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2 Document(s) [ Subject: ]

Committee: Senate Intergovernmental Relations
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Affordable housing | Ballots | Bond elections | Emergency management | Extraterritorial jurisdiction | Housing and Community Affairs, Texas Department of | Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of | Initiative and referendum | Local government debt | Municipal annexation | Municipal government | Municipalities | Public improvement districts | Public notices | Racial discrimination | Supreme Court decisions, U.S. |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 L786
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [31 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Annexation: Identify areas of concern in regards to statutory extraterritorial jurisdiction expansion and the processes used by municipalities for annexation, specifically reviewing whether existing statute strikes the appropriate balance between safeguarding private property rights and encouraging orderly growth and economic development. Make recommendations for legislative action, if necessary.
2. Local Ordinance Integrity: Examine the processes used by home rule municipalities to adopt ordinances, rules, and regulations, including those initiated by petition and voter referendum. Determine if additional statutory safeguards are necessary to ensure that ballot language accurately describes proposed initiatives. Identify ways to improve transparency and make recommendations, if needed, to ensure that local propositions and the means by which they are put forth to voters, conform with existing state law.
3. Disaster Preparedness Planning and Coordination: Review natural disaster preparedness planning and coordination in the wake of a growing range of threats. Evaluate whether existing processes maximize regional cooperation to rebuild housing and infrastructure, and allow for the timely dissemination of funds to units of local governments for reconstruction following a federal declaration. Develop recommendations, if necessary, to improve the efficiency of disaster recovery efforts, incorporating best practices identified from other states, as well as lessons-learned from past reconstruction efforts in Texas.
4. Municipal Management Districts: Study the means by which the Texas Legislature reviews the creation of municipal management districts (MMDs) by special law to determine if different processes should be used to evaluate new MMDs created within populated or developed areas from those created over undeveloped areas. Identify ways to better assess how the services and improvements of a proposed Page 5 of 5 MMD within populated or developed areas will supplement and enhance those provided by other local governments, as well as if the territory of the proposed MMD encompasses or overlaps area that is already within other assessment or taxing entities. Make recommendations, if necessary, to improve the notice provided to individuals and businesses within populated or developed areas proposed for inclusion in an MMD.
5. Supreme Court ICP Ruling: Review existing statute and rules that govern the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs in light of the recent Supreme Court decision in Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. vs. TDHCA, et al. and recommend if any modifications are necessary to conform to the decision.
6. Debt Transparency in the Voting Booth: Examine ways to improve government accountability in elections regarding the issuance of public debt. Include a review of the information that is currently provided to individuals in the voting booth and provide statutory recommendations, if necessary, to improve transparency.
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.

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