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House Committee Resources: Driver's License Issuance and Renewal

Committee Resources

The committee has requested written submissions on the following topics. Below are resources related to those topics.

 

House Select Committee on Driver's License Issuance & Renewal  

Charge 1: Examining opportunities to expedite the driver's license renewal processes, with a focus on long wait times, physician waivers for eye exams, redundant fingerprinting, and opportunities to complete the renewal online; Reviewing the feasibility of permanently transferring the licensing program from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) over to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

 

Charge 2: Monitoring the use of additional funds that were devoted to the Department of Public Safety in the 86th Legislature for the purposes of improving the driver's license renewal process, along with the construction of new driver's license service centers.

 

Charge 3: Monitoring the implementation of House Bill 1078 -- which waives driver's license and handgun license fees for individuals with certificates in cardiopulmonary resuscitation -- and determining whether the legislation is being implemented as intended.

 

Charge 4: Monitoring the implementation of Senate Bill 616 -- the DPS sunset bill -- which provides for the conditional transfer of licensing programs from DPS to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and reviewing the new workgroup's adoption of an implementation plan for the orderly transfer of programs.

 

** UPDATED ** COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Texas Informational Resources

This post is an update of blog posts dated March 17, 2020, and April 7, 2020.

 

Below is an updated list of resources from Texas leadership and Texas state agencies on the response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). Please use contact information on the respective agencies' websites for any questions specific to their purposes.

 

From Texas leadership:

 

Texas state agency resources:

 

Information on this page is provided as a public service by the Legislative Reference Library. The Legislative Reference Library makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy and makes no warranty in regard to its use. Users assume all risk of reliance on the information included on this site.

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, September 17

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community.

  • Read about how diet can affect hearing ability. (Consumer Reports, September 14, 2020)
  • Consider the current climate related to state legislation about internet gambling. (National Conference of State Legislatures, September 2020)
  • Review some of the federal and state responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Law Library of Congress, September 2020)
  • Track wildfires and how far wildfire smoke travels. (AirNow.gov, home of the U.S. Air Quality Index, accessed September 16, 2020)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and onlines sources to compile a weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. View this week's Current Articles.

 

Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles by using our online form or by calling 512-463-1252.

 

Sunset Commission Meeting, September 23

 

Contact Tracing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes contact tracing as "an effective disease control strategy that involves identifying cases and their contacts then working with them to interrupt disease transmission." In the public health world, contact tracing has long been used in response to infectious diseases. Currently the strategy includes interviewing affected individuals, monitoring cases, providing instructions on isolation and quarantine, and assisting in crisis management. Below are background resources on the principles and concepts involved in contact tracing and state implementation of contact tracing programs.

 

Tile image, "Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2," by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Cropped and resized from original.

House Committee Resources: Licensing & Administrative Procedures

Committee Resources

The committee has requested written submissions on the following topics. Below are resources related to those topics.

 

 

House Committee on Licensing & Administrative Procedures                     

Charge 1: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 86th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:  

  • HB 892, which relates to county regulation of game rooms. Monitor the status of counties statewide who have chosen to regulate game rooms and implement their own regulatory structure to combat illegal gambling activity via registration and permitting requirements, fees, disclosure of ownership, inspection schemes, and civil and criminal penalties.

  • HB 1545, which is the sunset legislation for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). Monitor the implementation of the legislation and the agency's progress in the consolidation, repeal, and creation of certain licenses and permits and the adoption of new fees.
  • HB 2847, which is the omnibus occupational licensing legislation. Monitor the implementation of revisions relating to the licensing and regulation of certain occupations by the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation, including the length of a license term, a fee for the issuance or renewal of a license, and any continuing education required to renew a license.
  • SB 1450, which authorizes alcohol delivery to consumers. Monitor the implementation and permitting process by TABC for consumer delivery of alcohol.

 

Charge 2: Study efforts by the TABC to combat human trafficking at all licensed locations. Make recommendations to increase the TABC's ability to rescue victims and successfully prosecute permit holders that have been identified as participating in human trafficking, and to make regulatory or statutory changes needed to prevent human trafficking in this state. 

 

Charge 3: Examine "control label" products and their impact on the three-tier system and alcoholic beverage industry in the state. Make recommendations to regulate control label products in a way that promotes economic growth, benefits the consumer, and stabilizes the three-tier system. 

 

Charge 4: Evaluate the Texas wine industry and the current labeling requirements associated with the use of "Texas" as an appellation. Determine if current regulations and permitting rules are adequate to support the industry's development. 

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, September 10

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community.

  • Read about the use of face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Consumer Reports, September 4, 2020)
  • See when and were to view fall foliage. (smokymountains.com, ©2020)
  • Track statistics related to e-cigarette sales over the last six years. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 9, 2020)
  • View the progress of the sunset review schedule through late August of this year. (Sunset Advisory Commission, August 26, 2020)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and online sources to compile a weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. View this week's Current Articles.

 

Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles by using our online form or by calling 512-463-1252.

House Committee Resources: Public Education

Committee Resources

The committee has requested written submissions on the following topics. Below are resources related to those topics.

 

 

House Committee on Public Education

Charge 1: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 86th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:

 

Related to Behavioral Health (Joint charge with Committee on Public Health):

  • HB 18, which enhances school safety and mental health resources for students and school personnel and works to reduce the stigma around mental health conditions. Monitor the process by which state agencies coordinate to implement the legislation and their compliance with various requirements, including providing required guidelines and resources to schools.
  • HB 19, which places non-physician mental health professionals at education service centers to provide resources for educators and administrators in school districts and charter schools. 
  • HB 906, which creates the Collaborative Task Force on Public School Mental Health Services.
  • SB 11, which creates the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium to facilitate access to mental health care services through telehealth and expands the mental health workforce through training and funding opportunities. Monitor the creation of the consortium and agencies' rulemaking processes. Review how school districts are spending their school safety allotment.

 

 

House Committee on Public Education

Charge 2: Determine if any barriers exist in providing a digital learning environment for all children, including an evaluation of the competitive marketplace for blended learning products and services. Evaluate the effectiveness of the Technology and Instructional Materials Allotment (TIMA) in providing districts the resources necessary to equip students with instructional materials and technology, including in the review all programs and initiatives funded by set asides from the TIMA.

 

House Committee on Public Education

Charge 3: Monitor the progress of the TEA's compliance with the Corrective Action Response required by the United States Department of Education, the implementation of the state's Special Education Strategic Plan, and the state’s compliance with other federal requirements regarding special education, including maintenance of state financial support for special education. Recommend solutions to barriers the agency, school districts, students with disabilities, and parents face in accessing a free and appropriate public education and in meeting the milestones of the plan and any measures needed at the state level to ensure that students with disabilities are being located, fully evaluated, and appropriately identified for special education instruction and services. 

 

House Committee on Public Education  

Charge 4: Monitor the State Auditor's review of agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction. The Chair shall seek input and periodic briefings on completed audits for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years and bring forth pertinent issues for full committee consideration.

 

House Committee on Public Education

Survey questions for the public; public school districts; and relevant associations such as those representing independent and private schools, faculty associations, parent associations, and teacher associations

 

House Committee Resources: Statewide Health Care Costs and Human Services

Committee Resources

The committee has requested written submissions on the following topics. Below are resources related to those topics.

 

House Select Committee on Statewide Health Care Costs

Charge 1: Examine the primary drivers of increased health care costs in Texas. This examination should include a review of:

  • Current health care financing strategies;
  • fragmentation of the care delivery administrative burden;
  • population, health, and social factors that contribute to rising rates of chronic disease and poor health;
  • insurance coverage and benefit design;
  • lack of transparency in the cost of health care services;
  • regional variations in the cost of care;
  • consolidation and lack of competition in the provider and insurance markets;
  • health care workforce capacity distribution; and 
  • fraud, abuse, and wasteful spending.

 

Charge 2: Study the opportunities to better coordinate how public dollars are spent on health care.

 

Charge 3: Identify emerging and proven delivery system improvements and sustainable financing models that could reduce the cost of health care.

 

House Committee on Human Services

Topics:

Health Care Access and Medicaid: Examine innovative approaches and delivery models to reduce health care costs for both patients and taxpayers, including policies that other states have implemented. Consider recommendations to implement such models. Study the impact that "direct care" health care models may have on Medicaid beneficiaries for acute care and mental health services, including potential cost savings and improvement in quality metrics. Examine efforts other states have made seeking to implement direct care models, particularly in Medicaid or in charitable health care delivery.

 

Impacts of COVID-19 on Long-Term Care Facilities: Consider the following issues in light of the COVID-19 pandemic: 

     1) Review the state's response to the pandemic, specifically as it relates to emergency regulations that prohibited visitation of 
         residents of long-term care facilities by family members. Examine the physical and mental health impacts of the visitation policy on
         long-term care residents.

 

     2) Review emergency waivers of regulations of long-term care facilities during the pandemic and make recommendations on whether regulations should be permanently waived or removed.

 

Charge 2.2 - 2.5: Review how Texas is preparing for state and federal budgetary changes that impact the state's health programs, including: 

 

Charge 4: Examine the long-term services and support system of care in Texas. Study workforce challenges for both institutional and community services, with a focus on home- and community-based services in the state's STAR+PLUS program. Review what impact funding provided by the 86th Legislature to increase the base wage for community attendant services and the increased funding for rate enhancements have on workforce retention and quality. Consider options to both stabilize and expand the workforce. Review the long-term care programs and services available to Texas' seniors, including community alternatives to institutional care available through programs like the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. Examine the adequacy of current funding mechanisms, including Medicaid reimbursement rates and supplemental or add-on payments, to incentivize high-quality care. Consider mechanisms to promote a stable, sustainable and quality-based long-term care system to address current and future needs of the state. 

 

Charge 5: Examine the adequacy of Medicaid reimbursements for nursing facilities, including existing incentive-based payment models and the Quality Incentive Payment Program. Consider and make recommendations to incentivize innovative models of care delivery in nursing home facilities. Study the impact of the STAR+PLUS managed care program on nursing facility care, operations and patient health outcomes, and consider recommendations to improve administrative processes between facilities and managed care organizations. 

 

House Committee on Human Services

Charge 2.1: Review how Texas is preparing for state and federal budgetary changes that impact the state's health programs, including: 

     2.1) The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA).

 

In particular,

  • Identify and make recommendations to ensure compliance with the requirements of the FFPSA; and
  • Identify and make recommendations related to efficient implementation of the optional portions of FFPSA in concert with Community-Based Care.

Charge 3: Monitor the implementation and expansion of Community-Based Care by the Department of Family and Protective Services. Specifically: 

  • Identify and make recommendations to remove barriers to successful implementation of Community-Based Care.

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, September 3

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community.

  • Consider how a felony conviction can affect a person's right to vote. (Stateline, August 31, 2020)
  • Read about how American restaurants are doing during the pandemic, city by city. (Wolf Street, August 29, 2020)
  • Explore how the Main Street Lending Program works. (Congressional Research Service, August 27, 2020)
  • Get ready for fall hunting and fishing by purchasing licenses online. (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, accessed September 3, 2020)

Members of the Texas legislative community may request the articles below here or by calling 512-463-1252.

  • 20.09.01 / "How states can use early care and education provider surveys to develop COVID-19 response strategies." By Mallory Warner-Richter. Child Trends, August 2020, pp. 1-12.
    Details the important role states play in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing access to child care for essential workers and issuing guidance for early care and education [ECE]. Presents strategies for state leaders to help child care systems stabilize, rebuild, and strengthen, while protecting racial and ethnic equity in child care.
  • 20.09.02 / "How do you 'defund the police' in Texas? Very carefully." By Henry Gass. Christian Science Monitor, August 21, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Highlights the discussions in Texas cities about changes in police funding, including the redistribution of funds among the police, social and mental health services, and other city departments. Suggests potential savings could come from improved hiring and firing practices in police departments as a strategy to decrease expensive lawsuits.
  • 20.09.03 / "Budget crunch: North Texas cities grapple with COVID-19's financial bite." By Bill Hethcock. Dallas Business Journal, August 28, 2020, pp. 8-11.
    Explores the COVID-19 pandemic's financial impact on local governments and the cost-saving measures these local governments plan to take.
  • 20.09.04 / "Back to school: Learning and COVID." Economist, August 29th-September 4th, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Reports continued school disruptions due to COVID-19 will widen educational inequality, disproportionately hurting poorer pupils.
  • 20.09.05 / "Teachers with COVID-19 health risks: Who gets to stay home?" By Madeline Will. Education Week, August 18, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Considers the return of teachers to school campuses and the challenges some face when seeking health accommodations due to being at higher risk for COVID-19 complications. Addresses medical exemptions and the few options offered when the exemptions are denied.
  • 20.09.06 / "Who will pay for the roads?" By Ulrik Boesen. Fiscal Fact (Tax Foundation), August 2020, pp. 1-20.
    Discusses the evolution of the motor fuel tax and the discrepancy in state and federal tax revenues compared with highway finance expenditures. Outlines the possible solution of taxing vehicle miles traveled [VMT], including GPS monitoring and privacy concerns.
  • 20.09.07 / "Texas' electricity resources: Where power comes from — and how it gets to you." By Lisa Minton. Fiscal Notes, August 2020, pp. 1, 3-6.
    Details the electricity resources of Texas, the only state in the 48 contiguous United States with its own stand-alone electricity grid, managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas [ERCOT]. Describes ERCOT's responsibilities in ensuring a competitive electricity market and sufficient generating capacity. Addresses Texas' "fuel mix" of natural gas, coal, and wind energy and the impact of COVID-19 on power demand.
  • 20.09.08 / "Fewer youth in foster care, but family reunifications hit record low." By John Kelly. Imprint, August 24, 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Presents recent federal child welfare data on foster care, family reunifications, and adoptions, according to the latest annual report of the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System [AFCARS], published by the Children's Bureau, an office of the Administration for Children and Families. Includes state-level statistics found within state data tables in the Children's Bureau's related report and data visualization.
  • 20.09.09 / "Attacks on public health officials during COVID-19." By Michelle M. Mello, Jeremy A. Greene, and Joshua M. Sharfstein. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), August 25, 2020, pp. 471-472.
    Highlights the increased harassment of public health officials during the COVID-19 pandemic, including discussion of how the decline in civility in political discourse has contributed. Argues elected leaders should provide public health officials protection from illegal harassment.
  • 20.09.10 / "The 7,383-seat strategy is working." By Joan Walsh. Nation, September 7/14, 2020, pp. 12-17, 26.
    Discusses recent trends in the political affiliation of state legislatures and speculates on the possibility Democrats will regain control of state legislatures in the 2020 election. Includes maps comparing the party control of state legislatures in 2009 and 2019.
  • 20.09.11 / "Fundraising & gender parity in state legislatures remains elusive." National Institute on Money in Politics, August 17, 2020, pp. 1-8.
    Analyzes median campaign contributions to state legislators by gender from 2016 to 2019, including Texas.
  • 20.09.12 / "In policing, race matters." By James R. Copland. National Review, September 7, 2020, pp. 27-29.
    Explains that African-American men are the principal beneficiaries of good policing, but also disproportionately bear a cost of that same proactive policing due to their higher percentage of interactions with police. Considers police reform proposals represented by two bills before Congress: Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere [JUSTICE] Act of 2020 and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020.
  • 20.09.13 / "Health care workforce reform: COVID-19 spotlights need for changes to clinician licensing." By Shirley V. Svorny and Michael F. Cannon. Policy Brief (CATO Institute), August 4, 2020, pp. 1-24.
    Suggests third-party certification as an alternative to direct government licensing of health care professionals.
  • 20.09.14 / "Preparing for the post-pandemic: Repurposing tools." By David Boonin. Public Utilties Fortnightly, July 2020, pp. 1-5.
    Considers how existing tools can be adapted to address post-pandemic circumstances applicable to electric utilities. Focuses on cash flow and system hardening and effectiveness.
  • 20.09.15 / "Black history instruction gets new emphasis in many states." By Marsha Mercer. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), August 20, 2020, pp. 1-4.
    Reports on efforts by states and school districts to incorporate the African American experience into the broader social studies curriculum.
  • 20.09.16 / "Parental rights in Texas public schools: Does in loco parentis still have meaning?" By Miles T. Bradshaw. Texas Bar Journal, September 2020, pp. 542-543.
    Explains the basic framework of parental rights available by law in a school setting, including part of the school reform movement that culminated in the passage of SB1, 74th Legislature.
  • 20.09.17 / "The statues are coming down. Maybe that's a missed opportunity." By Stephen Harrigan. Texas Monthly, September 2020, pp. 1-10.
    Examines recent efforts to remove public monuments to slaveholders, Confederate soldiers, and Texas Rangers. Discusses the author's involvement in erecting Texas-related monuments through the organization Capital Area Statues, Inc. [CAST]. Mentions monuments on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol.
  • 20.09.18 / "It's a trap!: Responsible enforcement of Texas disaster evacuation orders." By William S. Gribble. Texas Tech Law Review, Summer 2020, pp. 725-742.
    Examines the legal basis for mandatory evacuation orders related to a disaster, the civil and criminal enforcement mechanisms in Texas, and the need for a statutory exception.

 

The Legislative Reference Library compiles this weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. Professional librarians review and select articles from more than 300 periodicals, including public policy journals, specialized industry periodicals, news magazines, and state agency publications. Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles using our online form.

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