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3 Document(s) [ Subject: Texas Lottery ]

Committee: Joint Review the Texas Lottery and Texas Lottery Commission
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Bingo | Charities | Gambling | Lottery Commission, Texas | Texas Lottery |
Library Call Number: L1836.83 L917
Session: 83rd R.S. (2013)
Online version: View report [27 pages]
Charge: This report should address the charge below.
1. Study charitable bingo and the distribution of charitable bingo revenue; study the elimination of the state lottery.
Committee: Senate Finance
Title: Interim Report - General Government
Library Catalog Title: Interim report
Subjects: Existing Debt Allotment | Fiscal management | Health care costs | Hospital districts | Hospitals | Instructional Facilities Allotment Program | Privatization | School buildings | School districts | School finance | State land | Texas Lottery |
Library Call Number: L1836.80 F49g
Session: 80th R.S. (2007)
Online version: View report [51 pages  File size: 8,320 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the effectiveness of cash management strategies of the state. Review the quarterly amount of cash on hand and its use and potential to generate excess returns. Include an assessment of cash flow problems that exist in school districts and request that the Comptroller of Public Accounts report on the additional short-term borrowing needed and the potential impact on bond ratings if legislation is not passed which allows for the "smoothing" of state payments to school districts.
2. Explore the policy implications of allowing school districts, or other public agencies, to participate in a permissive pooled collateral program which provides for the centralization of collateral in a pool which will be tracked and verified to meet state requirements.
3. Compile a list of significant state assets and infrastructure, including but not limited to the state lottery and state real property, and determine if each asset is being used to the highest and best use possible in the interest of taxpayers of Texas. Where appropriate, provide analysis of alternative uses of underperforming assets, potential cost savings or revenue gains and the legislative actions that would be needed to make the changes that are in the best interest of taxpayers.
4. Study the funding of county public hospitals and the role neighboring counties without a county hospital should play.
5. Review and evaluate appropriate state regulation of a private operator of the state lottery should the state receive bids for a lease of the lottery that merit strong consideration. Provide recommendations for ensuring the security and integrity of the lottery and for adequate consumer protections. (Joint charge with Senate State Affairs Committee)
6. Review and make recommendations that address the state's facility infrastructure needs for public schools, ensuring that funding remains stable, reliable and equitable. Examine the need for funding adjustments for factors that affect the need for facilities, such as fast growth, age and condition of facilities, adequacy of space, construction and land costs, and concentration of students requiring smaller class sizes. Assess the impact on property taxpayers of “rolling forward” the Existing Debt Allotment (EDA) each session and the change in biennial appropriations for the Instructional Facilities Allotment (IFA). (Joint Charge with Senate Education Committee)
Committee: Senate State Affairs
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Eight-liners | Election fraud | Employees Retirement System of Texas | Entergy Corporation | Gambling | Health care costs | Health insurance | Health maintenance organizations | Insurance industry | Investment of public funds | Legislative intent | Medical research | Medically uninsured | Mental health services | Mentally ill inmates | Mentally ill persons | Privatization | Public retirement systems | Statutory revision | Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation | Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool | Texas Lottery | Tort reform | Voter identification | Voting systems | Workers' compensation |
Library Call Number: L1836.80 St29a
Session: 80th R.S. (2007)
Online version: View report [308 pages  File size: 43,740 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the factors that impact the transparency and efficiency of the health insurance market. Make recommendation to result in the use of best practices, lower health care costs, and better health outcomes, including the following:
  • Study factors contributing to the increasing cost of health care;
  • Study insurer and health maintenance organization (HMO) use of tiers, ratings, or classifications to differentiate among credentialed physicians already admitted to the insurer or HMO panel of preferred providers or network;
  • Examine methods to remediate incorrect tiering, ratings, or classifications;
  • Examine how physicians are notified of the standards against which they will be compared and whether they are notified of the standards prior to the evaluation period;
  • Improve transparency with respect to the marketing of prescription drugs; and
  • Study the use of certain nonprofit health corporations - approved under Chapter 162, Occupations Code, in Texas. Examine whether such entities operate on a statewide scale or on a limited scale, whether such entities adhere to the formalities required of corporations, whether the operation of such entities are influenced by owners or members who are not licensed to practice medicine, and whether such entities have ever been decertified or investigated for failure to maintain compliance with Texas law or regulations.
2. Study and make recommendations for reducing the number of uninsured Texans, focusing on the following:
  • Options to increase access to private health insurance, including 3 Share programs, employer sponsored plans and portable, individual insurance;
  • Incentives for encouraging counties and local governments to participate in private health insurance cost sharing for their respective residents;
  • Options to reduce health care premiums, including creation of special plans with increased deductibles and catastrophic coverage;
  • Implementation and possible expansion of health services districts;
  • Other state programs for increasing market-based coverage of the uninsured, including costs and effectiveness;
  • Options that will increase consumer choice and personal responsibility; and
  • Analysis of state and federal regulations that contribute to higher premium costs.
3. Study and make recommendations relating to the Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool, including the current eligibility for coverage requirements, the economic profiles of participants and former participants, the affordability of the insurance products’ premiums and deductibles, and the public's awareness of the Pool.
4. Study the issue of security and accuracy in Texas elections. The study should include the benefits and risks of electronic voting technology, including the necessity of maintaining a paper record of each electronic vote. The study should also include an analysis of fraud in Texas elections, including prosecution rates for voter fraud, the processes for purging ineligible voters from voter lists, and the integrity of the mail-in and provisional ballot systems. Study the effectiveness of electronic voting technology and voter ID laws in other states. Monitor the implementation of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, including the implementation of the Texas Election Administration Management system. Recommend statutory and regulatory changes designed to ensure that only eligible voters are allowed to vote in Texas elections and that each vote is accurately counted.
5. Review and make recommendations for requiring insurance coverage of routine medical care for patients with a life-threatening disease or condition who have elected to participate in a clinical trial.
6. Study the economic impact of recent civil justice reform legislation in Texas.
7. Study whether Texas should adopt the Restatement 2nd of Torts Sec. 674 (Wrongful use of Civil Proceedings) and whether a person should be allowed to recover court and attorneys fees when he has been forced to defend a lawsuit filed without probable cause or for intimidation purposes.
8. Monitor the Texas workers' compensation system, and the continued implementation of the reforms of HB 7, 79th Legislature, Regular Session, by the Texas Department of Insurance and other state agencies. Specifically evaluate the recent decision by the Texas Supreme Court in Entergy v. Summers in terms of its impact and the impact of previous legislation on the workers' compensation system.
9. Study and make recommendations to reduce illegal gambling in Texas, including, but not limited to, the illegal use of Eight-Liners.
10. Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of phasing in a defined-contribution pension for future employees versus the existing defined-benefit pension plan. Study options for transition or implementation issues and how the phase-in could be structured. Evaluate the possibility of requiring the state employee contribution rate to meet the annually required contribution for the statewide retirement funds each biennium in order to prevent unfunded liabilities.
11. Study the relationship between the public mental health system and the criminal justice and civil courts systems, including the identification and sharing of information regarding mentally ill offenders, including minors, among criminal justice and mental health agencies, the courts, state hospitals, and the Veterans Administration. Study how current confidentiality laws impact the exchange of information among groups described above. Study the sentencing of mentally ill offenders compared to non-mentally ill offenders, including minors, and the affect that has on statewide prison capacity and on the quality of health care provided to mentally ill offenders. (Joint charge with Senate Criminal Justice Committee)
12. Review and evaluate appropriate state regulation of a private operator of the state lottery should the state receive bids for a lease of the lottery that merit strong consideration. Provide recommendations for ensuring the security and integrity of the lottery and for adequate consumer protections. (Joint charge with Senate Finance Committee)
13. Study the feasibility and the advisability of establishing an investment policy that is consistent across all state trust funds, including the trust funds of the Employees Retirement System, the Teachers Retirement System, the Permanent University Fund, and the Permanent School Fund. Identify best investment policies for state trust funds. Examine recent portfolio diversification strategies and the effect they have on long-term fund performance. The recommendations should consider what is an acceptable rate of return, an acceptable degree of risk, the appropriateness of certain investments. (Joint charge with Senate Finance Committee)
14. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the State Affairs Committee, 80th Legislature, Regular Session, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. In particular, monitor and report on the effect of HB 2365, 80th Legislature, Regular Session, which allows public entities to report "other post employment benefits" (OPEBs) on a statutory modified accrual basis, including any effect on auditor opinions, bond ratings, or other fiscal issues. Monitor the implementation of SB 1731, 80th Legislature, Regular Session, relating to transparency of health information, and SB 1846, 80th Legislature, Regular Session, relating to TRS.

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