Nov 1st 2019 | Posted in Legislation/Policy by Texas Government Insider

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick released 116 interim charges to the Texas Senate on October 30 to study before the 2021 legislative session. The charges are an indication of the lieutenant governor’s priorities and those of the Texas Senate.

Included in the charges are seven directed to the Senate Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention and Community Safety.

Texas State Capitol Patrick issues 2019 interim chargesThe Business and Commerce Committee will study information technology, unmanned aerial vehicles, electricity, and health-care costs in addition to monitoring broadband service, medical and health care billing, and drug cost transparency, and deployment of network nodes in public right-of-way.

Charges for the Criminal Justice Committee are to examine crime victims support, vaping device use by minors, gang violence, crimes against students with disabilities, hazing, capital murder punishments, and intoxication-related offenses.

The Education Committee is tasked with examining best practices for teacher recruitment and retention and studying alternative education policies and programs. It also is charged with evaluating special education services strategies, monitoring school safety and mental health promotion, HB 3, and public school finance.

Finance Committee members are charged with reviewing investment strategies and performance of the Teacher Retirement System, the Permanent School Fund, and university funds. They also will examine technology related to state agency purchases and upgrades, best practices for executing performance-based contracting, restrictions on appropriations, business personal property tax, and natural disaster funding.

Health and Human Services Committee members are to examine the state health and human services finance system and analyze heart health, vaping, rural health, and Department of Family Protective Services procedures.

Members of the Higher Education Committee will review community colleges, data transparency, facility needs, adult learner programs, formula funding, and health institution formula funding.

Intergovernmental Relations Committee members will study the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program, federal housing programs accessible to Texas, and infrastructure resiliency.

Both the Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee and Water and Rural Affairs Committee are charged with reviewing the use of local tax abatements, eminent domain, future water supply, river authority infrastructure, and groundwater regulatory framework.

The Property Tax Committee will monitor implementation of SB 2 and ad valorem taxation, and the State Affairs Committee will study election integrity and security, conscience protections, private personal data, taxpayer lobbying, unborn protection, Second Amendment legislation, personal property protection, and lobbying loopholes.

Transportation Committee members will study primary causes for traffic-related accidents. They also will review project delivery for major roadway construction projects and make recommendations to ensure on-time project completion and improve cost efficiencies. In addition, they will evaluate the Texas Department of Transportation Flight Services.

Veteran Affairs and Border Security Committee members will review veteran treatment courts, health care, and mental health. They also will study border security transnational crime and technology.
For more 2019 interim charges, click here.