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7 Document(s) [ Subject: Economy ]

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: 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 Economic and Small Business Development
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Career preparedness | Career schools | e-commerce | Economic development | Economic development incentives | Economy | Energy industry employment | High tech employment | High tech industry | Natural gas industry | Office of Economic Development and Tourism | Oil industry | Rural economic development | Short-term rentals | Small businesses | State budgets | Transportation network companies | Workforce | Workforce Commission, Texas |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 Ec74h
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [31 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the impacts of the declining price of oil and the continuously depressed price of natural gas on the Texas economy and the fiscal implications for the Texas budget. Consider impacts on local communities most dependent on oil and gas activity, including impacts on supporting economies such as retail, manufacturing, housing industries, etc. Recommend strategies for sustained energy development and workforce growth during times of depressed energy prices. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Energy Resources)
2. Evaluate what local governments are doing to attract businesses to their communities and examine ways the state can leverage these practices and provide support. Include ways to improve local economic development programs to ensure a continued return on investment for taxpayers. In addition, study the authority, financial accountability, and types of statutorily allowed expenditures of economic development corporations. Provide analysis of 4A and 4B sales tax programs and determine if they are still meeting their intended purpose effectively.
3. Study opportunities and financial incentives for expansion and growth of small businesses in Texas. Examine if adequate resources and capital exist for small businesses. Include analysis of any regulatory or tax hurdles and provide recommendations to alleviate these burdens. Furthermore, review programs available to provide training and support to develop business management and finance skills. Consider financial incentives that would incentivize expansion of existing small businesses and growth for new small businesses.
4. Oversee implementation of HB 26 (84R). Review best practices for measuring success of economic development incentives. Consider general metrics or principles to aid the Legislature in determining viable and sustainable incentive programs that provide a "Return on Investment" for taxpayers.
5. Evaluate Texas's competitiveness with other states in recruiting and cultivating high-growth, high-tech industries, fostering economic development, and creating new jobs. Examine if current incentives and regulations assist or hinder the state's ability to compete with other states for economic growth and sustainability.
6. Examine if the state has an adequately diversified economic foundation and make recommendations on how to better achieve diversification. Look at ways to achieve balance between rural and urban economic development. Consider methods to improve workforce development initiatives and incentives that will improve re-employment after layoffs and release from incarceration as well as methods to improve employment rates for recent graduates.
7. Evaluate how Texas can support shared economy growth in the state and include implications of such growth on existing, traditional businesses. Develop characteristics by which to classify "shared economy" business and determine how the state can ensure customer security and satisfaction as well as public health without enacting burdensome regulations.
8. Examine partnerships between higher education institutions, public school districts, and workforce that promote postsecondary readiness. Provide coordination recommendations to ensure vocational, career, and technical education programs are more accessible. Determine the most effective ways to invest in these partnerships and programs to direct at-risk students to stable career paths. Examine current rules and laws limiting employers from providing meaningful internships, apprenticeships, and other opportunities. Consider new methods to finance workforce training programs and associated assets in high schools and postsecondary schools, including ways to reduce or eliminate these costs and options to incentivize businesses to invest in training equipment for schools. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Public Education)
9. Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee should: a. consider any reforms to state agencies to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens; b. identify issues regarding the agency or its governance that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate; c. determine whether an agency is operating in a transparent and efficient manner; and d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs. e. monitor the impact of major economic development legislation passed by the 84th Legislature. f. include updates regarding transfer of duties and services from health and human services agencies to the Texas Workforce Commission, including implementation of SB 208 and SB 212. Coordinate with the Legislative Oversight Committee constituted by SB 208, when necessary. g. evaluate the impact of incentive reform legislation, including the elimination of the Emerging Technology Fund and the transition of contracts to the Comptroller's office.
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: Senate Economic Development
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Droughts | Economy | Wildfires |
Library Call Number: L1836.82 Ec74s
Session: 82nd R.S. (2011)
Online version: View report [37 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Assess the economic impact of long-term drought on all sectors of the Texas economy.
2. Include additional analysis of economic consequences of wildland fires.
3. Develop a compendium of federal, state, and local funding and other assistance alternatives for reducing the long-term economic consequences of the drought.
Committee: House County Affairs
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: House Committee on County Affairs, Texas House of Representatives interim report, 2010 : a report to the House of Representatives, 82nd Texas Legislature
Subjects: Agriculture | Bail | Counties | County government | Economy | Indigent health care | Land use regulations | Open government | Rural economic development |
Library Call Number: L1836.81 C832
Session: 81st R.S. (2009)
Online version: View report [99 pages  File size: 2,515 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the current practices and tools available to counties to manage growth and development. Consider incompatible land uses and county rulemaking authority, including rulemaking authority bracketed to counties of a certain population.
2. Study county- level health care delivery models for indigent health care that emphasize community-based care to improve the continuity and quality of care. Compare urban and rural health care delivery models and make necessary legislative recommendations.
3. Study county oversight related to pretrial release on bond in criminal cases.
4. Examine how local governments can better inform the public about local government debts.
5. Survey rural economic development programs. Analyze the economic relationship between rural communities and the agriculture industry and their combined impact on the state's economy. Joint Interim Charge with House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock
6. Monitor the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction.
Committee: Senate Education Subcommittee on Higher Education
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Economic forecasts | Economy | Flagship universities | Health insurance | Higher education | Higher education accountability | Nuclear power plants | Student aid | University campuses | University graduation rates | University research | Workforce |
Library Call Number: L1836.80 Ed83h
Session: 80th R.S. (2007)
Online version: View report [112 pages  File size: 8,273 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Examine different methodologies for assessing the quality of degree and certificate programs at higher education institutions and for measuring student learning outcomes. Review current institutional performance standards and make recommendations that promote academic and financial accountability. Review the method for measuring graduation rates to determine whether alternative measures are more appropriately suited for institutions with a large percentage of non-traditional students.
2. Identify potential future economic trends and workforce needs, including those created by additional nuclear generation facilities, and identify strategies to help meet these needs.
3. Examine ways to assess and improve academic advising to help students succeed in higher education and complete their course of study and graduate in the minimum time required.
4. Study the need for new higher education institutions and make recommendations for developing a long-term strategy for creating and supporting new institutions, especially additional flagship public research universities. Explore methods for determining where such universities should be located and ensuring that such universities admit a qualified and diverse student body. Consider the state's allocation of and need for resources for medical education, including graduate medical education, geographic distribution of those resources, and the value of associating a medical school with a top-tier academic campus.
5. Study research funding and assess the research infrastructure and capabilities at higher education institutions. Make recommendations for streamlining the various sources of funding (Texas Competitive Knowledge Fund, the Research Development Fund, and the Advanced Research Program) and for developing a statewide strategy for increasing research at higher education institutions, including ways to improve research commercialization.
6. Evaluate the cost and feasibility of a range of options for providing health care insurance for students attending institutions of higher education.
7. Review the status, effects, and success or failure of higher education authorities operating under Chapters 53, 53A, and 53B, Education Code, and nonprofit corporations carrying out the functions of higher education authorities under those chapters. Make recommendations regarding any necessary changes in the statutes and administration of same. (Joint charge with Senate Finance Committee)
8. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Subcommittee on Higher Education, 80th Legislature, Regular Session, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor any pending federal legislation that would impact student financial aid.

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