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2 Document(s) [ Subject: Patents ]

Committee: Senate State Affairs
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Biometric identification | Cellular telephones | DNA databases | e-government | Electronic surveillance | Employees Retirement System of Texas | Health care costs | Health care navigators | Health insurance exchanges | Health insurance pools | Legislature, Texas | Medical billing | Patents | Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act | Personally identifiable information | Privacy | Rules of the Texas Senate | Search warrants | Searches and seizures | Small businesses | Teacher Retirement System of Texas | Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool | Texas Legislature Online | Texas Mutual Insurance | Websites | Workers' compensation |
Library Call Number: L1836.83 St29a
Session: 83rd R.S. (2013)
Online version: View report [128 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Examine the negative economic impact on Texas business from legal issues involving threatened and actual patent litigation by "patent assertion entities" (PAEs). Consider the effects of PAE actions on innovation and economic development in Texas, paying particular attention to threats and lawsuits involving software and technology patent claims. Make recommendations on how the State of Texas can address problems related to frivolous legal actions and unsubstantiated patent claims asserted against legitimate business enterprises in light of the relevant federal jurisdiction, laws, regulations, and court rules in patent cases.
2. Examine possible measures to protect the personal privacy of Texas residents from governmental and commercial surveillance, including: (1) any necessary limits on warrantless search and seizure of data from electronic devices and wireless providers, including digital content and geolocational data; (2) any necessary protections against non-consented video and audio recordings collected by private handheld and wearable mobile devices and other private surveillance; and (3) any necessary limits on warrantless monitoring of the physical location of individuals through the use of biometrics, RFID chips, facial recognition, or other technologies. Examine related measures proposed or passed in other states.
3. Review the types and scope of personal data collected by governmental and commercial entities and consider methods to minimize the government’s collection of data on its citizens. The study should include: (1) whether sufficient protections exist for DNA samples and information, including whether there should be a prohibition on the creation of DNA databases, except for felons and sex offenders; (2) methods to protect the privacy of gun owners from aggregated purchasing pattern tracking; (3) mechanisms to ensure that private health care information is properly protected; and (4) ways to ensure that previously anonymous data is not improperly re-identified and marketed. Examine related measures proposed or passed in other states.
4. Examine possible reforms designed to increase citizens' ability to know what data is being collected about them by governmental andcommercial entities and with whom that data is being shared, including an analysis of consumer informed consent. Examine related measures proposed or passed in other states.
5. Study the online legislative resources available to the public from Texas Senate Committee websites and compare esources to those provided by other state legislative committees in Texas and other states. Determine how Texas Senate websites can be improved to provide a more interactive and transparent government.
6. Study the emerging negative impacts of the Federal Affordable Care Act, including the use of navigators, and make recommendations to mitigate any unintended consequences including rising health insurance premiums, lack of access to healthcare, mishandling of Texans' private information by insufficiently-trained navigators, and the Act’s overall effect on Texas employers and insurance consumers. Evaluate free-market alternatives to the Act, including state-led proposals to repeal, reduce or replace the Act. Closely monitor and make recommendations on the continuation of the Texas Health Insurance Pool.
7. Study and make recommendations on increasing medical price transparency in Texas, including studying the impact of SB 1731, 80th Legislative Session. Analyze relevant reforms considered or implemented in other states, and make recommendations regarding potential changes designed to create a more open marketplace for enhanced consumer decision making in Texas.
8. Monitor the actuarial and financial conditions of the pension and health care programs administered by the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) and the Employees Retirement System (ERS).
9. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on State Affairs, 83rd Legislature, Regular Session, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation.
10. Study and make recommendations relative to the structure of Texas Mutual Insurance Company and the residual market for workers’ compensation insurance in Texas.
Committee: House Technology
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Business climate | Cellular telephones | e-government | Electronic security | High tech industry | Identity theft | Information Resources, Texas Department of | Internet | Patents | State government contracts | Traffic safety | Transportation, Texas Department of | Video games | Wireless Internet |
Library Call Number: L1836.83 T227
Session: 83rd R.S. (2013)
Online version: View report [113 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the current laws, rules, and processes in place for the Department of Information Resources's Cooperative Contracts and recommend improvements to the 84th Legislature. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Government Efficiency and Reform)
2. Examine the public's accessibility to government services and agencies through the use of mobile applications and online services. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Government Efficiency and Reform)
3. Study the feasibility of an integrated identity management program (IIMP) for state agencies. Examine best practices in the deployment of technology to safeguard state data and programs, limit fraudulent or unauthorized access to state hardware and software, and develop a secure state digital infrastructure. Determine potential savings to the state and make further recommendations on the implementation of IIMP that encompass both logical and physical security.
4. Study whether abuses in the patent system interfere with the goal of expanded opportunity and innovation for Texas businesses and whether actions by the state can address any such abuses.
5. Evaluate Texas's competitiveness with other states in recruiting and cultivating the software industry, including entertainment software; fostering economic development; and creating potential new jobs. Examine current incentives and regulations and whether these assist or hinder the expansion of the entertainment software industry in Texas.
6. Review state regulatory and tax policy to ensure that investment in technology infrastructure, goods, and services is unfettered and that Texas is able to capitalize on innovation to fuel additional job growth, business expansion, and investment. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Ways and Means)
7. Monitor and review the efforts of the Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Texas Technology Task Force (TTTF). The TTTF shall study emerging transportation, communication, and computing technologies and determine physical infrastructure and system components that TxDOT or other state departments would need to provide to enable selected technologies. The task is to be completed by TTTF as directed by SB 1 (83R), item 44, Article VII-31. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Transportation)
8. Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 83rd 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.

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