Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) released the results of several interim committee reports ahead of the opening of the incoming 84th Legislative Session. The reports come from twelve interim committees assigned by the Speaker during the period between the legislative sessions. The Texas Legislature only meets once every two years unless called into special session by the Governor.
“The Members of the House have done an outstanding job preparing for the new legislative session,” said Speaker Straus in a press release obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Because of Members’ good work over the last year, the House is ready to focus on a number of critical issues facing this state. These reports will help make for a very productive start to the new session.”
The members of these committees worked over the last twelve months to prepare information for the incoming members of the Texas House. Reports from other committees will be release over the next few days and weeks according to Speaker Straus’ press secretary, Jason Embry.
Following are a list of highlights from the reports made available by the Speaker’s Office on Thursday:
- Child Protection, The Committee recommended the Department of Family and Protective Services continue to improve its use of technology in order to strengthen investigations, advance transparency for stakeholders and improve child safety in the Foster Care System. The committee also recommended a number of ways to improve employee retention at DFPS.
- Environmental Regulation. The Committee recommends streamlining the contested case process for environmental permits. The report also highlights the importance of encouraging economic development while protecting the rights of property owners and meeting environmental regulations.
- Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence. The committee recommended consideration of increased term lengths and qualifications for appellate court judges. The committee also endorsed reforms to allow more alternatives to the probate system, especially for low-income Texans.
- Health Care Education and Training, Select. The Committee suggested ways to increase the number of veterans working in health care. For example, the committee recommended creating accelerated training programs and requiring state licensing boards to consider prior military medical training and experience.
Details of the committees’ interim reports from the 83rd Legislative Session as well as prior sessions can be found on the Texas House of Representatives website.
Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.