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3 Document(s) [ Subject: Wills and estates ]

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 Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Employers | Environmental protection | Ex-offenders | Gubernatorial appointments | Judges | Landlords and tenants | Lawsuits | Liability | Term limits | Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act | Wills and estates |
Library Call Number: L1836.83 J898
Session: 83rd R.S. (2013)
Online version: View report [97 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Examine the constitutional qualifications and term lengths for appellate court judges, and consider whether changes would benefit the public and the judiciary.
2. Study the potential issues involving civil liability for interacting with ex-offenders. In particular, examine the implications of HB 1188 (83R) and the potential expansion of similar protections to landlords.
3. Review the methods used by state agencies and courts to prepare and publish electronic legal materials. Examine the processes used to ensure reliability and permanence of these materials and strategies used to harmonize those processes with national standards, including possible adoption of the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act.
4. Study issues that inhibit the use of wills and access to the probate process in Texas, particularly for low-income individuals.
5. Examine the public policy implications of litigation related to environmental contamination brought by local governments, in particular whether such litigation supports effective remediation.
6. Study the issue of whether Regional Presiding Judges should be appointed by the Chief Justice rather than the Governor.
7. Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 83rd 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 Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Asbestos litigation | Bankruptcy | Child custody | Court Administration, State Office of | Court costs and fees | Court records | Family violence | Guardianship | Lawsuit lending | Legislative intent | Ombudsmen | Protective orders | Rules and regulations | Statutory revision | Wills and estates |
Library Call Number: L1836.82 J898
Session: 82nd R.S. (2011)
Online version: View report [34 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the potential effects on victims of family and domestic violence in the judicial process if courts are allowed to issue agreed protective orders without a finding of violence.
2. Study and make recommendations regarding the discrepancies in guardianship and child custody statutes. Review potential solutions to the problems surrounding "arbitrary and capricious" findings by trial court judges.
3. Study the rules of statutory construction and establish a method of determining legislative intent.
4. Study the degree of transparency in asbestos bankruptcy trusts and how it affects litigation of asbestos exposure claims in Texas courts.
5. Study the public policy implications of lawsuit lending and its effects on the civil justice system.
6. Study whether the asbestos and silica multidistrict litigation courts should be allowed to dismiss, without prejudice, claims on the courts' inactive dockets for want of prosecution under certain circumstances.
7. Study best practices regarding corporate governance. Make recommendations on the confidentiality of communications to ombudsmen in order to provide more protections to complaining parties.
8. Monitor the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 82nd Legislature.

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