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Senate Committee on Finance - 87th R.S. (2021)

Committee Members
Joan Huffman, Chair
Jane Nelson, Chair
Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Vice Chair
Eddie Lucio, Jr., Vice Chair
Paul Bettencourt
Dawn Buckingham
Donna Campbell
Brandon Creighton
Kelly Hancock
Joan Huffman
Bryan Hughes
Lois W. Kolkhorst
Jane Nelson
Robert Nichols
Charles Perry
Charles Schwertner
Larry Taylor
Royce West
John Whitmire
Charges
  • Federal Funds: Report on the state use of federal COVID-19 relief funds provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, the American Rescue Plan Act, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Acts, and similar federal legislation. Examine local use of federal relief funding, including funding provided to school districts through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. Evaluate the overall fiscal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on state agencies, including costs incurred due to federal mandates. Identify barriers to the effective utilization of funds and make recommendations on the expenditure of unappropriated funds. In addition, evaluate and report on the spending by state agencies that have been utilizing "one-time" federal funding (temporary enhancements, e.g. FMAP and ESSER) sources, where federal funding will likely be significantly reduced in future biennia.
  • Property Tax Relief: Examine and recommend ways to reduce Texans' property tax burden. Review and report on proposals to use or dedicate state revenues in excess of the state spending limit to eliminate the school district maintenance and operations property tax.
  • Inflation: Review and report on the effect inflation is having on the business community and state government, including state salaries, retiree benefits, the state economy, and cost of state services.
  • Inflation: Review and report on the impact of inflation on units of local governments' revenue collections and property taxpayers' tax bills, including the homestead exemption.
  • Tax Exemptions: Examine Texans' current tax exemptions and report on whether adjustments are merited because of inflation or any other factors.
  • Russia Divestiture: Examine and report on options for state asset owners to divest their positions in companies that invest in the Russian Federation.
  • State Pension Reforms: Monitor the implementation of recent statewide pension reforms to the Employees Retirement System of Texas and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
  • Bail Bond Reform: Monitor the implementation of recent bail bond reform legislation along with its economic impact on the judicial and correctional system. Assess any barriers to implementation, the law’s effect on pretrial release and jail populations, and ways to further promote public safety and efficiency.
  • Operation Lone Star: Monitor appropriations and spending supporting Operation Lone Star. Evaluate and report on the effectiveness of spending to secure the southern border. Identify and report on resources needed to ensure support for the State National Guard, as well as overall resources necessary for border security for future legislative consideration.
  • Long-term Care Funding: Examine state investments in the long-term nursing home care system. Study nursing facility funding issues and the impact of the pandemic on capacity and delivery of care. Explore nursing facility quality metrics and recommend strategies to improve the sustainability of the long-term care workforce.
  • Medicaid: Monitor the financial impact of federal decision-making affecting supplemental Medicaid funding for Texas hospitals and health care systems, including negotiations between the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Texas Medicaid agency regarding the state's 1115 Medicaid waiver and other federal proposals reducing supplemental funding streams for Texas.
  • Mental Health Delivery: Examine the state mental health service delivery system. Study the state's Comprehensive Plan for State-Funded Inpatient Mental Health Services and the Statewide Behavioral Health Strategic Plan and evaluate the existing state investments in mental health services and state hospital capacity. Review current forensic and civil mental health service waitlists, and recommend ways to improve coordination and outcomes to reduce
    waitlists. Explore and report on options for additional mental health service capacity, including building state hospitals in the Panhandle and Rio Grande Valley areas.

Note:
Senator Nelson served as Chair from 1/15/2021-1/12/2022. Senator Huffman appointed Chair effective 1/12/2022.
Press release, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, 1/11/2022.
Senator Lucio served as Vice Chair from 1/15/2021-3/23/2022. Senator Hinojosa appointed Vice Chair 3/23/2022. Senator Hughes appointed 3/23/2022.
Press release, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, 3/23/2022.

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