Interim Senate Committee Charges
After each legislative session, the standing committees are assigned issues to study during the interim. The committees will examine these issues, conduct public hearings, and prepare a report with legislative recommendations for the next session. The lieutenant governor assigns issues to the Senate committees, and the Speaker assigns issues to the House committees. Assignments to House committees have not been made. Below are some county-related issues assigned to Senate committees.
Business and Commerce Committee
- Information Technology: Review the state’s major information technology infrastructure. Examine cybersecurity preparedness and reporting requirements for state and local governments and political subdivisions. Identify opportunities for expanded partnership and coordination between state and local officials. Compare state and local government prevention and response efforts with those of private businesses facing similar threats. Make recommendations for cost-effective ways to strengthen and protect consumer data and personal information against privacy breaches and ransomware threats.
- Health Care Costs: Study the cost of health care in Texas. Make recommendations to increase access to affordable quality health care. Explore potential opportunities and recommend best practices to continue to curb rising health care costs. Study and report on ways to increase consumer health care options, provide flexibility in the market, and decrease the uninsured rate in Texas, including 1115 and 1332 waivers.
- Natural Disaster Funding: Review federal, state, and local eligibility and receipt of disaster funds from Community Development Block Grants – Disaster Relief and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Identify any barriers to the effective utilization of those funds and recommend any changes to statutes, rules, or practices to promote the efficient deployment of those funds and expedite recovery by affected citizens, businesses, and communities.
- Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Finance passed by the 86th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:
- Contingent upon voter approval, study the implementation of House Bill 492 and House Joint Resolution 34, relating to a temporary exemption from ad valorem taxation of a portion of the appraised value of certain property damaged by a disaster.
Health and Human Services Committee
- Health Care Costs: Examine the state health and human services finance system including, but not limited to, the following programs and methods of finance: Local Provider Participation Funds, the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program, Medicaid 1115 waivers and Section 1332 State Innovation waivers, Pay for Quality Programs, the Quality Incentive Payment Program, and other state and local funding used to finance health care systems in Texas. Identify ways to streamline functions and reduce unnecessarily burdensome and costly requirements in the Texas Medicaid program. Provide recommendations to ensure the sustainability of the state’s health and human services system and judicious use of taxpayer dollars.
- Rural Health: Examine and determine ways to improve health care delivery in rural and medically underserved areas of the state. Determine whether additional funding provided during the 86th Legislative Session has helped to ensure more accessible and quality health care in rural areas.
Intergovernmental Relations Committee
- Infrastructure Resiliency: Examine the authority special purpose districts have to generate natural disaster resilient infrastructure. Determine ways state government can work with special purpose districts to mitigate future flooding and promote more resilient infrastructure. Make recommendations on how special purpose districts may use their statutory authority to assist in mitigating damage from future natural disasters.
- Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations passed by the 86th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:
- Senate Bill 1303, relating to landowner rights in a city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction;
- Senate Bill 1474, relating to private activity bonds; and
- House Bill 2330, relating to simplifying disaster assistance.
Property Tax Committee
- Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of the following legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Property Tax passed by the 86th Legislature. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:
- Senate Bill 2, relating to ad valorem taxation.
State Affairs Committee
- Elections: Study the integrity and security of voter registration rolls, voting machines, and voter qualification procedures to reduce election fraud in Texas. Specifically, study and make recommendations to: 1) ensure counties are accurately verifying voter eligibility after voter registration; 2) improve training requirements for mail-in ballot signature verification committees; 3) ensure every voter has access to a polling station, particularly in counties that have adopted countywide polling; 4) allow the voter registrar, county clerk, and secretary of state to suspend an unqualified voter’s registration or remove an ineligible voter from a list of registered voters; and 5) ensure compliance with laws that prohibit school trustees and employees from improperly using public funds to advocate for or against any candidate, measure, or political party.
- Taxpayer Lobbying: Study how governmental entities use public funds for political lobbying purposes. Examine what types of governmental entities use public funds for lobbying purposes. Make recommendations to protect taxpayers from paying for lobbyists who may not represent the taxpayers’ interests.
- Second Amendment: Examine Second Amendment legislation passed since the 84th Legislative Session including open carry, campus carry, and lowering the license to carry fee. Determine the impact these laws have made on furthering and protecting Second Amendment rights. Make recommendations that may further protect and enhance Texans’ Second Amendment right to bear arms.
- Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Transportation passed by the 86th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:
- The Legislature’s new funding for the driver’s license program as funded in the General Appropriations Act;
- The Legislature’s funding for grants to counties to be used for repair of county roads as funded in the General Appropriations Act;
- S.B. 198, relating to payment for the use of a highway toll project;
- S.B. 616, as it relates to the analysis of the opportunities and challenges of transferring the driver’s license program to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles;
- S.B. 1915, relating to the board of pilot commissioners for Harris County ports; and
- S.B. 2223, as it relates to two-way directional routes.