Senate Committee on State Affairs

Committee Information
Chair Vice-Chair Members:
Clerk: Jennifer Fagan
Tel: (512) 463-0380
Sam Houston Building
Room 380
Schedule, Minutes, Witness List and Bills Referred to Committee Schedule, Minutes, Witness List and Bills Referred to Committee

Video/Audio Archives [ 78th | 77th | 76th ]

79th Session Interim

 

Third Called Special Session

 

Second Called Special Session

 

First Called Session

Conference Committee on SB5 and HB7 Hearings:

79th Legislative Session:
 

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Committee Downloads

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Interim Charges

  1. Study the Employees Retirement System of Texas (“ERS”) including the actuarial soundness of the ERS pension fund; the implementation of cost-saving measures in the ERS group health insurance plan; the suggestion of further cost-saving measures such as the implementation of a 3-tiered provider network; the effectiveness of the third party administrator of the ERS group health insurance plan in managing inflation; and the feasibility of consolidating the administration of all state group health plans under a single state agency.
  2. Study the Teachers Retirement System of Texas (“TRS”) including the actuarial soundness of the TRS pension fund; the implementation of cost-saving measures in the TRS group health insurance plan; the suggestion of further cost-saving measures such as the implementation of a 3-tiered provider network; the implementation of S.B. 1370, 79th Legislature; the effectiveness of the third party administrator of the TRS group health insurance plan in managing inflation; and the feasibility of consolidating the administration of all state group health plans under a single state agency.
  3. Study and make recommendations on how election officials could verify the identity of a voter ithout hindering a person’s right to vote. Include an analysis of the extent to which individuals are casting multiple votes because of any lack of voter identification verification. Make recommendations on how the state could improve its vote-by-mail system to ensure the authenticity of those ballots.
  4. Monitor the implementation of HB 7, 79th Legislature, Regular Session, relating to the workers compensation system of this state.
  5. Study the regulation and management of health care plans, including the following:
  6. Study and review current law on the doctrine of eminent domain, including the U.S. Supreme Court case in Kelo v. City of New London. Monitor the implementation of S.B. 7 (79th Legislature, 2nd Called Session) and make any necessary recommendations as to the use of eminent domain for economic development purposes and the issue of what constitutes adequate compensation for property taken through the use of eminent domain.
  7. Study the costs associated with mandates to insurance companies for increased coverage for specific illnesses, medical conditions, or diseases, including obesity. Provide a cost assessment of the impact of such mandates to the state and local units of government. Include data and analysis of the costs and medical impact associated with insurance mandates which have been enacted in other states, as well as any short- and long-term cost-savings. Develop recommendations on how to provide increased cost-effective coverage, especially to populations with impairments and diseases, as well as the underinsured/uninsured.
  8. Study the prevalence, legality and ethics of entities that actively lobby the Legislature to impact the lawmaking process while that entity is in any way a recipient of state funds.
  9. Study and make recommendations regarding the cost drivers of emergency medical services. Make recommendations on how to improve and sustain EMS services for Texas, as well as reduce costs to health care plans, businesses, and individuals.
  10. Study and review current Texas law on the doctrine of statutory employer, including the 2004 First District Court of Appeals’ decision in Etie v. Walsh & Albert Co. and make recommendations of changes in state laws, if necessary, regarding the doctrine of statutory employer and indemnification in construction contracts. Study the current use of Consolidated Insurance Programs and make legislative recommendations, if appropriate.
  11. Assess the benefit of limiting the civil liability for noneconomic damages against non-profit organizations involved in the privatization of child welfare services.

Joint Charge with Health and Human Services Committee:

  1. Examine and make recommendations, if necessary, regarding the state's role in regulating pharmacy benefit managers in the interest of consumer protection. Examine alternative methods of dispensing maintenance drugs, including mail service and retail pharmacies, and provide an analysis of the state’s role in protecting consumers.
  2. Study how to reduce dependence on Medicaid for the provision of long term care by increasing use of long-term care insurance and health savings accounts. Include a study of options for increasing the use of advance planning tools, such as health care power of attorney and living wills, to ensure more effective decision-making regarding critical end-of-life and other health care decisions. Finally, study the feasibility of implementing innovative models of nursing facility services that encourage autonomy, choice and dignity of residents.
  3. Study the current laws/policies relating to forensic patients in our State Hospitals and Community Mental Health Organizations. Include analysis of and recommendations relating to pre- and posttrial forensic patients, competency laws and procedures, current treatment policies and guidelines, cost and placement considerations for creating specialty units for forensic patients, judicial discretion and medical best practices.

Reports

The Committee shall submit copies of its final report no later than December 1, 2006. The printing of reports should be coordinated through the Secretary of the Senate. Copies of the final report should be sent to the Lieutenant Governor (5 copies), Secretary of the Senate, Senate Research, Legislative Budget Board, Legislative Council, and Legislative Reference Library.

The final report should include recommended statutory or agency rulemaking changes, if applicable. Such recommendations must be approved by a majority of the voting members of the Committee. Recommendations should also include state and local fiscal cost estimates, where feasible. The Legislative Budget Board is available to assist in this regard.

The following reports are available for download:

Budget and Staff

Travel costs shall be paid from the operating budgets of Senate members. All other costs shall be borne be the Senate State Affairs Committee’s interim budget, as approved by the Senate Administration Committee.

The Committee should also seek the assistance of legislative and executive branch agencies where appropriate.

Interim Appointments

Pursuant to Section 301.041, Government Code, it may be necessary to change the membership of a committee if a member is not returning to the Legislature in 2007. This will ensure that the work of interim committees is carried forward into the 80th Legislative Session.

Committee Archives

78th Legislature's Senate State Affairs Committee .
77th Legislature's Senate State Affairs Committee .
76th Legislature's Senate State Affairs Committee .

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