A CONTINUED LOOK: INTERIM COMMITTEE CHARGES RELEASED FOR THE 2014 INTERIM PART III
As mentioned in the previous week’s article, the Speaker of the House Joe Straus has released a list of interim committee charges for the standing committees of the Texas House of Representatives. These committee charges and the resulting recommendations that will be developed during the interim, could form the basis for legislation to be considered during the next legislative session. House committees were each given several issues to study. Committee hearings will be held over the course of the interim period (2014) giving the public an opportunity to testify on a variety of issues. At the end of the interim, each committee will have the opportunity to submit a formal report to the Speaker of the Texas House with their recommendations on possible future legislation to be handled by the next Texas Legislature.
The following is a sampling of charges given to different House committees. If you would like a complete list of the study charges or if you would like more information about issues being studied by any particular committee, please don’t hesitate to call my Capitol office at 512-463-0672 or visit The Texas House of Representatives.
Here are some examples of charges given to the standing House committees:
House Committee on Economic and Small Business Development
• Review the statutes and state agency rules pertaining to public-private partnerships to ensure a fair, competitive, and transparent process that benefits all parties engaging in the partnership. Review how other states and countries utilize public-private partnerships and make recommendations on how to improve the process in Texas, specifically looking at whether there needs to be a single state entity responsible for administering the public private partnership program.
• Examine and evaluate economic development incentives to determine if the incentives are achieving the desired outcomes for which the incentives were initially established. Review which economic development goals and incentives are most important and report on methods to further improve those goals and incentives while reducing ones not meeting their desired objectives.
• Study venture capital investment in the state and determine how Texas compares to other states in attracting venture capital dollars. Make recommendations to improve Texas’s ability in attract venture capital investment.
• Review the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism and determine its effectiveness on economic development in Texas. Determine how the office could be more efficiently coordinated with local and regional economic development entities and other state agencies to help further the economic development goals of the state.
House Committee on Elections
• Examine the use of Help America Vote Act funds and methods to ensure the efforts required by the Help America Vote Act continue.
• Evaluate the Move Act, specifically the implementation of HB 1129 (83R), relating to a program allowing certain military voters on active duty overseas to cast a ballot electronically.
• Examine online voter registration systems in other states. Study costs and security concerns, weigh the pros and cons of online voter registration, and make recommendations.
House Committee on Energy Resources
• Study the impact of the expanding oil and gas exploration and production occurring across the state. Included in the study should be both the positive impacts of the exploration and production as well as the new challenges they are presenting. The study should encompass a review of the following issues:
a. The effect on the state budget and the Economic Stabilization Fund;
b. The overall impact on the state economy;
c. The impact on property values and local taxes;
d. The effect on roads;
e. The impact on local school districts;
f. The complex relationship between land owners, royalty owners, and operators;
g. The impact on the environment, including emissions and injection wells;
h. Projected water needs and how those fit with our state water plan; and
i. The housing issues created by the number of workers needed in areas of shale plays.
If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).
– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32
Rep. Hunter represents Nueces County (Part). He can be contacted at email@example.com or at 512-463-0672.