Around the Texas Capitol: Senate committees receive interim assignments

Around the Texas Capitol: Senate committees receive interim assignments

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Note: Content below was posted and current as of April 16, 2024

Around the Texas Capitol
Senate committees receive interim assignments

By Lauren Fairbanks and J Pete Laney
TAD Governmental Affairs

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on April 11 issued interim committee charges for the Texas Senate. After reviewing hundreds of proposals, the lieutenant governor has asked senators to study 57 issues that he says “reflect issues that Texans have asked us to study.”

The list of charges is an early indicator of what priorities the Senate will have going into the next legislative session in January. Property tax relief and school vouchers are likely to be at the top of the list, as well as measures to address Texas’ continuing need to provide reliable electricity to the state’s growing population. Since Winter Storm Uri in February 2021, the Legislature has focused efforts on building more thermal dispatchable generation and, based on interim charges, that will continue to be top of mind for leadership.

The Water, Agriculture, and Rural Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), will focus primarily on water issues facing the state: evaluating water systems for reliability; monitor implementation of a measure directing the disposal of reclaimed wastewater; and monitoring the implementation of the Texas Water Fund, which was passed and funded last session in an effort to improve aging infrastructure and improve the states’ water supply availability. The committee also will monitor the implementation of SB 1414, which temporarily transferred regulation of the practice of veterinary medicine to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Last session, the Legislature passed HB 9, creating the Broadband Infrastructure Fund to fund and deploy broadband technology across rural Texas. The Senate Finance Committee will monitor the progress of that program over the interim.

Senate committees will hold hearings in the coming weeks and months on these charges. One committee has already posted three hearings to begin this summer, though the agendas have not been set yet. Committees will submit reports with their specific findings and policy recommendations by Dec. 1.

Click here for the full list of interim charges. The lieutenant governor has not ruled out publishing more charges ahead of the 89th Legislature.

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