Senator Bob Deuell
Texas Senate, District 2
P.O. Box 12068 Capitol Station, Austin, Texas 78711

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2006
CONTACT: Don T. Forse, Jr.
(512) 463-0102

CAPITOL UPDATE

Interim Charges - Intergovernmental Relations

AUSTIN - Now that the Texas Legislature has completed the third called session of the 79th Legislative Session, we can now begin focusing on the interim charges Senate Committees will review in advance of the next session. During the months between regular sessions, members from both the House and Senate hold meetings and public hearings to study and make recommendations to the next legislature on specific issues.

The following charges were issued to one of the committees I serve on, Intergovernmental Relations, by Lt. Governor David Dewhurst.

  1. Study and make recommendations regarding the regulatory authority of counties in relation to development in unincorporated areas, including public safety and public health regulations, and the authority of counties to prevent new colonias development without sufficient water, wastewater, and other infrastructure.
  2. Study and make recommendations relating to the use of funds collected from red light camera citations.
  3. Study and make recommendations regarding the relationship between cities and special utility districts, including the formation of special utility districts in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of cities, and the ability of those districts to meet the future service needs of residents; the number of special utility districts currently existing and their effect on the overall property tax burden; as well as the significant growth/creation of special utility districts and their effect on the provision of services to residents.
  4. Study and make recommendations relating to counties’ ability to apply for and receive state and federal grants. Focus on assessing the impact and use of grant funds, on streamlining the process, and upon the impact and options available for counties without incorporated cities and towns.
  5. Examine and make recommendations relating to the appropriateness and advisability of adopting the "Texas Uniform Planned Community Act," as published by the State Bar of Texas Subcommittee on Property Owners Associations, as the enabling statute to establish a comprehensive and uniform framework for the creation and operation of residential planned communities.
  6. Study the implementation and impact of legislation passed by the 79th Legislature to increase the economic impact of the Texas Wine Industry on the state’s economy and make recommendations, as appropriate.
  7. Study the status of floodplain mapping in Texas communities and the scope of local governments’ floodplain development management authority and make recommendations, as necessary, to enable communities to provide accurate floodplain data and management plans that will facilitate more favorable insurance rates and better protect the lives and property of Texas residents in the event of a natural disaster.
  8. Study the home ownership rate for low-income Texans. Make recommendations for increasing home ownership. Analyze options for enhancing Low Income Housing Tax Credits and include costs and benefits to the state.

The Committee shall submit copies of its final report no later than December 1, 2006. 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.

To contact Sen. Deuell about the legislative process, contact the Capitol Office at (512) 463-0102 or mail to Sen. Bob Deuell, Texas Senate, P.O. Box 12068, Austin, TX 78711. The website for the Texas Senate is www.Senate.state.tx.us. The e-mail address for Sen. Deuell is: bob.deuell@senate.state.tx.us

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