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September 23, 1999     (512) 463-0300

76TH INTERIM STUDY UPDATE

AUSTIN - September began with Lt. Governor Rick Perry announcing interim study issues for the Senate of the 76th Legislature. Perry's first three assignments were issued Thursday, September 2, 1999 making Long-Term Health Care, Health Care Workforce and Clean Air and Water Conservation top goals for senators. "I want the Texas Senate to be able to hit the ground running on important issues like health care, long-term care, air quality, groundwater conservation and moving people from welfare to work when the (77th) Legislature convenes on January 11, 2001," said Perry.

On Tuesday, September 7, 1999, the Lt. Governor issued four more studies to be conducted by senators in the areas of K-12 and higher education partnerships, certified teacher shortages, and infrastructure and transportation challenges facing Texas cities. "Our greatest challenge as a state is ensuring that all children have a foundation of success going into the 21st century," said Perry.

The following Thursday, September 9, 1999, Lt. Governor Perry issued five more sets of interim charges for committees bringing the total number to twelve. Criminal justice issues, state investment performance, and Texas' military bases were the focus of this group of interim studies. "These interim charges will help protect taxpayer dollars and ensure Texas has safe streets and available infrastructure," said Perry.

Senate committees that received charges include Health Services, chaired by Jane Nelson of Flower Mound; Natural Resources, chaired by J.E. 'Buster' Brown of Lake Jackson; Human Services, chaired by Judith Zaffirini of Laredo; Education, chaired by Teel Bivins of Amarillo; State Affairs, chaired by Florence Shapiro of Plano; Economic Development, chaired by David Sibley of Waco; Border Affairs chaired by Eddie Lucio, Jr. of Brownsville; Finance, chaired by Bill Ratliff of Mount Pleasant; Criminal Justice, chaired by Ken Armbrister of Victoria; Jurisprudence, chaired by Rodney Ellis of Houston; Intergovernmental Relations, chaired by Frank Madla of San Antonio; and Veteran Affairs & Military Installations, chaired by Carlos F. Truan of Corpus Christi.

All committees are expected to complete their interim studies by September 1, 2000, and present a report to the 77th Legislature which convenes in January of 2001.Committees will use existing committee and subcommittee staff, and budgets approved by the Senate Administration Committee.

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