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Charge search results

383 charge(s) were found.   [ Legislature: 84 ]

84th Legislature
House Agriculture and Livestock [ Report information ]
  • Evaluate policy challenges to the state’s agriculture and livestock industry, including long-term impacts of price declines in oil and natural gas; the availability of natural resources, including water, necessary to operate the industries; and the mitigation of and preparation for potential future hazards to the industries caused by natural disaster, drought, or disease.
  • Determine the sources of water used by Texans in the production of food and fiber, and examine current water delivery methods and water conservation goals for agricultural use. Evaluate whether there are more efficient and effective water-usage management practices that could be employed in the agricultural industry, and determine the impact of crop insurance requirements on producers. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Natural Resources)
  • Evaluate ways in which Texas can continue to promote our domestic agricultural products, across the nation and internationally, and to strengthen our state's international ties for the purpose of exporting Texas food and fiber. (Joint charge with the House Committee on International Trade & Intergovernmental Affairs)
  • Study the impacts of windblown trash on agriculture and ranching.
  • Study the appraisal of agricultural land for taxation and related issues, including the change-of-use "rollback" provision. Examine the impact of the current appraisal system of agricultural land for taxation on rural economic development.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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
  • Current law requires the elimination on September 1, 2017, of Additional State Aid for Tax Relief (ASATR), which was intended to offset the cost of tax-rate compressions enacted in 2006. Review how this loss of funding would impact school districts.
  • Study the use of local property taxes to fund public education and its effects on educational quality and on Texas taxpayers. Specifically, recommend ways to reverse the increasing reliance on recapture payments to fund public education statewide.
  • Evaluate potential fiscal policy challenges or economic disruptions in the 2016-17 biennium, including the long-term impact of price declines in oil and natural gas on the Texas economy and any fiscal implications for the state budget. Examine options to mitigate the risk of unexpected downturns in state revenue. Examine further progress made during the 84th legislative session to reduce reliance on general revenue dedicated accounts for budget certification. Recommend new or alternative methods to further reduce reliance on dedicated accounts for budget certification purposes and maximize usage of dedicated funds for their intended purposes. Examine other accounts and funding streams utilized by state agencies and institutions of higher education for opportunities to further increase budget transparency.
  • Develop recommendations to codify the Strategic Fiscal Review process. Conduct additional Strategic Fiscal Reviews of selected state agencies to further examine and assess agency performance, and ensure taxpayer dollars are used efficiently and effectively.
  • Examine Texas constitutional spending limits compared to limits utilized in other states, evaluate their effectiveness in maintaining fiscal discipline, and recommend potential modifications, if needed.
  • Evaluate deferred maintenance and physical plant needs of state buildings. Evaluate the appropriate funding mechanisms and timing that should be used to address the ongoing maintenance needs of state assets.
  • Monitor the accumulation of available funds within the Texas Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF), particularly in light of the passage of HB 903 (84R). Determine the accuracy of prior ESF revenue predictions, the feasibility of long-term projections for the fund, and the effectiveness of proposed investments strategies utilized by the Comptroller of Public Accounts. Study the impact, if any, on the state’s credit rating when the ESF is utilized at various thresholds including usage for one-time expenses versus recurring costs. Examine potential limits in utilizing the ESF for specific uses, such as addressing unfunded liabilities or retiring state debt.
  • Monitor the implementation of HB 9 (84R) and study updated projections towards actuarial soundness of the Employees Retirement System. Examine issues and costs associated with granting cost of living adjustments or “13th Checks” to retired state employees and teachers.
  • Monitor the implementation of HB 2 (84R) as it pertains to the short-term funding provided to TRS-Care. Evaluate additional methods to address the health care needs of retired teachers in light of the current health insurance market, including the feasibility and costs associated with retired teachers not eligible for Medicare remaining on a school district’s health care plan until Medicare eligible.
  • Monitor the ongoing implementation of SB 20 (84R) and Article IX, Sec. 7.12 of the General Appropriations Act, HB 1 (84R). Study trends in state contracting as developed by the Legislative Budget Board and recommend new and/or modified strategies to ensure all contracting is executed in a transparent and judicious manner.
  • Review hospital reimbursement methodologies, including supplemental payments and the Medicaid add-on payments directed by HB 1 (84R) for safety-net and trauma facilities. In the review, include reimbursement methodologies for rural and children’s hospitals. Also, monitor the extension of the Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement 1115 waiver.
  • Review the Texas Medicaid programs providing long-term services and support to adults or children with medical, physical, or intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Study reimbursement methodologies, the historical appropriated slot allocation compared to the actual fill rate, the procedure of releasing slots to providers, and the impact and timeline of carving services into Medicaid managed care. Identify potential obstacles for the delivery of community long-term services and support, including the availability of community care workers. Make any needed recommendations to improve community long-term services and supports.
  • Study the trauma system in the State of Texas, including financing, service delivery, planning, and coordination among Emergency Medical Services providers, Trauma Services Area Regional Advisory Councils, The Emergency Medical Task Force, and hospitals. Determine strengths and weaknesses including challenges for rural areas of the state. Make recommendations to reduce any duplicated services, improve the coordination of services, and advance the delivery of trauma services in Texas. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Public Health)
  • Examine the historical growth of the Texas Medicaid program, including factors affecting caseload and cost trends. Review legislative or policy initiatives created to detect or deter waste, fraud and abuse; to reduce cost; or improve the quality of healthcare in the Texas Medicaid program. Evaluate the effectiveness of, and identify savings associated with, these initiatives.
  • Conduct a review of current public education programs administered by the Texas Education Agency that are funded outside of the Foundation School Program. Make recommendations to increase, decrease, or eliminate programs based on measurable performance and effectiveness.
  • Conduct a review of current funding formulas for community colleges. Specifically, focus on the elements of the instructional funding structure created by the 83rd Legislature: core operations, student success points, and contact hour funding and also the adequacy of state funding to sustain community colleges in light of the variance in resources available to individual colleges. Make recommendations for possible changes to the funding structure of community colleges or changes in the levels of current funding given the future workforce and higher educational needs of the state. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Higher Education)
  • Examine the formulas used to fund institutions of higher education. Study the initial development of the formulas and the underlying assumptions used. Make recommendations for new discipline weights, if necessary, evaluating any discrepancies in formula funding for the same program offered at different types of institutions and the inclusion of new medical schools on general academic campuses.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the Department of Public Safety’s use of funds appropriated during the 84th legislative session for border security operations. Examine existing data and reporting on border security metrics, and recommend improvements to ensure the availability of accurate information in considering sustaining or increasing border security funds.
  • Review historic funding levels and methods of financing for the state parks system. Study recent legislative enactments including the General Appropriations Act (84R), HB 158 (84R), and SB 1366 (84R) to determine the effect of the significant increase in funding, specifically capital program funding, on parks across the state.
  • Study the various methods of funding the state's transportation network including recent legislative enactments such as Proposition 1 (83(3)) and Proposition 7 (84R). Review the current budget structure for the Texas Department of Transportation as it relates to transportation funding categories and make recommendations for future allocations to accurately address the transportation needs in the state.
  • Monitor the performance of state agencies and institutions, including operating budgets, plans to carry out legislative initiatives, planned budget reductions (if directed), caseload projections, performance measure attainment, implementation of all rider provisions, and any other matter affecting the fiscal condition of the agencies and the state. 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 Business and Industry [ Report information ]
  • Study Texas businesses' utilization of the Federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit, and the associated state tax refund under Subchapter H, Labor Code, in employing those who are receiving government benefits and/or have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. Conduct a cost/benefit analysis of the tax credit vis-a-vis savings in federal and state public assistance programs. Make recommendations to remove any unnecessary administrative obstructions and expand Texas business owners' use of the program.
  • Identify and address potential gaps in Texas businesses’ cybersecurity policies and ensure that Texans’ personal information held by these businesses is secure.
  • Evaluate how Texas can support shared economy growth in the state. Determine how the state can ensure customer security and satisfaction as well as consumer protections without enacting burdensome regulations. Additionally, study the effects of a growing portion of the state's workforce seeking full-time vs. supplemental part-time employment with related technology-based businesses. Analyze recent debate and legal precedent regarding the classification of these employees.
  • Examine the regulatory powers of property owners associations, and the procedures available to home owners when an association restricts individual or property rights. Review current best practices to help clarify the balance of property rights, transparency in governance, and the best interests of property owners in the state.
  • Study the impact of recent Texas cases related to the rights and remedies of shareholders of Texas corporate forms, including the impact of those decisions on the legal rights of both Texas corporations and shareholders and any impact on the Texas business climate.
  • Study the requirement for state agencies and entities to purchase insurance through the State Office of Risk Management (SORM), and the agencies and entities that are exempt from this requirement. Examine the costs and benefits of each approach, and the waiver process by which SORM can allow agencies to purchase insurance on their own.
  • Study the following aspects of the designated doctor process in the Texas workers' compensation system:
    a. the Division of Workers' Compensation's (DWC's) processes for educating, monitoring, and evaluating designated doctors;
    b. whether the DWC requires additional authority to regulate designated doctors or entities providing services for designated doctors; and
    c. any unique issues with "traveling" designated doctors.
  • Examine the adequacy of benefits for injured employees in the Texas workers' compensation system who qualify for Lifetime Income Benefits, and for the beneficiaries of employees who receive Death Benefits. In particular, examine the application of benefit caps for those benefit types and the termination of Death Benefits to surviving spouses on remarriage.
  • Analyze recent data attributing the decline in domestic manufacturing to a consistent trade deficit caused by steady increases in net imports. Study how expanding trade and investing in manufacturing communities’ partnerships can grow the state's skilled workforce and production as well as increase net exports and develop a trade balance. (Joint charge with the House Committee on International Trade & Intergovernmental 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 84th 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 Corrections [ Report information ]
  • Examine fees and revocations for those on probation and parole; examine effectiveness of fees imposed as a condition of probation and parole; study technical revocations in adult probation to identify drivers of revocations, disparities across the state, and strategies for reducing technical revocations while ensuring program effectiveness and public safety. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence)
  • Study recidivism, its major causes, and existing programs designed to reduce recidivism, including a review of current programs utilized by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and the Windham School District for incarcerated persons. Examine re-entry programs and opportunities for offenders upon release. Identify successful programs in other jurisdictions and consider how they might be implemented in Texas.
  • Study incarceration rates for non-violent drug offenses and the cost to the state associated with those offenses. Identify alternatives to incarceration, including community supervision, that could be used to reduce incarceration rates of non-violent drug offenders.
  • Study inmate release policies of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, including the release of inmates directly from administrative segregation. Identify best practices and policies for both the transitioning of these various inmate populations from the prison to appropriate supervision in the community. Identify any needed legislative changes necessary to accomplish these goals.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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 ]
  • Review jail standards and procedures with regards to potentially mentally ill persons in county jails, as well as issues stemming from interactions between the general public and peace officers.*
  • Study the effectiveness and efficiency of current programs in Texas as well as best practices to determine how to decrease the risk and mitigate the impact of wildfires, floods, and other natural hazards in the wildland-urban interface. Examine the duties, performance, and jurisdictions of water districts, municipalities, Emergency Services Districts, other similar districts, and state offices like the Fire Marshal and Extension Services. Evaluate current regulations and identify best practices. Recommend approaches for hazard mitigation and response to natural disasters. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Urban Affairs)
  • Identify and address potential gaps in counties’ cybersecurity policies and ensure that personal information held by counties and other local governmental entities is secure.
  • Evaluate the Texas Commission on Jail Standards to determine if the Commission has the resources and structure to provide sufficient oversight, regulation, and enforcement over Texas county jails.
  • Review pretrial service and bonding practices throughout the state. Examine factors considered in bail and pre-trial confinement decisions, including the use of risk assessments; assess the effectiveness and efficiency of different systems in terms of cost to local governments and taxpayers, community safety, pretrial absconding rates and rights of the accused. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence)
  • Study the implications and effects on law enforcement agencies and individuals that stem from the publication, republication, or other dissemination for public internet access of mug shots and other criminal history information regarding involvement of an individual in the criminal justice system.
  • Study statutorily mandated services provided by sheriffs and constables, and determine whether fee schedules allow cost recovery without placing undue burdens on recipients of those services.
  • Study the effect of Proposition 5 (SJR 17 (84R)) on the quality of private roadways in counties with a population of less than 7,500. Make recommendations to ensure the amendment does not result in undue competition between counties and private industry, and whether additional counties could benefit from a similar authorization.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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 ]
  • Examine the feasibility of utilizing GPS monitoring in protective orders as a tool to help reduce family violence; study programs and identify best practices focused on the intervention and prevention of family violence and consider statutory changes needed to further deter the offense of family violence and domestic abuse.
  • Review pretrial service and bonding practices throughout the state. Examine factors considered in bail and pre-trial confinement decisions, including the use of risk assessments; assess the effectiveness and efficiency of different systems in terms of cost to local governments and taxpayers, community safety, pretrial absconding rates and rights of the accused. (Joint charge with the House Committee on County Affairs)
  • Examine the use of asset forfeiture in this state, including data reporting on forfeiture actions and procedures from seizure through forfeiture in both contested and uncontested cases. Make recommendations for improving these systems that balance law enforcement needs, private property rights, and government transparency.
  • Study the constitutional requirements and local practices for the appointment of counsel to indigent defendants and the operation of innocence projects at the state’s six public law schools. Compare different indigent defense plans and the innocence projects across the state and identify best practices for system management, including appointment methods and timing, cost effectiveness, timeliness of case disposition, compensation of counsel, quality of representation, and protection of procedural rights. Consider the effectiveness of each of the programs currently funded and the funding strategy as a whole.
  • Examine fees and revocations for those on probation and parole; examine effectiveness of fees imposed as a condition of probation and parole; study technical revocations in adult probation to identify drivers of revocations, disparities across the state, and strategies for reducing technical revocations while ensuring program effectiveness and public 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 84th 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 Culture, Recreation, and Tourism
  • Study Chronic Wasting Disease.*
  • Monitor the repair of state parks from damage caused by natural disasters, including flooding and wildfires. Review the status of securing federal relief funds to offset state costs. Study current programs in Texas, as well as programs in other states, to determine how to mitigate and prepare for potential future hazards in the wildland-urban interface.
  • Study and make recommendations regarding the improvement and expansion of the state parks system, pursuant to the passage of HB 158 (84R). Examine options such as conservation easements that can maintain private ownership and working lands while also preserving open space
  • Study and make recommendations regarding decreasing illegal behavior, improving public safety, protecting private property rights, and protecting environmental quality on the San Marcos River.
  • Explore ways to promote and improve tourism, youth education and economic development through heritage, cultural, recreational, historical, and nature programs and preservation practices. Consider the long-term economic impact of state parks and state and local historic sites, the Texas Heritage Trails Program, the Alamo Mission Complex, and rural community revitalization in promoting recreation and heritage 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 84th 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 [ Report information ]
  • Conduct a joint study on the nomination and selection process for the award of the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor. The study must evaluate:
    (1) the military tradition for a medal of honor and methods to ensure that the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor upholds that military tradition;
    (2) how a service member is nominated and methods to ensure that the service member is nominated based only on the merit of the service performed by the service member; and
    (3) a process by which the adjutant general may
    evaluate the qualifications of nominees for the Texas Legislative
    Medal of Honor.
  • Explore how encroachment (environmental, technological, and architectural) impacts the vital missions of our military bases in Texas and which policies can be put into place while retaining respect for private property rights, economic growth, and the operation of military facilities.
  • Explore adding notifications to the Texas Real Estate Commission Seller Disclosure Form, as well as a notification to buyers of new home construction, in order to inform buyers that a property may be located near a military installation or a military airport and could be affected by high noise or its air installation compatible use zones, or other operations.
  • Study the long-term viability of the Hazlewood Act, in particular the legacy tuition exemption provision. Review eligibility requirements and recommend changes to ensure that the program can remain solvent. Examine the costs of the program to institutions of higher education, including foregone tuition, additional infrastructure, administrative and instructional support costs, and the financial impact on nonveteran/legacy students. Analyze and report any effect changes to this program would have for veterans and their families. Review current data systems related to this exemption and recommend improvements to ensure quality and accuracy of information. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Higher Education)
  • Assess ways the State of Texas can further aid our federal military installations and their communities in order to minimize the negative consequences of a potential forthcoming BRAC round by the federal government.
  • Assess the continuing effect and the impact of sequestration and federal defense spending on Texas military bases, soldiers and their families, base communities, and Texas defense contractors. Identify solutions to address issues raised by federal policy.
  • Analyze whether unnecessary, redundant or punitive barriers exist for Texas Veterans pursuing educational or occupational careers upon completion of their military service. Study and ensure that appropriate measures are in place to allow veterans to receive the maximum college credit benefit for their service-related training in the armed forces.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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 [ Report information ]
  • Study the impacts of the declining price of oil and the continuously depressed price of natural gas on the Texas economy and the fiscal implications for the Texas budget. Consider impacts on local communities most dependent on oil and gas activity, including impacts on supporting economies such as retail, manufacturing, housing industries, etc. Recommend strategies for sustained energy development and workforce growth during times of depressed energy prices. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Energy Resources)
  • Evaluate what local governments are doing to attract businesses to their communities and examine ways the state can leverage these practices and provide support. Include ways to improve local economic development programs to ensure a continued return on investment for taxpayers. In addition, study the authority, financial accountability, and types of statutorily allowed expenditures of economic development corporations. Provide analysis of 4A and 4B sales tax programs and determine if they are still meeting their intended purpose effectively.
  • Study opportunities and financial incentives for expansion and growth of small businesses in Texas. Examine if adequate resources and capital exist for small businesses. Include analysis of any regulatory or tax hurdles and provide recommendations to alleviate these burdens. Furthermore, review programs available to provide training and support to develop business management and finance skills. Consider financial incentives that would incentivize expansion of existing small businesses and growth for new small businesses.
  • Oversee implementation of HB 26 (84R). Review best practices for measuring success of economic development incentives. Consider general metrics or principles to aid the Legislature in determining viable and sustainable incentive programs that provide a "Return on Investment" for taxpayers.
  • Evaluate Texas's competitiveness with other states in recruiting and cultivating high-growth, high-tech industries, fostering economic development, and creating new jobs. Examine if current incentives and regulations assist or hinder the state's ability to compete with other states for economic growth and sustainability.
  • Examine if the state has an adequately diversified economic foundation and make recommendations on how to better achieve diversification. Look at ways to achieve balance between rural and urban economic development. Consider methods to improve workforce development initiatives and incentives that will improve re-employment after layoffs and release from incarceration as well as methods to improve employment rates for recent graduates.
  • Evaluate how Texas can support shared economy growth in the state and include implications of such growth on existing, traditional businesses. Develop characteristics by which to classify "shared economy" business and determine how the state can ensure customer security and satisfaction as well as public health without enacting burdensome regulations.
  • Examine partnerships between higher education institutions, public school districts, and workforce that promote postsecondary readiness. Provide coordination recommendations to ensure vocational, career, and technical education programs are more accessible. Determine the most effective ways to invest in these partnerships and programs to direct at-risk students to stable career paths. Examine current rules and laws limiting employers from providing meaningful internships, apprenticeships, and other opportunities. Consider new methods to finance workforce training programs and associated assets in high schools and postsecondary schools, including ways to reduce or eliminate these costs and options to incentivize businesses to invest in training equipment for schools. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Public Education)
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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.
    e. monitor the impact of major economic development legislation passed by the 84th Legislature.
    f. include updates regarding transfer of duties and services from health and human services agencies to the Texas Workforce Commission, including implementation of SB 208 and SB 212. Coordinate with the Legislative Oversight Committee constituted by SB 208, when necessary.
    g. evaluate the impact of incentive reform legislation, including the elimination of the Emerging Technology Fund and the transition of contracts to the Comptroller's office.
House Elections
  • Examine the petition process for addressing local ordinances, the time necessary to prepare a petition, the collection of signatures, and the enforcement of local standards required for a petition to be valid. Make necessary recommendations to clarify the petition process to ensure accountability.
  • Study and develop recommendations to improve the integrity of Texas voter registration rolls in an effort to ensure the most accurate and up-to-date voter registration rolls, including but not limited to: the interstate voter registration crosscheck program SB 795 (84R), the process by which voters are removed from the registration rolls, the impact being removed from jury duty due to citizenship status has on an individual's voter registration, and ways to educate voters about updating their address when they move. Make appropriate legislative recommendations.
  • Evaluate options to improve the transparency of local bond elections, including but not limited to: current processes used to educate voters about how tax dollars will be spent, the time of year bond elections are held, and the description of bond proposals on the ballot. Make appropriate legislative recommendations.
  • Examine mail-ballot fraud in Texas. Review recent legislative efforts to address mail-ballot fraud in Texas as well as in other states, and make appropriate legislative recommendations.
  • Identify policy options to improve compliance with campaign finance reporting laws by local officials and candidates for local office.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementing of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature. In addition to general oversight, the Committee should specifically:
    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;
    d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs; and
    e. examine the methods by which local election officials are informed about changes to election law, and potential improvements that would assist these officials in learning of and complying with these changes.
House Emerging Issues in Texas Law Enforcement, Select
  • Study body camera policies and best practices to develop guidelines available for reference by agencies utilizing the funding grants provided by the state. Accordingly, review the issues of data storage, records retention, the Public Information Act, and evidentiary procedures. Determine if there is a need to expand on the minimum standards set by SB 158 (84R).
  • Study the impact of emerging technologies used by law enforcement and issues related to appropriate dissemination of the data provided by those technologies, including the impact of technologies on the operation of law enforcement agencies, the operation of the Public Information Act, and any appropriate safeguards for citizens and law enforcement officers who interact with those technologies or whose data is recorded. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Government Transparency & Operation)
  • Review the training and professional needs of law enforcement in the State of Texas, including the award and sufficiency of law enforcement training grants, methods of training, and types of training, including training in emerging or changing threats such as human trafficking, mental health crisis and confrontation, organized crime, and critical incident shooting.
  • Examine and address emerging use of new technologies by law enforcement in policing and community interaction, including advanced technologies used by federal agencies and the U.S. military, and the rise of various information technology collection and sorting systems.
  • Determine any changes necessary to assure that each Texas law enforcement officer is provided with the necessary and appropriate tools and protocols to increase public safety of all Texans, including the safety of Texas peace officers.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitor the implementation of relevant legislation, including implementation of the database established by HB 1036 (84R), passed by the 84th 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
  • Study the impacts of the declining price of oil and the continuously depressed price of natural gas on the Texas economy and the fiscal implications for the Texas budget. Consider impacts on local communities most dependent on oil and gas activity, including impacts on supporting economies such as retail, manufacturing, housing industries, etc. Recommend strategies for sustained energy development and workforce growth during times of depressed energy prices. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Economic & Small Business Development)
  • Examine whether current statutes are adequate for the successful prosecution of oilfield theft. Consider the potential economic impact of increasing penalties for oil and gas theft and make recommendations establishing an effective law enforcement response.
  • Study current renewable energy regulations in Texas in order to more effectively balance federal, state and local regulations. Review the rights of Texas landowners who receive royalties, operating fees or monthly production payments to ensure fairness. Explore opportunities to maximize existing wind infrastructure toward the promotion of additional renewable energy development such as co-location for generation and transmission. In addition, consider policy solutions to incentivize colocation of simultaneous surface electricity and mineral energy production.
  • Study enforcement policies of the Railroad Commission of Texas. Consider the effectiveness of maximum fines as a deterrent of violation, the economic benefit of non-compliance, and greater accessibility to enforcement and complaint data for the public.
  • Review how the Mexican energy transformation has bolstered or diminished the energy economy in Texas. Explore opportunities that would encourage binational exchange and commerce of oil, gas, and oilfield materials. Discuss how a competitive market across the border will affect supply, market price, reliability of Texas oil, gas and energy markets, pipeline build-out as well as other economic factors such as workforce and local economy sustainability. (Joint charge with the House Committee on International Trade & Intergovernmental Affairs)
  • Determine if sufficient safety standards exist to protect groundwater contamination from disposal and injection wells. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Natural Resources)
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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;
    d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs;
    e. monitor the impact of major energy legislation passed by the 84th Legislature including the implementation of regulated surface activity on oil and gas sites; and
    f. review seismic research needs for the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology and any response to research findings by the Railroad Commission of Texas.
House Environmental Regulation
  • Review the varied regulatory schemes for household hazardous waste disposal and recommend if more uniform guidelines could improve legal disposal habits. Determine any opportunities or incentives for consumers and retailers that would promote proper hazardous waste disposal in a cost-effective manner.
  • Review the compliance practices of surface water management entities with state rules regarding the aesthetic condition of waterways and the prevention or removal of human-made floating trash and debris. Provide recommendations on how state and local authorities could coordinate to better achieve these goals.
  • Monitor initiatives at the local level to regulate environmental issues. Consider if legislative changes are needed to resolve ambiguous regulations regarding the priority of state or local authority.
  • Study the effectiveness of current state programs to address scrap tire management and disposal methods, including the incidence of scrap tires and rubber debris on roadways and in watercourses. Include analysis of disposal fee collection and management as well as local funding allocations. Provide incentive or enforcement recommendations for ongoing clean-up efforts, abatement of identified tire dump sites, and means of ensuring accurate record keeping and reporting.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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;
    d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs; and
    e. monitor implementation of major environmental regulation legislation passed by the 84th Legislature, including recent reforms that provide for streamlined environmental permitting.
House Federal Environmental Regulation, Select
  • Study the effects that existing and proposed federal environmental regulations will have on the Texas economy.
  • Analyze how more stringent environmental standards will affect economic development, energy reliability, wholesale and retail power prices, and stranded asset implications and identify transportation or manufacturing limitations that might result.
  • Consider the effects these standards will have on Texas jobs and household incomes and include any opportunities for federal financial assistance or allowances.
  • Consider financial implications of these standards on the Texas Emission Reduction Plan and how the Plan can help mitigate the negative effects of these additional regulations without signification depletion.
  • Consider, in reviewing the Clean Power Plan, costs and benefits of complying and creating a state plan or the possibility of non-compliance and the resulting federal plan.
  • Examine possible legal recourse as part of the state's response.
House General Investigating and Ethics [ Report information ]
  • Examine the use by state agencies of emergency leave and settlement payments to provide supplemental compensation to departing employees. Recommend any revisions or clarifications to the law necessary to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used prudently.
  • Examine the ethics laws governing public officers and employees in this state and identify areas in which the laws are inadequate to maintain the public's trust and confidence in government. Assess whether required financial disclosures by those making governmental decisions adequately inform the public of potential conflicts of interest.
  • Study the contracting practices at major state agencies to determine if additional reforms are needed to maintain public confidence and trust in the expenditure of state funds.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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 Government Transparency and Operation [ Report information ]
  • Identify and address potential gaps in the state's cybersecurity policies and ensure that personal information held by state agencies is secure. Address whether industry-accepted cybersecurity standards have been met by state agencies and state data centers and determine ways to promote a culture of cybersecurity awareness among users of state information resources.
  • Examine purchasing practices by state agencies to ensure such practices are efficient and transparent.
  • Study issues related to access to public information held outside of the custody or control of the governmental body by current or former officers or employees. Assess whether the Public Information Act's procedures for response to repetitious or redundant public information requests adequately protect small governmental bodies from the financial burdens imposed by such requests.
  • Study the use of commercial cloud computing by state agencies and institutions of higher education, including efficiencies surrounding a utility-based model, security impacts of transitioning to cloud computing, and cost-savings achieved by the utilization of commercial cloud computing services.
  • Review the process of dissemination by public entities of criminal records containing incomplete or inaccurate information, assess options for the subjects of such records to correct the misinformation specifically as it interferes with their ability to obtain employment, and determine the need for greater regulations over this process. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety)
  • Study the impact of emerging technologies used by law enforcement and issues related to appropriate dissemination of the data provided by those technologies, including the impact of technologies on the operation of law enforcement agencies, the operation of the Public Information Act, and any appropriate safeguards for citizens and law enforcement officers who interact with those technologies or whose data is recorded. (Joint charge with the House Select Committee on Emerging Issues in Texas Law Enforcement)
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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 Higher Education [ Report information ]
  • Conduct a review of current funding formulas for community colleges. Specifically, focus on the elements of the instructional funding structure created by the 83rd Legislature: core operations, student success points, and contact hour funding and also the adequacy of state funding to sustain community colleges in light of the variance in resources available to individual colleges. Make recommendations for possible changes to the funding structure of community colleges or changes in the levels of current funding given the future workforce and higher educational needs of the state. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Appropriations)
  • Review the state's community college system, including a discussion of taxing districts, service areas and any barriers to access. Examine the governance structure to ensure that campuses in multi campus districts that are outside of a college taxing district receive fair and equitable treatment. Review the accounting and reporting requirements of community college districts to ensure open government and transparency. Study ways community colleges could offer accessible and affordable baccalaureate degree programs in areas where the state has a significant workforce shortage without compromising quality of education and training. Make recommendations to maximize efficient student pathways and to offer more affordable educational opportunities such as through dual credit and early college start programs.
  • Study the affordability and accessibility of undergraduate college education in Texas, including a focus on middle-class students. Analyze the cost of attendance and tuition rates, comparing Texas institutions to their national peers. Review the availability and effectiveness of financial aid programs, and analyze student debt and default rates. Study and recommend ways to promote timely and cost efficient graduation.
  • Study current policies and initiatives at institutions of higher education, including community colleges, and make recommendations toward the prevention and elimination of sexual assault on college campuses. Identify, evaluate, and recommend reporting mechanisms to ensure that students have safe, appropriate, and accessible avenues for reporting sexual assault. Study the existing campus support systems in place for students who are victims of assault, and provide recommendations of best practices. Evaluate the effectiveness of current policies and make recommendations to support the prevention and elimination of sexual assault at institutions of higher education in Texas.
  • Study the long-term viability of the Hazlewood Act, in particular the legacy tuition exemption provision. Review eligibility requirements and recommend changes to ensure that the program can remain solvent. Examine the costs of the program to institutions of higher education, including foregone tuition, additional infrastructure, administrative and instructional support costs, and the financial impact on nonveteran/legacy students. Analyze and report any effect changes to this program would have for veterans and their families. Review current data systems related to this exemption and recommend improvements to ensure quality and accuracy of information. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Defense & Veterans’ Affairs)
  • Review educational opportunities for non-traditional students, including adult learners who did not complete a secondary education credential. Recommend possible funding options to promote degree, credential, and/or certification completion. Develop recommendations to promote programs that simultaneously allow adult learners to complete degrees, credentials, and/or certifications for the purpose of promoting and increasing workforce ready graduates.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature, including HB 700, SB 18, HB 100, and the new higher education strategic plan for Texas as proposed by the Higher Education Coordinating Board, 60x30TX. 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 ]
  • Review the functions of the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the state's natural disaster preparedness planning efforts to determine their effectiveness at addressing a growing range of threats. Identify best practices to ensure coordination between municipalities, counties, and state agencies.
  • Review the current penalties for operating a commercial motor vehicle that is in violation of state or federal safety standards. Evaluate the role of state and local law enforcement agencies in enforcing commercial motor vehicle standards, and make recommendations to ensure the safety of the traveling public.
  • Monitor the implementation of the "two steps, one sticker" program as it relates to passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, light duty trailers, and other vehicles. Recommend measures to ensure an efficient transition to this system and improve the ease of use for consumers.
  • Review the process of dissemination by public entities of criminal records containing incomplete or inaccurate information, assess options for the subjects of such records to correct the misinformation specifically as it interferes with their ability to obtain employment, and determine the need for greater regulations over this process. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Government Transparency & Operation)
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature, including legislation that expanded the ability to carry handguns openly and on the campuses of institutions of higher education and legislation that allows for the compassionate use of certain medically prescribed oils for intractable disorders. 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 House Administration
  • Review the artistic, social, and historical intent and significance of the statuary on the Capitol grounds, with particular focus on the historical context represented, and provide recommendations to the State Preservation Board.
  • Identify and address potential gaps in the Legislature’s cybersecurity policies and ensure the governmental and personal information held by the legislative or legislative service agencies is secure. Address whether industry-accepted cybersecurity standards have been met by the legislative and legislative service agencies and determine ways to promote a culture of cybersecurity awareness among users of legislative information resources.
House Human Services
  • Study the ten year anticipated growth, the geographic distribution, and the projected economic impact of aging Texans. Review state services and programs available to seniors, including independent living services, and determine the capacity and effectiveness of the programs. Determine if Texas is prepared for the increased demands of aging Texans.
  • Investigate the operation and regulation, including a review of standards, monitoring, and enforcement, of boarding homes in municipalities and unincorporated areas of counties. Identify communities that have adopted local standards, and review procedures for investigating and closing unlicensed facilities that are providing services which require state licensure. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Urban Affairs)
  • Examine the Department of Family and Protective Services’ policies and procedures, including prevention measures and resources, dedicated to eliminating child abuse and fatalities within the foster care system; explore ideas and strategies to increase the number of foster families and improve the delivery of services to children with high needs; review adoption policies, including disruptions, and make recommendations for possible improvements. Also, monitor and assess the continuation of foster care redesign.
  • Review the Health and Human Services Commission’s Medicaid managed care organizations policies and procedures including a review of quality initiatives. Study contract management and assess the Vendor Drug Program drug formularies and current function. Identify the savings achieved by moving Medicaid into managed care. Determine what mechanisms or policies could be modified or strengthened to encourage increased participation or retention of health care providers in the Medicaid managed care system.
  • Study and evaluate the practice of youth being recruited into human trafficking. Specifically, evaluate the scope of the pipeline of potential victims from foster care, including methods and means used to lure youth into trafficking. Evaluate the types of services that are available to support children and youth in the conservatorship of DFPS who are victims of human trafficking. Make necessary recommendations to assist DFPS in identifying, recovering, serving, or caring for children and youth who are victims of human trafficking prior to placement in foster care. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Juvenile Justice & Family Issues)
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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 [ Report information ]
  • Examine available data on the cost of weather-related property insurance claims and the incidence of litigation of these claims. Study whether these data reveal trends or patterns over time and what the drivers of these trends might be. Identify impacts on the property insurance market and on consumers from claims litigation.
  • Examine the effectiveness of previous legislative efforts to encourage transparency and adequacy of health care networks, and of legislation to protect consumers from the negative impacts of disputes over out-of-network services. Study whether enhancements in transparency or regulation are necessary.
  • Evaluate the statutory penalty calculations under Texas's prompt payment laws regarding health care claims. Include an analysis of whether the proper benchmarks are used to establish penalties commensurate with an improper payment and the effect of the abolition of the Texas Health Insurance Pool on the use of funds collected under the statute.
  • Study the Texas credit for reinsurance statutes and how they affect market capacity, the cost of regulatory compliance, and the prospect of federal preemption of the state's ability to regulate reinsurance. Examine how alternative credit for reinsurance statutes in other jurisdictions function, including in the regulatory and legal systems of those jurisdictions.
  • Monitor the implementation of SB 900 (84R), including the rulemaking process by the Texas Department of Insurance and the adoption of an updated plan of operation by the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.
  • Examine the effectiveness of residual market programs in the insurance industry in Texas, as well as approaches used in other states.
  • Review the implementation of HB 2929 (83R). Examine the bill's impact and compliance among affected health plans. Examine the costs incurred by the Employees Retirement System, Teacher Retirement System, and any other affected state health plans as a result of the legislation.
  • Review current statutory provisions regarding the prosecution of workers' compensation insurance fraud. Examine ways to maintain or enhance fraud prosecution while ensuring a fair process for all parties involved.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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
  • Identify vulnerabilities in Texas's trade infrastructure due to the threat of extreme weather events and natural disasters. Recommend options available to address and reduce any vulnerability.
  • Study how proposed trade agreements would affect Texas. Consider the implications any agreement may have on the freight infrastructure and ports throughout the state as well as any anticipated impact on Texas based industries, including expected job creation and economic expansion.
  • Evaluate ways in which Texas can continue to help promote our domestic agriculture products, both across the nation and internationally, and to strengthen our state's international ties for the purpose of exporting Texas food and fiber. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Agriculture & Livestock)
  • Review how the Mexican energy transformation has bolstered or diminished the energy economy in Texas. Explore opportunities that would encourage binational exchange and commerce of oil, gas, and oilfield materials. Discuss how a competitive market across the border will affect supply, market price, reliability of Texas oil, gas and energy markets, pipeline build-out as well as other economic factors such as workforce and local economy sustainability. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Energy Resources)
  • Analyze recent data attributing the decline in domestic manufacturing to a consistent trade deficit caused by steady increases in net imports. Study how expanding trade and investing in manufacturing communities’ partnerships can grow the state's skilled workforce and production as well as increase net exports and develop a trade balance. (Joint charge with Committee on Business & Industry)
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementing of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature. In addition to general oversight, the Committee should specifically:
    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 Investments and Financial Services [ Report information ]
  • Study the current state of cybersecurity of financial institutions in Texas. Review state and federal laws, and evaluate what additional steps need to be taken to make financial institutions in Texas more secure.
  • Examine the short-term lending industry in Texas. Study the adequacy of consumer access to credit and the effectiveness of consumer protections, specifically reviewing the consistency and coordination of state law with federal law and local ordinances. Review data-reporting requirements for credit-access businesses and make appropriate recommendations.
  • Evaluate what policies are currently in place to prevent the financial exploitation and financial abuse of aging Texans, and determine what changes need to be made to strengthen protections for this vulnerable population.
  • Study the impact on local communities when community banks are consolidated and how this changes the landscape of banking in Texas. Evaluate how the state can help expand charter opportunities in Texas.
  • Examine the current investment climate and resources available to businesses in Texas. Analyze the effectiveness of existing programs and whether current investment tools are bringing new businesses and new jobs to Texas, and determine whether the current programs are helping established businesses in Texas create jobs. Identify barriers to investment opportunities faced by businesses and investors. This analysis should include but not be limited to: angel investing, crowdfunding, micro-lending, private equity, venture capital, and mezzanine investing. Make appropriate recommendations to ensure investment tools in Texas continue to evolve to help bring jobs to Texas and meet the needs of new and existing businesses in Texas.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementing of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature. In addition to general oversight, the Committee should specifically:
    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 ]
  • Study the implementation of the expedited action provisions of HB 274 (82R), and examine whether these provisions have been effective in encouraging the prompt and efficient resolution of cases.
  • Examine the rights, duties, remedies, and procedures available to consumers under Subchapter M, Chapter 2301, Texas Occupations Code (the Texas "Lemon Law"). Monitor the results of complaints filed under this subchapter and how these rights, duties, remedies, and procedures compare to those in other states.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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.
  • Study the recently enacted Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act and determine how Texas’s anti-trafficking laws could benefit from the Act. In addition, examine strategies for tracking the demand for commercial sex in Texas and the feasibility of creating a statewide trafficking reporting system.
  • Examine whether family law statutes and those affecting the parent-child relationship provide sufficient guidance to Texas judges as to the appropriate application of foreign law. Consider whether additional statutory provisions regarding application of foreign law could provide useful guidance while preserving judges' ability to consider the circumstances of each case and not needlessly prolonging litigation.
  • Evaluate recent efforts to make the court system more accessible for self-represented litigants, and make recommendations on how the courts can more effectively interact with unrepresented parties and increase access to legal information, assistance, and representation. Examine similar efforts in other states.
  • Examine issues related to jury service in Texas, including participation and response rates, the accuracy of jury wheel data, and possible methods to improve response and participation.
House Juvenile Justice and Family Issues
  • Study and evaluate the practice of youth being recruited into human trafficking. Specifically, evaluate the scope of the pipeline of potential victims from foster care, including methods and means used to lure youth into trafficking. Evaluate the types of services that are available to support children and youth in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) who are victims of human trafficking. Make necessary recommendations to assist DFPS in identifying, recovering, serving, or caring for children and youth who are victims of human trafficking prior to placement in foster care. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Human Services)
  • Examine data collection and sharing practices between the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), the Texas Juvenile Jusitice Department (TJJD), and local juvenile probation departments regarding youth involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Determine any new data that should be collected and make recommendations to improve data-sharing between DFPS, TJJD and local juvenile probation departments that will improve delivery of services and outcomes.
  • Examine evidence-based practices around early education and parenting support and education programs. Assess the current capacity of community-based parent support programs, including funding sources, curricula, effectiveness, systems of delivery and cost effectiveness. Monitor the implementation of HB 2630 (84R) and assess the availability of parenting support and education programs and resources around the state.
  • Monitor juvenile justice regionalization planning and implementation of SB 1630 (84R). Identify appropriate outcome measures to evaluate success of keeping more youth closer to home. Make recommendations to increase community and regional options and strengthen community services to reduce commitments to the Texas Juvenile Jusitice Department.
  • Review juvenile justice penalties and sanctions determined by or disallowed by age of the juvenile. Identify best practices in other states relating to juvenile age. Determine if alternatives or changes, based on age or other factors, are required to address penalties and sanctions in the juvenile age population.
  • Examine the Texas Family Code’s treatment of grandparents in the parent-child relationship, including Chapters 32, 34, 153, 161, and 162 and suggest any changes that may be useful to address the growing population of grandparents and the best interests of Texas children and families.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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 ]
  • Study state preparedness and response to natural disasters including but not limited to: an evaluation of risks to the state, emergency planning efforts, first response efforts, coordination between the General Land Office, the State Emergency Operation Center, and other state, local, and federal resources. Make appropriate recommendations to ensure Texas has the proper programs, resources, and personnel in place to respond to natural disasters.
  • Examine the rate of erosion along Texas's coast and the effects of coastal erosion on public beaches, natural resources, coastal development, public infrastructure, and public and private property. Analyze current programs related to coastal erosion and examine their effectiveness. Make appropriate recommendations.
  • Study the effectiveness of the implementation of SB 695 (84R) and examine the feasibility and desirability of creating and maintaining a coastal barrier system.
  • Examine current regulatory authority available to municipalities in their extraterritorial jurisdiction. Study current annexation policies in Texas. Make necessary legislative recommendations to ensure a proper balance between development, municipal regulations, and the needs of citizens in Texas.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementing of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature, and specifically:
    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
  • Identify all occupations licensed by the state to determine if they are necessary for public safety and health. Determine if any criminal penalties associated with licensure are unnecessarily punitive, recommend methods to improve reciprocity with other states, and determine if a mandatory certification program could be used in lieu of mandatory licensure.
  • Identify regulatory functions across all agencies and departments. Make recommendations for possible consolidation, and study any effort that could make processes more efficient, reduce regulatory burden, and make effective use of taxpayer funds.
  • Explore the increasing incidence of powdered alcohol, its impact on underage drinking, and regulations in other states that have appropriately addressed the various impacts of the product.
  • Examine the effect of Proposition 4 (HJR 73 (84R))on charitable enterprises associated with professional sports teams. Review the statutory limitations to ensure that only qualified, established organizations are allowed to hold raffles authorized in the amendment and the proceeds of the raffles are used for charitable purposes.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed or considered by the 84th 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 Mental Health, Select [ Report information ]
  • Review the behavioral health system, including substance abuse treatment, for adults and children. Make recommendations to improve the delivery and coordination of services to create an integrated system to improve early identification of mental illness, improve access and continuity of services, reduce barriers to treatment, and increase collaboration between entities responsible for the delivery of care in a manner that will ultimately reduce cost and improve care.
  • Identify educational, healthcare, law enforcement, criminal justice, judiciary, state, county, and city entities that are statutorily or contractually responsible for the identification or delivery of behavioral health services. Review how the services are directly or indirectly connected and how the entities work together.
  • Review entry points into the mental health system for both adults and children; how individuals gain access to services; what services are available; the effectiveness of services; and how to define, prioritize, measure, and improve outcomes achieved for adults and children.
  • Identify local and state cost of mental health in Texas and identify measures to reduce cost to the overall system by improving care.
  • Study and recommend solutions for the challenges within the current system, including, but not limited to, how to provide effective services in the short term and close gaps over the longer term in mental-health workforce shortage areas; access to appropriate mental health care for school-age children, including those identified through Mental Health First Aid training, to break the school to juvenile detention to prison pipeline; factors contributing to differences in communities’ access to law enforcement and Judges with specific mental health training; communities’ access to crises intervention and jail diversion services; communities’ ability to plan and coordinate between healthcare providers and systems, law enforcement, the judiciary, and the criminal justice systems to deliver and coordinate care; and the location and availability of inpatient treatment beds, including how the need for inpatient beds varies by the effectiveness of the entire system. Also, identify obstacles to adequate insurance coverage for mental health services.
  • Identify the challenges of providing care and increasing access to veterans, homeless Texans, and individuals with serious mental illness.
  • Examine challenges of providing services in underserved and rural areas of the state and in communities serving high numbers of Texans below 200% poverty level.
House Natural Resources [ Report information ]
  • Examine the regional and state water planning processes, with emphasis on the following:
    a. the integration of HB 4, 83 RS;
    b. the appropriate role of the state in ensuring that the process both supports regional goals and priorities and the water needs of the state as a whole, and how the state might encourage strategies to benefit multiple regions;
    c. the structure and operation of the regional planning groups;
    d. the interaction between the planning process and groundwater management;
    e. whether the "drought of record" remains the appropriate benchmark for planning; and
    f. any impediments to meeting the conservation, agricultural, and rural project goals set by HB 4 (83R), and possible new approaches to help meet these goals.
  • Evaluate the status of water markets in Texas and the potential benefits and challenges of expanded markets for water. Include an evaluation of greater interconnections between water systems through both engineered and natural infrastructure. Examine opportunities for incentives from areas receiving water supplies to areas providing those supplies that could benefit each area and the state as a whole.
  • Analyze the factors contributing to freshwater loss in the state, including evaporation, excess flows into the Gulf of Mexico, and infrastructure inefficiencies, and examine techniques to prevent such losses, including aquifer storage and recovery, off-channel storage, and infrastructure enhancements.
  • Evaluate the progress of seawater desalination projects near the Texas coast as a means of increasing water supplies and reducing strain on existing supplies, building on the work of the Joint Interim Committee to Study Water Desalination (83rd session). Examine the viability of the use of public-private partnerships and of methods by which the state might facilitate such a project.
  • Monitor the use of funds made available to Texas in relation to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Consider approaches to maximize the benefit of these funds for the long-term stability of the coastal economy and ecosystems.
  • Evaluate the status of legislation to encourage joint groundwater planning, including HB 200 (84R), and monitor ongoing legal developments concerning ownership and access to groundwater and the impact of these developments on property rights and groundwater management.
  • Determine the sources of water used by Texans in the production of food and fiber, and examine current water delivery methods and water conservation goals for agricultural use. Evaluate whether there are more efficient and effective water-usage management practices that could be employed in the agricultural industry, and determine the impact of crop insurance requirements on producers. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Agriculture & Livestock)
  • Determine if sufficient safety standards exist to protect groundwater contamination from disposal and injection wells. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Energy Resources)
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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;
    d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs; and
    e. review the surface water permitting process in Texas, including previous legislative attempts to modify the process, and assess the potential effects of these and other changes.
House Pensions [ Report information ]
  • Study the impact that fluctuations in global financial markets have had on public pension funds. Analyze assumed rates of return on investments, structures among asset classes, long-term and shorter-term investment goals, and make appropriate recommendations to ensure the investment structure of public pension funds are meeting fiduciary responsibilities.
  • Examine Texas pension funds’ compliance with Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Financial Reporting Statements 67 and 68, and identify the effect the reporting requirements are having on the state's pension systems.
  • Examine the immediate and long-term fiscal impact to the state of the unfunded liabilities for the Law Enforcement and Custodial Officer Supplemental Retirement Fund (LECOS) as part of the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS). Make appropriate legislative recommendations.
  • Examine the fiscal and policy impacts of structural reforms that would increase state public pension plans' ability to achieve and maintain actuarial soundness. Evaluate the feasibility, costs, and benefits of utilizing one-time funding increases to reduce or eliminate unfunded liabilities.
  • Evaluate the investment performance benchmarks utilized by the state's pension funds and the impact portfolio diversification and short- and long-term market assumptions have had on achieving expected investment returns. Analyze the fee structure and investment strategy for various investment classes to ensure the costs are reasonable and competitive versus other large public and private pension trust funds.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementing of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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
  • Examine the effectiveness and efficiency of the Cost of Education Index (CEI). Determine if other mechanisms or methodologies could better achieve the intended purpose of this public school finance driver. Make recommendations for improvements or elimination of the CEI.
  • Evaluate the current state of school district facility needs and debt. Determine what constraints or limitations exist across the state, particularly in communities experiencing rapid growth, to fund facilities at the local level. Examine state laws, rules and best practice models for facility efficiency and long term taxpayer savings. Review the current facility funding programs, the Instructional Facilities Allotment (IFA) and the Existing Debt Allotment (EDA), to address school districts' facility needs and provide property tax relief.
  • Current law requires the elimination on September 1, 2017, of Additional State Aid for Tax Relief (ASATR), which was intended to offset the cost of tax-rate compressions enacted in 2006. Review how this loss of funding would impact school districts.
  • Examine the accessibility to broadband services for schools, libraries, and institutions of higher education. Study the feasibility and affordability of providing scalable broadband to schools and other public institutions. Research federal and state funding opportunities to support increased access to broadband. Review innovative efforts by school districts to integrate technology in the classroom. Explore ways to enhance high-tech digital learning opportunities in the classroom to improve student achievement and fulfill future workforce demands.
  • Study the use of local property taxes to fund public education and its effects on educational quality and on Texas taxpayers. Specifically, recommend ways to reverse the increasing reliance on recapture payments to fund public education statewide.
  • Review current policies and rules to protect students from inappropriate teacher-student relationships. Examine efforts by the Texas Education Agency, school districts, law enforcement and the courts to investigate and prosecute educators for criminal conduct. Recommend needed improvements to promote student safety, including examining current criminal penalties, superintendent reporting requirements, teacher certification sanctions and the documentation provided in school district separation agreements. Review school employee training and educational efforts to promote student safety.
  • Examine partnerships between higher education institutions, public school districts, and workforce that promote postsecondary readiness. Provide coordination recommendations to ensure vocational, career, and technical education programs are more accessible. Determine the most effective ways to invest in these partnerships and programs to direct at-risk students to stable career paths. Examine current rules and laws limiting employers from providing meaningful internships, apprenticeships, and other opportunities. Consider new methods to finance workforce training programs and associated assets in high schools and postsecondary schools, including ways to reduce or eliminate these costs and options to incentivize businesses to invest in training equipment for schools. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Economic & Small Business Development)
  • Review the state's current education policies and initiatives regarding middle grades. Make recommendations to ensure a comprehensive, research-based state strategy for preparing students at the middle grades for high school retention, success, and postsecondary readiness. This review should include an examination of school-based strategies and best practices that encourage at-risk youth to finish school.
  • Review current public education programs that address the needs of high performing students. Identify the adequacy of these programs statewide in meeting the needs of this specific student group and explore additional means to promote high quality programs designed to meet the educational needs of these students. Study ways to increase the recognition of the performance of higher performing students on test-based and non-test based measures. Examine whether the current and proposed state accountability systems adequately promote districts’ addressing the needs of students across the performance spectrum, including those students significantly outperforming their peers. Recommend whether the academic performance of high achieving students should be specifically addressed as a separate indicator in the accountability system.
  • Study ways to increase parental choice in education, and review the successes and failures of school choice programs in other states. Examine the benefits and costs of implementing such a program in Texas. Recommend whether an expansion of school choice in Texas is needed, and suggest ways to ensure that any school receiving public support is held accountable for its academic and financial performance.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementing of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature, specifically including HB 4, HB 743, HB 2205, and SB 149. 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 ]
  • Study and assess the state’s preparedness for public health threats and emergencies including responding to natural disasters and highly infectious diseases. Review current protocols and examine public health resources to determine if they are sufficient. Identify weaknesses within the public health response framework and make recommendations for improvements.
  • Study the impact of chronic disease in Texas and identify the major regional chronic health challenges. Review the types of health data collected by the state related to chronic disease and how the data is utilized to improve health care. Study state programs targeting chronic disease, including the Texas Health Improvement Network, and identify the direct and indirect costs associated with obesity, tobacco, and other related chronic health conditions including impacts to Medicaid, Employees Retirement System, Teacher Retirement System, University of Texas System, and Texas A&M University System. Identify public health interventions for chronic disease and preventative healthcare services that improve health outcomes and reduce cost.
  • Examine the history of telemedicine in Texas and the adequacy of the technological infrastructure for use between Texas healthcare providers. Review the benefits of using telemedicine in rural and underserved areas and current reimbursement practices. Explore opportunities to expand and improve the delivery of healthcare and identify methods to increase awareness by provider groups, including institutions of higher education, and payers of telemedicine activities being reimbursed in Texas.
  • Review programs focused on improving birth outcomes including evaluating the effectiveness and identifying any cost avoidance associated with them. Study barriers pregnant women face enrolling in services and receiving regular prenatal care. Identify factors, including substance abuse, associated with preterm birth and review services available for mothers postpartum.
  • Study the trauma system in the State of Texas including financing, service delivery, planning, and coordination between Emergency Medical Services providers, Trauma Services Area Regional Advisory Councils, The Emergency Medical Task Force, and hospitals. Determine strengths and weaknesses including challenges for rural areas of the state. Make recommendations to reduce any duplicated services, improve the coordination of services, and advance the delivery of trauma services in Texas. (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 implementing of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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 Real Property Data Collection, Reporting, and Assessment, Select [ Report information ]
  • Study the potential ways to ensure that the state is able to identify, track, and maintain information on the location, condition, and replacement value of all real property owned by the state.
House Special Purpose Districts [ Report information ]
  • Study best practices in the creation, management, and expansion of Municipal Management Districts (MMD) and/or Improvement Districts in the state. Consider the economic impact of the taxation or assessment of local property owners through bonds issued by MMDs. The committee should specifically examine the mechanisms by which MMDs expand or limit their powers, MMD consistency in the use of eminent domain powers, transparency in MMD reporting requirements, and the mechanisms for voter approval of the creation and dissolution of MMDs. Develop and recommend standards for future district creation.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of all special purpose districts under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee should:
    a. consider any reforms to special district laws to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens;
    b. identify issues regarding special purpose districts that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate;
    c. determine whether special purpose districts are operating in a transparent and efficient manner; and
    d. identify opportunities to streamline the purpose of multiple districts created within the same area, while maintaining the mission of special purpose districts.
House State Affairs [ Report information ]
  • Study if the state's infrastructure is adequately prepared for disasters, whether man-made or natural. Include preparedness assessments of the maintenance and recovery of vital infrastructure such as transportation and utility systems.
  • Examine procedures regarding contract monitoring, compliance, performance evaluation and notification requirements for state contracting procedures. Include recommendations to determine a "best value" for the state and prevent conflicts of interests. Evaluate guidelines regarding the state's participation in contracts funded by grants and suggest methods to ensure the best use of taxpayer funds.
  • Determine if the state has sufficient authority and the tools to ensure continued operation of the state's government and economy under existing budgetary and statutory authority. Make contingency recommendations to prevent collapse in the event of an economic disaster.
  • Study the policies used by research and medical entities to adhere to the highest ethical standards for acquiring human fetal tissue for medical and scientific purposes. Specifically, review compliance to ensure informed consent and that all state and federal laws sufficiently respect the dignity of the human body. Study criteria for which persons have standing when giving consent for the use of fetal remains and to investigate potential violations of state laws regulating organ/tissue donation. Determine whether additional disclosure and reporting requirements are necessary to ensure moral and ethical research practices. Review practices and statutes in other states regarding fetal tissue harvesting.
  • Study support mechanisms for the Small and Rural Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier - Universal Service Fund. Consider alternative funding mechanisms as well as necessary statutory changes to ensure reasonable cost of basic local phone service in high cost, rural areas without expanding the size of the Texas Universal Service Fund.
  • Evaluate the administrative process used to determine utility rates. Consider if sufficient opportunities exist to ensure customer representation. Also determine if additional legislative guidance is needed to ensure public notification and participation.
  • Examine how the Public Utility Commission of Texas, when applicable, and utility providers, whether vertically integrated, privately owned, or municipally owned, can ensure consumer protection regarding metering devices for water, gas, and electricity service. Review recent examples of inaccurate or confusing billings and offer recommendations on appropriate consumer recourse and appeal. In addition, assess utility procedures regarding meter installation.
  • Examine state and local laws applicable to undocumented immigrants throughout the State of Texas and analyze the effects of those laws in conjunction with federal immigration laws and the policies and practices followed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  • Examine payroll deductions from state or political subdivision employees for the purpose of labor organization membership dues or fees as well as charitable organization and nonprofit contributions. Determine if this process is an appropriate use of public funds.
  • Monitor the impact of major State Affairs legislation passed by the 84th Legislature, including updates regarding recent contracting reforms. Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementing of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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 State and Federal Power and Responsibility, Select
  • Consider the extent to which state regulation and policy are influenced by mandates attached to federal funding. Specifically, identify areas in which benefits to federal funding are outweighed by compliance costs at the state level and areas in which federal mandates may be unconstitutional, and examine the success or failure of efforts by other states to cut ties to federal funding.
  • Identify the resolutions approved by the Legislature during recent legislative sessions calling on the federal government to take certain actions, and determine what, if any, actions were taken by the federal government pursuant to such resolutions. Study how these resolutions could be made more effective, and what other avenues may be available to the Legislature as an alternative to or in addition to these resolutions.
  • Examine the status of Texas statutes prohibiting or restricting investment in foreign nations. Determine whether and to what extent Texas has the authority to continue or renew its own economic sanctions in light of recent and potential future actions by the federal government.
House Transportation [ Report information ]
  • Study the Texas Department of Transportation's role in responding to natural disasters, specifically reviewing contraflow lane plans for major routes and technology that can minimize evacuation and travel times.
  • Examine the current framework for designating a project as a tolled road. Consider ways to reduce or eliminate the role of tolled roads in providing congestion relief given recent transportation funding measures approved by the Legislature.
  • Review the state's statutory and budgetary requirements for design-build contracts, including cost and quantity restrictions, and consider the effect of removing those restrictions.
  • Review the functions of all departments in the Texas Department of Transportation related to alternative modes of transportation and make recommendations to improve their efficiency.
  • Evaluate local transportation funding mechanisms authorized by the state, such as transportation reinvestment zones, to determine their effectiveness. Identify methods for local entities to utilize these tools to improve congestion.
  • Study the current statutory requirements for utility relocation and recommend modifications that will minimize delay times while protecting taxpayers and ratepayers.
  • Review the areas currently designated as oversize or overweight corridors. Make recommendations to ensure that consistent measures are used to determine fee amounts, bond requirements, and gross weights allowable. Identify measures that may be taken to protect the quality of the roadway.
  • Examine innovative transportation technologies, such as autonomous vehicles, to evaluate potential cost savings and ways in which they may reduce traffic congestion, promote safety, and increase economic productivity.
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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 Planning, Select [ Report information ]
  • Review and evaluate transportation revenue projections, funding categories and project selection criteria, rules and policies for project prioritization and selection, methods of financing, and performance evaluation metrics and measurement tools.
House Urban Affairs [ Report information ]
  • Study the effectiveness and efficiency of current programs in Texas as well as best practices to determine how to decrease the risk and mitigate the impact of wildfires, floods, and other natural hazards in the wildland-urban interface. Examine the duties, performance, and jurisdictions of water districts, municipalities, Emergency Services Districts, other similar districts, and state offices like the Fire Marshal and Extension Services. Evaluate current regulations and identify best practices. Recommend approaches for hazard mitigation and response to natural disasters. (Joint charge with the House Committee on County Affairs)
  • Identify and address potential gaps in cities’ cybersecurity policy and ensure that personal information held by cities and other municipal entities is secure.
  • Examine whether changes are needed to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs’s (TDHCA) low-income tax credit program to ensure compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs et al. v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., et al. on fair housing in Texas.
  • Review existing housing programs and policies in Texas to determine how to best comply with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rules.
  • Monitor and evaluate the availability of low-income housing in the State of Texas. Identify best practices to ensure that the agencies and local providers receiving state or federal funds for low-income housing are maximizing the number of units of housing available to Texans who need this program.
  • Investigate the operation and regulation, including a review of standards, monitoring, and enforcement, of boarding homes in municipalities and unincorporated areas of counties. Identify communities that have adopted local standards, and review procedures for investigating and closing unlicensed facilities that are providing services which require state licensure. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Human Services)
  • Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies, including the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementing of relevant legislation passed by the 84th 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
  • Review aspects of the property tax system that contribute to rising property tax levies and taxpayer dissatisfaction. Examine whether the current system allows taxpayers meaningful participation in determining local property tax rates. Explore changes to the appraisal process that could improve the accuracy of appraisals.
  • Assess the impact of a repeal of the franchise tax on the state's economy and on revenue stability for state government. The assessment should include a dynamic analysis of the economic impact.
  • Assess the impact of ongoing tax litigation, including American Multi-Cinema, Inc. v. Hegar, on the state's revenue stability.
  • Examine whether issues raised in the State Auditor's review of Chapter 313 agreements warrant action by the Legislature to improve accountability, transparency, and compliance. Examine special issues raised by Chapter 313 projects covering more than one school district.
  • Review current law and policy regarding sales and use taxes on information services and data processing services.
  • Assess the competitiveness of Texas's tax structure for marine goods and services as compared to other states
  • Review the administrative hearings and judicial processes for contested state tax and fee cases.
  • Monitor implementation of the increased residence homestead exemption as approved by the voters in Proposition 1 (SJR 1 (84R)). Determine the amount of property tax relief for homeowners, taking into account increases in appraisals and local property tax rates. Additionally, determine the cost to the state to make up the revenue loss for school districts.
  • Monitor the agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature. Monitor the administration of taxes to ensure that it is consistent, fair, efficient, and expeditious.
Senate Agriculture, Water, and Rural Affairs [ Report information ]
  • Surface Water/Groundwater: Study and make recommendations regarding the ownership, production, and transfer of surface water and groundwater in the state of Texas.
  • State Water Plan: Study and make recommendations on improving the process of developing and executing the State Water Plan.
  • Agricultural Liens: Study and make recommendations on improving the law in this state regarding agricultural liens under Chapter 70, Agricultural Code. The study should include whether sufficient safeguards exist to protect the financial interest agricultural producers have in their product.
  • Water Litter: Study and make recommendations on the effects of windblown and waterborne litter. The study should include an analysis of the economic effects of litter, any necessary methods to prevent and remediate litter, and an assessment of state and local programs to reduce litter.
  • Game & Ag. Product Safety: Study and make recommendations on improving the laws regarding the management of game animals, production of domestic fowl, and development of agricultural products in the State to reduce the occurrence and spread of disease and harmful pests.
  • Promotion of Texas Agriculture: Study the economic benefits the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Market Development Services provide to the state through promoting Texas Agricultural products. Review the current marketing services and strategies available to Texas producers and determine additional resources necessary to increase the Market Development Services capabilities. Make recommendations for legislative action, if needed.
  • Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs during the 84th Legislature, Regular Session, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically monitor the Texas Water Development Board's process in the identification and designation of brackish groundwater zones.
Senate Business and Commerce [ Report information ]
  • Occupational Licensing: Review all occupations licensed under Texas law to determine the extent to which continued state regulation and licensure is required to protect public health and safety. Examine methods to ensure greater legislative oversight of new regulations, scope, and necessity of certain licenses and make recommendations for state licenses that should be repealed or transitioned to private-sector enforcement.
  • Hail Storm: Monitor the number of lawsuits related to property claims filed as a result of multiple hail storms and weather related events across Texas. Examine negative consumer trends that may result in market disruption such as higher premiums and deductibles, less coverage, non-renewals, and inability to secure coverage due to insurance carrier withdrawal from the state and make recommendations on legislative action needed.
  • Texas Prompt Pay Law: Study the impact of the penalty calculations under the current prompt payment of health care claim laws and regulations, including comparing penalties in other states and late payment penalties in Texas for other lines of insurance. Evaluate whether unregulated billed charges is the appropriate basis for determining penalty amounts and make recommendations for statutory changes, if needed.
  • Cyber-security/Storage: Examine cyber-security efforts undertaken by state entities and study the legal, policy, and privacy implications of the trend toward storage of personal, private, and business confidential information in network attached storage, cloud storage, and other developing data storage options rather than on local devices. Make recommendations on how to best protect Texans’ financial and personal information.
  • Elder Financial Abuse: Study elder financial abuse and determine what steps the State of Texas should take to help protect older Texans from financial exploitation.
  • Property Tax Liens: Examine and make recommendations for necessary changes regarding the collection process of delinquent ad valorem property taxes, including an inquiry into the role that tax lien transfers play in forestalling foreclosure.
  • Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce during the 84th Legislature, Regular Session and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following: 1) State agency participation in the federal electronic verification of employment authorization program; 2) Implementation of legislation intended to further protect consumers from the balance billing process; 3) Changes made to the operation of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association; 4) The regulation of public insurance adjusters; and 5) The current consent policy for state disclosure of personal data.
Senate Criminal Justice [ Report information ]
  • Conduct an in-depth examination of current jail safety practices, identify and address where our system is failing, and how the state can be more supportive to all involved.*
  • Police Safety and Community Engagement: Review law enforcement efforts to engage community leaders and increase their involvement in communities. Assess dangers to law enforcement officers and the collection and distribution of threat assessment data. Make recommendations to reduce the number of injuries and deaths to or by law enforcement officers.
  • Jail Safety Standards in Texas: Evaluate the current guidelines and practices in county and municipal jails relating to the health, welfare, and safety of those in custody. Review law enforcement and correctional officer training, with emphasis on mental health and de-escalation. Study the effectiveness of existing oversight mechanisms to enforce jail standards; making recommendations for policies and procedures if needed. Examine the current mental health and substance use treatment services and medical resources offered in county, municipal, and state correctional facilities.
  • Re-Entry and Continuity of Care: Review current programs provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and the Windham School for incarcerated persons to prepare them for re-entry, including inmates in administrative segregation. Examine opportunities for incarcerated persons once they are released and make recommendations to expand successful programs to provide resources and support for released inmates. Assess the success of Certified Peer Support Services. Continue to monitor the Darrington Seminary Program. Study the continuity of care for individuals released from TDCJ, the Windham School, and county and municipal jails and make recommendations if needed.
  • Diversion: Examine the success of current pretrial diversion and treatment programs in Texas and in other states. Make recommendations on best practices and how to implement and expand these programs in Texas to maximize effective use of resources and reduce populations in jails.
  • Bulk Criminal Records Dissemination: Study how bulk criminal records are disseminated. Review the list of entities with access to and their current use of criminal records. Make recommendations to streamline the dissemination of records through bulk requests to ensure accuracy and limit inappropriate use of records.
  • Contact with Incarcerated Inmates: Review costs family members incur to maintain contact with an incarcerated family member. Make recommendations to promote familial contact and relationships for incarcerated individuals. Review visitation practices across the state in determining effective and appropriate methods of maintaining familial contact for incarcerated individuals.
  • Civil Asset Forfeiture: Conduct a study of civil asset forfeiture laws in Texas and compare them to similar laws in other states. Determine best practices to protect public safety and the private property rights of citizens. Examine the reporting requirements and recommend legislative changes if needed to ensure transparency.
  • Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following: 1) Decriminalization of school truancy and the response of school districts to take steps to address truancy before referring students to court; 2) Progress and success of the Governor’s Office grant program for law enforcement body cameras; 3) Changes made to the operation of the Civil Commitment program in Texas; 4) Administration of Veterans Treatment Court Programs; and 5) Progress made by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department to plan for regionalization of the youth population, create specialized programs, and implement established sentencing schemes.
Senate Education [ Report information ]
  • School Choice: Study school choice programs enacted in states across the nation, examining education savings account and tax credit scholarship programs in particular. Examine the implementation process used in other states and what impact these programs have had on student academics and state and local district budgets. Make recommendations on which choice plan could best serve Texas students.
  • Charter School Approval, Expansion, Revocation: Study the approval, expansion, and revocation of public charter schools in Texas, including the implementation of SB 2 (83R) and other legislation. In particular, examine the issues surrounding the disposition of state property when charters are revoked, non-renewed, or cease to operate. Make recommendations regarding policies to ensure an efficient and effective transfer and disposal of state property that preserves state interest while ensuring that certain investment capital and the bond market supporting charter construction remains robust. In addition, make recommendations if needed to clarify policies regarding expansion of existing high-quality charter schools in Texas. Additionally, examine facility funding for charter schools in other states and make recommendations on facility funding assistance for charter schools in Texas.
  • Teacher Preparation, Retention, Shortages: Study teacher shortage and retention issues in Texas and evaluate educator preparation programs to determine if these programs are preparing educators for the rigors of the 21st century classroom. In particular, examine the shortages of ELL, special education, and STEM educators across the state and identify the issues creating a shortage. Make recommendations to improve educator preparation throughout the state and increase certification rates. (Joint Charge with Senate Higher Education)
  • Efficiency/Productivity Review: Conduct a comprehensive performance review of all public schools in Texas, examining ways to improve efficiency, productivity, and student academic outcomes. Study performance-based funding mechanisms that allocate dollars based upon achievement versus attendance. Identify any state mandates which hinder student performance, district and campus innovation, and efficiency and productivity overall.
  • Broadband Access: Evaluate digital learning opportunities in classrooms and examine existing barriers to schools' ability to provide a digital learning environment. In particular, study the availability of affordable broadband access to
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    school districts across Texas. Examine different options for improving access to broadband service in all areas of the state, for districts and student homes. Make recommendations on a statewide plan for building the necessary infrastructure to provide a competitive, free-market environment in broadband service.
  • Teacher-Student Relationships/Student Safety: Study the recent rise of inappropriate teacher-student relationships, the impact of social media interaction between teachers and students, and examine the current efforts by the Texas Education Agency, schools, law enforcement, and the courts to investigate and prosecute any educator engaged in inappropriate relationships. Determine what recommendations, if any, are needed to improve student safety, including increasing agency staff, adjusting penalties, and strengthening efforts to sanction educators' certificates for misconduct. Study and address the issue of prevention through training and education of school employees.
  • County School Systems: Examine the structure and performance of the two remaining county-based school systems, Harris County Department of Education and Dallas County Schools. In particular, study the efficiency of these entities and determine whether those services are duplicative with education service centers or could be absorbed by education service centers.
  • School Board Governance, Low-Performing Schools: Examine current school board governance policies and practices and make recommendations that could improve the focus, attitudes, and outcomes of Texas school boards, districts, and students. Study existing board training requirements for public schools and make suggestions to educate school board trustees of policies that could achieve better student outcomes, particularly within the framework set for low-performing schools in House Bill 1842 (HB1842)(84R).
  • Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Education and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following: 1) Legislation establishing state intervention procedures for public schools with academically unsuccessful ratings of at least two consecutive school years; and providing school districts the ability to be designated as a district of innovation; 2) Initiatives to build a high-quality pre-kindergarten grant program; 3) Legislation to raise standards of teacher preparation programs and establish a more consistent, high-quality accountability system; 4) Program to require the placement and use of video cameras in self-contained classrooms or other settings providing special education services to students; 5) Legislation to address training support for counselors, and advising courses for middle school students; and 6) Legislation to establish criteria for alternative measures of assessments to meet high school graduation requirements.
Senate Finance [ Report information ]
  • Property Tax Process: Study the property tax process, including the appraisal system, and recommend ways to promote transparency, simplicity, and accountability by all taxing entities. (Charge to a select subcommittee on Property Tax Reform and Relief)
  • Reduce Tax Burden: Examine and develop options to further reduce the tax burden on property owners. (Charge to a select subcommittee on Property Tax Reform and Relief)
  • Franchise Tax: Study the benefits, including the dynamic effects, of continuing to phase out the franchise tax. Consider alternate approaches to funding the Property Tax Relief Fund.
  • Spending Limit: Examine options and make recommendations for strengthening restriction on appropriations established in Article VIII Section 22 of the state constitution, including related procedures defined in statute. Consider options for ensuring available revenues above spending limit are reserved for tax relief.
  • Fiscal Responsibility: Review the budgeting format of other states, such as whether they use strategy-based budgeting, program-based budgeting, or some other approach and discuss the level of transparency with each approach. Review and make recommendations to reduce state debt liabilities, including state pension liability. Consider how to incentivize state agencies, boards, and commissions to identify and realize savings to taxpayers.
  • Coordinating Behavioral Health Services and Expenditures: Monitor the state's progress in coordinating behavioral health services and expenditures across state government, pursuant to Article IX Sec. 10.04. Identify ways state agencies that provide mental health services are collaborating and taking steps to eliminate redundancy, create efficiency, utilize best practices, ensure optimal service delivery, and demonstrate expenditures are coordinated and in furtherance of a behavioral health statewide strategic plan. Identify barriers that prevent the coordination of behavioral health services. Make recommendations to maximize use of state funding for mental health.
  • Sales Tax Holiday: Review the state's current sales tax holiday structure and determine its economic benefit to the state. Evaluate and consider the merits of any potential expansion of the tax holiday either in the application of the sales tax exemption or the timing of the holiday.
  • Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Finance Committee during the 84th Legislature, Regular Session and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following: 1) Tax relief provided to property owners; 2) The gradual phase out of the franchise tax; 3) Support for and the enhancement of graduate medical education; 4) Efforts of the Department of Information Resources (DIR) to modernize the technology of state agencies; 5) The implementation of required changes to state agency contracting, purchasing, and accounting procedures; and 6) Monitor the implementation of Health and Human Services Commission Rider 50.
Senate Health and Human Services [ Report information ]
  • Examine the business practices and regulatory structure of Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas, and investigate whether state or federal laws are being broken by Planned Parenthood and/or its affiliates in Texas in regards to the donation and/or sale of fetal tissue. Consider recommendations to strengthen regulations on abortion providers, including further restrictions on the sale of fetal tissue by these entities.*
  • Protecting the Unborn:
    Part I: Examine and make recommendations on the use of fetal tissue provided for research purposes and how related laws governing abortion procedures are interpreted and enforced.
    Part II: Examine the cause of action known as “wrongful birth.” The study should examine (1) its history in Texas, (2) its effect on the practice of medicine, and (3) its effect on children with disabilities and their families. Examine related measures proposed or passed in other states.
  • Protection of Children
    Part I: Reducing Recurrence of Child Abuse and Neglect: Examine the current process that Child Protective Services uses to track recurrence of child abuse and neglect, and make recommendations to improve data tracking and the use of that data to assist in preventing recurrence. The study should examine the differences in recurrence among families who received services, families who received no services and had their cases closed, and
    families who had their children removed from the home.
    Part II: Addressing High-Acuity Needs of Foster Care Children: Study the increase in higher acuity children with trauma and mental illness in the state foster care system, and recommend ways to ensure children have timely access to appropriate treatment and placement options.
    Part III: Strengthening Adoptions: Examine the frequency, causes, and effects of disrupted foster care adoptions and make recommendations to improve the long-term success of adoptive placements. Study and make recommendations on ways to ensure a smooth transition for foster care children who are exiting the system.
  • Healthy Aging:
    Part I: Study and make recommendations on innovative methods and best practices to promote healthy aging for the state’s population and reduce chronic medical and behavioral health conditions. Identify opportunities for improved collaboration to promote healthy aging in the health and human services system at the state, regional and local levels.
    Part II: Examine and recommend ways to improve quality and oversight in long-term care settings, including nursing homes and ICF/HCS programs. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services during the 84th Regular Session related to the revocation of nursing home licenses for repeated serious violations.
  • Medicaid Reform and State Innovation: Study the impact of the Section 1115 Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program Waiver on improving health outcomes, reducing costs, and providing access to health care for the uninsured, and monitor the renewal process of the waiver. Explore other mechanisms and make recommendations to control costs and increase quality and efficiency in the Medicaid program, including the pursuit of a block grant or a Section 1332 Medicaid State Innovation Waiver for the existing Medicaid program.
  • Inpatient Mental Health System Reform: Study and make recommendations on establishing collaborative partnerships between state-owned mental health hospitals and university health science centers to improve inpatient state mental health services, maximize the state mental health workforce, and reduce healthcare costs.
  • Mental Health Diversion and Forensic Capacity: Study the impact of recent efforts by the legislature to divert individuals with serious mental illness from criminal justice settings and prevent recidivism. Study and make recommendations to address the state's ongoing need for inpatient forensic capacity, including the impact of expanding community inpatient psychiatric beds.
  • Improving Access to Care through TeleHealth: Study and make recommendations on the appropriate use, scope and application of tele-monitoring and telemedicine services to improve management and outcomes for adults and children with complex medical needs and for persons confined in correctional facilities. Examine barriers to implementation of these services and any impact on access to health care services in rural areas of the state.
  • Review of Refugee Resettlement Program: Study the impact to the state of the increasing number of refugees relocating to Texas, including the range of health and human services provided. Examine the authority of the state to reduce its burden under the Refugee Resettlement Program, and any state-funded services.
  • Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation and riders related to health and human services that were considered by the 84th Legislature, Regular Session and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation, including but not limited to:
    ? The impact of changes made by the Department of Family and Protective Services, Child Protective Services on child safety, workforce retention, prevention, and permanency;
    ? Initiatives to reduce Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse, and other cost containment strategies, including examining the processes and procedures used by managed care organizations to address Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse; and
    The consolidation and expansion of women's health programs at the Health and Human Services Commission.
Senate Higher Education [ Report information ]
  • HB 5 Implementation, 60x30TX/Higher Education Alignment: Monitor the ongoing implementation of HB 5 (83R), and examine current projections for preparation of Texas high school students for postsecondary education and workforce training. Examine best practices and recommend strategies to align the implementation with the 60x30TX higher education plan, including, but not limited to, dual credit, credit transferability, and fields of study. (Joint Charge with Senate Education)
  • Performance Funding for GAIs and Community Colleges: Study current funding methods for both general academic institutions and community colleges, examining current performance-based methods of funding for community colleges. Review funding methods used in other states and make recommendations on how to incorporate and/or change student outcome measures in institutional funding to benefit students and promote the education needs of a rapidly growing and changing workforce.
  • Tuition Deregulation and Student Debt: Examine and make recommendations regarding tuition and student debt at public institutions of higher education in Texas. Specifically, study how Texas compares to peer states, variance between institutions, how accountability measures can be used to impact tuition, and increases in tuition since 2003.
  • Tuition/Fee Waivers, Tuition Set-Asides, Financial Aid: Conduct a review of all tuition and fee waivers and exemptions, as well as tuition set-asides currently in law, and examine how students who do not receive the benefits of either bear these resulting costs. Study how other states treat similar populations, whether federal benefits are available, and make recommendations to ensure the efficacy of waivers and exemptions, and tuition set-asides. Examine current financial aid programs, studying their efficacy, and make recommendations on how to provide programs to meet the needs of all students in light of the recent repeal of the state's Top 10% Scholarship program and B-On-Time program.
  • General Academic Institution(GAI)/Health Related Institution(HRI) Funding: Conduct a comprehensive review of funding for GAIs and HRIs, examining whether the methodology for funding the same courses is equitable and productive. Make recommendations on how to update and streamline the current funding methods, to provide a consistent methodology that focuses on student success and innovative strategies. Include in the review a focus on tuition-revenue generating special items and formula and research funding for new medical schools.
  • Baccalaureate Degrees at Community Colleges: Study regional workforce needs in the state and make recommendations on whether metrics should be applied to authorize public community colleges to offer certain baccalaureate degrees in order to meet the regional workforce needs.
  • Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Higher Education and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following: 1) Initiatives designed to create effective, clear transfer pathways for students, including the newly enacted multidisciplinary studies associate degree; 2) Implementation and progress of the Math and Science Scholars Loan Repayment Program; and 3) The progress of the pilot program enacted by the 83rd legislature relating to improving student loan default rates and financial aid literacy among postsecondary students.
  • Teacher Preparation, Retention, Shortages: Study teacher shortage and retention issues in Texas and evaluate educator preparation programs to determine if these programs are preparing educators for the rigors of the 21st century classroom. In particular, examine the shortages of ELL, special education, and STEM educators across the state and identify the issues creating a shortage. Make recommendations to improve educator preparation throughout the state and increase certification rates. (Joint Charge with Senate Education)
Senate Intergovernmental Relations [ Report information ]
  • Annexation: Identify areas of concern in regards to statutory extraterritorial jurisdiction expansion and the processes used by municipalities for annexation, specifically reviewing whether existing statute strikes the appropriate balance between safeguarding private property rights and encouraging orderly growth and economic development. Make recommendations for legislative action, if necessary.
  • Local Ordinance Integrity: Examine the processes used by home rule municipalities to adopt ordinances, rules, and regulations, including those initiated by petition and voter referendum. Determine if additional statutory safeguards are necessary to ensure that ballot language accurately describes proposed initiatives. Identify ways to improve transparency and make recommendations, if needed, to ensure that local propositions and the means by which they are put forth to voters, conform with existing state law.
  • Disaster Preparedness Planning and Coordination: Review natural disaster preparedness planning and coordination in the wake of a growing range of threats. Evaluate whether existing processes maximize regional cooperation to rebuild housing and infrastructure, and allow for the timely dissemination of funds to units of local governments for reconstruction following a federal declaration. Develop recommendations, if necessary, to improve the efficiency of disaster recovery efforts, incorporating best practices identified from other states, as well as lessons-learned from past reconstruction efforts in Texas.
  • Municipal Management Districts: Study the means by which the Texas Legislature reviews the creation of municipal management districts (MMDs) by special law to determine if different processes should be used to evaluate new MMDs created within populated or developed areas from those created over undeveloped areas. Identify ways to better assess how the services and improvements of a proposed
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    MMD within populated or developed areas will supplement and enhance those provided by other local governments, as well as if the territory of the proposed MMD encompasses or overlaps area that is already within other assessment or taxing entities. Make recommendations, if necessary, to improve the notice provided to individuals and businesses within populated or developed areas proposed for inclusion in an MMD.
  • Supreme Court ICP Ruling: Review existing statute and rules that govern the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs in light of the recent Supreme Court decision in Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. vs. TDHCA, et al. and recommend if any modifications are necessary to conform to the decision.
  • Debt Transparency in the Voting Booth: Examine ways to improve government accountability in elections regarding the issuance of public debt. Include a review of the information that is currently provided to individuals in the voting booth and provide statutory recommendations, if necessary, to improve transparency.
Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development [ Report information ]
  • Implementation of Federal Regulations: Study the impact and identify challenges Texas faces implementing proposed federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations, including, but not limited to the Clean Power Plan, Reduction of Methane & Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from oil and gas facilities, Ozone standards, Regional Haze, and Waters of the U.S. Make recommendations for legislative or constitutional action the committee considers necessary.
  • Texas Emission Reduction Plan (TERP): Study and make recommendations regarding the use of Texas Emission Reduction Plan (TERP) funds, including reducing air emissions from mobile sources in response to changes in ozone standards.
  • Economic Development: Evaluate the effectiveness and necessity of programs and resources currently used to support economic development in Texas. Make recommendations regarding continuation of effective strategies, modification of existing administrative or regulatory barriers, and the reduction or elimination of ineffective programs.
  • Expedited Permitting: Evaluate the permitting process in Texas and neighboring states and make recommendations for eliminating unnecessary barriers and expediting the process to ensure that the regulatory process is consistent and predictable.
  • ERCOT/PUC Electricity Issues: Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction. In this oversight and monitoring, the committee should: 1) identify and recommend opportunities to streamline programs or services and enhance grid safety while maintaining the mission of ERCOT and PUC and their programs; and 2) identify barriers ERCOT or PUC may have in their governance that may be appropriate to improve or eliminate.
  • Oil Field Theft: Study and make recommendations for solving the oil field theft problems facing Texas, including identifying the proper mechanisms for increasing enforcement effectiveness.
  • Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development during the 84th Legislature, Regular Session and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following: 1)Legislation relating to Texas aerospace incentives; 2) Expedited permitting; and 3) Electric utility rate adjustments.
Senate Property Tax Reform and Relief, Select [ Report information ]
  • Look for ways to improve the property tax process as well as reduce the burden on property owners.*
Senate State Affairs [ Report information ]
  • Religious Liberty: Examine measures to affirm 1st Amendment religious liberty protections in Texas, along with the relationship between local ordinances and state and federal law. Make recommendations to ensure that the government does not force individuals, organizations or businesses to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.
  • Union Dues: Examine the practice of using public funds and employees for the payment processing of union dues. Make recommendations on whether Texas should end this practice.
  • Chief Law Enforcement Officers: Examine whether there are chief law enforcement officers within the state who deny NFA applications without any cause. Examine the application and certification process and recommend ways to eliminate no-cause denials.
  • Judicial Matters: Examine the need to adjust Texas judicial salaries to attract, maintain, and support a qualified judiciary capable of meeting the current and future needs of Texas and its citizens. Study and recommend whether Texas should delink legislators' standard service retirement annuities from district judge salaries. Examine the effect of eliminating straight-party voting for candidates for judicial office and make recommendations to ensure candidates are given individual consideration by voters.
  • Eminent Domain: Gather and review data on the compensation provided to private property owners for property purchased or taken by entities with eminent domain authority. Examine the variance, if any, between the offers and the fair market values of properties taken through eminent domain. Make recommendations to ensure property owners are fairly compensated.
  • Ethics: Review current ethics laws governing public officials and employees and recommend changes necessary to inspire the public’s confidence in a transparent and ethically principled government. Review public officials’ reporting requirements to the Texas Ethics Commission. Examine the categorization of ethics reporting violations and make recommendations to encourage accurate reporting and timely correction to inadvertent clerical errors.
  • Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on State Affairs during the 84th Legislature, Regular Session and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following: 1) Implementation of open and campus carry legislation and determine if the current laws regulating the places that handguns can be carried are easily understood or if clarification is needed to ensure the average citizen understands when, where, and under what circumstances it is lawful to carry a weapon, versus when it is a criminal offense for which there may be a defense; 2) Requirements for guardianships; 3) The electronic voting program for certain military members serving overseas; 4) Changes made to the Employment Retirement System regarding member contributions and proposed reforms to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas; and 5) The establishment of a public integrity unit under the authority of Texas Rangers.
Senate State Real Property Data Collection, Reporting, and Assessment, Select [ Report information ]
  • Study the potential benefits of maintaining a comprehensive database of all real property owned by the state.
  • Study the potential financial loss to the state that could result from the state owning uninsured and underinsured real property.
  • Study any efficiencies or cost savings potentially achieved by requiring the General Land Office to submit the annual report required under Section 31.157, Natural Resources Code, to the Texas Department of Transportation, the Employees Retirement System of Texas, and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
  • Study the potential benefits or burdens, including administrative burdens, of requiring each state agency and institution of higher education to report information on the real property it possesses, at the same time and in a uniform manner, to a single entity, and how often the information should be reported.
  • Study which state agency is best suited to collect information on all real property owned by the state and the appropriate method for collecting this information.
  • Study the information that is currently reported by state agencies and institutions of higher education regarding real property of which agencies and institutions have charge and control.
  • Study the distinction between state agencies and institutions of higher education that report information on real property owned by the state as compared to state agencies and institutions of higher education that collect information for a report on real property owned by the state.
  • Study information determined by the Legislative Budget Board as necessary for the State Office of Risk Management to conduct an insurable state asset study to develop a statewide strategy that will ensure all real property owned by the state is adequately insured.
  • Study how often the State Office of Risk Management should submit an insurable state asset study to the legislature.
  • Study the results of the appraisal required by Subsection (e) of this section, and the potential loss to the state by inadequately insuring the Capitol Complex, as defined by Section 443.0071, Government Code.
  • Study other potential ways to ensure that the state is able to identify, track, and maintain a database of the location, condition, and replacement value of all real property owned by the state.
Senate Texas Ports, Select [ Report information ]
  • Study the economic benefit of the Panama Canal expansion to Texas ports, focusing on what Texas ports, including inland ports, must do to remain competitive.*
Senate Transportation [ Report information ]
  • TxDOT Funding: Monitor any new and anticipated revenue appropriated to the Texas Department of Transportation and make recommendations that address project prioritization and selection, effectiveness of staffing levels and project delivery methods.
  • Vehicle Inspection System: Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the state's Vehicle Inspection Program. Make recommendations on how to compress or otherwise reduce the number of required inspections.
  • Regional Mobility Authorities: Review State Highway Fund grants and loans to Regional Mobility Authorities (RMA) and make recommendations if additional oversight procedures are needed to ensure the RMA’s expenditures are a valid and accountable use of State Highway Funds.
  • Panama Canal: Study the demand placed on the state’s ports, roadways and railways resulting from the Panama Canal expansion and make recommendations to ensure transportation infrastructure is adequate to accommodate increases in imports and exports.
  • Driver Responsibility Program: Evaluate the necessity of the Driver Responsibility Program and make recommendations for alternative methods of achieving the programs objectives.
  • Oversize/Overweight Vehicle Regulations, Penalties and Fines: Review current state and federal regulations, penalties and fines related to oversize and overweight vehicles and make recommendations to minimize impacts on the state's roadways and bridges.
  • Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Transportation during the 84th Legislature, Regular Session and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following: 1) Progress of the Texas Department of Transportation's efforts to propose a plan to eliminate toll roads; 2) Removing eminent domain authority from private toll corporations; 3) Ending the issuing of any new debt from the Texas Mobility Fund (TMF) and prohibiting future use of the TMF on toll projects; and 4) The Sunset Advisory Commission's review of the Texas Department of Transportation.
Senate Veteran Affairs and Military Installations [ Report information ]
  • Strike Force, VA Health, Mental Health: Study the state of veteran health and mental health in Texas. Review the progress made by state strike force teams to reduce the claims backlog and decrease wait times at VA hospitals. Evaluate if the passage of the federal Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014 and other state initiatives have improved access and outcomes. Determine if state strike force teams should continue as established and make recommendations on necessary changes.
  • State Veteran Employment: Study current veteran hiring policies among state agencies and consider the effectiveness of a percentage-based system. Make recommendations if there are other ways to equitably measure the success of veteran employment within an agency.
  • Veteran Benefits: Given pending litigation on the subject, study what veteran benefits, if any, are currently only offered to residents of the state of Texas-whether by being born here or by entering the service in Texas--and assess whether any of these additional benefits leave the state liable for lawsuits under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Make recommendations for legislation that could reduce the state's liability.
  • Veterans Courts: Study successes and challenges of veteran’s courts in Texas, including evidence of rehabilitation or recidivism. Consider alternative means of funding, such as voluntary donations at points of contact with state services, and make recommendations.
  • Defense Adjustment Authorities, Compatibility Use, and Encroachment: Consider best practices for improving the military value at military installations in Texas. Determine cost-effective policies and make recommendations that would strengthen military value.
  • Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations during the 84th Legislature, Regular Session and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following: 1) Monitor the implementation of legislation relating to the qualifications of veteran county service officers, and make recommendations if further changes should be made.
  • Conduct a joint study on the nomination and selection process for the award of the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor. The study must evaluate:
    (1) the military tradition for a medal of honor and methods to ensure that the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor upholds that military tradition;
    (2) how a service member is nominated and methods to ensure that the service member is nominated based only on the merit of the service performed by the service member; and
    (3) a process by which the adjutant general may
    evaluate the qualifications of nominees for the Texas Legislative
    Medal of Honor.
Senate Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Subcommittee on Border Security
  • Sanctuary Cities: Study the various sanctuary city policies statewide, the number and types of crimes committed by previously arrested illegal immigrants within the jurisdiction of a "sanctuary policy," and possible solutions to discourage governmental entities from putting in place policies that conflict with immigration laws. Make recommendations to improve community safety.
  • Local Law Enforcement, PEP: Study local government efforts to secure their border communities and identify areas where the state could invest to bolster local law enforcement infrastructure and activities. Review the challenges faced by state and local law enforcement when providing border security, including the federal Priority Enforcement Program (PEP).
  • Interstate Compact: Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of a potential interstate compact on border security, and consider the constitutional and legal questions that underpin the proposal. Consider which other states might be party to an interstate compact on border security. Make recommendations for policies that Texas should adopt pursuant to an interstate compact, if it were authorized by the Legislature and approved by Congress.
Joint Advertising Public Notices [ Report information ]
  • Study the issue of advertising public notices.
Joint Aging
  • Study issues relating to the aging population of Texas, including health care, income, transportation, housing, education, and employment.
Joint Coastal Barrier System [ Report information ]
  • Study the feasibility and desirability of creating and maintaining a coastal barrier system in this state that includes a series of gates and barriers to prevent storm surge damage to gulf beaches or coastal ports, industry, or property.
Joint Government Facilities
  • Review deferred maintenance plans and receive implementation updates.
Joint Health and Human Services Transition, Legislative Oversight [ Report information ]
  • Facilitate the transfer of health and human services functions, including the transfer of vocational rehabilitation services, with minimal negative effect on the delivery of services to which those functions relate; advise the executive commissioner on the transfer of functions and the reorganization of the commission's administrative structure.
Joint Study Border Security [ Report information ]
  • Study issues relating to border security.
Joint Study the Development of a Cruise Industry
  • Study the development of a cruise industry on the Texas coast between Calhoun and Cameron Counties, including its potential economic impact and options for incentives to attract the cruise industry to South Texas.
Joint Study TRS Benefit Plans [ Report information ]
  • Review the health benefit plans administered by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and propose reforms to address the financial soundness of the plans, cost and affordability of plan coverage, and sufficiency of access to physicians and health care providers.
* This represents an abstract of the report contents. Charge text is incomplete or unavailable.