LRL Home - Points of Interest - Committee Resources

House Committee Resources: Mass Violence & Community Safety, Public Health

House Committee Resources: Mass Violence & Community Safety, Public Health

The committees have requested written submissions on the following topics. Below are resources related to those topics.

 

 

Duties:

Duty (1): examine options for strengthening enforcement measures for current laws that prevent the transfer of firearms to felons and other persons prohibited by current law from possessing firearms; 

 

Duty (2): examine impediments and challenges to the timely reporting of relevant criminal history information and other threat indicators to state and federal databases;

 

Duty (3): examine the role of digital media and technology in threat detection, assessment, reporting, and prevention, including the collaboration between digital media and law enforcement;

 

Duty (3) Designated Party:

  • Ron Barnes, Head of State Legislative Affairs, Google

 

Duty (4): evaluate the ongoing and long-term workforce needs of the state related to cybersecurity, mental health, law enforcement, and related professionals; and

 

Duty (5): evaluate current protocols and extreme risk indicators used to identify potential threats and consider options for improving the dissemination of information between federal, state, and local entities and timely and appropriate intervention of mental health professionals.

 

 

House Committee on Public Health 

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 Women/Maternal/Infant Health

  • HB 253, which requires the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to develop and implement a five-year strategic plan to address postpartum depression. Monitor the development of the strategic plan to ensure it provides strategies to improve access to postpartum depression screening, referral, treatment, and support services.

  • SB 436, which requires the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), in conjunction with the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force, to develop and implement statewide initiatives to improve maternal and newborn health for women with opioid use disorder. Examine the process by which DSHS and the Task Force develop and implement the initiatives, and, if applicable, monitor the development of the optional pilot program authorized by the legislation.
  • SB 748, which creates a newborn screening preservation account and requires the development of a program to provide prenatal and postpartum care through telehealth or telemedicine in certain counties, a high risk maternal care coordination services pilot program, and a pregnancy medical home pilot program. Monitor the rulemaking process at HHSC and conduct oversight of the creation of the newborn screening preservation account and the maternal health programs. Identify any challenges that arise in funding the account or implementing the programs. Ensure the required agencies are providing adequate data collection on maternal mortality rates, maternity care, and postpartum depression in the state.
  • SB 749, which relates to designating levels of neonatal and maternal care for hospitals and establishes an appeal process, waiver agreement, and telemedicine exceptions. Monitor HHSC's rulemaking process.
  • SB 750, which directs HHSC to evaluate and develop a limited postpartum care package for new mothers enrolled in the Healthy Texas Women (HTW) program and to develop strategies to ensure continuity of care for new mothers who transition from Medicaid for Pregnant Women into HTW. Monitor HHSC's rulemaking process and the evaluation and development of the postpartum care package in HTW.
  • SB 2132, which requires additional information to be provided to new mothers enrolled in HTW. Monitor HHSC's rulemaking process.

 

Related to Controlled Substances/Opioids

 

Related to Rural Health

  • HB 3934, which provides rural hospitals with the authority to establish a health care collaborative.
  • SB 170, which relates to the reimbursement of rural hospitals under Medicaid. Monitor the reimbursement methodology developed by HHSC.
  • SB 633, which provides the authority to assemble local mental health authorities (LMHA) in rural areas into groups in order to ensure access to mental health services in those areas. Conduct oversight of the process of grouping individual LMHAs and the development of a plan for each group to increase capacity and access.
  • SB 1621, which creates a rural hospital strategic plan.

 

Related to General Monitoring

  • HB 871, which authorizes certain rural hospitals to satisfy trauma facility designation requirements through the use of telemedicine. Monitor HHSC's rulemaking process.

  • HB 1501, which creates the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council. Monitor the transfer of the regulation of psychologists, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, and social workers to the new council.
  • HB 1504, which continues the Texas Medical Board until September 1, 2031. Review and identify any challenges related to the processing of complaints, including due process concerns and the independence of the Board. Make recommendations for additional modifications to address these challenges.
    • Texas Medical Board (Sunset Review Documents for 2018-2019 Review Cycle, 86th Legislative Session). Texas Sunset Advisory Commission
  • HB 3148, which establishes provisions related to the administration and oversight of investigational adult stem cell treatments. Monitor the creation of the investigational stem cell registry.
  • HB 3703, which expands eligibility for low-THC cannabis prescriptions. Monitor HHSC's rulemaking process.
  • HB 4455, which authorizes a health professional to provide a mental health service via telemedicine or telehealth services to a patient located outside of Texas.
  • SB 21, which raises the age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21.
  • SB 670, which relates to ensuring reimbursement of telemedicine and telehealth services and expanding which facilities may receive reimbursement for those services.

 

Related to Behavioral 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.

 

o   Senate Bill 11 Data Requirement and Safe and Supportive Schools Program (SSSP) (Correspondence to the Administrator Addressed), Texas Education Agency, September 17, 2020

o   Senate Bill 11 (SB 11) and Other School Safety-Related Legislation (Correspondence to the Administrator Addressed), Texas Education Agency, February 27, 2020

o   School Safety After Senate Bill 11, Texas Association of School Boards, updated October 2019

o   Implementation Plan for the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium (TCMHCC), As Required by Rider 58 of the Appropriation to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (House Bill 1, 86th Legislature, Regular Session, 2019), The University of Texas System, November 2019

o   Improving School Safety in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott, August 27, 2019

o   Texas 86th Legislative Session: Summary of Mental Health and Substance Use-Related Legislation, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, The University of Texas at Austin, September 3, 2019

o   HB 906 Mental Health Task Force, Texas Education Agency

o   School Safety, Texas Education Agency

o   Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, The University of Texas System

 

House Committee on Public Health 

 

House Committee on Public Health 

Charge 3: Review behavioral health capacity in the state, with a focus on suicide prevention efforts and the provision of behavioral health care services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Review suicide prevention programs and initiatives across state agencies, evaluate their effectiveness, and identify opportunities for greater coordination. Identify gaps in the continuum of care for individuals with disabilities and challenges for those providing care to them. Additionally, identify any existing administrative and licensing barriers that negatively affect overall behavioral health capacity in the state.

 

House Committee on Public Health

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 Resources: Aggregate Production Operations

Committee Resources

The committee has requested written submissions on the following topic. Below are resources related to that topic.

 

House Interim Study Committee on Aggregate Production Operations

Topic: The impact of aggregate production operations (APOs), including, but not limited to, rock-crushing facilities, concrete batch plants, and hot-mix asphalt plants, across the state.

 

Examples of issues impacted by APOs include, but are not limited to:

 

(1) general enforcement of regulations;

(2) nuisance issues relating to dust, noise, and light;

(3) transportation safety and transportation integrity;

(4) air quality;

(5) blasting enforcement;

(6) reclamation efforts;

(7) distance of facilities from adjoining property lines;

(8) disruption of groundwater; and

(9) the impact of municipal ordinances;

 

 

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.

 

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. 

 

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.

 

House Committee Resources: Transportation

Monday, August 31

 

Committee Resources

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

 

House Committee on Transportation     

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:

 

Charge 2: Study the state's transportation and road safety efforts in support of the Texas Transportation Commission's goal of ending traffic deaths in the state by 2050. Identify the most dangerous roads and transportation corridors in the state and determine opportunities to reduce high rates of traffic accidents and fatalities in these areas. Make recommendations to improve policies, funding strategies, program development, and agency coordination to ensure continuous improvements to road safety.

 

Charge 3: Study the technology and safety aspects of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles, including predictive capabilities and the potential for dedicated freeway and surface lanes for public   transportation, autonomous vehicles, and semi-autonomous vehicles. Make recommendations for optimizing state policy to prepare for varying vehicle technologies to ensure safety and traffic reliability on Texas roadways.

 

Charge 4: Study the state's seaport infrastructure and the infrastructure at land ports of entry to facilitate international trade and economic growth. Examine seaport infrastructure and the auxiliary rail and roadway needs connected to each port as well as the port's ability to keep pace with oil and gas production. Make recommendations to maximize the economic flow of goods and products to and from seaports and study the feasibility and economic impact of dredging and widening Texas ports in order to remain competitive in international trade. Examine the infrastructure at international border ports of entry in Texas and identify transportation-related impediments to international trade that negatively impact the state. Make recommendations to reduce border wait times, facilitate economic growth, and expedite trade. (Joint charge with the House Committee on International Relations & Economic Development)

 

Charge 5: 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 Resources: Appropriations

Friday, August 28

 

Committee Resources

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

House Committee on Appropriations

Charge 1: Monitor and oversee the implementation of appropriations bills and other relevant legislation passed by the 86th Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the Committee will also specifically monitor implementation of appropriations for:

  • Human and sex trafficking legislation;
  • Revenue projections for the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund; and
  • Implementation of procurement and contracting reforms at state agencies.

 

Charge 2: Review and evaluate the actuarial soundness of the Employees Retirement System and Teacher Retirement System pension funds. Examine the cost of and potential strategies for achieving and maintaining the actuarial soundness of the funds. Examine the effect the unfunded liabilities could have on the state's credit rating. Examine the state's investment policies and practices, including investment objectives, targets, disclosure policies, and transparency. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Pensions, Investments & Financial Services)

 

Charge 3: Examine the cost of state employee turnover on the state budget and review the impact of recent targeted salary increases, including those at the Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

 

Charge 4: Evaluate the volume and efficacy of reporting requirements required in the General Appropriations Act and identify opportunities to streamline and consolidate agency reporting requirements.

 

Charge 5: Monitor the implementation of SB 68, providing for expanded implementation of the Strategic Fiscal Review process.

 

Charge 6: Examine the number, type, and estimated value of accounts maintained outside of the State Treasury, and the potential impact to state budget certification made by moving additional funds outside the Treasury.

 

Charge 7: Identify structural changes that can be made to the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF) in order to maximize investments and establish a source of funding for long-term liabilities. Examine the potential of using the fund for long-term infrastructure projects and the impact of the constitutional cap on the ESF balance.

 

Charge 8: Monitor the State Auditor's review of agencies and programs. The Chair shall seek input and periodic briefings on completed audits for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years with potential impact on the appropriations process and bring forth pertinent issues for full committee consideration.

 

 

House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Infrastructure, Resiliency, & Investments

Charge 1: Monitor the implementation of disaster-related legislation from the 86th Legislature, including but not limited to SB 7, SB 8, and SB 500. Identify any issues and corresponding remedies for those issues in drawing down any federal funds related to the purposes of carrying out the intent of the newly enacted legislation.

 

Charge 2: Review the funding appropriated to state agencies for information technology (IT) and cybersecurity improvements and modernization. Evaluate the cost of ongoing IT and cybersecurity upgrades and the methodology for prioritizing projects.

 

Charge 3: Monitor the implementation of SB 69 and the impact to investment returns made from the Economic Stabilization Fund.

 

House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Articles I, IV & V

Charge 1: Monitor the agencies and programs under Articles I, IV, and V, and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation and riders passed by the 86th Legislature.

 

Charge 2: Monitor the use of additional funds provided to the Department of Public Safety for driver license services improvements and construction of new driver license service centers. Evaluate the progress being made to reduce wait times at service centers throughout the state.

 

Charge 3: Monitor use of state funding to increase forensic testing and reduce the sexual assault kit backlog.

 

Charge 4: Evaluate funding provided to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) for the repair, maintenance, and upgrade of prison facilities. Determine areas of the facilities that are in most need of repair, maintenance, or upgrade and examine the costs associated with such repairs, maintenance, or upgrades. Examine the Correctional Managed Health Care Committee's administration of Hepatitis C treatment and procedures. Review the Community Justice Assistance Division's current compliance practices and examine current funding formulas for adult probation departments. Study the TDCJ's ownership of real property not being used for prison facilities, including the amount of property owned and its highest and best use. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Corrections)

 

Charge 5: Monitor efforts by the Office of the Attorney General to redevelop the Texas Child Support Enforcement System.

 

Charge 6: Examine the major cost drivers within and the impact of funding provided to the Correctional Managed Health Care program.

 

House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Article III

Charge 1: Monitor the agencies and programs under Article III and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation and riders passed by the 86th Legislature.

 

Charge 2: Evaluate ongoing costs associated with implementing the provisions of HB 3.

 

Charge 3: Review formula funding for higher education institutions in Texas. Examine the general efficiency and equity of formula funding for these higher education institutions. Monitor the implementation of mission-specific pilot formulas at the state's health-related institutions.

 

Charge 4: Examine the state higher education institutions' resources and research into the causes and cures for degenerative and debilitating brain and nervous conditions and the projected costs to the state for the treatment of those conditions.

 

House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Articles VI, VII & VIII

Charge 1: Monitor the agencies and programs under Articles VI, VII, and VIII, and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation and riders passed by the 86th Legislature.

 

Charge 2: Monitor the status of the operation, maintenance, and structural repairs of low hazard and high hazard dams throughout the state, as well as implementation of funds appropriated to the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board's Flood Control Program during the 86th Legislature. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Agriculture & Livestock)

 

Charge 3: Monitor the use of additional funds provided to the Texas Department of Transportation in SB 500 for the Transportation Infrastructure Fund. Examine existing fund balances and determine if the funds should be held in a more efficient manner.

 

Charge 4: Evaluate funding provided to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for the repair, maintenance, and upgrade of state park facilities. Determine the facilities that are in most need of repair, maintenance, or upgrade and examine the costs associated with such repairs, maintenance, or upgrades.

 

 

House Committee Resources: Insurance, Elections

Monday, August 24                                       

 

Committee Resources

The committees have requested written submissions on the following topics. Below are resources related to those topics.

 

House Committee on Insurance

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 259, which prohibits certain practices related to the delivery, issuing of delivery, or renewing of named driver policies. Determine if there are any changes regarding policy affordability or the uninsured motorist population.

    • Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0010-19, Re: FAQ about House Bill 259, 86th Legislature, Regular Session (2019) (named driver policy prohibition), Texas Department of Insurance, September 16, 2019
  • HB 1900, which amends the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) operations and funding practices. Review the rulemaking process by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) and the adoption of an updated plan of operation by TWIA. Monitor whether the purchase of reinsurance has increased or declined and determine whether this provision of the legislation has had any impact on premium rates. Monitor the appointment and work of the Legislative Funding and Funding Structure Oversight board.
  • HB 2536, which requires certain reporting requirements for drug manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers, and health insurers on certain pharmaceutical practices, including the pricing and availability of insulin. Examine its effect on drug pricing in the market and how to increase transparency in pricing associated with delivery of drugs, such as insulin, to the end user patient.
  • SB 442, which requires insurers that do not provide flood coverage in their policy to disclose that the policy does not cover flood events. Determine whether consumers are being properly informed of whether they have flood coverage. Examine the development of standardized disclosure forms for all insurance policies in Texas (health, homeowners, and personal auto) to provide more clarity to consumers about what the policy covers and any exclusions.
  • SB 1264, which prohibits balance billing (surprise billing) and creates an arbitration system to settle balance bills. Monitor the implementation of the mediation and arbitration programs, including the establishment of a portal on the TDI website through which requests for mediation and arbitration may be submitted. Determine whether the appropriate state agencies are enforcing the prohibition on balance billing. Review the Department's rules implementing the legislation's exception for non-emergency "elective" services to determine whether the rules limit the exception to out-of-network services that a patient has actively elected after receiving a complete written disclosure. Monitor or follow up on TDI's process for selecting the benchmarking database and determine whether the database chosen provides the most accurate available data and its sources are transparent. Evaluate the fiscal impact of the legislation on the Employees Retirement System of Texas and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. Review costs to the systems and savings to employees and teachers.
  • SB 1852, which requires certain disclosures for insurers that offer short-term limited duration plans. Study whether similar consumer disclosures and other safeguards are needed for non-traditional health coverage products marketed to individuals or small 28 employers in Texas. Identify any gaps that leave consumers without needed information or consumer protections, including network adequacy and protections from surprise medical bills.
  • SB 1940, which extends to August 31, 2021, TDI's authority to revise and administer the temporary health insurance risk pool to the extent federal funds are available. Study ways to foster a competitive market and reduce the uninsured rate, including by exploring flexibility available through federal waivers. Study the impact to health care systems if the Affordable Care Act is ruled unconstitutional, including identifying which mandates, consumer protections, and subsidies will be lost and which have equivalents in state law.

 

Charge 2: Study the adequacy of the state’s insurance laws on regulating the introduction of insurtech products into the Texas insurance market. Include in the study the impact of big data, blockchain, internet of things, and artificial intelligence technologies on industry practices such as claims handling, underwriting, and policy writing. Study whether these technologies present challenges for any of the state’s insurance laws, including the state’s antidiscrimination, data privacy, anti-rebate, and licensing laws and regulations. Additionally, examine the pros and cons of adopting a regulatory sandbox and consider sandbox programs that are implemented in other states.

 

Charge 3: 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 Elections

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 933, which requires election information to be posted on the Secretary of State's (SOS) and each county's internet website. Monitor the costs associated with implementing the legislation. Work with the SOS to determine which office elections should be included in the website postings based on costs and popularity of the office.

    • Election Advisory No. 2019-19, RE: NEW LAW: Web Posting Requirements for Political Subdivisions – House Bill 305, House Bill 440, Senate Bill 902, House Bill 933, House Bill 1850, and House Bill 2640, Texas Secretary of State, October 4, 2019
  • HB 1421, which strengthens the cybersecurity of the state's election infrastructure. Review the program required under the bill to train county election officers in the best practices for identifying and reducing cybersecurity threats.
  • HB 2504, which modifies ballot access requirements for non-major party nominees. Review the provision requiring the SOS to establish rules implementing the fees and petitions.
    • Election Advisory No. 2019-13, RE: House Bill 2504 – New Rules for Parties Nominating by Convention Process, Texas Secretary of State, August 31, 2019
  • HB 4130, which requires the SOS to develop procedures for adequately certifying electronic poll books. Review the provision requiring the secretary of state to adopt rules mandating real-time updates for electronic poll book use during the early voting period or under the countywide polling place program. Monitor and report on countywide polling. Examine the number and location of polling places, polling booths, and wait times for voting.

 

Charge 2: Make recommendations for establishing best practices for conducting an election during a declared disaster. Examine model legislation and statutes from other states pertaining to voting during a declared disaster when polls are inaccessible.

 

Charge 3: Evaluate election laws with the purpose of strengthening voter integrity and fair elections. Perform an in-depth study of the voter registration processes and explore whether centralizing voter registration would be more effective than today's processes. Consider ways to improve voter list maintenance and study the volunteer deputy registrar process and voter registration procedures in other states. Include in the evaluation a review of the state's curbside voting protocols and identify processes to improve the efficiency, privacy, and security of curbside voting.

 

House Committee Resources: Pensions, Investments & Financial Services, Mass Violence Prevention & Community Safety

Friday, August 21

 

Committee Resources

The committees have requested written submissions on the following topics. Below are resources related to those topics.

 

Charge 2: Monitor the Teacher Retirement System's (TRS) actions in implementing high deductible regional plans for certain school districts interested in providing alternatives to the current TRS-ActiveCare options

 

Charge 4: Review and evaluate the actuarial soundness of the Employees Retirement System and TRS pension funds. Examine the cost of and potential strategies for achieving and maintaining the actuarial soundness of the funds. Examine the effect the unfunded liabilities could have on the state's credit.  Examine the state's investment policies and practices, including investment objectives, targets, disclosure policies, and transparency.

 

Charge 5: Monitor the State Auditor's review of agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction.

 

Topics:

  • Effects of COVID-19 on industry or business operations
  • Existing statutory and regulatory barriers in responding to COVID-19

Duty (1): Examine options for strengthening enforcement measures for current laws that prevent the transfer of firearms to felons and other persons prohibited by current law from possessing firearms.

 

More Entries