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2 Document(s) [ Subject: Transportation network companies ]

Committee: House Business and Industry
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Corporate governance | Death benefits | Electronic security | Homeowners' associations | Independent contractors | International trade | Pharmaceutical industry | Pharmacies | Physicians | Prescription drug costs | Risk Management, State Office of | Small businesses | State agencies | Transportation network companies | Welfare-to-work | Workers' compensation |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 B964
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [67 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study Texas businesses' utilization of the Federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit, and the associated state tax refund under Subchapter H, Labor Code, in employing those who are receiving government benefits and/or have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. Conduct a cost/benefit analysis of the tax credit vis-a-vis savings in federal and state public assistance programs. Make recommendations to remove any unnecessary administrative obstructions and expand Texas business owners' use of the program.
2. Identify and address potential gaps in Texas businesses’ cybersecurity policies and ensure that Texans’ personal information held by these businesses is secure.
3. Evaluate how Texas can support shared economy growth in the state. Determine how the state can ensure customer security and satisfaction as well as consumer protections without enacting burdensome regulations. Additionally, study the effects of a growing portion of the state's workforce seeking full-time vs. supplemental part-time employment with related technology-based businesses. Analyze recent debate and legal precedent regarding the classification of these employees.
4. Examine the regulatory powers of property owners associations, and the procedures available to home owners when an association restricts individual or property rights. Review current best practices to help clarify the balance of property rights, transparency in governance, and the best interests of property owners in the state.
5. Study the impact of recent Texas cases related to the rights and remedies of shareholders of Texas corporate forms, including the impact of those decisions on the legal rights of both Texas corporations and shareholders and any impact on the Texas business climate.
6. Study the requirement for state agencies and entities to purchase insurance through the State Office of Risk Management (SORM), and the agencies and entities that are exempt from this requirement. Examine the costs and benefits of each approach, and the waiver process by which SORM can allow agencies to purchase insurance on their own.
7. Study the following aspects of the designated doctor process in the Texas workers' compensation system: a. the Division of Workers' Compensation's (DWC's) processes for educating, monitoring, and evaluating designated doctors; b. whether the DWC requires additional authority to regulate designated doctors or entities providing services for designated doctors; and c. any unique issues with "traveling" designated doctors.
8. Examine the adequacy of benefits for injured employees in the Texas workers' compensation system who qualify for Lifetime Income Benefits, and for the beneficiaries of employees who receive Death Benefits. In particular, examine the application of benefit caps for those benefit types and the termination of Death Benefits to surviving spouses on remarriage.
9. Analyze recent data attributing the decline in domestic manufacturing to a consistent trade deficit caused by steady increases in net imports. Study how expanding trade and investing in manufacturing communities’ partnerships can grow the state's skilled workforce and production as well as increase net exports and develop a trade balance. (Joint charge with the House Committee on International Trade & Intergovernmental Affairs)
10. Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation 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 Economic and Small Business Development
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Career preparedness | Career schools | e-commerce | Economic development | Economic development incentives | Economy | Energy industry employment | High tech employment | High tech industry | Natural gas industry | Office of Economic Development and Tourism | Oil industry | Rural economic development | Short-term rentals | Small businesses | State budgets | Transportation network companies | Workforce | Workforce Commission, Texas |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 Ec74h
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [31 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the impacts of the declining price of oil and the continuously depressed price of natural gas on the Texas economy and the fiscal implications for the Texas budget. Consider impacts on local communities most dependent on oil and gas activity, including impacts on supporting economies such as retail, manufacturing, housing industries, etc. Recommend strategies for sustained energy development and workforce growth during times of depressed energy prices. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Energy Resources)
2. Evaluate what local governments are doing to attract businesses to their communities and examine ways the state can leverage these practices and provide support. Include ways to improve local economic development programs to ensure a continued return on investment for taxpayers. In addition, study the authority, financial accountability, and types of statutorily allowed expenditures of economic development corporations. Provide analysis of 4A and 4B sales tax programs and determine if they are still meeting their intended purpose effectively.
3. Study opportunities and financial incentives for expansion and growth of small businesses in Texas. Examine if adequate resources and capital exist for small businesses. Include analysis of any regulatory or tax hurdles and provide recommendations to alleviate these burdens. Furthermore, review programs available to provide training and support to develop business management and finance skills. Consider financial incentives that would incentivize expansion of existing small businesses and growth for new small businesses.
4. Oversee implementation of HB 26 (84R). Review best practices for measuring success of economic development incentives. Consider general metrics or principles to aid the Legislature in determining viable and sustainable incentive programs that provide a "Return on Investment" for taxpayers.
5. Evaluate Texas's competitiveness with other states in recruiting and cultivating high-growth, high-tech industries, fostering economic development, and creating new jobs. Examine if current incentives and regulations assist or hinder the state's ability to compete with other states for economic growth and sustainability.
6. Examine if the state has an adequately diversified economic foundation and make recommendations on how to better achieve diversification. Look at ways to achieve balance between rural and urban economic development. Consider methods to improve workforce development initiatives and incentives that will improve re-employment after layoffs and release from incarceration as well as methods to improve employment rates for recent graduates.
7. Evaluate how Texas can support shared economy growth in the state and include implications of such growth on existing, traditional businesses. Develop characteristics by which to classify "shared economy" business and determine how the state can ensure customer security and satisfaction as well as public health without enacting burdensome regulations.
8. Examine partnerships between higher education institutions, public school districts, and workforce that promote postsecondary readiness. Provide coordination recommendations to ensure vocational, career, and technical education programs are more accessible. Determine the most effective ways to invest in these partnerships and programs to direct at-risk students to stable career paths. Examine current rules and laws limiting employers from providing meaningful internships, apprenticeships, and other opportunities. Consider new methods to finance workforce training programs and associated assets in high schools and postsecondary schools, including ways to reduce or eliminate these costs and options to incentivize businesses to invest in training equipment for schools. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Public Education)
9. Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation 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. e. monitor the impact of major economic development legislation passed by the 84th Legislature. f. include updates regarding transfer of duties and services from health and human services agencies to the Texas Workforce Commission, including implementation of SB 208 and SB 212. Coordinate with the Legislative Oversight Committee constituted by SB 208, when necessary. g. evaluate the impact of incentive reform legislation, including the elimination of the Emerging Technology Fund and the transition of contracts to the Comptroller's office.

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