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4 Document(s) [ Subject: Voter identification ]

Committee: House Elections
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: House Committee on Elections, Texas House of Representatives interim report, 2010 : a report to the House of Representatives, 82nd Texas Legislature
Subjects: Campaign finance reform | Election administration | Election fraud | Judicial campaign contributions | Military personnel | Provisional ballots | Supreme Court decisions, U.S. | Voter identification | Voter turnout | Voting by mail |
Library Call Number: L1836.81 El25he
Session: 81st R.S. (2009)
Online version: View report [36 pages  File size: 736 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study ways the state can enhance military and overseas voters' ability to obtain and return balloting materials and reduce burdens on those voters' exercise of their right to vote. Joint Interim Charge with House Committee on Defense and Veterans' Affairs
2. Examine the use of central polling places and compare voter turnout and the number of rejected provisional ballots in counties that use central polling places with similar counties that do not.
3. Examine the prevalence of fraud in Texas elections. Study new laws in other states regarding voter identification and recommend statutory changes necessary to ensure that only eligible voters can vote in Texas elections.
4. Review the Texas campaign finance law in judicial races in light of the recent United States Supreme Court decision Caperton v. Massey. Joint Interim Charge with House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence
5. Monitor the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction.
Committee: House Elections
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: E-mail | Election administration | Election fraud | Lobbyists | Political advertising | Provisional ballots | State purchasing | Voter identification | Voter registration | Voting by mail | Voting systems |
Library Call Number: L1836.80 EL25he
Session: 80th R.S. (2007)
Online version: View report [161 pages  File size: 19,242 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the general issue of electronic voting technology, including the issues of general benefits and risks, security and accuracy, paper trails, etc.
2. Examine the prevalence of fraud in Texas elections, considering prosecution rates and measures for prevention. Study new laws in other states regarding voter identification, and recommend statutory changes necessary to ensure that only eligible voters can vote in Texas elections. Specifically study the Texas mail-in ballot system, the provisional voting system, and the various processes for purging voter lists of ineligible voters.
3. Monitor the continued implementation of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 by the Office of the Secretary of State, specifically including the implementation of the Texas Election Administration Management system to maintain voter registration records, administer elections, and execute and report election results.
4. Study poll worker recruitment and training in Texas, and suggest possible statutory improvements.
5. Monitor which counties are chosen by the Office of the Secretary of State for the new super precinct pilot program, and observe their progress.
6. Study the exemption in the Texas lobby contingent fee ban, which currently permits contingent fees and does not require lobby registration, for influencing the purchasing of goods and services by a state agency. Consider whether this exemption should be amended or repealed.
7. Research the current Texas law prohibiting the use of public resources for political advertising, and determine whether the law needs to be amended to clarify that publicly funded e-mail systems may not be used for political advertising.
8. Monitor the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction.
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.
Committee: Senate State Affairs
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Interim report to the 80th Legislature
Subjects: Child Protective Services | Election fraud | Emergency medical services | Eminent domain | Employees | Employees Retirement System of Texas | Employers | Employment | Health care costs | Health maintenance organizations | Liability | Lobbyists | Medical bill balance billing | Privatization | Public retirement systems | State mandated health insurance | Teacher Retirement System of Texas | Voter identification | Voting by mail | Workers' compensation |
Library Call Number: L1836.79 St29a
Session: 79th R.S. (2005)
Online version: View report [211 pages  File size: 6,521 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the Employees Retirement System of Texas ("ERS") including the actuarial soundness of the ERS pension fund; the implementation of cost-saving measures in the ERS group health insurance plan; the suggestion of further cost-saving measures such as the implementation of a 3-tiered provider network; the effectiveness of the third party administrator of the ERS group health insurance plan in managing inflation; and the feasibility of consolidating the administration of all state group health plans under a single state agency.
2. Study the Teachers Retirement System of Texas ("TRS") including the actuarial soundness of the TRS pension fund; the implementation of cost-saving measures in the TRS group health insurance plan; the suggestion of further cost-saving measures such as the implementation of a 3-tiered provider network; the implementation of SB 1370, 79th Legislature, Regular Session; the effectiveness of the third party administrator of the TRS group health insurance plan in managing inflation; and the feasibility of consolidating the administration of all state group health plans under a single state agency
3. Study and make recommendations on how election officials could verify the identity of a voter without hindering a person's right to vote. Include an analysis of the extent to which individuals are casting multiple votes because of any lack of voter identification verification. Make recommendations on how the state could improve its vote-by-mail system to ensure the authenticity of those ballots.
4. Monitor the implementation of HB 7, 79th Legislature, Regular Session, relating to the workers compensation system of this state.
5. Study the regulation and management of health care plans, including the following:
  • Study the reimbursement methodology of health care plans for out-of-network claims, the adequacy of health plan networks to provide appropriate coverage, the impact of out-of-network balance billing by physicians and health care providers and the accurate disclosure of patients' out-of-pocket costs.
  • Study the discounting and/or waiving of co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance by physicians and health care providers. Specifically, how this practice can impact the cost to private and public health plans and the impact to acute, multi-service hospitals, including safety net hospitals.
  • Evaluate health care cost transparency by health care providers and access to that information by patients.
  • Review data reported to the Texas Department of Insurance by health care plans, investigate possible expansion of health plans' reportable data, including, but not limited to, administrative costs, and what, if any, is the appropriate release and publication of that information.
6. Study and review current law on the doctrine of eminent domain, including the U.S. Supreme Court case in Kelo v. City of New London. Monitor the implementation of SB 7, 79th Legislature, 2nd Called Session, and make any necessary recommendations as to the use of eminent domain for economic development purposes and the issue of what constitutes adequate compensation for property taken through the use of eminent domain.
  • Determine whether a constitutional amendment is prudent and/or necessary to protect private property owners from condemnations for economic development purposes.
  • Determine which state, regional, and local governmental entities have eminent domain powers and how those powers may be used. Make recommendations regarding their necessity, fairness, and effectiveness.
  • Study the public policy implications relating to Chapter 2007, Government Code, Private Real Property Rights Preservation Act, its effectiveness in protecting private property rights, and the current impact of regulatory takings on private property owners.
7. Study the costs associated with mandates to insurance companies for increased coverage for specific illnesses, medical conditions, or diseases, including obesity. Provide a cost assessment of the impact of such mandates to the state and local units of government. Include data and analysis of the costs and medical impact associated with insurance mandates which have been enacted in other states, as well as any short- and long-term cost-savings. Develop recommendations on how to provide increased cost-effective coverage, especially to populations with impairments and diseases, as well as the underinsured/uninsured.
8. Study the prevalence, legality and ethics of entities that actively lobby the Legislature to impact the lawmaking process while that entity is in any way a recipient of state funds.
9. Study and make recommendations regarding the cost drivers of emergency medical services. Make recommendations on how to improve and sustain EMS services for Texas, as well as reduce costs to health care plans, businesses, and individuals.
10. Study and review current Texas law on the doctrine of statutory employer, including the 2004 First District Court of Appeals' decision in Etie v. Walsh & Albert Co. and make recommendations of changes in state laws, if necessary, regarding the doctrine of statutory employer and indemnification in construction contracts. Study the current use of Consolidated Insurance Programs and make legislative recommendations, if appropriate.
11. Assess the benefit of limiting the civil liability for noneconomic damages against non-profit organizations involved in the privatization of child welfare services.

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