Texas Political News
House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced interim charges for Texas House Committees today, laying out issues for lawmakers to examine and develop recommendations before the next legislative session. The charges are largely focused on monitoring the implementation of legislation passed during the 86th Session, including major bills like HB 3 and SB 2, the school finance and property tax reform bills. The full list of charges for each committee can be viewed here. Some notable charges include:
  • The Committee on Public Education is directed to Monitor the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) implementation of HB 3, the school finance bill, including the extensive rulemaking process and broad unintended consequence authority of the commissioner, and to examine the pay raises districts have provided to staff and the various approaches adopted to differentiate these salary increases according to experience.
  • The Committee on Ways and Means is directed to monitor the implementation of SB 2, the property tax reform act, including a review of the tax rates adopted by taxing units in 2019 and 2020, the appraisal review board survey system, and progress in onboarding the tax rate notices and websites, and to make recommendations for modifications as necessary and appropriate.
  • The Committee on State Affairs is directed to study how governmental entities use public funds for political lobbying purposes, examine what types of governmental entities use public funds for lobbying purposes, and make recommendations to protect taxpayers from paying for lobbyists who may not represent the taxpayers’ interests.
  • The Committee on Energy Resources is directed to study the adequacy of the workforce currently available to the industries responsible for energy production and how state policies may facilitate investment in public infrastructure and workforce development, examine the labor needs within oil and gas exploration, production, and transportation to identify workforce gaps and the resulting effects on industry expansion, economic growth, and increasing population.
  • The Committee on Insurance is directed to study the adequacy of the state’s insurance laws on regulating the introduction of tech products into the Texas insurance market, including the impact of big data, blockchain, internet of things, and artificial intelligence technologies on industry practices such as claims handling, underwriting, and policy writing.
  • The Committee on Public Health is directed to review behavioral health capacity in the state, with a focus on suicide prevention efforts and the provision of behavioral health care services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and to review suicide prevention programs and initiatives across state agencies, evaluate their effectiveness, and identify opportunities for greater coordination.
  • The Committee on Ways & Means is directed to study the role of the local option sales and use tax, including an analysis of the available uses for those taxes, specifically economic development agreements; the statewide distribution of local tax rates; the proportion of the local government budget supported by sales and use taxes; the application of consistent sales sourcing rules; and the impact of shifting from origin to destination sourcing.
For more information on the Texas Legislature, visit https://capitol.texas.gov/