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2 Document(s) [ Subject: ]

Committee: Senate Finance
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Interim charge recommendations to the 82nd Legislature
Subjects: Affordable housing | Aging and Disability Services, Texas Department of | Border security | Business taxes | Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas | Disaster relief | Economic stabilization | Federal aid | Highway finance | Hospitals | Mineral rights | Nursing education | Prepaid tuition plans | Property tax exemptions | Property taxes | Rural health care | State budgets | Tax and expenditure limits | Tax appraisals | Tax incentives | Tax revenue | Tobacco taxes | Traffic | Transportation, Texas Department of | Tropical storms | University finance | University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston |
Library Call Number: L1836.81 F49
Session: 81st R.S. (2009)
Online version: View report [158 pages  File size: 7,366 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Review and make recommendations regarding existing and future public debt at all levels of government in Texas, including independent school districts, cities, other local governments and the Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan.
2. Study the impact of recent hurricanes for which a federal disaster declaration was issued on local economies. Examine the basis for the distribution of federal dollars for hurricane cleanup across the state. Review past methods of distribution, including those involving the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and the Office of Rural Community Affairs. Develop policy and statutory recommendations to ensure that the system of distribution is effective to address needs of the various regions of the state in the event of future disasters. Provide effective budget oversight of state agencies that received appropriations as a result of hurricane damage. Examine the rebuilding of University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the collection and proper deposit of federal reimbursements.
3. Review the effect that Texas Business Tax credits, such as a research and development credit, have on economic development in Texas. Determine whether the costs of various tax credits would be adequately offset by the net increase in state sales tax and other revenues and jobs produced by each credit. Focus on businesses relocating to or from the State of Texas, the impact on the tax base, employment, and the overall economic condition of the state.
4. Identify and evaluate potential improvements to the property tax system. Consider and make recommendations relating to the following:
  • Methods to increase public participation in the tax rate-setting process and ensure fairness in appraisal protests and appeals;
  • Requirement that property appraisal values may not increase by more than inflation and/or population growth, or another amount to be determined by local taxing authorities, with a maximum cap of 10 percent;
  • Exemptions provided to community housing development organizations to determine if changes are needed to ensure that the public benefits outweigh the revenue loss;
  • Methods and procedures for determining a real property interest in oil or gas in place, as contained in Texas Tax Code Sec. 23.175, including how market-based data and market-based methodology could possibly be used to ensure fair, reliable, and equitable price forecasts of oil and gas interests. Analyze the need for the creation of an Oil and Gas Valuation Advisory Committee to assist in forecasting current calendar year statewide average prices for oil and gas; and
  • the constitutional constraints and fiscal implications of exempting real property, leased to a school, as defined by Section 11.21 of the Tax Code, from ad valorem taxation.
5. Examine the Texas Tomorrow Fund and its impact on institutions of higher education. Assess current and future costs, the ability of institutions to absorb the costs, and make recommendations for ensuring a sound fiscal approach to managing the fund for the future.
6. Study the impact of changing the constitutional and statutory spending limit based on the sum of the rate of population growth and the rate of inflation. Examine what past biennial spending limits would have been, and what the next biennium's limit might be, under a new definition. Consider the impact of exempting growth from federally mandated programs.
7. Study and make recommendations regarding formula funding and its impact on the cost of attendance and methods of financing higher education institutions, including funding differences for pharmacy and nursing programs; research funding; performance funding; and funding for institutions that face capacity student enrollment. Specifically address the following:
  • Methods of financing capital projects at higher education institutions, including the levels of deferred maintenance, the impact of deferred maintenance on the ability to offer basic instructional services, and the methods used to finance deferred maintenance projects. Recommend alternatives for providing a structured and recurring funding mechanism more suited to the state's fiscal capacity and institutional needs
  • Supplemental funding for structured programs that are essential for student success and for meeting the goals of Closing the Gaps, including those that provide concentrated student academic and personal support services for universities that enroll a high proportion of non-traditional or at-risk students. Study and make recommendations regarding the quality and effectiveness of academic advising, focusing on resources, staff development, and impact on timeĀ­ to-degree.
8. Review the capacity of rural hospitals, rural hospital infrastructure, and the statewide impact of services provided by rural hospitals. Make recommendations for funding options to help communities that do not have adequate resources to replace aging infrastructure and consider the creation ofa rural hospital infrastructure support program similar to the courthouse preservations fund.
9. Examine transportation funding concepts contained in legislation considered during the 81 st Legislature, Regular and Special Sessions. Analyze options and make recommendations relating to historical funding strategies, including prioritization of existing revenues, as well as alternative state and local transportation funding concepts. (Joint charge with Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee)
  • Ensure that the pass-through program reimbursements to contractors and local public entities are based on actual project costs and not cost estimates.
  • Prioritize necessary road construction projects and target financing to those segments that affect the largest number of Texans through congestion mitigation.
  • Ensure that Texas receives the best value for its investment. (Subcharges added pursuant to Dewhurst letter dated 4/8/2010.)
10. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Finance, 81 st Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following:
  • The Legislative Budget Board effectiveness and efficiency review of Chapter 313, Tax Code. Consider whether tax provisions provide a net benefit to the state.
  • Monitor ongoing faculty recruitment and retention for Texas nursing schools, and assess the impact ofincreased state funds to nursing schools to increase faculty salaries and add new teaching schools.
  • Monitor the use of Byrne Grant Border security funds, including whether additional funds need to be spent on communications interoperability.
  • Monitor the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) implementation of SB 643, emergency legislation relating to Texas' state supported living centers (SSLCs), implementation of Special Provisions relating to All Health and Human Services Agencies, Section 48, Contingency Appropriation for the Reshaping of the System for Providing Services to Individuals with Developmental Disabilities, and implementation of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Settlement Agreement terms.
  • Provide effective budget oversight of Texas Department of Transportation's implementation of Riders 55 and 56, appropriations from State Highway Fund No. 006 and Proposition 12 General Obligation Bonds for reducing congested road segments.
  • Monitor the revenue receipts associated with the weight-based tobacco tax.
  • Monitor the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas grant making process to ensure that funds are spent efficiently and effectively.
  • Monitor the expenditure of federal American Resource and Recovery Act funds. Review the extent to which federal stimulus funds affected each agency's ability to meet or surpass its Performance Measure Targets. Consider the effect that delays in federal approvals have had on funding for public education and weatherization programs.
Committee: Senate Finance
Title: Interim Report - Major state investments
Library Catalog Title: Report to 77th Legislature / Senate Finance Committee, Interim Subcommittee on Major State Investments.
Subjects: Employees Retirement System of Texas | Higher Education Assistance Fund | Permanent School Fund, Texas | Permanent University Fund | Prepaid tuition plans | Stock investments | Teacher Retirement System of Texas | TexPool | Tobacco settlement receipts |
Library Call Number: L1836.76 f49ms
Session: 76th R.S. (1999)
Online version: View report [36 pages  File size: 1,863 kb]
Charge: This report should address the charge below.
1. Examine the policies and practices used to invest major state funds including cash balances, and evaluate state investment goals and the funds' performance in reaching those goals. This examination shall include, but is not limited to, review of legal authority, ethical standards, and investment policies and safeguards, management structure, portfolio composition and identification of short-term and long-term goals. The Committee shall make recommendations identifying opportunities for improvements or innovations.

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