83rd Legislative Session Interim Charges

The Lieutenant Governor today (03/19/2014) released select interim charges for the following Senate Committees:

Health & Human Services Committee

  • Evaluate the current state of prescription drug abuse and strategies for reducing prescription drug abuse in Texas.  Make recommendations on how these policies can be improved or modified to enhance the State of Texas’ handling of services, treatments and education related to prescription drug abuse and to reduce the overall prevalence of prescription drug abuse.
  • Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, 83rd Legislature, Regular Session, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation, including but not limited to:
  • Monitor implementation of initiatives aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of Medicaid long-­‐term care services and supports, including the redesign of services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Monitor implementation of initiatives aimed at reducing fraud, waste, and abuse in Texas Medicaid and other health and human services programs.
  • Dental Board Reforms: Monitor implementation of initiatives aimed at improving the State Board of Dental Examiners’ ability to protect public safety, including strengthening the Board’s authority and enforcement powers, improving the complaint review and resolution processes, and increasing staffing to improve the Board’s ability to respond to complaints and potential fraudulent activity.   Determine whether there are additional changes necessary to ensure that the Board is able to regulate the practice of dentistry and ensure public safety.
  • Cancer Prevention and Research Institute: Monitor implementation of initiatives aimed at restructuring the governance structure, eliminating conflicts of interest, and increasing transparency at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).

Jurisprudence Committee

  • Monitor the implementation of Senate Bill 393 and Senate Bill 1114 and determine if any statutory changes are necessary to clarify the intent of this legislation. In addition, determine those school districts that have implemented the graduated sanctions envisioned by Senate Bill 393 and decide if any additional statutory changes are necessary to ensure that school districts are complying with its intent.
  • Monitor the implementation of statewide electronic filing as mandated by the Texas Supreme Court to determine if any additional training or resources are needed by local jurisdictions. In addition, determine those jurisdictions that have imposed the local transaction fee, as created by House Bill 2302, to determine how it is being utilized and if its continued collection is necessary.

Open Government Committee

  • Review the Texas Public Information Act to ensure that access to public records and information by the public remains fully transparent, but that governmental entities have the authority to protect the privacy interests of citizens, including primary and higher education students, from improper public disclosure.
  • Review and make recommendations on improving the transparency of information available on state websites regarding state expenditures, reports, and contracts, including a comparison of how similar information is provided by other states.

Transportation Committee

  • Evaluate Comprehensive Development Agreements (CDA) and Design/Build project delivery methods and make recommendations for their future role in reducing congestion and continuing the state’s economic growth.
  • Examine the implementation of SB 1792 (83R), which provides remedies for habitual violators of nonpayment of tolls and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation.