Around the Texas Capitol

Around the Texas Capitol

House committees assigned interim studies

By Lauren Fairbanks and J Pete Laney
TAD Governmental Affairs

Texas Senate committees are starting to meet to examine interim charges, which were issued in April by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, with some committee dates set through October.

Now Texas House of Representatives committees are getting to work after Speaker Dade Phelan released interim committee charges on May 8.

With interim charges, committees are tasked with reviewing the implementation of legislation passed in the 88th legislative session and studying issues that could set the course for future policy priorities going into the next session which convenes in January 2025.

A full list of House committee charges can be found here. Charges relevant to agriculture and rural Texas include:

Committee on Agriculture & Livestock

  • Monitoring: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 88th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:
    • HB 1750, relating to the applicability of certain city requirements to agricultural operations; and
    • HB 2308, relating to nuisance actions and other actions against agricultural operations.
  • Agricultural Product Regulations: Study the notice procedures and issuance of written stop-sale orders by the Texas Department of Agriculture and the seizure and destruction of infested, infected, or noncompliant products. Make recommendations to ensure the private property interests of Texas agricultural producers are appropriately balanced with the state’s public safety interests.
  • Foreign-Owned Agricultural Land: Examine foreign ownership of farm-, timber-, and pastureland and agricultural processing facilities in Texas to determine whether Texas industries and supply chains are adequately protected from threats and disruptions and if further safeguards and restrictions on ownership are needed.

Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism

  • Conservation of Texas Farm and Ranch Lands: Evaluate the purpose and effectiveness of the Texas Farm and Ranch Lands Conservation Program. Identify the trends and impacts of land fragmentation given the state’s rapid population growth and proud legacy of private land stewardship and evaluate the risks of increased foreign ownership of Texas land resulting from fragmentation. Examine the ecological and economic benefits of existing land conservation programs and the potential future role of strategic conservation initiatives to assist in the preservation of critical natural resources for the benefit of Texans in future generations.

Committee on State Affairs

  • Panhandle Wildfires: Evaluate the findings and recommendations of the Investigative Committee on the Panhandle Wildfires that are within the committee’s jurisdiction and develop related legislative solutions and other actions for preventing future wildfires and improving wildfire disaster preparedness, response, and mitigation. This is anticipated to be a continuation of the Investigative Committee on the Panhandle Wildfires, which recently released its report on April 4.

 As with the interim charges in the Senate, the TAD government relations team will continue to monitor these efforts ahead of a final recommendation in interim reports, which are expected later this year.

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