SENATE INTERIM FINANCE SUBCOMMITTEE CONTINUES HEARING
AUSTIN - The Senate Interim Finance Subcommittee on Articles 2 and 8 Agencies continued its public hearing at the State Capitol on Wednesday, January 21. Led by its Chair, Senator Jane Nelson of Flower Mound, the committee is responsible for reviewing the efforts and budgets, appropriations and expenditures of certain health and human service agencies. The committee members include Senators Royce West of Dallas and Carlos F. Truan of Corpus Christi.
Among the agencies represented at today's hearing included the Workers' Compensation Commission, the Board of Examiners of Psychologists, several departments of the Finance Commission of Texas, and the Department of Licensing and Regulation. Based on collected testimony and committee discussions, the members will make recommendations in order to improve performance measures of these agencies.
SUN CITY WELCOMES SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC INFORMATION
EL PASO - The Senate Interim Committee on Public Information held a public hearing in El Paso on Wednesday, January 21. The members were welcomed to the Sun City by El Paso Mayor Pro Tempore Jesus Terrazas. The committee is responsible for examining the state's open government process to determine if the exchange of public records could be improved for the benefit of all Texans.
The committee heard testimony on public access to open records and on restrictions to that access by local government, state agencies, school districts and universities. Invited testimony included remarks by El Paso's city attorney, El Paso's county attorney, and representatives from El Paso's YWCA. The El Paso Federation of Teachers and the Paso del Norte Policy Institute were also represented. The committee also heard testimony on technology issues from representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and Rio Grande FreeNet as well as public testimony.
Senators attending the meeting included the committee's Chair, Senator Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio, and Senators John Whitmire of Houston, Ken Armbrister of Victoria, Eliot Shapleigh of El Paso, and John Carona of Dallas.
LEGISLATORS LOOK INTO OPERATIONS OF TEXAS NURSING HOMES
AUSTIN - A public hearing was held by the Interim Long-Term Care Legislative Oversight Committee on Wednesday, January 21, at the State Capitol. The committee's primary responsibility is to review the current standards and improve conditions of nursing homes in the state. Members include Senators Judith Zaffirini of Laredo and Jane Nelson of Flower Mound.
Representatives of the Texas Department of Human Services and the Office of the Attorney General provided a progress report regarding the effectiveness, efficiency, and significant problems in the nursing facility regulatory system and the continuum of long-term care services available to Texans. A representative of the Institute for Quality Improvement in Long-Term Health Care briefed the members on state-funded efforts to provide research, consultation, technical assistance and training to improve the quality of health care provided by long-term care facilities and agencies in Texas.
LEGISLATORS MEET TO SELECT STATE ARTISTS
AUSTIN - Members of the Texas State Artist Committee met at the State Capitol on Wednesday to discuss the selection of two state artists for a two year designation. The artists will be asked to create works of art in areas of painting, sketches, photography, and sculpture for each year. Serving on the committee are Senators Jon Lindsay of Houston, Steve Ogden of Bryan, and David Cain of Dallas.
At Wednesday's meeting, the members discussed on what criteria the selections would be based. Through a presentation of two and three-dimensional media, the committee identified and reviewed artists that have been nominated to the posts. The members heard from the artists themselves and from others who made recommendations on the artists or provided background on art mediums.
All Interim committees will report their findings and recommendations to the 76th Legislature which convenes in January of next year.