The Texas State Senate News
AUSTIN--The Texas Senate reconvenes on Monday but today one group of senators was busy examining state agencies.
The Sunset Commission met today to discuss recommended changes for the Office of Attorney General Child Support Division, the Health and Human Services Commission, the Department of Public Safety and others. The Sunset Commission reviews state agencies periodically to assure they are working efficiently and to eliminate overlapping and duplication among agencies with similar goals. The commission's membership includes Senators J.E. "Buster" Brown of Lake Jackson, Chris Harris of Arlington, Frank Madla of San Antonio, and Judith Zaffirini of Laredo, along with Representatives Patricia Gray of Galveston, Fred Bosse of Houston, Allen Hightower of Huntsville, and Brian McCall of Plano, and two public members former Houston Mayor Bob Lanier and Bill Jeter, also of Houston.
The private sector could play a role in child support collection. The commission heard a plan for short and long term solutions to current problems, including customer service and payment distribution. Senator Harris said they should use all available resources, including private attorneys and private agencies to maximize the number of cases handled.
"To me it is imperative that there be a multitude of avenues available for the judge to use, said Harris, I would love to see you all, through every means possible, inundate our district courts that are supposed to be handling family law."
The commission approved a motion by Representative Gray to create an advisory council on aging and a long-term care agency that would include a nursing facility and a regulatory function. Senator Zaffirini was concerned because many aging issues aren't related to long-term care and labeled it an "explosive" issue for this session.
The Senate will reconvene on Monday, January 18th at 1:30 p.m.