Study Charges Released for the 2012 Interim – Part III
Speaker of the House Joe Straus has released a list of interim study charges for the standing committees of the Texas House of Representatives. These study 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 (2012) giving the public an opportunity to testify on a variety of issues. At the end of the interim, each committee will submit a formal report to the Speaker of the Texas House with recommendations on possible legislation.
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 at www.house.state.tx.us.
Here are some examples of charges given to the standing House committees:
House Committee on Government Efficiency & Reform – Examine and make recommendations on purchasing cooperatives created under Chapter 791 of the Texas Government Code, including the bid process and the role of inter-local contracts. Clarify for consistency the following terms: purchasing cooperatives, inter-local contracts, and inter-local agreements.
Examine areas of potential privatization of state services in an effort to achieve a higher level of service and greater efficiency for Texas taxpayers. (Joint with the House Committee on State Affairs)
Examine state agency rulemaking and consider ways to improve procedural efficiencies and public transparency, and to better inform policymakers as to their use, purpose, and cost-effectiveness, including an examination of the financial and other impacts such regulations have on both the license holder and the public. (Joint with the House Committee on State Affairs)
House Committee on Higher Education – Review the various research funding programs available to institutions of higher education. Analyze the effectiveness of each program and recommend whether state funding should be continued. Consider whether the investments made in these programs are attracting research projects to Texas and whether more emphasis should be placed on policies that attract outside research funding to Texas. Consider whether maintaining multiple programs dilutes the state’s efforts to attract groundbreaking research to Texas.
Evaluate proposals for the state’s next master plan for higher education beyond 2015, including a review of various metrics to measure successful outcomes in higher education.
Examine the impact of research at state universities on the state economy. Identify ways to increase the partnership opportunities between private business and research institutions to enhance the commercialization of newly discovered technology. (Joint with the House Committee on Economic & Small Business Development)
House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety – Examine the extent of interstate coordination concerning border security and intelligence sharing and determine whether any changes to state law are needed to enhance that coordination and cooperation. (Joint with the House Committee on Border & Intergovernmental Affairs)
Monitor the Texas Department of Public Safety’s implementation of the driver’s license improvement plan and the use of the funds appropriated to the department for such purposes by the 82nd Legislature. Evaluate the feasibility of privatization with the intent to minimize wait times for Texans. (Joint with the House Committee on Appropriations.)
Examine state and federal law to determine whether existing provisions adequately address security and efficiency concerns for steamship agencies and land ports of entry along the Texas-Mexico border. Evaluate whether the state and the federal government have provided sufficient manpower, infrastructure, and technology to personnel in the border region. (Joint with the House Committee on Border & Intergovernmental Affairs)
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).