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Appropriations - 81st R.S. (2009)

Committee Members
Rep. Jim Pitts, Chair
Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, Vice Chair
Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock
Rep. Fred Brown
Rep. Angie Chen Button
Rep. Norma Chavez
Rep. Ellen Cohen
Rep. Brandon Creighton
Rep. Myra Crownover
Rep. Drew Darby
Rep. Joe Driver
Rep. Dawnna Dukes
Rep. Al Edwards
Rep. Craig Eiland
Rep. Ismael "Kino" Flores
Rep. Helen Giddings
Rep. Abel Herrero
Rep. Scott Hochberg
Rep. Carl Isett
Rep. Susan Lewis King
Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon
Rep. Doug Miller
Rep. Geanie Morrison
Rep. John Otto
Rep. Debbie Riddle
Rep. Mike Villarreal
Rep. John Zerwas
1. Monitor the performance of state agencies and institutions, including operating budgets, plans to carry out legislative initiatives, caseload projections, performance measure attainment, implementation of all rider provisions, and any other matter affecting the fiscal condition of the agencies and the state.
2. Monitor the use of funds, adherence to state and federal reporting requirements, and ongoing development of federal rules and regulations provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Evaluate the impact of those funds on the state's economy. Joint Interim Charge with House Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding
3. Examine the growth of constitutionally and statutorily dedicated accounts and their utilization in the budget.
4. Examine the Constitutional Debt Limit, the state's current bonding practices and projected bonding needs, and their impact on the state budget.
5. Monitor the Department of Information Resources' ongoing implementation of data center services consolidation and the Texas Online program.
6. Study the cost and caseload trends in the Texas Medicaid Program, including a review of cost drivers, factors affecting caseload increases, and regional variations. Evaluate the effectiveness of current Medicaid cost containment procedures and make recommendations for legislative changes to contain and control state costs and maximize federal funding without impacting services.
7. Examine the Texas Education Agency's programs and services, including the Student Success Initiative, and evaluate their impact on achieving the stated agency and statewide goals.
8. Evaluate programs designed to assist students and families in paying the costs of accessing the state's higher education system, including financial aid programs and the Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan. Examine the impact these programs have on student achievement and the Closing the Gaps initiative.
9. Examine the state's higher education funding mechanisms, including approaches to funding capital improvement projects at public institutions of higher education. Evaluate modifications that would improve the institutions' national peer rankings and help the state to achieve its Closing the Gaps objectives, including improved community college transfer pathways and the impact of shifting the basis of the formula funding methodologies from attempted to completed hours. Joint Interim Charge with House Committee on Higher Education
10. Examine annual cost increases and the factors related to the increases for Correctional Managed Health Care. Recommend policy changes that could yield savings to the state.
11. Examine implementation of the diversion pilot programs, juvenile case management system, and other policy and funding initiatives to determine whether the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission and the Texas Youth Commission have adhered to legislative directive in implementing these programs, and the impact of these programs on commitments at the Texas Youth Commission. Joint Interim Charge with House Committee on Corrections
12. Evaluate the method of distributing federal hurricane relief funds and recommend improvements. Joint Interim Charge with House Committee on Urban Affairs
13. Monitor the progress of the capital improvement plan and use of state funds at The University of Texas at Galveston involving the renovation and upgrade of existing facilities and the construction of new facilities. Joint Interim Charge with House Committee on Higher Education
14. Monitor and review the disbursement and use of border and homeland security funds. Evaluate the effectiveness in meeting the state's border and homeland security program goals and objectives. Joint Interim Charge with House Committee on Defense and Veterans' Affairs
15. Identify factors influencing health care cost trends in Texas, including practices or policies that may contribute to regional variations. Investigate medical imaging utilization and its impact on the cost and quality of health care. Recommend policy changes to promote best practices, reduce costs, and improve quality within the state Medicaid program, Employees Retirement System, and Teacher Retirement System. Joint Interim Charge with House Committee on Public Health

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