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36 Document(s) [ Subject: ]

Committee: House Agriculture and Livestock
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Agriculture | Agriculture, Texas Department of | Animal Health Commission, Texas | Bees | Disaster relief | Economic impact | Exotic species | Hemp | Hurricane Harvey | Invasive species | Liens | Monarch butterflies | Natural disasters | Rural economic development | Tropical storms |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 Ag86
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [49 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Review the Texas Department of Agriculture's and the Texas Animal Health Commission's role in the response to Hurricane Harvey. Examine the short-term and long-term economic and agricultural impacts to producers in the agriculture and livestock industries in Texas as a result of Harvey. Identify ways to mitigate the impact and prevent substantial losses from Harvey and future natural disasters.
2. Study the Texas olive and olive oil industry. Provide suggestions to improve, promote, and standardize the industry. Examine current policy related to the industry and examine factors such as research, marketing, labeling, standards, data collection, and the necessity of creating a commodity board or similar type of organization.
3. Review the Texas Department of Agriculture's Seed Certification Program and related areas. Consider any benefits or drawbacks to privatizing the program through a nonprofit crop improvement association.
4. Study the effects of declining migratory species, such as the monarch butterfly, as well as native and domesticated bee populations on agricultural production and its economic impact on the state. Identify possible causes of the population changes and monitor national trends. Make recommendations on how to improve and promote monarch butterfly and bee populations and habitats in the state. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism)
5. Identify methods for the early detection of exotic invasive organisms that could threaten the production of agricultural crops, such as cotton, in Texas.
6. Consider the feasibility of developing and implementing a central filing system to be used for the filing of all financing statements that cover farm products being sold and purchased in this state that are subject to an agricultural lien.
7. Evaluate the uses of industrial hemp and the economic feasibility of developing an industrial hemp market under existing or future state and federal regulations. Examine the processing and manufacturing process requirements of multiple bi-products, including feed, food, fiber, cosmetics, supplements, and building materials.
8. Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature.
Committee: Senate Business and Commerce
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Electric utilities | Electric utility deregulation | Electric utility rates and charges | Emergency management | Flood insurance | Flood plains | Health insurance | Health insurance exchanges | Home equity lines of credit | Home equity loans | Hurricane Harvey | Mortgages | Natural disasters | Occupational licenses | Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act | Privacy | Social networking websites | Texas Constitution | Wills and estates |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 B963
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [133 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study infrastructure security and energy restoration post weather events. Identify ways state government entities can help utilities more effectively stage pre-hurricane mobilization crews for managing resources before an event.
2. Examine state mortgage requirements regarding the notification of homebuyers on their need for flood insurance in flood plains and flood pool areas and make recommendations on how to better inform consumers.
3. Examine local government regulations, including occupational licenses, as related to Hurricane Harvey and determine if any are a detriment to rebuilding efforts.
4. Examine and make recommendations on the need for changes to the Texas Constitution for home equity lenders to offer various forms of relief to Texas homeowners affected by natural disasters including, among others, the authority to enter into deferment agreements. This examination should include a study of home equity rules regarding negotiation, modification and refinancing and whether constitutionally established time periods can be waived in times of disasters.
5. Free Market Electricity: Examine the competitive nature of the Texas retail electric system and what government competitive intrusions in the free energy markets may have in distorting those markets. Review the impact of competitive versus noncompetitive retail electricity markets across the state in terms of price and reliability. Consider the projected impact of establishing competitive electric retail markets statewide.
6. Health Insurance Market Stability: Study the factors affecting health insurance markets in Texas, particularly the individual market, including federal and state law. Make recommendations that would result in increased stability in the markets and enhance value and affordability for individual consumers and businesses. Examine what steps the state needs to take to allow out-of-state health insurance sales. In developing its recommendations, the committee should consider the flexibility afforded to states by 1332 "state innovation" waivers, which allow states to modify or eliminate tax penalties associated with individual and employer coverage mandates; modify requirements for benefits and subsidies; and find alternative ways to provide benefit plan choices, determine eligibility for subsidies, and enroll consumers.
7. Licensing and Fees: Review licensing requirements and fees imposed on entities within the committee's jurisdiction. Make recommendations for state licenses and fees that should be reduced, repealed or transitioned to private-sector enforcement.
8. Social Media Access: Study access issues regarding digital assets of decedents. Study social media privacy laws and whether job applicants and students' privacy is jeopardized under current law.
9. Examine the 2018 electric reliability forecasts announced by ERCOT and review how expected diminished reserve markets will impact the rates of residential and business consumers. Monitor current mechanisms available to ERCOT to ensure grid reliability, identify trends in the wholesale electric market, and make recommendations to maintain grid reliability moving forward.
10. Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce during the 85th Legislature, Regular Session, including: • The implementation of legislation to deregulate occupational licensing; • The settlement of out-of-network health benefit claims involving balance billing and patient's explanation of benefits statements; and • Make recommendations regarding any additional legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/ or complete implementation.
Committee: House Corrections
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Alternatives to incarceration | Communicable diseases | Criminal justice | Criminal Justice, Texas Department of | Disease management | Disease preparedness | Disease prevention | Emergency management | Ex-offenders | Hot weather | Hurricane Harvey | Inmate lawsuits | Inmate sexual assaults | Natural disasters | Pardons and Paroles, Texas Board of | Parole | Prison Rape Elimination Act | Probation | Recidivism | Social workers | State jail system | Women | Women inmates | Youthful offenders |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 C817
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [75 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Evaluate the Texas Department of Criminal Justice response to Hurricane Harvey. Recommend any changes that could improve the operational stability of state criminal justice institutions following a natural disaster and changes that would allow for a more effective response.
2. Examine the use of social workers and peer support specialists in the Texas criminal justice system to assist individuals on probation, on parole, or who have been discharged, in order to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes. Identify best practices and make recommendations for legislative action.
3. Examine the current Texas criminal justice system policies and practices regarding 17- to 25- year-olds, specific to probation, parole, state jail confinement, and discharge from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice or county jail. Review any gaps in services that may be causing this population to recidivate. Make recommendations to improve the state's response to the needs of this population in order to lower revocation, re-arrest, and re-incarceration rates.
4. Examine treatment options, services, and programs available to women in institutional settings, on community supervision, on parole, and in community-based programs. Make recommendations for best strategies to address the needs of women in the Texas criminal justice system.
5. Review the Texas state jail system. Examine its original intent, sentencing guidelines, effectiveness, and recidivism rates. Make recommendations for changes in the state jail system. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence)
6. Study policies and protocols within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Examine when protocols are implemented and their efficacy in protecting the health and safety of inmates and state employees.
7. Review assessments used by the Board of Pardons and Paroles and parole panels to determine an inmate's risk of recidivism for purposes of granting parole and the use of GPS technology to monitor offenders.
8. Monitor Texas prison system heat-related litigation currently making its way through the courts. Monitor Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) compliance within Texas state and county criminal justice facilities.
9. Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature.
Committee: House County Affairs
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Alternatives to incarceration | Counties | County budgets | County employees | Criminal justice | Emergency management | Flood control | Flooding | Hurricane Harvey | Infrastructure | Land use regulations | Mentally ill inmates | Natural disasters | Salaries |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 C832
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [75 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Examine how emergency response activities are organized, funded, and coordinated. Review the impact of natural disasters on county finances. Identify any deficiencies in authority for the most populous counties related to infrastructure planning, emergency response, and recovery. Explore ways to improve efficiencies and manage costs while protecting public safety. Additionally, study the relationship between the state, counties, non-governmental organizations, and churches in preparing for and responding to Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, and determine if preparedness plans are adequate.
2. Evaluate whether counties have the necessary ordinance-making and enforcement authority to deal with flood risk in unincorporated rural and suburban areas of Texas. Additionally, examine whether counties have adequate resources and authority to ensure that new development in unincorporated areas is not susceptible to flooding.
3. Study how counties identify defendants' and inmates' behavioral health needs and deferral opportunities to appropriate rehabilitative and transition services. Consider models for ensuring defendants and inmates with mental illness receive appropriate services upon release from the criminal justice system.
4. Review the population limitations found in Local Government Code Section 154.041 and Local Government Code Section 113.047. Determine if counties with a population below 190,000 could benefit from the population limitations being removed.
5. Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature.
Committee: House Culture, Recreation, and Tourism
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Bees | Boating | Economic impact | Emergency management | Historic preservation | Historical Commission, Texas | Hurricane Harvey | Monarch butterflies | Natural disasters | Parks and Wildlife, Texas Department of | State parks | Tourism |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 R245
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [63 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Review the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's and the Texas Historical Commission's roles in the response to Hurricane Harvey. Evaluate the economic, recreational, and biological impacts and needed repairs from Harvey as they relate to applicable state agencies and the following areas and industries under the purview of the Committee: a. State parks b. Wildlife and fish c. Historic sites and buildings d. Art and cultural resources e. Travel and tourism f. In addition, provide recommendations on how to allow for a timely recovery of these areas from Harvey, and how to mitigate the impact of, and adequately prepare for, future natural disasters.
2. Study the feasibility of establishing and mobilizing a volunteer contingency of private boat owners through the boat registration and license database administered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to assist first responders in search and rescue efforts in natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey.
3. Study the effects of declining migratory species, such as the monarch butterfly, as well as native and domesticated bee populations on agricultural production and its economic impact on the state. Identify possible causes of the population changes and monitor national trends. Make recommendations on how to improve and promote monarch butterfly and bee populations and habitats in the state. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Agriculture & Livestock)
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: Alamo | Alternatives to incarceration | Appropriations bill riders | Business taxes | Criminal justice | Delinquent taxes | Disaster relief | Driver Responsibility Program | Economy | Emergency medical services | Federal aid | Federal funds | Fees | General Land Office | Hurricane Harvey | Interest rates | Juvenile justice system | Legislative Budget Board, Texas | Natural disasters | Personal property taxes | Probation | Rainy Day Fund | State budget certification | State budgets | Tax refunds | Texas Emissions Reduction Plan |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 F49
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [64 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Monitor all funds currently being used to address Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery. Identify ways to maximize the use of federal funds and ensure the efficient use of state funds.
2. Evaluate the long-term impact of Hurricane Harvey on the Texas economy and the gulf coast region.
3. Alamo Historical Site Renovation: Monitor the expenditures of state funds appropriated to the General Land Office for the preservation, maintenance, and operation of the Alamo historical site. Ensure the funds are spent to emphasize the architectural design and the historical impact the battle had on the development of Texas as a nation and as a state.
4. Economic Stabilization Fund: Examine options to increase investment earnings of the Economic Stabilization Fund in a manner that mini mizes overall risk to the fund balance. Investment options should ensure the liquidity of a sufficient portion of the balance so that the legislature has the resources necessary to address the needs of the state, including natural disasters. Evaluate how the Economic Stabilization Fund constitutional limit is calculated; consider alternative methods to calculate the limit, and alternative uses for funds above the limit.
5. Texas Emission Reduction Plan: Review the Texas Emission Reduction Plan (TERP) and its economic benefits to the state. Examine whether the state's investment in TERP, including transfers from the Department of Transportation, are being effectively utilized to comply with federal air quality standards, reduce pollution, and protect the public health of Texans.
6. Request to Exceed Review: Review all riders requiring interim action by the Legislative Budget Board to reduce the number of times interim budget modification is necessary.
7. Fee Structure Review: Review state General Revenue - Dedicated fees and make recommendations to reduce fees and lessen reliance on General Revenue - Dedicated fee balances to certify the budget.
8. Adult and Juvenile Corrections Funding: Examine the funding patterns used to fund the juvenile justice system and adult probation departments. Develop recommendations to ensure the Texas Juvenile Justice Department budget does not dis-incentivize the use of cost-effective best practices such as diverting youth from the juvenile justice system, providing services to youth in their community, and keeping youth closer to home. In addition, review funding to adult probation departments and ensure it provides for an equitable distribution to all Texas Probation Departments.
9. Trauma Funding: Review revenue sources currently funding the state's trauma system and the impact of declining revenues and balances in General Revenue - Dedicated accounts. Evaluate the impact of statutory changes affecting trauma system funding, including efforts to eliminate the Driver Responsibility Program. Examine ways to ensure sustainability of the trauma system in Texas.
10. Property Tax on Business Personal Property: Evaluate the property tax as it applies to business personal property and the current $5oo exemption. Quantify the economic effect of taxing business personal property and determine whether the tax places Texas at a competitive disadvantage relative to other states. Evaluate the burden on taxpayers and local governments of administering the property tax on business personal property and determine whether the current $soo exemption should be increased.
11. Interest Rate Disparity: Evaluate the rate of interest charged on delinquent property taxes and delinquent state taxes, compared to the rate of interest paid on property tax refunds and state tax refunds. • Evaluate the effect of interest rate disparity on the assessment decisions of governments and the payment decisions of taxpayers. • Quantify the amount by which state and local governments profit from interest rate disparity. • Identify best practices among other states regarding interest rates charged and paid. • Recommend a plan and timeline to reduce interest rate disparity.
12. Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of the following funding initiatives: • CPS Critical Needs - Monitor the impact of salary increases and additional caseworkers allocated to Child Protective Services last interim. • Health Care Costs Across State Agencies - Monitor coordination efforts among state agencies to improve health care and reduce costs pursuant to Article IX, Section 10.06 and Section 10.07. • Behavioral Health - Monitor the state's progress in coordinating behavioral health services and expenditures across state government, pursuant to Article IX section 10.04, including the impact of new local grant funding provided by the 85th Legislatu re. • Sporting Goods Sales Tax - Identify state and local park needs and determine whether the Sporting Goods Sales Tax is meeting those needs.
Committee: House Government Transparency and Operation
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Emergency management | Hurricane Harvey | Natural disasters | Open government | Public Information Act, Texas | State agencies | State government contracts | State purchasing |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 G747t
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [86 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Examine the role of technology in disaster preparedness and the response to Hurricane Harvey and future natural disasters. Review and make recommendations to drive innovation and efficiency and evaluate whether there are any regulatory impediments to collaboration between the public and private sectors.
2. Evaluate whether qualifying state agencies are appropriately utilizing available state disaster recovery services, including the statewide technology centers. Consider the costs and benefits of allowing other states to participate in Texas' statewide technology centers under Subchapter L, Chapter 2054, Texas Government Code for disaster recovery purposes.
3. Review Texas’ open meeting laws and related government decision-making policies. Determine if the formal processes prevented the efficient delivery of assistance during Hurricane Harvey. Make recommendations on maintaining the current standards of accountability without limiting government-provided aid during disaster events.
4. Evaluate whether, in light of recent Texas Supreme Court rulings, the provisions of the Public Information Act are adequate to support transparency and accountability in government, particularly as it relates to government contracting and procurement.
5. Study how state agencies can share knowledge and practices, reduce duplicative data gathering, and conduct business in a more efficient manner through interagency data sharing. Review best practices to provide the public with more transparency and access to government information.
6. Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee will also specifically monitor the implementation of H.B. 8 (85R).
Committee: Senate Health and Human Services
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Child abuse | Child Protective Services | Emergency management | Employees Retirement System of Texas | Family and Protective Services, Texas Department of | Foster care | Health and Human Services Commission, Texas | Health care costs | Healthy Texas Women | Hurricane Harvey | Insurance, Texas Department of | Juvenile justice system | Managed care | Medicaid | Natural disasters | Opioids | Prescription drugs | Public health | State Health Services, Texas Department of | Substance abuse | Teacher Retirement System of Texas |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 H349
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [98 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Review the state's response to Hurricane Harvey with a focus on public health efforts at the local and state level. The review should include an analysis of the state and local response related to vector control, immunization needs, utilization of health-related volunteers, adequacy of an emergency medical network, evacuation of vulnerable populations from state operated or regulated facilities, and coordination between all levels of government. Recommend any legislative changes necessary to improve public health response and coordination during and after a disaster.
2. Evaluate the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the capacity of out-of-home placements and care for youth involved with the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Determine how the state can ensure support is available to provide appropriate care as close to home as possible as facilities and offices are rebuilt.
3. Child Welfare: Review the efficacy and quality of services offered to ensure family preservation while in the Family Based Social Services (FESS) stage of service at the Department of Family and Protective Services. Make recommendations to better track quality of services and link payments to providers of these services to outcomes for families and children. Analyze the Department of Family and Protective Services' progress in meeting statutory requirements related to timely visits to children involved in a reported case of abuse or neglect. Make recommendations to further improve the timeliness of these visits. Review services and supports provided to children in Permanent Managing Conservatorship of the state, and the level of preparedness given to youth aging out of state care. Examine the impact of recent legislation related to these populations, and make recommendations to ensure youth in care are ready for adulthood and to reduce the likelihood of intergenerational perpetuation of child maltreatment. Assess the effectiveness of public and private agency efforts to recruit and retain foster parents. Identify barriers to entry and obstacles that prevent interested families from continuing to provide foster care. Recommend solutions to increase foster recruitment and address non-renewals, especially in first-time foster parents.
4. Substance Abuse/Opioids: Review substance use prevention, intervention, and recovery programs operated or funded by the state and make recommendations to enhance services, outreach, and agency coordination. Examine the adequacy of substance use, services for pregnant and postpartum women enrolled in Medicaid or the Healthy Texas Women Program and recommend ways to improve substance use related health outcomes for these women and their newborns. Examine the impact of recent legislative efforts to curb overprescribing and doctor shopping via the prescription monitoring program and recommend ways to expand on current efforts.
5. Medicaid Managed Care Quality and Compliance: Review the Health and Human Services Commission's efforts to improve quality and efficiency in the Medicaid program, including pay-for-quality initiatives in Medicaid managed care. Compare alternative payment models and value-based payment arrangements with providers in Medicaid managed care, the Employees Retirement System, and the Teachers Retirement System, and identify areas for cross-collaboration and coordination among these entities. Evaluate the commission's efforts to ensure Medicaid managed care organizations' compliance with contractual obligations and the use of incentives and sanctions to enforce compliance. Assess the commission's progress in implementing competitive bidding practices for Medicaid managed care contracts and other initiatives to ensure the best value for taxpayer dollars used in Medicaid managed care contracts.
6. Health Care Cost Transparency: Study efforts by the Department of State Health Services and the Texas Department of Insurance to increase health care cost transparency, including a review of the Texas Health Care Information Collection (THCIC) system, and the Consumer Guide to Healthcare. Recommend ways to make provider and facility fees more accessible to consumers to improve health care cost transparency, increase quality of care, and create a more informed health care consumer base.
7. Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, 85th Legislature and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation, including but not limited to: • Initiatives to increase capacity and reduce waitlists in the mental health system, including the construction of state hospitals and new community grant programs; • Initiatives to better understand the causes of maternal mortality and morbidity, including the impact of legislation passed during the first special session of the 85th Legislature. Recommend ways to improve health outcomes for pregnant women and methods to better collect data related to maternal mortality and morbidity; • Initiatives intended to improve child safety, Child Protective Services workforce retention, and development of additional capacity in the foster care system. Make additional recommendations to ensure children with high levels of medical or mental health needs receive timely access to services in the least restrictive setting; • Efforts to transfer case management of foster children and families to Single Source Continuum Contractors (SSCCs). Monitor the progress of this transition and make recommendations to ensure the process provides continuity of services for children and families and ongoing community engagement; • Initiatives to strengthen oversight oflong-term care facilities to ensure safety and improve quality for residents and clients of these entities; and • Abortion complications and other reporting legislation that was passed by the 85th Legislatu re.
Committee: House Human Services
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Adoption | Assisted living facilities | Child abuse | Child abuse prevention | Child Protective Services | Early childhood intervention | Emergency management | Family preservation | Foster care | Hurricane Harvey | Long-term care | Managed care | Medicaid | Medicaid program management | Mentally ill persons | Natural disasters | Nursing homes | Pharmaceutical industry | Prescription drugs | State supported living centers | Substance abuse | Tropical storms |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 H88
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [50 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the impact of Hurricane Harvey and the response to the storm on individuals living in long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, state supported living centers, licensed community group homes, and children in the foster care system. Identify and recommend necessary solutions to ensure appropriate disaster-related protocols are in place to keep vulnerable Texans protected. Also, identify any challenges state agencies experienced in responding to the storm or during recovery efforts.
2. Review the history and any future roll-out of Medicaid Managed Care in Texas. Determine the impact managed care has had on the quality and cost of care. In the review, determine: initiatives that managed care organizations (MCOs) have implemented to improve quality of care; whether access to care and network adequacy contractual requirements are sufficient; and whether MCOs have improved the coordination of care. Also determine provider and Medicaid participants’ satisfaction within STAR, STAR Health, Star Kids, and STAR+Plus managed care programs. In addition, review the Health and Human Services Commission's (HHSC) oversight of managed care organizations, and make recommendations for any needed improvement.
3. Examine the survey process for nursing facilities to determine any duplication of government regulations. Consider recommendations to reduce duplication while ensuring patient safety is preserved.
4. Review the availability of prevention and early intervention programs and determine their effectiveness in reducing maltreatment of children. In addition, review services available to children emancipating out of foster care, as well as services available to families post-adoption. Determine if current services are adequately providing for children's needs and meeting the objectives of the programs. While reviewing possible system improvements for children, follow the work of the Supreme Court of Texas Children's Commissions' Statewide Collaborative of Trauma-Informed Care to determine how trauma-informed care impacts outcomes for children.
5. Analyze the prevalence of children involved with Child Protective Services (CPS) who have a mental illness and/or a substance use disorder. In addition, analyze the prevalence of children involved with CPS due to their guardian's substance abuse or because of an untreated mental illness. Identify methods to strengthen CPS processes and services, including efforts for family preservation; increasing the number of appropriate placements designed for children with high needs; and ensuring Texas Medicaid is providing access to appropriate and effective behavioral health services. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Public Health)
6. Monitor the HHSC's implementation of Rider 219 in Article II of the General Appropriations Act related to prescription drug benefit administration in Medicaid. Analyze the role of pharmacy benefit managers in Texas Medicaid.
7. Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee will also closely monitor the implementation of H.B. 4 (85R), H.B. 5 (85R), H.B. 7 (85R), and S.B. 11 (85R).
Committee: Senate Intergovernmental Relations
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Affordable housing | Bond issues | Disaster relief | Emergency management | Extraterritorial jurisdiction | Federal aid | Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. | Housing | Land use regulations | Legislative process | Municipal annexation | Natural disasters | Public improvement districts | Solid waste disposal | Special taxing districts |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 L786
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [126 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Examine and report on ways to improve the coordination of rebuilding housing and infrastructure following a natural disaster, including evaluating additional cost effective options for FEMA to utilize in providing direct housing assistance immediately following a disaster, creation of comprehensive lists of housing opportunities or web portals to disseminate information to survivors, ways to automatically waive local government regulations to facilitate rebuilding, and additional local resources available for rebuilding efforts.
2. Monitor the distribution of federal disaster relief funds related to housing and infrastructure, including community development block grant (CDBG) funds, to ensure the timely dissemination of monies by state entities to local governments for reconstruction efforts. Develop recommendations for any statutory changes necessary to improve the efficiency of disaster recovery efforts, maximize housing and infrastructure funds, and ensure cooperation between private and government partners.
3. Review and recommend options to expedite debris removal, including cutting unnecessary regulation and streamlining the process.
4. Identify and report on existing disaster training opportunities available for local officials and make recommendations for training programs that equip them to efficiently interact with state and federal agencies during times of disaster.
5. ETJ Limitations and Notice: Review the existing regulatory authority granted to home-rule municipalities within the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), including practices used by cities to expand ETJ boundaries, and whether proper notification is provided to property owners added to a city's ETJ following an annexation proceeding. Determine the limitations that need to be placed on a city's authority within the ETJ to better protect the private property rights of individuals and landowners, and ways to notify individuals of the impact of being within a city's ETJ. Develop a statewide rule and minimum requirements for such notifications.
6. Housing Affordability: Examine issues that impact housing affordability, including the effect of local government taxes, fees, and mandates. Evaluate the cost of purchasing a single-family residence in different parts of the state, factoring in the impact of local rules and regulations, to identify matters of policy with the greatest influence, and identify ways to increase transparency and awareness prior to the adoption of costly local ordinances or orders.
7. Special Purpose Districts Bond Reform: Study the state agency review of tax exempt bonds issued by special purpose districts and public improvement districts used to finance water and sewer infrastructure in new residential and commercial developments. Examine the disparities that exist between the feasibility review of water and sewer bonds backed by property­ based assessments and those backed by ad valorem taxes, and make recommendations that ensure the continued stability of the Texas tax­ exempt bond market by requiring all districts to undergo appropriate reviews prior to issuance.
8. Municipal Management District Uniformity: In conjunction with the appropriate legislative departments, determine whether the development of a template or standardized language for the creation of municipal management districts would provide a more effective means for legislators to ensure new special purpose districts conform to accepted standards and contain appropriate taxpayer oversight.
Committee: House Investments and Financial Services
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Banks and banking | Consumer credit | Credit reports | Credit scoring | Electronic security | Emergency management | Home equity loans | Hurricane Harvey | Mortgage brokers | Mortgages | Natural disasters |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 In9
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [42 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Review the impact of Hurricane Harvey on financial institutions in Texas and evaluate the response of the state's oversight agencies. Study how Harvey impacted consumers and lenders in the mortgage and home equity markets. Identify opportunities to improve the operational stability of financial institutions and to improve the state's responsiveness following a natural disaster.
2. Study the impact and risks that a large-scale security breach of a credit bureau has on Texans. Identify opportunities to protect Texas consumers and to mitigate the impact of such a breach.
3. Examine mortgage licensure requirements in Texas and identify opportunities to update statute to fit modern mortgage options.
4. Study policy challenges in the area of financial technology. Evaluate the concept of a "sandbox" as a regulatory approach for enabling innovation and the feasibility of implementing such in Texas. If appropriate, make recommendations for possible legislative action to foster innovation in the finance industry.
5. Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature.
Committee: Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Economy | Environmental protection | Hotel occupancy taxes | Natural disasters | Rules and regulations | Solid waste disposal |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 N219E
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [87 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Hotel Occupancy Taxes: Study and make recommendations regarding the collection and use of hotel occupancy taxes to increase transparency in the imposition, rate, and use of such taxes.
2. Regulatory Barriers: Identify options to maintain our state's competitive advantage and make recommendations to remove or reduce administrative or regulatory barriers hindering economic growth, including permitting or registration requirements and fees.
3. Environmental Safety: Study the strategies and best practices for ensuring environmental safety during maintenance, startup, and shutdown activities due to emergencies. Recommend actions to improve safety without compromising compliance or penalizing good actors.
4. Waste Disposal Regulation: Study the permitting and compliance processes for waste disposal and processing, including evaluating the criteria for approval, denial, and application return. Make recommendations for improving and streamlining the permitting and compliance processes while maximizing public participation for effective outreach and education. Review the allocation of the Municipal Solid Waste disposal fees and make recommendations regarding allocation methods to adequately support existing programs.
5. Monitoring: Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature, including: • Texas Railroad Commission Sunset and funding; • Environmental Regulatory and Legal Primacy; and • The effectiveness of emission reductions recognized from the Texas Emissions Reduction Program (TERP) and grant flexibility.
Committee: House Public Education
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Academic performance | Charter schools | Dyslexia | Educational accountability | Hurricane Harvey | Learning disabilities | Natural disasters | Public schools | School finance | Special education | Student Success Initiative | Teacher incentive plans | Teacher retention | Teacher salaries | Teacher shortages | Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 Ed84h
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [90 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Determine, to the extent possible, the scope of financial losses, including facilities, that resulted from Harvey. Recommend possible state actions, such as changes to student counts or property valuation, to mitigate any negative impact on districts and ensure governance structures and parameters allow for effective responses.
2. Recommend any measures needed at the state level to prevent unintended punitive consequences to both students and districts in the state accountability system as a result of Harvey and its aftermath.
3. Examine the educational opportunities offered to students displaced by Harvey throughout the state and the process by which districts enroll and serve those students. Recommend any changes that could improve the process for students or help districts serving a disproportionate number of displaced students.
4. Review current state mechanisms for identifying and rewarding educators through state-level strategies. Examine how providing additional funding to enhance compensation in districts facing a shortage of experienced, highly rated teachers would affect retention and teacher quality, in addition to whether it would encourage teachers to provide additional services through extracurricular activities, tutoring, and mentoring.
5. Examine research-based options for evaluating student achievement beyond standardized test scores, including adaptive and portfolio assessments. Examine the scope of the current Texas essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) in grades with the state assessment, including the format, assessment calendar, and the limits of instructional days, if any. Determine if it is appropriate to limit TEKS to readiness standards that can be taught in less than the school year. Review current Student Success Initiative testing and make recommendations on its continuation or repeal. Review the ability of the state to waive standardized testing for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
6. Examine programs in public schools that have proven results meeting the needs of and improving student achievement for students with disabilities, with an emphasis on programs specializing in autism, dysgraphia, and dyslexia. Recommend ways to support and scale innovative programs for these students, including providing supplemental services, or incentivizing public-private partnerships or inter district and charter school collaborations. Monitor the implementation and funding for the pilot programs authorized in H.B. 21 (85R) and review the Texas Education Agency's compliance with S.B. 160 (85R), which prohibits special education student caps.
7. Review the charter school system in Texas. Determine if changes are needed in the granting, renewal, or revocation of charter schools, including the timeline for expansions and notification of expansions to surrounding districts. Review the educational outcomes of students in charter schools compared to those in traditional schools, and to what extent schools participate in the alternative accountability system. Monitor the implementation of facilities funding for charter schools. Consider differences in state funding for charter schools compared to their surrounding districts and the impact on the state budget. Consider admissions policies for charters, including appropriate data collection to assess demand for additional charter enrollment, compliance with access by students with disabilities and the effect of exclusions of students with criminal or disciplinary histories. Consider differences in charter and district contributions to the Teacher Retirement System on behalf of their employees and make appropriate recommendations to support the retirement benefits of all public school teachers.
8. Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee will also specifically include: H.B. 21 (85R), H.B. 22 (85R), and S.B. 179 (85R).
Committee: Senate State Affairs
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Abortion | Attorney General of Texas | Court costs and fees | Emergency communications | Emergency management | Evacuation routes | Fees | Freedom of religion | Freedom of speech | Gun control | Higher education | Human trafficking | Natural disasters | Penalties and sentences (Criminal justice) | Price gouging | Public retirement systems | Theft |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 ST29a
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [71 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Review the interaction between federal, state, and local agencies in charge of responding to natural disasters. Examine emergency situation operations, including evacuation routes and procedures, and the efficient use of Disaster Recovery Centers. Make recommendations to ensure emergency management officials have the tools and authority necessary to promptly and appropriately respond to disaster areas and alert citizens to potential threats.
2. Study and make recommendations on the benefit of the state maintaining a single, web-based source of comprehensive information that outlines the State Emergency Operations during times of disaster.
3. Review the Attorney General's efforts related to price-gouging and identify existing issues with current law, if any, that could be remedied to further protect Texans during times of disaster.
4. Review laws related to looting crimes. Examine whether current penalties and enhancements are sufficient to deter looting crimes during a disaster.
5. Second Amendment: Review local ordinances imposed on sellers and venues that affect a person's rights under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. Examine state and local regulations and restrictions regarding the carrying of weapons during a natural disaster. Make recommendations on whether any legislation is needed to address the regulatory barriers to the full exercise of the Second Amendment rights of citizens.
6. Pensions: Examine and assess public pension systems in Texas. Specifically, review and assess (1) the different types of retirement plans; (2) the actuarial assumptions used by retirement systems to value their liabilities and the consequences of amending those assumptions; (3) retirement systems' investment practices and performance; and (4) the adequacy of financial disclosures including asset returns and fees. Make recommendations to ensure public pension system retirees' benefits are preserved and protected.
7. Attorney General Jurisdiction: Examine the Attorney General's jurisdiction on issues of alleged violations of state laws regarding abortion and multi -jurisdictional human trafficking cases. Make recommendations to ensure uniform enforcement across the state.
8. Court Fees: Examine the structure of court fees and make recommendations to ensure statutory filing fees and court costs are appropriate and justified. Provide reeommendations for proper agency oversight of fee collection.
9. Campus Free Speech: Ascertain any restrictions on Freedom of Speech rights that Texas students face in expressing their views on campus along with freedoms of the press, religion, and assembly. Recommend policy changes that protect First Amendment rights and enhance the free speech environment on campus.
10. Religious Liberty: Monitor the implementation of legislation that protects citizens' religious freedoms, including Senate Bill 24 (sermon safeguard) and House Bill 555 (religious liberty of county clerks), and make recommendations for any legislation needed to ensure that citizens' religious freedoms are not eroded by local ordinances or state or federal law.
11. Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on State Affairs, 85th Legislature, Regular Session, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/ or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following: Implementation of Senate Bill 2190, relating to the public retirement systems of certain municipalities; • Implementation of House Bill 3158, relating to the retirement systems for and the provision of other benefits to police and firefighters in certain municipalities; • Implementation of House Bill 3976, relating to the administration of and benefits payable under the Texas Public School Retired Employees Group Benefits Act; and • Implementation of Senate Bill 16, relating to decreasing the fee for the issuance of a license to carry a handgun.
Committee: House Transportation
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: County roads | Emergency management | Highway construction | Highway finance | Hurricane Harvey | Infrastructure | International trade | Natural disasters | Natural gas industry | Oil industry | Ports | Self-driving automobiles | Semi-trailer trucks | Toll roads | Traffic | Transportation | Transportation planning | Transportation, Texas Department of | Unmanned aircraft |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 T687
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [67 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Review the state's response to Hurricane Harvey and natural disaster preparedness with respect to the transportation system and transportation infrastructure. Make recommendations for improving agency operations related to emergency preparedness and response.
2. Study the ability of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to deliver highway construction projects that reduce congestion and improve mobility, including the Department's options and limitations related to contracting. Make recommendations to improve the Department's ability to complete complex projects on time and under cost.
3. Study the efficacy of existing transportation finance mechanisms from state, regional, and local perspectives. Identify opportunities to improve existing transportation finance mechanisms and investigate the feasibility of developing new ones.
4. Study Texas' various toll authorities and evaluate their transparency and stakeholder responsiveness. Make recommendations to improve the state oversight of toll authorities.
5. Review the management of the oversize/overweight permitting system and ensure that the state is adequately protecting the driving public and road integrity. Make recommendations to improve operations.
6. Study emerging issues in transportation related to technology and evaluate the state's preparedness for addressing challenges and opportunities posed by technological advances. Review the implementation of state and federal programs and legislation related to intelligent transportation systems, autonomous vehicles, unmanned aircraft systems (i.e. drones), and other technological changes.
7. Review the current state of infrastructure at Texas' international shipping ports and border ports of entry in Texas. Identify transportation-related impediments to international trade and estimate the impact of those challenges, including border wait times, on the state's economy. Make recommendations for improvements to facilitate international trade and economic growth. (Joint charge with the House Committee on International Trade & Intergovernmental Affairs)
8. Evaluate the impact energy exploration and production have on state and county roads and make recommendations on how to improve road quality in areas impacted by these activities. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Energy Resources)
9. Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee will also specifically monitor the implementation of the TxDOT Sunset legislation and related management actions.
Committee: House County Affairs
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Bail | Child abuse | Child Protective Services | County jails | County roads | Court costs and fees | Criminal justice | Criminal records | Electronic security | Emergency management | Fees | Indigent health care | Jail Standards, Texas Commission on | Managed care | Medicaid | Mentally ill inmates | Mentally ill persons | Natural disasters | Police officers | Suicide |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 C832
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [112 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Review jail standards and procedures with regards to potentially mentally ill persons in county jails, as well as issues stemming from interactions between the general public and peace officers. *
2. Study the effectiveness and efficiency of current programs in Texas as well as best practices to determine how to decrease the risk and mitigate the impact of wildfires, floods, and other natural hazards in the wildland-urban interface. Examine the duties, performance, and jurisdictions of water districts, municipalities, Emergency Services Districts, other similar districts, and state offices like the Fire Marshal and Extension Services. Evaluate current regulations and identify best practices. Recommend approaches for hazard mitigation and response to natural disasters. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Urban Affairs)
3. Identify and address potential gaps in counties’ cybersecurity policies and ensure that personal information held by counties and other local governmental entities is secure.
4. Evaluate the Texas Commission on Jail Standards to determine if the Commission has the resources and structure to provide sufficient oversight, regulation, and enforcement over Texas county jails.
5. Review pretrial service and bonding practices throughout the state. Examine factors considered in bail and pre-trial confinement decisions, including the use of risk assessments; assess the effectiveness and efficiency of different systems in terms of cost to local governments and taxpayers, community safety, pretrial absconding rates and rights of the accused. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence)
6. Study the implications and effects on law enforcement agencies and individuals that stem from the publication, republication, or other dissemination for public internet access of mug shots and other criminal history information regarding involvement of an individual in the criminal justice system.
7. Study statutorily mandated services provided by sheriffs and constables, and determine whether fee schedules allow cost recovery without placing undue burdens on recipients of those services.
8. Study the effect of Proposition 5 (SJR 17 (84R)) on the quality of private roadways in counties with a population of less than 7,500. Make recommendations to ensure the amendment does not result in undue competition between counties and private industry, and whether additional counties could benefit from a similar authorization.
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.
Committee: House Culture, Recreation, and Tourism
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Commission on the Arts, Texas | Heritage tourism | Historical Commission, Texas | Library & Archives Commission, Texas State | Natural disasters | Natural resources conservation | Parks | San Marcos River | State parks | Tourism |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 R245
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [58 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Monitor the repair of state parks from damage caused by natural disasters, including flooding and wildfires. Review the status of securing federal relief funds to offset state costs. Study current programs in Texas, as well as programs in other states, to determine how to mitigate and prepare for potential future hazards in the wildland-urban interface.
2. Study and make recommendations regarding the improvement and expansion of the state parks system, pursuant to the passage of HB 158 (84R). Examine options such as conservation easements that can maintain private ownership and working lands while also preserving open space
3. Study and make recommendations regarding decreasing illegal behavior, improving public safety, protecting private property rights, and protecting environmental quality on the San Marcos River.
4. Explore ways to promote and improve tourism, youth education and economic development through heritage, cultural, recreational, historical, and nature programs and preservation practices. Consider the long-term economic impact of state parks and state and local historic sites, the Texas Heritage Trails Program, the Alamo Mission Complex, and rural community revitalization in promoting recreation and heritage tourism.
5. 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 Homeland Security and Public Safety
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Criminal records | Emergency management | Governor's Division of Emergency Management | Motor vehicle emissions tests | Motor vehicle registration | Natural disasters | Public information | Public Safety, Texas Department of | Semi-trailer trucks | Truck drivers | Truck inspection stations | Trucking | Vehicle safety inspections |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 P96H
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [108 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Review the functions of the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the state's natural disaster preparedness planning efforts to determine their effectiveness at addressing a growing range of threats. Identify best practices to ensure coordination between municipalities, counties, and state agencies.
2. Review the current penalties for operating a commercial motor vehicle that is in violation of state or federal safety standards. Evaluate the role of state and local law enforcement agencies in enforcing commercial motor vehicle standards, and make recommendations to ensure the safety of the traveling public.
3. Monitor the implementation of the "two steps, one sticker" program as it relates to passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, light duty trailers, and other vehicles. Recommend measures to ensure an efficient transition to this system and improve the ease of use for consumers.
4. Review the process of dissemination by public entities of criminal records containing incomplete or inaccurate information, assess options for the subjects of such records to correct the misinformation specifically as it interferes with their ability to obtain employment, and determine the need for greater regulations over this process. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Government Transparency & Operation)
5. 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, including legislation that expanded the ability to carry handguns openly and on the campuses of institutions of higher education and legislation that allows for the compassionate use of certain medically prescribed oils for intractable disorders. 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 Land and Resource Management
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Coastal erosion | Coastal protection | Coastal restoration | Emergency management | Eminent domain | Extraterritorial jurisdiction | General Land Office | Gulf Coast | Municipal annexation | Natural disasters | School Land Board | Zoning |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 L229
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [103 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study state preparedness and response to natural disasters including but not limited to: an evaluation of risks to the state, emergency planning efforts, first response efforts, coordination between the General Land Office, the State Emergency Operation Center, and other state, local, and federal resources. Make appropriate recommendations to ensure Texas has the proper programs, resources, and personnel in place to respond to natural disasters.
2. Examine the rate of erosion along Texas's coast and the effects of coastal erosion on public beaches, natural resources, coastal development, public infrastructure, and public and private property. Analyze current programs related to coastal erosion and examine their effectiveness. Make appropriate recommendations.
3. Study the effectiveness of the implementation of SB 695 (84R) and examine the feasibility and desirability of creating and maintaining a coastal barrier system.
4. Examine current regulatory authority available to municipalities in their extraterritorial jurisdiction. Study current annexation policies in Texas. Make necessary legislative recommendations to ensure a proper balance between development, municipal regulations, and the needs of citizens in Texas.
5. 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, and 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; and d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs.
Committee: House State Affairs
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Banks and banking | Economy | Electric meters | Electric utility rates and charges | Electronic security | Emergency management | Fetal rights | Medical ethics | Natural disasters | Organ and tissue donations | Organized labor | Public Utility Commission of Texas | State employees | State government contracts | State purchasing | Telephone service | Undocumented immigrants | Universal Service Fund | Utility service | Water and sewer utilities |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 St29h
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [78 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study if the state's infrastructure is adequately prepared for disasters, whether man-made or natural. Include preparedness assessments of the maintenance and recovery of vital infrastructure such as transportation and utility systems.
2. Examine procedures regarding contract monitoring, compliance, performance evaluation and notification requirements for state contracting procedures. Include recommendations to determine a "best value" for the state and prevent conflicts of interests. Evaluate guidelines regarding the state's participation in contracts funded by grants and suggest methods to ensure the best use of taxpayer funds.
3. Determine if the state has sufficient authority and the tools to ensure continued operation of the state's government and economy under existing budgetary and statutory authority. Make contingency recommendations to prevent collapse in the event of an economic disaster.
4. Study the policies used by research and medical entities to adhere to the highest ethical standards for acquiring human fetal tissue for medical and scientific purposes. Specifically, review compliance to ensure informed consent and that all state and federal laws sufficiently respect the dignity of the human body. Study criteria for which persons have standing when giving consent for the use of fetal remains and to investigate potential violations of state laws regulating organ/tissue donation. Determine whether additional disclosure and reporting requirements are necessary to ensure moral and ethical research practices. Review practices and statutes in other states regarding fetal tissue harvesting.
5. Study support mechanisms for the Small and Rural Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier - Universal Service Fund. Consider alternative funding mechanisms as well as necessary statutory changes to ensure reasonable cost of basic local phone service in high cost, rural areas without expanding the size of the Texas Universal Service Fund.
6. Evaluate the administrative process used to determine utility rates. Consider if sufficient opportunities exist to ensure customer representation. Also determine if additional legislative guidance is needed to ensure public notification and participation.
7. Examine how the Public Utility Commission of Texas, when applicable, and utility providers, whether vertically integrated, privately owned, or municipally owned, can ensure consumer protection regarding metering devices for water, gas, and electricity service. Review recent examples of inaccurate or confusing billings and offer recommendations on appropriate consumer recourse and appeal. In addition, assess utility procedures regarding meter installation.
8. Examine state and local laws applicable to undocumented immigrants throughout the State of Texas and analyze the effects of those laws in conjunction with federal immigration laws and the policies and practices followed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
9. Examine payroll deductions from state or political subdivision employees for the purpose of labor organization membership dues or fees as well as charitable organization and nonprofit contributions. Determine if this process is an appropriate use of public funds.
10. Monitor the impact of major State Affairs legislation passed by the 84th Legislature, including updates regarding recent contracting reforms. 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 Urban Affairs
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Affordable housing | Electronic security | Emergency management | Fair housing | Housing | Housing and Community Affairs, Texas Department of | Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of | Low Income Housing Tax Credit program | Municipalities | Municipally-owned utilities | Natural disasters | Personal care homes |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 UR1
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [121 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the effectiveness and efficiency of current programs in Texas as well as best practices to determine how to decrease the risk and mitigate the impact of wildfires, floods, and other natural hazards in the wildland-urban interface. Examine the duties, performance, and jurisdictions of water districts, municipalities, Emergency Services Districts, other similar districts, and state offices like the Fire Marshal and Extension Services. Evaluate current regulations and identify best practices. Recommend approaches for hazard mitigation and response to natural disasters. (Joint charge with the House Committee on County Affairs)
2. Identify and address potential gaps in cities’ cybersecurity policy and ensure that personal information held by cities and other municipal entities is secure.
3. Examine whether changes are needed to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs’s (TDHCA) low-income tax credit program to ensure compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs et al. v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., et al. on fair housing in Texas.
4. Review existing housing programs and policies in Texas to determine how to best comply with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rules.
5. Monitor and evaluate the availability of low-income housing in the State of Texas. Identify best practices to ensure that the agencies and local providers receiving state or federal funds for low-income housing are maximizing the number of units of housing available to Texans who need this program.
6. Investigate the operation and regulation, including a review of standards, monitoring, and enforcement, of boarding homes in municipalities and unincorporated areas of counties. Identify communities that have adopted local standards, and review procedures for investigating and closing unlicensed facilities that are providing services which require state licensure. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Human Services)
7. Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies, including the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, 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: Senate Business and Commerce
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Report to the 82nd Legislature
Subjects: Alternative energy | Career preparedness | Electric Reliability Council of Texas | Electric utilities | Electric utility rates and charges | Electricity transmission and distribution | Energy conservation | Homeowners insurance | Job training programs | Liens | Mortgages | Municipally-owned utilities | Natural disasters | Texas Windstorm Insurance Association | Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund | Unemployment insurance | Wind power | Workforce |
Library Call Number: L1836.81 B963
Session: 81st R.S. (2009)
Online version: View report [84 pages  File size: 2,897 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the implementation of H.B. 4409 enacted by the 81st Legislature pertaining to the financing of insured losses in excess of premium and other revenue of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). Assess the coverage and affordability of TWIA policies. Review the claims and payments processes and make recommendations to improve the stability of TWIA while enhancing services to clients.
2. Study options for reducing demand for electricity, including innovative pricing options relating to the use of smart meters, programmable thermostats, and other demand side management and behavioral response strategies. Review current consumer education programs to reduce demand, decrease energy prices, and improve air quality. Consider benefits and costs of alternative energy sources such as geothermal and solar, and current incentives for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The study should include recommendations on improving consumer knowledge and usage of these strategies in lowering overall electric usage, promoting energy efficiency, and improving the reliability of the ERCOT grid.
3. Study and make recommendations relating to the development and implementation of wind energy. Assess the total impact of wind energy, including additional costs to consumers, if any, buy-back provisions and pricing, the need for alternative energy sources at times when wind does not generate electricity, impact on the ERCOT grid, development of battery storage and other storage methods, and economic development impacts.
4. Study the generation costs of municipally owned electric utilities' planned generation portfolios. Consider the impact of planned generation costs on electric rates for residential and commercial customers. Solicit input on the impact of future electric rates on charitable and non-profit organizations, and the impact on such organizations' cash assistance programs to indigent customers. Consider the merits of a justifiable planned generation cost standard, and whether a deviation above the standard should be subject to approval by a vote of all customers of a municipally owned utility's service area.
5. Study and make recommendations relating to the Texas Unemployment Compensation Insurance system, including, but not limited to, the following:
  • The capacity and efficiency of the claims filing and benefits delivery system as well as the ability of the agency to meet the needs of the clients it serves given the transition to call centers and web based filing;
  • The current financing scheme for the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund, and any options to improve the long term financial health and stability of the Fund;
  • The use of debit cards for delivery of UI benefits, including ways to limit user fees to access payments; and
  • Improving public access to local and statewide data on current and historical UI claims.
6. Study and make recommendations regarding career-focused education and workforce training programs in Texas to insure that such programs meet business and worker needs. Specifically, study whether such programs: meet the current and future workforce needs of health care, skilled trades, construction, manufacturing, aerospace, information technology and green jobs; help retain workers in such trades and fields; retrain and update the skills and education of workers in such trades and fields; and foster and encourage collaboration between the State, education, labor and business to provide education and training.
7. Study the effectiveness of Chapter 557 of the Insurance Code, relating to insured property subject to a security interest, in setting forth the obligations of a lender and a residential real property insured resulting from an insurer's payment of a claim for damage to the residential real property caused by a natural disaster. Consider the legislation's requirements for release of the insurance proceeds, lienholder's approval of payment of the insurance proceeds, accrual and payment of interest on such proceeds and penalties provided by the statute. Make recommendations for any needed refinements of the legislation.
8. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Business & Commerce, 81st Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation.
Committee: Senate Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee on Flooding and Evacuations
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: The Senate Subcommittee on Flooding and Evacuations interim report : report to the 82nd Legislature.
Subjects: 911 emergency telephone service | Emergency disaster shelters | Emergency management | Evacuations | Flood plains | Flooding | Natural disasters |
Library Call Number: L1836.81 L786f
Session: 81st R.S. (2009)
Online version: View report [69 pages  File size: 3,803 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the benefit of legislation that would require coastal regions, when making routine improvements to drainage systems and other infrastructure, to take into account probability of future flooding and any upgrades necessary to prevent future flooding.
2. Study and make recommendations on methods of emergency notification during a natural disaster. Look into alternative systems and new technologies for rerouting 911 ­type calls to become more efficient and effective. Study and make recommendations to streamline the process of informing citizens impacted by an emergency or disaster prior to the event about re-entry and aid.
3. Study and make recommendations relating to cost effective options to either retrofit or require new building structures to be built as shelters for use during future evacuations.
4. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Subcommittee on Flooding & Evacuations, 81 st Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation.
Committee: Senate Business and Commerce
Title: Interim Report - Homeowners Insurance and Reinsurance following a natural disaster
Library Catalog Title: Homeowner's insurance and industry reinsurance following a natural disaster in Texas
Subjects: Homeowners insurance | Insurance industry | Natural disasters |
Library Call Number: L1836.80 B963h
Session: 80th R.S. (2007)
Online version: View report [16 pages  File size: 4,749 kb]
Charge: This report should address the charge below.
1. Examine statutory changes needed to maintain affordable and available homeowner’s insurance and industry reinsurance following a natural disaster in Texas. Estimate the potential impact on the Texas insurance market.
Committee: Senate Natural Resources
Title: Interim Report - Analysis of State Natural Disaster Efforts
Library Catalog Title: The Senate Interim Committee on Natural Resources interim report to the 78th Legislature : analysis of state natural disaster efforts.
Subjects: Division of Emergency Management, Texas Department of Public Safety | Flooding | Land use regulations | Liability | Natural disasters | Population growth | Property rights | Tropical storms |
Library Call Number: L1836.77 n219d
Session: 77th R.S. (2001)
Online version: View report [114 pages  File size: 1,394 kb]
Charge: This report should address the charge below.
1. Study and evaluate the state's ability to respond to natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tropical storms, coastal flooding and flooding along the state's river basins; assess the extent to which population growth and land use along the coast and the river basins has increased the state's vulnerability to such hazards. The Committee shall make recommendations on the state's flood mitigation program and state coordination with the federal government and political subdivisions of the state.
Committee: Senate Texas Disaster Act, Interim
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Report of the Senate Interim Committee to Study the Texas Disaster Act.
Subjects: Emergency management | Natural disasters |
Library Call Number: L1836.67 d63s
Session: 67th R.S. (1981)
Online version: View report [24 pages  File size: 1,079 kb]
Charge: This report should address the charge below.
1. Study disaster response and the possible need for amendments to the Texas Disaster Act. Review the performance of the Division of Emergency Management and the State Emergency Management Council. *
Supporting documents
Committee: Senate Texas Disaster Act, Interim
Title: SR 810
Library Call Number: SR 810
Session: 67th R.S. (1981)
Online version: View document [3 pages  File size: 610 kb]
Committee: House Environmental Affairs
Title: Interim Report - IXTOC I Oil Spill
Library Catalog Title: Report on the Ixtoc I oil spill / Committee on Environmental Affairs, Texas House of Representatives.
Subjects: Disaster areas | Disaster relief | Environmental cleanup | Natural disasters | Oil spills |
Library Call Number: L1836.66 ix1
Session: 66th R.S. (1979)
Online version: View report [163 pages  File size: 6,107 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Monitor the immediate and long-term effects on the coastal environment of the blowout of the Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) oil well known as IXTOC 1. *
2. Monitor the effects, immediate and long-term of the blowout, on the coastal environment.
3. Evaluate the effectiveness of the cleanup effort and the Oil Spill Contingency Plan.
4. Review federal, state, and local policies regarding assistance for natural and manmade disasters.
5. Determine if changes in state law are needed to address issues which include, but are not limited to, financial disaster aid.
Committee: House Intergovernmental Affairs
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: To the speaker and members of the Texas House of Representatives, 67th Legislature : report of the / Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs, Texas House of Representatives, 67th [i.e. 66th] Legislature.
Subjects: County budgets | County government | County sheriffs | Disaster relief | District attorneys | District courts | Emergency management | Extraterritorial jurisdiction | Hospital districts | Indigent health care | Judicial interpretation of legislation | Liability | Municipal utility districts | Municipalities | Natural disasters | Security guards | Sovereign immunity | State Property Tax Board | Tax Assessor Examiners, Board of | Water districts |
Library Call Number: L1836.66 in8
Session: 66th R.S. (1979)
Online version: View report [78 pages  File size: 2,110 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Oversight functions shall be conducted for all appropriations-related actions of those agencies assigned to this committee for appropriative purposes during the 66th Regular Session of the Legislature. The agencies include: Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations Texas Assessor Examiners State Property Tax Board (School Tax Assessment Practices Board)
2. Review the legal status and effects of validation acts.
3. Review the status of hospital districts in Texas created by general and special law, including processes of petition, election, funding and administration.
4. Review the particular problems encountered by hospital districts which are required to treat large numbers of indigent patients or districts which support medical schools or teaching hospitals. Make recommendations regarding funding for indigent health care and residency programs. *
5. Review county bidding, contracting and purchasing procedures.
6. Determine the costs to counties caused by the district judicial and administrative system of Texas.
7. Study risk management of elected and appointed officials of local government.
8. Study the legal relationships between utility districts and cities' extraterritorial jurisdiction when the two units overlap.
9. Determine the status of reserve deputy sheriffs in Texas with particular attention to the question of employment and compensation for work involving private security.
10. Evaluate the adequacy of the Texas Disaster Act of 1975 to determine if more state effort is needed to assist local governments in disaster relief, cleanup operations, and evacuation planning and machinery.
Committee: Senate Natural Resources
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Interim report to the 67th Legislature / Senate Natural Resources Committee.
Subjects: Agriculture | Alternative energy | Automobiles | Electric utility rates and charges | Energy conservation | Energy policy | Fuel conservation | Hazardous waste | Natural disasters | Natural gas utility rates and charges | Ports | Radioactive waste | Ships and shipping | Solid waste disposal | Wind power |
Library Call Number: L1836.66 n219s
Session: 66th R.S. (1979)
Online version: View report [262 pages  File size: 9,858 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study hazardous waste and toxic waste disposal in Texas; access the risk that existing toxic waste sites pose; review current waste disposal and waste management laws, and make recommendations. *
2. Study all aspects of the regulation of the disposal of uranium mill tailings; the problem of the disposal of low-level radioactive waste and problems concerning the disposal of toxic industrial waste.
3. Study the hazards affecting the Texas coastal areas and the Gulf of Mexico, including hazards such as hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes, subsidence, erosion and ground faults. *
4. Investigate ways to reduce the risk of maritime accidents, and better manage shipping in or near Texas ports. *
5. Investigate ways in which the state can encourage energy conservation and energy efficient construction practices. *
6. Study the obstacles to developing solar energy and wind energy resources, and suggest possible legal or regulatory changes which would promote the use of solar and wind energy sources.
7. Review the methods used for rate design, and the impact of rate structure on energy production and energy use.
8. Suggest ways that the state could reduce use of gasoline and other fuel for transportation. *
9. Investigate future demands of agriculture, and suggest legislative alternatives to encourage the growth of agricultural production. *
10. Analyze Texas laws' impact on small-scale hydroelectric development and recommend possible legislative action. *
Supporting documents
Committee: Senate Natural Resources
Title: Bills Referred to Committee
Library Catalog Title: Minutes
Library Call Number: L1803.9 N219 66
Session: 66th R.S. (1979)
Online version: View document [25 pages]
Committee: House State Affairs
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Interim Report to the 67th Texas Legislature / the Committee on State Affairs.
Subjects: Natural disasters | State employee salaries | State employee turnover | State employees |
Library Call Number: L1836.66 st29
Session: 66th R.S. (1979)
Online version: View report [66 pages  File size: 2,867 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Review state personnel policies to determine their impact on turnover rates, benefits, absenteeism, and other related issues, and to compare the policies with those in the private sector.
2. Identify state policies and programs dealing with natural disasters in Texas and determine if these policies and programs have any influence on the quality of available public services.
Committee: House Urban Issues, Select
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: To the speaker and members of the Texas House of Representatives, 66th Legislature : report / of the Select Committee on Urban Issues, the Texas House of Representatives, 66th Legislature.
Subjects: Counties | Disaster relief | Education | Emergency management | Flooding | Higher education | Land use regulations | Municipal annexation | Municipalities | Natural disasters | Natural resources conservation | Outdoor recreation | Property taxes | Solid waste disposal | Urban sprawl | Water conservation | Water planning |
Library Call Number: L1836.66 ur1
Session: 66th R.S. (1979)
Online version: View report [275 pages  File size: 9,908 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Determine the governance needs of Texas' urban areas in the 1980s, including ordinance making authority, property taxes, and annexation as related to growth patterns.
2. Identify critical issues and potential long-range solutions regarding natural resources, educational, and governance needs of Texas cities in the 1980s.
3. Review factors, including urban expansion and drainage practices, which may have contributed to the increasing frequency and severity of urban flooding. Suggest state and local flood management activities which would reduce the risk of floods. *
4. Study natural resources issues facing local governments, including urban flooding, disaster assistance, emergency preparedness, hazardous waste disposal, low-level radioactive waste, water conservation, water supplies, air pollution, urban recreation and solid waste disposal. *
5. Review education issues facing local governments, including teacher shortages, vocational education, student attendance and discipline, public school finance, and higher education *
Committee: Joint Texas Coastal and Marine Council
Title: Interim Report - Hurricane resistant building standards and natural hazards
Library Catalog Title: Hurricane resistant building standards and natural hazards.
Subjects: Building codes | Natural disasters | Tropical storms |
Library Call Number: M300.5 h942
Session: 64th R.S. (1975)
Online version: View report [18 pages  File size: 1,328 kb]
Charge: This report should address the charge below.
1. Develop model minimum building standards for high-risk areas along the Texas coast that are particularly susceptible to damage by hurricanes and other natural processes. The principal responsibility for development of such model minimum standards shall rest with the Texas Coastal and Marine Council in cooperation with the Texas Engineering Extension Service, the Division of Disaster Emergency Services and the Bureau of Economic Geology; in performing the duties called for in this Resolution, the responsible agencies shall cooperate and coordinate with local governments, other state agencies, federal agencies, educational institutions, building groups, and any other appropriate persons; agencies and political subdivisions of the state are directed to cooperate with, and upon the request of the council, shall furnish, within the limits of their respective facilities, such data reports, and other information as may be required to fulfill the purposes of this Resolution. The responsible agencies shall consider: (a) the nature and extent of natural processes and forces associated with hurricanes including, but not limited to , wind surge tides, scour, and aftermath flooding; (b) the degree of exposure and susceptibility to destructive forces; (c) the structure and foundation design and construction practices that reduce vulnerability; (d) the levels of acceptable risks associated with protection of lives and mitigation of property damages; (e) the impact on insurance availability and cost; (f) the economic and financial implications; (g) the enforcement aspects; (h) the current activities which may increase the risk to life and property from natural forces and hazards; (i) the esthetic and environmental considerations; and (j) any other matters the responsible agencies deem appropriate.
Supporting documents
Committee: Joint Texas Coastal and Marine Council
Title: Model minimum hurricane resistant building standards for the Texas Gulf Coast
Library Catalog Title: Model minimum hurricane resistant building standards for the Texas Gulf Coast.
Library Call Number: M300.5 m72
Session: 64th R.S. (1975)
Committee: Joint Texas Coastal and Marine Council
Title: Pictoral atlas of Texas coastal hazards
Library Catalog Title: Pictoral atlas of Texas coastal hazards.
Library Call Number: M300.8 p589
Session: 64th R.S. (1975)

* This represents an abstract of the report contents. Charge text is incomplete or unavailable.

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