieve and maintain actuarial soundness. Evaluate the feasibility, costs, and benefits of utilizing one-time funding increases to reduce or eliminate unfunded liabilities.
5. Evaluate the investment performance benchmarks utilized by the state's pension funds and the impact portfolio diversification and short- and long-term market assumptions have had on achieving expected investment returns. Analyze the fee structure and investment strategy for various investment classes to ensure the costs are reasonable and competitive versus other large public and private pension trust funds.
6. 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 conducting this oversight, the committee should: 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; and d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs.
Committee: House Pensions and Investments
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Employees Retirement System of Texas | Houston Municipal Employees Pension System | Peace officers | Pension liabilities | Prescription drug costs | Prescription drugs | Public retirement systems | Retire/Rehire | Teacher Retirement System of Texas | Texas Municipal Retirement System |
Library Call Number: L1836.80 P387
Session: 80th R.S. (2007)
Online version: View report [64 pages  File size: 12,741 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Evaluate the possibility of requiring the state and employee contribution rate to meet the annually required contribution for the statewide retirement funds each biennium in order to prevent unfunded liabilities.
2. Explore options for funding other post-employment benefits, and examine strategies employed by other governmental entities in addressing these obligations.
3. Study the impact of actuaries on public pension plans, and evaluate the need for legislation to ensure appropriate actuarial assumptions, actuarial audits or regulation of actuaries contracting with state pension plans.
4. Analyze the impact of allowing a retiree to return to work in the Texas Municipal Retirement System.
5. Assess the representational proportion of each of the stakeholder groups, eligibility requirements, qualifications, and selection and election procedures of the board of trustees of the retirement systems.
6. Examine eligibility criteria for membership and possible inclusion of additional employees in the Law Enforcement and Custodial Officers Supplemental Retirement Fund (LECOSRF). Evaluate the effect of diversion of funds from the auto registration fee on the unfunded liability of the LECOSRF, and explore the possibility of creating a similar supplemental retirement program as part of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas for those members performing law enforcement duties.
7. Evaluate and make recommendations, if necessary, regarding state contracts with pharmacy benefit managers. Assess the feasibility of combining prescription drug programs of state health insurance programs. All recommendations should take into consideration any budgetary impacts. (Joint Interim Charge with the House Committee on Government Reform.)
8. Examine the operation of the Houston Municipal Employees Pension System, its Board of Trustees and staff. (Joint Interim Charge with the House Committee on Urban Affairs.)
9. Monitor the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction.

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