A CONTINUED LOOK: INTERIM COMMITTEE CHARGES RELEASED FOR THE 2014 INTERIM
As mentioned in last 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 County Affairs
• Examine population growth in Texas counties and the impact the growth has had on housing, available land resources, businesses in Texas, as well as the impact of growth on the state’s economy. Evaluate Texas’s preparedness to respond to future growth and ensure economic stability.
• Study the implementation of SB 462 (83R). Examine which counties currently have veterans courts, as well as veterans courts in other states, and determine how those programs are working and whether these courts provide additional services or resources for veterans. Make appropriate recommendations. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Defense and Veterans’ Affairs)
House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence
• Examine the association between co-occurring serious mental illness and substance use disorders and parole revocation among inmates from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Review current policies and procedures for incarcerating individuals with a dual mental health diagnosis in both state and county correctional facilities and examine potential remedies within the State’s criminal justice system to ensure that the public is protected and that individuals with a mental health diagnosis receive a continuum of mental health services. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Corrections)
House Committee on Culture, Recreation, and Tourism
• Evaluate the Texas Film Commission and the Texas Music Office to determine their effectiveness in economic development in Texas. Determine how the offices can better collaborate with local economic development entities and state agencies to further the economic development goals of the state.
• Examine the viability of including the commercial oyster industry in the Commercial Fishing License Buyback Program at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
• Examine the economic impact of cultural, recreational, or tourism grants provided by the state, including any economic development grants related to cultural, recreational, or tourism industries, heritage tourism, courthouse restoration, and historic district revitalization.
House Committee on Defense and Veterans’ Affairs
• Review the effectiveness and responsibilities of the Texas Military Preparedness Commission (TMPC). Examine the resources available to the TMPC to ensure the council has the organizational structure in place to protect base installations in Texas during future Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) rounds. Monitor the actions of the newly created BRAC task force, SB 1200 (83R), and review methodologies to enhance relationships between military installations and state and local government to positively impact decisions of BRAC, or similar proposals from the U.S. Department of Defense that could result in a reduced military presence in Texas. Seek opportunities to enhance or expand current military missions in Texas and identify, when possible, new missions that would complement or support existing ones.
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.