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303 charge(s) were found.   [ Legislature: 83 ]

83rd Legislature
House Agriculture and Livestock
  • Evaluate actions by state agencies under the committee's jurisdiction to increase transparency, accountability, and efficiency. Consider cost-saving technologies such as the route optimization system used by the Texas Department of Agriculture to save funds in inspection activities. Identify and make recommendations to address gaps and to improve efficiency and access to user-friendly information while protecting appropriate data security.
  • Study the feasibility of the creation of a border agricultural inspection training program and the authority of Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) employees to augment federal inspectors at Texas border land ports of entry. The study should include similar subject matter to HB 3761 (83R). Measure and estimate the increase in state revenue and secondary economic benefits that could be created from implementing the efficiency measures in HB 3761 (83R) as a way to offset costs for additional state inspectors.
  • Evaluate the Texas Right to Farm Act and determine if certain recommendations and updates to the law should be made in efforts to protect agricultural operations.
  • Examine current statutes and rules to determine any necessary enhancements that can assist in the eradication of feral hogs by using practical solutions and effective eradication techniques. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism)
  • 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.
House Appropriations
  • Monitor the performance of state agencies and institutions, including operating budgets, plans to carry out legislative initiatives and planned budget reductions, caseload projections, performance measure attainment, implementation of all rider provisions, and any other matter affecting the fiscal condition of the agencies and the state.
  • Examine progress made during the 83rd legislative session on reducing the reliance on dedicated accounts for budget certification. Recommend additional methods to further reduce the reliance on dedicated accounts for budget certification purposes, and further examine ways to maximize the use of such accounts.
  • Monitor the administration of the Correctional Managed Health Care system and examine forecasts for short and long-term criminal justice populations and health care cost trends. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Corrections)
  • Examine exempt compensation salary levels for senior and executive management personnel, as well as the use of non-state funds to provide salary supplements.
  • Examine short and long-term deferred maintenance costs for state facilities and approaches to deal with these costs in light of limited remaining General Obligation bond authority.
  • Examine the status of the state’s information technology (IT) infrastructure, the effectiveness of data center consolidation in reducing IT costs, and the effectiveness of the Department of Information Resources's Cooperative Contracts Program in delivering best value for the state in IT purchases.
  • Monitor the implementation of cost-containment initiatives in health and human services programs directed by Health and Human Services Commission Rider 51. Recommend additional opportunities for cost containment, including but not limited to, improvements in the procurement of durable medical equipment and increased medication adherence among Medicaid clients.
  • Monitor the administration of new state funding to expand behavioral health services in Texas. Make recommendations to improve coordination and prevent duplication of effort, including the behavioral health projects funded through the Medicaid 1115 waiver. Evaluate the methodology utilized by the state to fund the public mental health system in order to assess improvements in how mental health funds and associated performance targets are allocated throughout the state. Develop funding recommendations that emphasize equity in funding and performance expectations, improving outcomes, the attainment of performance targets, population needs, availability of local resources, and geographic diversity.
  • Study the implementation of provisions in SB 7 (83R) and Article II Special Provisions Section 48 regarding the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). Make recommendations for expansion of, and improvement in, the delivery of those services if cost-effective.
  • Conduct a basic review of current public education and higher education funding formulas. Specifically, focus on whether items funded outside base formulas (Foundation School Program (FSP) and higher education formulas) should be included inside the formulas. After the review, the committee may recommend the addition or deletion of funding items or changes in levels of current funding.
  • Review existing research funds; evaluate the purpose for their creation and the progress made toward the goal of each fund. Recommend any changes necessary to improve the effectiveness or outcomes of each program's stated purpose. Determine to what extent eligibility overlap exists among the funds. Make recommendations on eligibility and funding levels for each fund.
  • Review current capital needs in higher education. The committees shall examine past methods of financing higher education's capital needs, as well as approaches used in other states. The committees shall jointly make recommendations to address these costs in the future. In adopting recommendations, the committees should focus on methodologies that identify priority capital projects, treat institutions of higher education equitably, and uniformly share costs between the state and institutions. The committees should also examine the viability of alternatives to traditional models for funding capital projects. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Higher Education)
  • Monitor the use of funds provided or made available to Texas in relation to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and make recommendations on the appropriate use of these funds in the future. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Natural Resources)
  • Examine the immediate and long-term fiscal impact of the Employees Retirement System (ERS) employee health care plan. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Pensions)
  • Study the affordability of health care for active public school employees. Examine how premiums and out-of-pocket costs have increased over time and how these increases have affected employees and school districts, and make appropriate recommendations. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Pensions)
  • Examine the immediate and long-term fiscal impact of the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) health care plan (TRS-Care). (Joint charge with the House Committee on Pensions)
  • Hold interim hearings undertaking a strategic analysis of selected state agencies and programs in advance of the 84th Legislature. This analysis should lead to a more fundamental way of looking at state agency missions, costs and operating practices.
House Business and Industry [ Report information ]
  • Study the voluntary nature of workers' compensation in Texas and how it meets the needs of employers and employees.
  • Review existing lien laws in Texas. Specifically:
    a. Examine laws concerning the enforcement of contract liens affecting real property. Identify improvements, if any, that will enhance the certainty of title following sale, enhance ability to ensure that sales are conducted by qualified trustees, prevent unnecessary litigation, facilitate loss mitigation between borrowers and sellers, and protect the interests of homeowners, lenders and trustees.
    b. Study the imposition of mechanics' liens on automobiles and its impact on mechanics, car owners and purchasers, and lenders.
    c. Review ad valorem tax lien lending after the implementation of SB 247 (83R) and the impact on homeowners, taxing authorities, mortgage lenders, and tax lien lenders. Review the procedures and powers of the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner to ensure compliance with SB 247.
  • Study the impact of SB 1024,82 R.S. on wage theft and law enforcement's and regulatory agencies' responses to wage theft claims. Recommend changes if necessary.
  • Examine the issue of misclassifying employees as independent contractors on workers, employers, income tax withholding, and the unemployment insurance system. Review current statutory deterrents, including those equired by HB 2015 (83R), and make recommendations for changes if necessary.
  • Study the impact of credit card data theft and other credit or privacy information theft on Texas consumers and businesses.
  • 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.
House Child Protection, Select [ Report information ]
  • This committee shall study the incidence of abuse and neglect fatalities in Texas and make recommendations to protect children. In developing its recommendations, the committee shall:

    • Monitor the ongoing efforts of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), the work of the Protect Our Kids Commission and the National Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, and any relevant Sunset Commission recommendations;

    • Assess the efficacy of ongoing prevention efforts that target resources to families at risk;

    • Examine regulatory policy and contract oversight within the child welfare system;

    • Consider ways to encourage consistent, transparent, and timely review of abuse and neglect fatalities;

    • Monitor ongoing efforts to stabilize the CPS workforce, placing specific emphasis on improving work environment, enhancing the quality of supervision, and addressing the unique challenges facing different regions of the state;

    • Suggest improvements to the screening, assessment, training, and support of potential foster and kinship families;

    • Evaluate the ability of children and youth within the system to report maltreatment;

    • Monitor ongoing efforts to enhance the use of data to improve outcomes; and

    • Consider strategies to ensure better coordination and collaboration among local agencies, faith-based organizations, the private sector, non-profits, and law enforcement to reduce the incidence of abuse and neglect fatalities.

House Corrections [ Report information ]
  • Study and review the correctional facilities and processes within Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, and Texas Juvenile Justice Department with emphasis on efficiencies, effectiveness, and recidivism. Examine the existing programmatic approach per facility in the areas of the vocation, education, visitation, rehabilitation, health and mental health services, parole supervision, and reentry initiatives. Evaluate opportunities for partnerships between facilities and private industries to offer education, job training, and potential employment for offenders during incarceration, parole, and final release.
  • Examine the association between co-occurring serious mental illness and substance use disorders and parole revocation among inmates from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Review current policies and procedures for incarcerating individuals with a dual mental health diagnosis in both state and county correctional facilities and examine potential remedies within the State's criminal justice system to ensure that the public is protected and that individuals with a mental health diagnosis receive a continuum of mental health services. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence)
  • In the area of Juvenile Justice, analyze and make recommendations on outcome-based financing models that allow the state to partner with private investors and innovative service providers willing to cover the upfront costs and assume performance risk to divert youths into cost-effective programs and interventions, while assuring that taxpayers will not pay for the programs unless the programs demonstrate success in achieving the desired outcomes.
  • Study the impact of SB 393 (83R) and SB 1114 (83R). Assess the impact of school discipline and school-based policing on referrals to the municipal, justice, and juvenile courts, and identify judicial policies or initiatives designed to reduce referrals without having a negative impact on school safety. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Public Education)
  • Monitor the administration of the Correctional Managed Health Care system and examine forecasts for short and long-term criminal justice populations and health care cost trends. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Appropriations)
  • 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.
House County Affairs [ Report information ]
  • Examine population growth in Texas counties and the impact the growth has had on housing, available land resources, businesses in Texas, as well as the impact of growth on the state's economy. Evaluate Texas's preparedness to respond to future growth and ensure economic stability.
  • Continue oversight of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and issues jails currently face, including the mental health of those in jail, and make recommendations for refinement or improvement of processes and programs.
  • Monitor the health advisory panel stemming from HB 3793 (83R).
  • Determine which counties have implemented a cite-and-summons policy, whether the policy has been effective in lessening overcrowding in county jails, and whether those cited by peace officers comply with the policy.
  • Study the implementation of SB 462 (83R). Examine which counties currently have veterans courts, as well as veterans courts in other states, and determine how those programs are working and whether these courts provide additional services or resources for veterans. Make appropriate recommendations. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Defense and Veterans' Affairs)
  • 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.
House Criminal Jurisprudence [ Report information ]
  • Study the classification of 17-year-olds as adults in the criminal justice system of Texas.
  • Study the effectiveness of deferred adjudication and orders for non-disclosure in spite of the many exceptions to the statute. Study extending the use of expunction of criminal records history and non-disclosures to certain qualified individuals with low-level, non-violent convictions. Examine the statutorily allowed but underused non-disclosure and expunction of criminal records, and the use of deferred adjudication.
  • Study the impact of SB 1289 (83R). Examine the sale of criminal histories that may be erroneous as well as the lasting impact that arrest records have on individuals who are arrested but not charged or convicted. Assess the need for revision of existing statutes and consider designating an agency responsible for regulating entities involved in the industry.
  • Examine the association between co-occurring serious mental illness and substance use disorders and parole revocation among inmates from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Review current policies and procedures for incarcerating individuals with a dual mental health diagnosis in both state and county correctional facilities and examine potential remedies within the State's criminal justice system to ensure that the public is protected and that individuals with a mental health diagnosis receive a continuum of mental health services. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Corrections)
  • Examine the current pecuniary loss thresholds associated with graffiti offenses. Study the costs of enhancing the penalties associated with the offense of graffiti, as well as a study of pretrial diversion programs that exist in other states and are specific to persons convicted of graffiti offenses. Study the existing Graffiti Abatement Programs in Texas.
  • Evaluate the approximately 1,500 non-traditional criminal offenses that can be found outside of the Penal Code. Study the feasibility of streamlining these offenses and examine ambiguities in the law. Study the existing use of the Rule of Lenity and Mens Rea requirements in Texas and the benefit of codifying both of these standards.
  • Examine the utilization of community supervision in state jail felonies and the effectiveness of the state jail in light of its original purpose.
  • 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.
House Criminal Procedure Reform, Select [ Report information ]
  • Study the Code of Criminal Procedure to recommend revisions.*
House Culture, Recreation, and Tourism [ Report information ]
  • Develop a long-term plan to incorporate land that has been donated or sold to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department into our state park system.
  • Evaluate the Texas Film Commission and the Texas Music Office to determine their effectiveness in economic development in Texas. Determine how the offices can better collaborate with local economic development entities and state agencies to further the economic development goals of the state.
  • Examine the viability of including the commercial oyster industry in the Commercial Fishing License Buyback Program at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
  • Examine current statutes and rules to determine any necessary enhancements that can assist in the eradication of feral hogs by using practical solutions and effective eradication techniques. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock)
  • Monitor the implementation of HB 3279 (83R) regarding the protection of seagrass plants.
  • Examine the economic impact of cultural, recreational, or tourism grants provided by the state, including any economic development grants related to cultural, recreational, or tourism industries, heritage tourism, courthouse restoration, and historic district revitalization.
  • 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.
House Defense and Veterans' Affairs
  • Review the effectiveness and responsibilities of the Texas Military Preparedness Commission (TMPC). Examine the resources available to the TMPC to ensure the council has the organizational structure in place to protect base installations in Texas during future Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) rounds. Monitor the actions of the newly created BRAC task force, SB 1200 (83R), and review methodologies to enhance relationships between military installations and state and local government to positively impact decisions of BRAC, or similar proposals from the U.S. Department of Defense that could result in a reduced military presence in Texas. Seek opportunities to enhance or expand current military missions in Texas and identify, when possible, new missions that would complement or support existing ones.
  • Study methods to assure returning veterans have access to necessary transition assistance and access to job training, education, and sustainable employment, including monitoring federal actions and coordinating state and private programs. Specifically, explore options for alternative certification programs that give returning military service men and women credit for skills learned and time served while on active duty. Track related legislation passed during the 83rd Legislature.
  • Examine the recommendations contained in the report by the Texas Coordinating Council for Veterans Services (TCCVS), study whether these recommendations have been implemented, and examine new methods to help homeless Veterans using state, regional, and local resources. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Urban Affairs)
  • Study the implementation of SB 462 (83R). Examine which counties currently have veterans courts, as well as veterans courts in other states, and determine how those programs are working and whether these courts provide additional services or resources for veterans. Make appropriate recommendations. (Joint charge with the House Committee on County Affairs)
  • Evaluate current resources at higher education institutions, state agencies, and community-based organizations that provide support for military veteran students. Review the current process for assessing and placing these students in appropriate course work so that they are successful. Determine if new funding sources are needed at community colleges to educate or train military veterans who might need Developmental Education or Adult Basic Education (ABE). Recommend strategies for effectively supporting military veteran students in their academic and workforce goals.
  • Monitor the implementation of HB 2392 (83R), Peer-to-Peer Mental Health Program, administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, particularly the interface with local mental health authorities and veterans' groups, with a focus on issues related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  • Study the implementation of all legislation from the 83rd Regular Session that seeks to develop a model to require state agencies regulating occupational licenses which require an apprenticeship to credit veterans' relevant military experience toward the apprenticeship requirements. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures)
  • 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.
House Economic and Small Business Development
  • Review the statutes and state agency rules pertaining to public-private partnerships to ensure a fair, competitive, and transparent process that benefits all parties engaging in the partnership. Review how other states and countries utilize public-private partnerships and make recommendations on how to improve the process in Texas, specifically looking at whether there needs to be a single state entity responsible for administering the public private partnership program.
  • Examine and evaluate economic development incentives to determine if the incentives are achieving the desired outcomes for which the incentives were initially established. Review which economic development goals and incentives are most important and report on methods to further improve those goals and incentives while reducing ones not meeting their desired objectives.
  • Study venture capital investment in the state and determine how Texas compares to other states in attracting venture capital dollars. Make recommendations to improve Texas's ability in attract venture capital investment.
  • Review the current Texas Industry Cluster Initiative to determine if the state's targeted industry clusters need to be updated to reflect changes in industry sectors that have evolved in Texas since the clusters were initially identified.
  • Review the Governor's Office of Economic Development and Tourism and determine its effectiveness on economic development in Texas. Determine how the office could be more efficiently coordinated with local and regional economic development entities and other state agencies to help further the economic development goals of the state.
  • Monitor manufacturing and manufacturing workforce development initiatives passed by the 83rd Legislature.
  • 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.
House Economic Development Incentives, Select [ Report information ]
  • The committee shall perform a study of the use and effectiveness of economic development incentive programs in Texas. In performing this study, the committee shall:

    • Determine the types or categories of economic development projects that provide the greatest
      benefit to the state. Make recommendations where appropriate to focus on or target the types
      or categories of economic development projects that provide the greatest long-term benefit to
      the state.

    • Catalog and evaluate economic development incentive grants awarded at the State level and
      assess their relative success, recognizing adjustments or modifications made to the initial
      criteria outlined in the award contracts.

    • Examine the agencies administering economic development incentive programs and make
      recommendations where consolidating or moving functions improves efficiency.

    • Identify any problems in coordination between state and local economic development entities.
      Make recommendations to improve coordination where beneficial.

    • Review best practices of economic development incentive programs and make
      recommendations on changes to existing programs where appropriate.

House Elections
  • Examine the use of Help America Vote Act funds and methods to ensure the efforts required by the Help America Vote Act continue.
  • Study the Interstate Voter Crosscheck Program. Specifically, study the results of the program used in other states, how other states use the data, and make recommendations about whether the state of Texas should establish this program.
  • Evaluate the Move Act, specifically the implementation of HB 1129 (83R), relating to a program allowing certain military voters on active duty overseas to cast a ballot electronically.
  • Examine online voter registration systems in other states. Study costs and security concerns, weigh the pros and cons of online voter registration, and make recommendations.
  • Review the study by the Secretary of State required by HB 3103 (83R) regarding moving the date of the Texas presidential primary election, and make appropriate recommendations.
  • 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.
House Energy Resources [ Report information ]
  • Study the impact of the expanding oil and gas exploration and production occurring across the state. Included in the study should be both the positive impacts of the exploration and production as well as the new challenges they are presenting. The study should encompass a review of the following issues:
    • The effect on the state budget and the Economic Stabilization Fund;
    • The overall impact on the state economy;
    • The impact on property values and local taxes;
    • The effect on roads;
    • The impact on local school districts;
    • The complex relationship between land owners, royalty owners, and operators;
    • The impact on the environment, including emissions and injection wells;
    • Projected water needs and how those fit with our state water plan; and
    • The housing issues created by the number of workers needed in areas of shale plays.
  • Study the P5 permitting process at the Railroad Commission to determine whether the process is efficient and effective and whether there are actions that can be taken to improve the process.
  • Study and review the appropriation of general revenue dollars allocated to the Railroad Commission for improvements in IT systems to ensure those funds are being utilized to streamline the permitting process and to allow access to information for all parties that conduct business at the Commission.
  • Review the application of Texas Business & Commerce Code, Section 9.343, to determine the legal rights of unperfected security interests of oil and gas producers with respect to subsequent purchasers, specifically in the context of a bankruptcy proceeding such as Arrow Oil & Gas, Inc. v. SemCrude, L.P. and subsequent cases.
  • Monitor the implementation of HB 2982 (83R) to ensure that the required rulemaking is completed efficiently and in a timely manner and SB 1747 (83R) to ensure effective implementation in keeping with legislative intent.
  • 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.
  • Examine the impact on Texas’s economy and businesses of the recent expansion of oil and gas production in Northern Mexico. Assess opportunities for economic growth in Texas and collaboration
    between Texas businesses and Mexico resulting from Mexico’s energy reform, including Mexico’s efforts to recover shale gas from the Eagle Ford Shale.
House Environmental Regulation [ Report information ]
  • Study the environmental permitting processes at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), specifically the contested-case hearing process at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) and the timelines associated with the process. Study the economic impact that the state's permitting processes have on Texas manufacturing sectors and how neighboring states' and the federal permitting processes and timelines compare to those in Texas.
  • Study the rules, laws, and regulations pertaining to the disposal of high-level radioactive waste in Texas and determine the potential economic impact of permitting a facility in Texas. Make specific recommendations on the state and federal actions necessary to permit a high-level radioactive waste disposal or interim storage facility in Texas.
  • 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.
  • Review the Environmental Protection Agency's newly proposed Clean Power Plan to determine the potential impact the proposed federal rule would have on Texas. Specifically, the Committee should examine how the proposed emissions reductions would impact the reliability of the state's electricity generation, the potential impact on the price of retail electricity and its affordability, and the potential impact on the economic development of the state. Additionally, the Committee should review the state's renewable energy and energy efficiency standards to determine if they are capable of contributing to meeting any proposed emissions reductions and determine what changes, if any, to these policies could help facilitate meeting the proposed emissions reductions.
House Fiscal Impact of Texas Border Support Operations, Select
  • This committee shall monitor the specific measures taken by the Department of Public Safety to support local and federal law enforcement on the border in order to determine the short and long-term impact of this operation on Texas’s economic resources and infrastructure. Additionally, the committee will provide information to the legislature to inform all Texas taxpayers of how the increased immigration will affect the state’s economy and the operations of state and local government and affiliated institutions. The committee will develop specific legislative proposals to address budgetary issues.
    Further, the committee shall:

    • Monitor the state’s and local governments’ response to the increased influx of immigrants entering Texas through the Texas-Mexico border, including measures taken by Texas to provide security and human services and potential increases in budgetary costs resulting from these measures;

    • Review and evaluate support Texas has received from the federal government to address this issue, including the use of additional federal funds in Texas, if authorized by Congress;

    • Study the short and long-term budgetary impact of the increased influx of immigrants on the costs of Texas’s border security operations, economic resources, and infrastructure, including the short and long-term impact on operations of local and state governments and agencies; and

    • Determine potential long-term budgetary costs associated with ensuring the health and safety of Texas citizens and the Texas economy.

House Government Efficiency and Reform [ Report information ]
  • Examine current restrictions on state and local governmental entities relating to the construction of critical infrastructure, including transportation and water projects, and make recommendations for expediting and creating more cost-effective and efficient methods for the construction of such projects.
  • Study the current laws, rules, and processes in place for the Department of Information Resources's Cooperative Contracts and recommend improvements to the 84th Legislature. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Technology)
  • Review the application of the Public Information Act to requests for large amounts of electronic data. Examine whether the procedures and deadlines imposed by the Act give governmental bodies enough time to identify and protect confidential information in such requests.
  • Examine the public's accessibility to government services and agencies through the use of mobile applications and online services. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Technology)
  • Study the benefits of utilizing a Chief Innovation Officer for Texas and its agencies.
  • Study the feasibility of having all state agencies use the Texas Workforce Commission's "Work in Texas" website for a more standardized applications process. Determine the interest of municipal, county, and other jurisdictions in boosting their utilization of the website.
  • 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.
House Health Care Education and Training, Select [ Report information ]
  • Assess the statewide demand for health professionals, including in the area of mental health. Make recommendations to better align institutions of public and higher education with the needs of health care employers.
House Higher Education [ Report information ]
  • Study the potential of recent technology-enabled innovations for dramatically increasing the number and diversity of students who may access, participate and succeed in quality higher education, including Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Synchronous Massive Online Courses (SMOCs), blended courses that combine online and classroom instruction, and other innovations with potential to personalize the learning experience, reduce costs, and transcend the physical limitations of traditional campuses. Consider challenges and opportunities for leveraging new technologies to increase the educational attainment of traditionally underserved populations including adult learners.
  • Study new strategies for funding General Academic institutions to accelerate educational innovation and increase focus on improving student learning and success rather than seat time. Consider approaches that encourage new and more productive business models that incorporate affordable, lower-cost academic delivery models and expand the state's capacity to deliver high-quality education.
  • Study how state resources might be better used to support the success of the rapidly growing numbers of state residents who need postsecondary degrees. Evaluate current programs and policies related to financial aid, tuition assistance, waivers, and work study, and evaluate their relative impact and return on investment with regard to student enrollment, persistence, and completion. Consider how state dollars might be better used in combination with federal financial aid to promote and accelerate student success. Explore strategies and best practices for reducing student loan default rates in Texas.
  • Former foster youth have the benefit of free tuition and fees if they enroll in higher education, yet very few take advantage of this opportunity. Consider new strategies to support these youth and make recommendations to enroll and retain more foster youth in higher education. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Human Services
  • Review current capital needs in higher education. The committees shall examine past methods of financing higher education's capital needs, as well as approaches used in other states. The committees shall jointly make recommendations to address these costs in the future. In adopting recommendations, the committees should focus on methodologies that identify priority capital projects, treat institutions of higher education equitably, and uniformly share costs between the state and institutions. The committees should also examine the viability of alternatives to traditional models for funding capital projects. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Appropriations)
  • 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.
House Homeland Security and Public Safety [ Report information ]
  • Assess the level of preparedness among critical infrastructure entities, state and local emergency planning organizations, first response efforts, and overall coordination of jurisdictions across the state. Include a review of the state's role in preparing, resourcing, and coordinating with local emergency response, specifically in rural areas or areas that depend largely on volunteer response efforts.
  • Investigate the fatal explosion in West, Texas, in April 2013, for deficiencies in safety, risk management, and disaster planning by chemical facilities and state entities. Determine if any changes should be made to existing laws and rules relating to inspection, investigation, and enforcement, and make specific recommendations on how to reduce the likelihood for damage, injury, or death.
  • Evaluate state and local entities' effectiveness in meeting the state's border and homeland security program goals and objectives.
  • Review the Driver Responsibility Program and consider methods for overall improvement of the program.
  • 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.
House Human Services [ Report information ]
  • Examine crisis resources for individuals with co-occurring mental illness and intellectual/developmental disabilities. Identify strategies to serve individuals with complex behavioral and medical needs in the community.
  • Monitor the implementation of Foster Care Redesign. Evaluate its impact on the child welfare system in areas of the state where redesign is underway, including transition from the legacy system, foster family retention and recruitment, placement stability, permanency, and child safety.
  • Monitor and evaluate implementation of SB 7 (83R), including agency preparations for the statewide rollout of STAR+PLUS.
  • Former foster youth have the benefit of free tuition and fees if they enroll in higher education, yet very few take advantage of this opportunity. Consider new strategies to support these youth and make recommendations to enroll and retain more foster youth in higher education. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Higher Education)
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction, including implementation of the Balancing Incentives Program and 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.
House Insurance
  • Monitor the effects of the Affordable Care Act on the availability and affordability of private health insurance coverage in Texas and on the health insurance market.
  • Evaluate options to expand transparency in the health care marketplace and facilitate informed consumer choice. Monitor the implementation of prior legislation to encourage transparency and adequacy of health care provider networks. Review prior legislative attempts to achieve greater transparency and the effectiveness of regulatory efforts to minimize the negative impacts on consumers related to out-of-network service disputes.
  • Monitor the status of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). Consider options to enhance TWIA's ability to serve its statutory purpose and to fairly and equitably serve its policyholders. Include an evaluation of TWIA's operations, improved incentives for coverage by the private market, and effective use of reinsurance, bonds, and other financial devices.
  • Examine opportunities to improve the resiliency of the Texas coast to withstand tropical storms. Study strategies to incentivize and encourage hazard mitigation, and consider the current state of building codes and how they might more effectively protect property and reduce losses. Examine the proper role of insurance in protecting the Texas coast. Coordinate as necessary with the joint interim committee created by HB 3459 (83R). (Joint charge with the House Committee on Land and Resource Management)
  • Examine the following aspects of the Texas auto insurance market:
    • Methods to decrease the rate of uninsured drivers, including an evaluation of the success of current programs and possible improvements; and
    • The benefits and drawbacks of prohibiting or restricting the use of "named driver" auto insurance policies.
  • Make recommendations for any necessary reforms to address the long-term stability of the residual market for workers' compensation insurance in this state.
  • 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.
House International Trade and Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Examine opportunities and innovations to increase international trade and investment in Texas. Review state and federal regulations to determine what can be done to ease tariff and non-tariff barriers in order to maximize trade flow.
  • Study options to improve the physical infrastructure that facilitates international trade, considering both state and local investment opportunities.
  • Quantify the impact of commercial ship traffic on smaller coastal waterways and find creative, pro-growth solutions that will allow all Texans access to the Gulf of Mexico.
  • 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.
  • Examine the impact on Texas’s economy and businesses of the recent expansion of oil and gas production in Northern Mexico. Assess opportunities for economic growth in Texas and collaboration
    between Texas businesses and Mexico resulting from Mexico’s energy reform, including Mexico’s efforts to recover shale gas from the Eagle Ford Shale.
House Investments and Financial Services [ Report information ]
  • Review Texas home equity laws. Study and make recommendations for ensuring Texas consumers have appropriate access to the equity in their homes and adequate protections.
  • Review the state regulatory and administrative systems related to public school bond issuances. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Public Education)
  • Analyze the costs and benefits of implementing an intrastate equity crowd funding system in Texas. Examine the programs other states have implemented and determine whether an equity crowd funding system is appropriate for Texas, and what statutory changes or regulations are necessary to implement equity crowd funding.
  • 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.
House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence [ Report information ]
  • Examine the constitutional qualifications and term lengths for appellate court judges, and consider whether changes would benefit the public and the judiciary.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Study issues that inhibit the use of wills and access to the probate process in Texas, particularly for low-income individuals.
  • Examine the public policy implications of litigation related to environmental contamination brought by local governments, in particular whether such litigation supports effective remediation.
  • Study the issue of whether Regional Presiding Judges should be appointed by the Chief Justice rather than the Governor.
  • 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.
House Land and Resource Management [ Report information ]
  • Examine population growth in Texas cities and the impact the growth has had on housing, available land resources, city centers, businesses, and the state's economy. Evaluate Texas's preparedness to respond to future growth and ensure economic stability. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Urban Affairs)
  • Study the effectiveness of the implementation of HB 3459 (83R) and examine the feasibility and desirability of creating and maintaining a coastal barrier system.
  • Study current regulatory authority available to municipalities in their extraterritorial jurisdiction. Examine how citizens are involved in the zoning process, and make necessary recommendations to ensure a proper balance between development activities, municipal regulations, and the effect zoning decisions have on Texas citizens.
  • Examine opportunities to improve the resiliency of the Texas coast to withstand tropical storms. Study strategies to incentivize and encourage hazard mitigation, and consider the current state of building codes and how they might more effectively protect property and reduce losses. Examine the proper role of insurance in protecting the Texas coast. Coordinate as necessary with the joint interim committee created by HB 3459 (83R). (Joint charge with the House Committee on Insurance)
  • 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.
House Licensing and Administrative Procedures
  • Evaluate and consider cost-saving technologies and programs used by the Department of Licensing and Regulation to increase efficiencies and access to those with licensing occupations. Identify and make recommendations to implement these goals.
  • Study appropriate methods to expand the right of individuals to challenge occupational licensing rules and regulations, and identify occupational licenses that may not be necessary for public safety or health.
  • Study the implementation of all legislation from the 83rd Regular Session that seeks to develop a model to require state agencies regulating occupational licenses which require an apprenticeship to credit veterans' relevant military experience toward the apprenticeship requirements. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Defense and Veterans' Affairs)
  • Study the implementation and possible impacts of HB 3038 (83R), including the effect it would have on multi-state auction companies, as well as business-to-business auctions.
  • 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.
House Natural Resources [ Report information ]
  • Monitor the implementation of HB 4 (83R) and SJR 1 (83R) and the progress of the Texas Water Development Board and other entities in implementing this legislation to provide a stable, long-term funding source for the State Water Plan.
  • Evaluate the availability, management, and development of groundwater in the state. Consider the economic, environmental, and social impacts of groundwater usage and production in the agricultural, municipal, and energy sectors. In particular, examine methods to facilitate further development of brackish groundwater resources and to improve the consistency and certainty of permitting by groundwater districts without undercutting reasonable regional and local regulation of groundwater.
  • Explore opportunities to encourage voluntary protection and stewardship of privately owned lands in support of the state’s water supply and to protect environmental flow needs in Texas rivers. Examine methods in which state agencies, water rights holders, and non-governmental organizations can work together through programs like the Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program and the Texas Water Trust.
  • Examine strategies to enhance the use of aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) projects, including a review of existing ASR facilities in Texas and elsewhere.
  • Monitor the use of funds provided or made available to Texas in relation to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and make recommendations on the appropriate use of these funds in the future. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Appropriations)
  • 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.
House Pensions [ Report information ]
  • Examine the immediate and long-term fiscal impact of the Employees Retirement System (ERS) employee health care plan. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Appropriations)
  • Study the affordability of health care for active public school employees. Examine how premiums and out-of-pocket costs have increased over time and how these increases have affected employees and school districts, and make appropriate recommendations. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Appropriations)
  • Examine the immediate and long-term fiscal impact of the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) health care plan (TRS-Care). (Joint charge with the House Committee on Appropriations)
  • Examine the new reporting requirements proposed by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).
  • 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.
House Public Education [ Report information ]
  • Monitor the implementation of HB 5 (83R) and report on recommendations for improvement. Work with the Texas Education Agency, the State Board of Education, and public and higher education stakeholders to ensure the creation of additional rigorous mathematics and science courses needed to address the current and projected needs of the state's workforce.
  • Explore innovative, research-based options for improving student achievement beyond standardized test scores. Evaluate standards for effective campus management as well as teacher preparation, certification, and training. Review current teacher evaluation tools and instructional methods, such as project-based learning, and recommend any improvements that would promote improved student achievement. Engage stakeholders on how to recruit and retain more of our "best and brightest" into the teaching profession.
  • Solicit input from leading authorities on the traits and characteristics of good governance, effective checks and balances between the board and administration and the effective relationship between a board and the superintendent. Review current oversight authority by the Texas Education Agency over school board policies on governance. Make recommendations on trustee training, potential sanctions, and means of grievances, as well as recommendations on whether the role of trustee or superintendent needs to be more clearly defined.
  • Review successful strategies and methods that have improved student achievement at chronically underperforming schools. Identify alternatives that could be offered to current students who are attending these schools and determine how to turn these schools around. Identify the benefits and concerns with alternative governance of underperforming schools.
  • Review the broad scope and breadth of the current TEKS in the tested grades, including the format, testing calendar, and the limitation on instructional days available. Recommend options to streamline the assessment of TEKS and focus on core concepts. Review current federal testing requirements in grades 3-8 to determine if testing relief is possible.
  • Examine the role of the Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) in serving school districts. Review the programs and services of HCDE, specifically the department’s ability to assist school districts to operate more efficiently. Report any costs or savings the HCDE provides districts and taxpayers. Make recommendations to improve the operation of the HCDE.
  • Review the state regulatory and administrative systems related to public school bond issuances. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Investments and Financial Services)
  • Study the impact of SB 393 (83R) and SB 1114 (83R). Assess the impact of school discipline and school-based policing on referrals to the municipal, justice, and juvenile courts, and identify judicial policies or initiatives designed to reduce referrals without having a negative impact on school safety. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Corrections)
  • 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.
House Public Health [ Report information ]
  • Assess the prevalence of nonmedical prescription drug use in the state (including opioid analgesics, stimulants, tranquilizers, and sedatives). Identify adverse health impacts. Recommend strategies to curb emerging substance abuse trends among children, pregnant women, and adults, as well as to reduce health care costs and mortality.
  • Study and make recommendations for improvements to the licensing, regulation, and monitoring of compounding pharmacies, including a review of the joint cooperative efforts between the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, Department of State Health Services, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Consider the impact of the passage of SB 1100 (83R), additional appropriations made by the 83rd Legislature to strengthen inspections, and any relevant federal legislation.
  • Identify strategies to support the efficient exchange of electronic health information with Texas Health and Human Services enterprise agencies. Examine legal and technical issues around the accessibility of information held in registries maintained by state agencies to authorized health care providers. Identify issues related to health information exchange and providers' liability, as well as concerns related to transitioning patient data in cases where a provider selects a new electronic health record vendor.
  • Examine the current practice for dispensation of biologic and follow-on biologic (biosimilar) pharmaceutical products in our state. Review any practices for interchangeability of drugs that might pertain to these particular medicines. Review and make recommendations regarding the substitution of biosimilar and biologic medicines.
  • Monitor transition of the state's immunization registry to a new system. Determine whether the registry can be better utilized to prevent and/or respond to communicable disease outbreaks, including pertussis. Identify potential factors contributing to the rise in the number of pertussis cases and strategies to prevent future outbreaks.
  • 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, including HB 15 (83R). 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.
House Special Purpose Districts [ Report information ]
  • Conduct a comprehensive review of existing special purpose districts in the state. Study how special districts interact with other local governments and local taxpayers during and after their creation. Examine circumstances under which special districts are accountable to local taxpayers and make recommendations on ways to increase spending transparency among districts.
House State Affairs [ Report information ]
  • Study the methods state agencies use for planning for investment in future infrastructure. Specifically, review how agencies determine what investments in infrastructure will be necessary to meet the state's demands and facilitate continued economic expansion. Review how agencies determine the costs and benefits associated with future infrastructure investment to ensure that the citizens of the state are receiving the best value and what other factors agencies use to make investment decisions.
  • Study Title 15 of the Election Code, which regulates political funds and campaigns, including requirements for financial reports by campaigns, candidates, officeholders, and political committees. Specifically, study what types of groups are exempt from reporting requirements in the Election Code and make recommendations on how to make the political process more transparent.
  • Study the different financial assurance options used by state agencies to ensure compliance with environmental clean-up or remediation costs. Determine whether the methods utilized by state agencies are appropriate to ensure sufficient funds will be available when called upon.
  • Review state agency contracting with businesses seeking to provide goods and services to the state. Study the procedures agencies use to determine the costs versus benefits when evaluating proposals. Determine whether additional disclosure and reporting requirements are necessary to ensure transparency and accountability and to promote ethical business practices.
  • 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.
House Technology [ Report information ]
  • Study the current laws, rules, and processes in place for the Department of Information Resources's Cooperative Contracts and recommend improvements to the 84th Legislature. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Government Efficiency and Reform)
  • Examine the public's accessibility to government services and agencies through the use of mobile applications and online services. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Government Efficiency and Reform)
  • Study the feasibility of an integrated identity management program (IIMP) for state agencies. Examine best practices in the deployment of technology to safeguard state data and programs, limit fraudulent or unauthorized access to state hardware and software, and develop a secure state digital infrastructure. Determine potential savings to the state and make further recommendations on the implementation of IIMP that encompass both logical and physical security.
  • Study whether abuses in the patent system interfere with the goal of expanded opportunity and innovation for Texas businesses and whether actions by the state can address any such abuses.
  • Evaluate Texas's competitiveness with other states in recruiting and cultivating the software industry, including entertainment software; fostering economic development; and creating potential new jobs. Examine current incentives and regulations and whether these assist or hinder the expansion of the entertainment software industry in Texas.
  • Review state regulatory and tax policy to ensure that investment in technology infrastructure, goods, and services is unfettered and that Texas is able to capitalize on innovation to fuel additional job growth, business expansion, and investment. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Ways and Means)
  • Monitor and review the efforts of the Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Texas Technology Task Force (TTTF). The TTTF shall study emerging transportation, communication, and computing technologies and determine physical infrastructure and system components that TxDOT or other state departments would need to provide to enable selected technologies. The task is to be completed by TTTF as directed by SB 1 (83R), item 44, Article VII-31. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Transportation)
  • 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.
House Transparency in State Agency Operations, Select [ Report information ]
  • The committee shall monitor the conduct of individuals appointed to offices of the executive branch of state government, including university regents, to ensure that such officers are acting in the best interest of the agencies and institutions they govern. In accordance with Chapter 665, Government Code, the committee shall have the authority to investigate matters relating to misconduct, malfeasance, misfeasance, abuse of office, or incompetency of such officers, and may propose appropriate articles of impeachment against such officers if the committee determines that grounds for impeachment exist.
House Transportation [ Report information ]
  • Evaluate actions by state agencies under the committee's jurisdiction to increase transparency, accountability, and efficiency. Consider the cost-saving outsourcing of technologies and recently developed practices, such as the conversion of roadways, used by the Department of Transportation designed to demonstrate savings. Identify and make recommendations on the credibility and effectiveness of these goals.
  • Monitor the usage of state funds by the Texas Department of Transportation for improving road quality in areas impacted by Energy Sector activities.
  • Evaluate the status of Texas's port system, including a review of the structure and operations of the Maritime Division of the Texas Department of Transportation.
  • Evaluate the status of passenger and freight rail in Texas, including a review of the structure and operations of the Rail Division of the Texas Department of Transportation.
  • Review the state of our current transportation infrastructure outside of the five most populous areas. Explore future needs of our infrastructure and make recommendations to ensure long-range sufficiency.
  • Monitor the implementation of the "Turn-Back Program" by the Texas Department of Transportation, specifically its fiscal impact to municipalities and taxpayers.
  • Examine county authority to utilize tax increment financing and transportation reinvestment zones to fund transportation projects.
  • Monitor and review the efforts of the Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Texas Technology Task Force (TTTF). The TTTF shall study emerging transportation, communication, and computing technologies and determine physical infrastructure and system components that TxDOT or other state departments would need to provide to enable selected technologies. The task is to be completed by TTTF as directed by SB 1 (83R), item 44, Article VII-31. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Technology)
  • 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.
House Transportation Funding, Expenditures, and Finance, Select [ Report information ]
  • Study the future reliability of current state transportation funding sources, alternatives that may increase available state funding for surface transportation, use of debt financing in state transportation, alternative transportation funding options, current and historic appropriations to the Texas Department of Transportation, use of the state highway fund for other agencies, and the original purpose of the economic stabilization fund.
House Urban Affairs
  • Examine population growth in Texas cities and the impact the growth has had on housing, available land resources, city centers, businesses, and the state's economy. Evaluate Texas's preparedness to respond to future growth and ensure economic stability. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Land and Resource Management)
  • Examine strategies to address the chronic graffiti problem. Study solutions implemented in other states and cities and whether those programs have been successful, and make appropriate recommendations.
  • Examine the recommendations contained in the report by the Texas Coordinating Council for Veterans Services (TCCVS), study whether these recommendations have been implemented, and examine new methods to help homeless Veterans using state, regional, and local resources. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Defense and Veterans' Affairs)
  • 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.
House Ways and Means
  • Monitor the implementation of recent amendments to the property tax. Examine whether the frequency of reappraisals strikes the proper balance between stability and predictability in values for taxpayers and taxation at market value.
  • Monitor the implementation of recent amendments to the franchise tax.
  • Study methods used to evaluate the impact of taxes on individuals and businesses.
  • Review the current process for resolving contested cases involving state taxes and fees. Examine the need for the creation of an alternative, independent review process to hear and decide such cases.
  • Review the various state event trust fund accounts to ensure that the accounts are operated in a manner that is transparent and accountable.
  • Evaluate the actions of the comptroller's office to increase transparency, accountability, and efficiency. Examine ways to increase efficiency in the administration of taxes through the use of technology. Identify and make recommendations to implement these goals.
  • Review state regulatory and tax policy to ensure that investment in technology infrastructure, goods, and services is unfettered and that Texas is able to capitalize on innovation to fuel additional job growth, business expansion, and investment. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Technology)
  • 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.
Senate Agriculture, Rural Affairs, and Homeland Security [ Report information ]
  • Examine the current regulatory and insurance requirements for the storage of ammonium nitrate, including the role of the State Chemist and the Texas Department of Insurance. Make recommendations on the changes to current law that are needed to eliminate duplication or inconsistencies, improve transparency, and protect Texans' safety without creating an undue burden on Texas businesses.
  • Examine the role of state and local governments regarding recovery operations across the state in the event of a disaster. Study and make recommendations to identify essential personnel and resources needed to increase existing response capabilities. Make recommendations on how state, local governments, and businesses can work together in order to assist with the rebuilding/recovery of affected jurisdictions in the event of a disaster.
  • Monitor the state's efforts to secure the border, including the state's increased investment in border security during the 83rd legislative session. Examine the most effective methods to address the evolving threats with securing the border and evaluate policies that deter illegal immigration and assist in border security efforts, including prohibiting sanctuary cities and requiring electronic verification of worker status. Make recommendations on the most effective policy options to prevent and stop illegal entry into Texas at the border and to deter transnational and drug-­related violence and crime. Examine the implementation and effectiveness of the recent Department of Public Safety surge operation on the border and make recommendations on options for the improvement and expansion of future surge operations.
  • Study the current practice of reporting crime statistics in Texas, including border security crime statistics. Examine the different indices currently utilized and identify potential barriers regarding statewide adoption of a more comprehensive system. Determine whether current crime statistic reporting accurately measures all crime and whether it adequately measures crimes related to illegal border activities. Make recommendations on how to best take advantage of the available crime data maintained by modern law enforcement record systems and recommend any additional crime data that would improve law enforcement and border security efforts.
  • Study and make recommendations on removing barriers to Second Amendment Rights, including but not limited to open carry legislation. Consider other state laws related to open carry.
Senate Business and Commerce
  • Review the administrative and financial state of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). Specifically, review management's business practices that result in continued administrative oversight by the Texas Department of Insurance, and determine alternative financial methods to fund a probable maximum loss of a 1 in 75 or 1 in 100 year event. Monitor litigation developments. Develop and evaluate plans to reduce TWIA's total insured exposure. Monitor and make recommendations regarding an exposure reduction clearinghouse under development at TWIA, which aims to assist the transfer of TWIA policies to the free market. Study and make recommendations regarding the qualifications for building inspectors conducting inspections for the TWIA and other building inspectors statewide. Consider expanding the types of professionals qualified to conduct inspections and the appropriateentity to oversee inspectors.
  • Review the Texas FAIR Plan's organizational and financial structure as the state's insurer of last resort for residential homeowner's insurance coverage. In particular, study the structural relationship to TWIA, cause of its current debt, and available coverages and rates compared to the private market. Evaluate proposals to reduce the total insured exposure of the FAIR Plan.
  • Monitor the implementation of advanced metering infrastructure to ensure minimization of utility customer costs. Analyze developments and make recommendations regarding the health effects and privacy implications of the advanced metering infrastructure.
  • Study initiatives taken by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) to maintain the competitive retail electric market in the Electric Reliability Commission of Texas (ERCOT) areas of operation. Monitor PUC discussions regarding resource adequacy to ensure any decisions involve Texas-­?specific, free-­?market reforms. Review PUC procedures related to rate case expenses and study opportunities to enhance efficiencies. Consider benefits and costs of programs aimed at energy efficiency and demand response to help mitigate strains on the electric grid. Consider options for enhancing the reliability of the ERCOT grid, as well as multi-­?state grids outside ERCOT areas of operation in Texas. Study areas of innovation in the electric market in Texas, including advancements in energy storage and efficient power dispatch to support use of renewable power, and consider options to promote their effective use in Texas.
  • Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Business & Commerce, 83rd Legislature, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, review the implementation of (a) SB 583, addressing efforts to reduce the Texas Universal Service Fund rate paid by consumers by promulgating a financial needs test that eliminates industry subsidies; (b) SB 567 and HB 1600, addressing the transition of investor owned water utility rate setting from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Public Utility Commission.
Senate Criminal Justice [ Report information ]
  • Review cases involving the imposition of probation rather than imprisonment or commitment for adult and juvenile intoxication manslaughter offenders. Make recommendations to ensure that intoxication manslaughter sentences include appropriate punishment levels, maintain public safety, and serve to deter driving under the influence.
  • Study the operations of the Texas prison system with respect to the medical and mental health care treatment. Study potential cost savings associated with identifying offenders with dual diagnoses and routing these individuals into appropriate services before, during, and after involvement with the criminal justice system. Study the way in which geriatric parole cases are currently evaluated and identify opportunities for reducing costs associated with the geriatric inmate population without compromising public safety.
  • Study and make recommendations related to jail diversion, reduced recidivism rates, and access to services for those within the system who suffer from a mental illness. Monitor the progress and implementation of the jail diversion pilot program for the mentally ill in Harris County and determine the best practices to be applied statewide.
  • Compile an inventory of all the juvenile specialty courts in the state, the juvenile population served, and the courts' program guidelines and practices. Identify gaps in services, geographically, by issue area, and juvenile population. Study the efficacy of each court through an analysis of recidivism rates and cost effectiveness and make recommendations regarding the best practices of juvenile specialty courts.
  • Study and make recommendations regarding sentencing of youth under 18 accused of committing serious crimes.
  • Study the value ladder of charges for theft and related offenses within the Texas Penal Code and recommend any necessary updates and proposed legislative reforms.
  • Evaluate the approximately 1,500 non-traditional criminal offenses that can be found outside of the Penal Code. Study the feasibility of streamlining these offenses and examine ambiguities in the law. Analyze whether and to what extent some of these non-traditional criminal offenses should be eliminated.
Senate Economic Development
  • Study current legislative and regulatory barriers that could impede capital investment, growth, and expansion of Texas businesses. Make recommendations for reducing barriers to entry for professions regulated by Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, including deregulation, additional reciprocity, and credit for military service.
  • Project and examine the costs and economic impact to Texas businesses in complying with the federal health care law. Make recommendations on options for state government intervention to reduce the negative impact of the federal health care law on Texas businesses.
  • Study and make recommendations to develop a biennial state review process for economic development programs to determine their effectiveness in keeping Texas economically competitive while ensuring taxpayer dollars are used wisely. As a part of this study, the committee should review processes used in other states related to the analysis and reporting requirements for economic development programs.
  • Monitor implementation of SB 21, 83rd Legislature, R.S., which requires drug testing for unemployment insurance claimants. Investigate options to begin implementation of the rule without relying on U.S. Department of Labor regulations. Make recommendations to ensure that unemployment insurance claimants are actively seeking work and not using illegal drugs.
Senate Education
  • Examine STAAR writing scores for elementary, middle and high school students. For grade levels tested in writing, review the types of writing required. Explore the need for targeted professional development in writing. Review the redesign of high school English EOC exams. For the entire STAAR assessment program, review accommodations available to eligible students as a result of the elimination of the STAAR Modified exam pursuant to changes in federal accountability regulations. Additionally, review the redesign of the STAAR Alternate assessment.
  • Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Education, 83rd Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following:

    • HB 5 relating to public school accountability, including assessment, and curriculum requirements; providing a criminal penalty;

    • HB 1926, relating to the operation of the state virtual school network and courses provided through other distance learning arrangements;

    • SB 376, relating to breakfast for certain public school students; and

    • HB 617, relating to transition and employment services for public school students enrolled in special education programs.

  • Conduct a comprehensive review of school choice programs in other states. Examine the impact of education tax credits and taxpayer savings grants on the state budget. Review the state's parent trigger and Public Education Grant program statutes and identify any potential improvements.
  • Monitor the implementation of SB 2, relating to certain charter schools.
  • Monitor the implementation of HB 462, related to the prohibition on developing or adopting common core standards.
  • Review Chapter 26, Education Code (Parental Rights and Responsibilities) and determine if any statutory changes are necessary to strengthen the rights of parents. Consider measures adopted in other states.
  • Review Chapter 8, Education Code (Regional Education Service Centers), specifically the purpose and the performance standards and indicators developed by the Commissioner. Analyze all funding streams available to Education Service Centers.
Senate Government Organization [ Report information ]
  • Examine state agencies’ mandated reporting practices, the necessity and utility of these reports, and reporting processes to the legislature and to the public. Make recommendations on eliminating unnecessary and duplicative reports, reducing state costs through the use of technology, and improving transparency to the legislature and citizens.
  • Review and recommend improvements to state agency training, policies, and procedures for monitoring and reporting performance of state contracts, including a review of exemptions to state contracting oversight.
  • Monitor the implementation of SB 1597, relating to the development of state agency information security plans to improve the security of agency information systems and to proactively protect the state against cybercrime and similar security threats.
Senate Health and Human Services [ Report information ]
  • Review the Department of Family and Protective Services’ efforts to reduce child fatalities. Review the process by which the Department of Family and Protective Services collects and uses data to evaluate agency performance and improve outcomes for children in the Child Protective Services system. Make recommendations to ensure the process effectively uses data to strategically improve caseworker performance, and identify and improve upon deficiencies within the system and improve overall outcomes for children and reduce child fatalities.
  • Monitor the implementation of programs that were created or expanded by the 83rd Legislature to improve mental health and substance abuse services and assess these efforts' contribution to improved outcomes such as reduced recidivism in state hospitals, diversion from emergency rooms and county jails, and access to permanent supportive housing. Identify and address gaps in the current mental health and substance abuse system and make recommendations to better coordinate services across agencies and programs.
  • Build on previous legislative achievements in women's healthcare by examining women’s access to preventative health care, pregnancy services, and post-partum care, and exploring ways to expand access and improve quality, particularly in rural and underserved areas of the state. Monitor the implementation of women's health programs in Texas. Assess these programs' impact on outcomes such as improving access to preventative services, reducing unplanned pregnancies, and achieving cost savings. Recommend ways to better coordinate the various programs in a manner that increases the number of women served, ensures adequate provider capacity statewide, and maximizes efficiencies to the state.
  • Identify cost-effective alternatives to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act to better connect low income individuals to health care services through private market-based solutions, including Medicaid block grants and waivers. Recommendations should strive to encourage cost sharing, promote personal responsibility, reduce uncompensated care costs, contain increasing health care costs, improve access to care, address access to emergency department care issues in rural areas, promote the use of existing private coverage or employee sponsored coverage, reduce non-­?emergency use of emergency departments, and reduce the need for federal approval to the state Medicaid plan.
  • Evaluate the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program structure. Make recommendations to improve the program's operations and ensure the program achieves outcomes that allow TANF recipients to find employment and achieve self-sufficiency. Recommendations should seek to ensure Texas is using the most effective work-related requirements and drug testing protocols.
  • Evaluate the current state of prescription drug abuse and strategies for reducing prescription drug abuse in Texas. Make recommendations on how these policies can be improved or modified to enhance the State of Texas’ handling of services, treatments and education related to prescription drug abuse and to reduce the overall prevalence of prescription drug abuse.
  • Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, 83rd Legislature, Regular Session, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation, including but not limited to:

    • Monitor implementation of initiatives aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of Medicaid long-term care services and supports, including the redesign of services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    • Monitor implementation of initiatives aimed at reducing fraud, waste, and abuse in Texas Medicaid and other health and human services programs.

    • Dental Board Reforms: Monitor implementation of initiatives aimed at improving the State Board of Dental Examiners' ability to protect public safety, including strengthening the Board's authority and enforcement powers, improving the complaint review and resolution processes, and increasing staffing to improve the Board's ability to respond to complaints and potential fraudulent activity. Determine whether there are additional changes necessary to ensure that the Board is able to regulate the practice of dentistry and ensure public safety.

    • Cancer Prevention and Research Institute: Monitor implementation of initiatives aimed at restructuring the governance structure, eliminating conflicts of interest, and increasing transparency at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).

Senate Higher Education [ Report information ]
  • Review and evaluate the success of Closing the Gaps by 2015, the strategic plan for higher education adopted in 2000. Coordinate with the Higher Education Coordinating Board on the next set of long term goals for higher education and monitor their progress.
  • Study and make recommendations regarding the impact of technology on higher education instruction, including online courses and massive open online courses (MOOCs), and their impact on higher education excellence, cost, and funding requirements.
  • Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Higher Education, 83rd Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following:

    • SB 414, relating to a study and report regarding authorizing certain public junior colleges to offer baccalaureate degree programs to address regional workforce needs;

    • SB 62, relating to the vaccination against bacterial meningitis of entering students at public and private or independent institutions of higher education;

    • SB 28 (2011), relating to eligibility for a TEXAS grant and to administration of the TEXAS grant program; and

    • HB 1244 (2011), relating to developmental education and the assessment of student readiness under the Texas Success Initiative and to students enrolled in developmental education at public institutions of higher education.

  • Examine and make recommendations regarding improvements in teacher preparation and certification programs to address any misalignment with school district shortages and problems with retaining new teachers.
  • Review and make recommendations regarding the use of dual credit coursework and other secondary school programs for college credit, including the academic rigor of such programs and predictive value for college success.
  • Examine and make recommendations regarding alignment between high school coursework and expectations in freshman level college coursework. Study the impact of particular coursework, specifically mathematics (including Algebra II) and science courses, as predictors of college readiness and success.
Senate Intergovernmental Relations [ Report information ]
  • Study and make recommendations to increase transparency in the authorization, issuance, and appropriation of debt at the local level. Make recommendations that will increase citizen awareness and understanding of a local government's fiscal state. Analyze reforms such as requiring local governments to move bond elections to a uniform date coinciding with state general elections, and requiring local governments to publicly post their annual budgets, annual financial reports, and check registers online. Survey other states’ initiatives to increase transparency in the process of local governments incurring new debt obligations.
  • Examine the immediate and long-term fiscal impact that bonds and other types of obligations issued by local governments have on current and future generations of taxpayers. Specifically analyze whether local governments should be required to use ballot language that includes their current outstanding debt, existing per capita debt, current debt service, and any increase the ballot measure would have on property taxes. Make recommendations on additional ballot language that will better inform voters of their local governments’ current and future fiscal states.
  • Study the structure of county government and report on ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of county government operations.
Senate Jurisprudence
  • Monitor the implementation of SB 393 and SB 1114 and determine if any statutory changes are necessary to clarify the intent of this legislation. In addition, determine those school districts that have implemented the graduated sanctions envisioned by SB 393 and decide if any additional statutory changes are necessary to ensure that school districts are complying with its intent.
  • Monitor the implementation of statewide electronic filing as mandated by the Texas Supreme Court to determine if any additional training or resources are needed by local jurisdictions. In addition, determine those jurisdictions that have imposed the local transaction fee, as created by HB 2302, to determine how it is being utilized and if its continued collection is necessary.
  • Study and make recommendations on the feasibility of removing failure to attend school (Section 25.094, Texas Education Code) as a Class C misdemeanor offense and determine the feasibility of adjudicating juvenile truancy as a civil offense.
  • Study and make recommendations on the availability and application of deferred adjudication, orders for non-disclosure, and expunctions. Study extending the use of expunction of criminal records history and non-disclosures to certain qualified individuals with low-level, non-violent convictions.
Senate Natural Resources
  • Study and make recommendations to encourage the use of brackish water including but not limited to Aquifer Storage and Recovery and Desalination.
  • Study and make recommendations on what state and federal environmental regulations most affect implementation of water supply strategies in the State Water Plan, including recommendations to reduce state barriers.
  • Examine current processes for environmental permitting, including the impact of permitting delays on economic development. Consider what environmental regulations and permitting procedures are most challenging for small businesses and make recommendations to reduce those burdens. Study and make recommendations on changes to the permitting process that could speed job creation while continuing to protect the environment.
  • Monitor implementation of legislation passed during the 83rd Legislative Session including monitoring implementation of House Bill 4, creating the state water implementation fund.
  • Study the current accountability of river authorities to the legislature and the customers served by the authorities along with their transparency to members of the public. Make recommendations for improvements if necessary. Investigate the role of river authorities in the regional water planning process and the implementation of projects in the state water plan. Receive an update on any ongoing audits of river authorities from the State Auditor's Office and the Legislative Budget Board as well as any future planned audits and schedules.
  • Study the economic impact of drought and water supply management on local communities that depend on non-consumptive or recreational uses of water for economic development purposes. Consider whether the impacts of drought and water supply management on local lakeside economies should be considered in the state and regional water planning process while weighing these local impacts against the regional and statewide impacts of failing to meet consumptive water needs.
  • Examine the impact on Texas' economy and businesses of the recent expansion of oil and gas production in Northern Mexico. Assess opportunities for economic growth in Texas and collaboration between Texas businesses and Mexico resulting from Mexico's energy reform, including Mexico's efforts to recover shale gas from the Eagle Ford Shale.
Senate Open Government [ Report information ]
  • Review the Texas Public Information Act to ensure that access to public records and information by the public remains fully transparent, but that governmental entities have the authority to protect the privacy interests of citizens, including primary and higher education students, from improper public disclosure.
  • Review and make recommendations on improving the transparency of information available on state websites regarding state expenditures, reports, and contracts, including a comparison of how similar information is provided by other states.
Senate State Affairs [ Report information ]
  • Examine the negative economic impact on Texas business from legal issues involving threatened and actual patent litigation by "patent assertion entities" (PAEs). Consider the effects of PAE actions on innovation and economic development in Texas, paying particular attention to threats and lawsuits involving software and technology patent claims. Make recommendations on how the State of Texas can address problems related to frivolous legal actions and unsubstantiated patent claims asserted against legitimate business enterprises in light of the relevant federal jurisdiction, laws, regulations, and court rules in patent cases.
  • Examine possible measures to protect the personal privacy of Texas residents from governmental and commercial surveillance, including:
    (1) any necessary limits on warrantless search and seizure of data from electronic devices and wireless providers, including digital content and geolocational data;
    (2) any necessary protections against non-consented video and audio recordings collected by private handheld and wearable mobile devices and other private surveillance; and
    (3) any necessary limits on warrantless monitoring of the physical location of individuals through the use of biometrics, RFID chips, facial recognition, or other technologies. Examine related measures proposed or passed in other states.
  • Review the types and scope of personal data collected by governmental and commercial entities and consider methods to minimize the government’s collection of data on its citizens. The study should include:
    (1) whether sufficient protections exist for DNA samples and information, including whether there should be a prohibition on the creation of DNA databases, except for felons and sex offenders;
    (2) methods to protect the privacy of gun owners from aggregated purchasing pattern tracking;
    (3) mechanisms to ensure that private health care information is properly protected; and
    (4) ways to ensure that previously anonymous data is not improperly re-identified and marketed. Examine related measures proposed or passed in other states.
  • Examine possible reforms designed to increase citizens' ability to know what data is being collected about them by governmental andcommercial entities and with whom that data is being shared, including an analysis of consumer informed consent. Examine related measures proposed or passed in other states.
  • Study the online legislative resources available to the public from Texas Senate Committee websites and compare esources to those provided by other state legislative committees in Texas and other states. Determine how Texas Senate websites can be improved to provide a more interactive and transparent government.
  • Study the emerging negative impacts of the Federal Affordable Care Act, including the use of navigators, and make recommendations to mitigate any unintended consequences including rising health insurance premiums, lack of access to healthcare, mishandling of Texans' private information by insufficiently-trained navigators, and the Act’s overall effect on Texas employers and insurance consumers. Evaluate free-market alternatives to the Act, including state-led proposals to repeal, reduce or replace the Act. Closely monitor and make recommendations on the continuation of the Texas Health Insurance Pool.
  • Study and make recommendations on increasing medical price transparency in Texas, including studying the impact of SB 1731, 80th Legislative Session. Analyze relevant reforms considered or implemented in other states, and make recommendations regarding potential changes designed to create a more open marketplace for enhanced consumer decision making in Texas.
  • Monitor the actuarial and financial conditions of the pension and health care programs administered by the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) and the Employees Retirement System (ERS).
  • Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on State Affairs, 83rd Legislature, Regular Session, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation.
  • Study and make recommendations relative to the structure of Texas Mutual Insurance Company and the residual market for workers’ compensation insurance in Texas.
Senate Transportation [ Report information ]
  • Examine the anticipated impact increased oil and gas production will continue to have on roadways and bridges. Make recommendations to enhance the safety and infrastructure damaged by truck activity related to oil and gas exploration and production.
  • Evaluate the Texas Department of Transportation and Metropolitan Planning Organization's progress on reducing congestion on the 100 Most Congested Roadway segments and make recommendations to advance the development of the remaining congestion relief projects.
  • Evaluate Comprehensive Development Agreements (CDA) and Design/Build project delivery methods and make recommendations for their future role in reducing congestion and continuing the state's economic growth.
  • Examine the implementation of SB 1792 (83R), which provides remedies for habitual violators of nonpayment of tolls and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation.
  • Study and monitor the state's efforts to protect taxpayers from uninsured motorists. Make recommendations to improve compliance of maintaining motor vehicle liability insurance and registration.
Senate Transportation Funding, Expenditures, and Finance, Select [ Report information ]
  • Look at the current state of transportation funding, expenditures and new methods to finance our future transportation needs.
Senate Veteran Affairs and Military Installations [ Report information ]
  • Investigate the impact of federal actions (including the federal government shutdown, sequestration, military force reductions, and potential base closure or realignment) on active-­duty service members, the Texas Military Department, veterans, their families, defense-­related contractors, small businesses, local governments, and state agencies.
  • Monitor and examine efforts to provide employment and workforce opportunities for veterans, service members, and their families. Make recommendations on how best to continue collaborating with and supporting our honored veterans as they re-­enter the civilian workforce, including improving employment opportunities for veterans at all state agencies.
  • Provide an update on the State Strike Force teams’ progress and recommendations on any additional steps necessary to ensure that veterans promptly receive all federal disability benefits to which they are entitled.
  • Study and make recommendations to improve access to services provided by non-­profit organizations to veterans, their families, and survivors, including examining the effectiveness, standards, and consistency of the 2-­1-­1 information and referral system for military and veteran families statewide.
  • Monitor the implementation of the veterans occupational licensure bills passed during the 83rd Legislative Session to expedite the licensure process for those who are serving, have served, or are married to someone serving our nation in uniform. Study and make recommendations to strengthen and improve state efforts to ease the transition of military veterans and their spouses into the Texas civilian workforce.
  • Monitor implementation of the veteran's mental health legislation passed during the 83rd Legislative Session, including funding to support the Military Veteran Peer Network at Department of State Health Services. Assess whether state mental health initiatives targeted to veterans and their families appropriately address Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Study and make recommendations to enhance the delivery of mental health services to veterans at the local level through the network of Veteran County Service Officers.
  • In addition to the formal Interim Charges, the VAMI Committee reviewed allegations that the VA has denied health and mental health care and manipulated waiting lists to access care. The Committee also considered whether or not the state has a role in assisting veterans in Texas with VA health care as it did with the Strike Force Teams for VA disability claims.
Joint Aging
  • Study issues relating to the aging population of Texas, including health care, income, transportation, housing, education, and employment.
Joint Border Wait Times [ Report information ]
  • Study the effects on international trade of wait times at Texas points of entry between the United States and Mexico.
Joint Coastal Barrier System [ Report information ]
  • Study the effectiveness of the implementation of the changes in law made by HB 3459, 83 R.S. Study the feasibility and desirability of creating and maintaining a coastal barrier system in this state and of authorizing coastal property owners to grant easements to governmental entities to construct and maintain stabilized dunes.
Joint Ethics Laws, Select [ Report information ]
  • Study and review the statutes and regulations related to ethics, including campaign finance laws, lobby laws, and personal financial disclosure laws.
Joint Higher Education Governance, Excellence, and Transparency, Select Oversight
  • Examine the governing structure and organization of the state's universities, health-related institutions of higher education, and university systems, the manner in which they develop and implement major policy decisions, and any other matter relating to excellence, transparency, accountability, or efficiency in governance or administration.
Joint Judicial Selection, Interim
  • Studies and reviews the method by which statutory county court judges, including statutory probate court judges, district judges, and appellate justices and judges are selected in this state; considers the fairness, effectiveness, and desirability of selecting these judicial officers through partisan elections; considers selection methods proposed or adopted by other states.
Joint Recruitment of Firearms and Ammunition Manufacturers [ Report information ]
  • Study the Recruitment of Firearm and Ammunition Manufacturers was established by House Concurrent Resolution 89 from the 83rd Legislative Session.
Joint Texas Lottery and Texas Lottery Commission [ Report information ]
  • Study charitable bingo and the distribution of charitable bingo revenue; study the elimination of the state lottery.
Joint Water Desalination, Interim
  • Study water desalination in Texas.
* This represents an abstract of the report contents. Charge text is incomplete or unavailable.