Senate Committee on Finance

Committee Information
Chair Vice-Chair Members:
Schedule and Bills Referred to Committee Schedule and Bills Referred to Committee

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Interim Charges

The Committee shall:

1. Examine the policies and practices used to invest major state funds including cash balances, and evaluate state investment goals and the funds' performance in reaching those goals. This examination shall include, but is not limited to, review of legal authority, ethical standards, and investment policies and safeguards, management structure, portfolio composition and identification of short-term and long-term goals. The Committee shall make recommendations identifying opportunities for improvements or innovations.

The Committee shall coordinate study of this issue with the Committee on State Affairs. The final preparation of the report will be the responsibility of the Finance Committee.

2. Review employee benefit issues facing the Employees Retirement System (ERS) and Teacher Retirement System (TRS). The review shall include, but is not limited to, funding contingencies, projected funding needs of TRS-Care, HMO competition and the cost of providing health plans, and the issues surrounding provision of Optional Retirement System or other alternatives for state employees.

The Committee shall coordinate study of this issue with the Committee on State Affairs. The final preparation of the report will be the responsibility of the Finance Committee.

3. Review the expenditure by agencies and institutions that received appropriations from tobacco settlement proceeds to ensure the efficient and effective use of those funds, and identify priorities for the use of future tobacco settlement proceeds.

4. Evaluate the financial viability and educational effectiveness of graduate medical education in light of changes in Medicaid, managed care, and other cost factors, including the impact of uncompensated care. This evaluation shall include a review of the role of the state's teaching hospitals in the provision of indigent health care, and the role of graduate medical education in addressing health care needs of under-served regions of the state.

5. Consult and coordinate with the Committee on State Affairs in their charge related to the study of the effects of federal devolution on state agencies.

6. Monitor the implementation of SB 1547, enacted during the 76th Legislature, Regular Session relating to motor fuel tax collection improvements, especially the impact of the bill on state motor fuel tax revenue.

7. Review the Texas Disproportionate Share Hospital Program, with an emphasis on the formula and criteria used to distribute funding to hospitals. The committee's report should include a comprehensive assessment of all sources of funding (federal, state, and local) available to hospitals which serve Medicaid clients and the indigent poor, as well as the costs incurred by hospitals which serve Medicaid clients and the indigent poor, as well as the costs incurred by hospitals serving these groups. The committee will report any findings or recommendations by May 1.

Reports

The Committee shall submit copies of its final report as soon as possible, but no later than September 1, 2000. This date has been chosen so that the work of the Committee can be considered when the Legislative Budget Board is developing performance and budget recommendations to the 77th Legislature. Copies of the final report should be sent to the Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of the Senate, Legislative Council and Legislative Reference Library.

The final report of the Committee should be approved by a majority of the voting members of the Committee and include any recommended statutory changes. Draft legislation containing any recommended statutory changes should be attached to the report. Recommended agency rule changes should also be attached to the report.

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