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Senate Committee on State Affairs - 68th R.S. (1983)

Committee Members
Ray Farabee, Chair
Glenn Kothmann, Vice Chair
Roy Blake, Sr.
Chet Brooks
Kent A. Caperton
Lloyd Doggett
Chet Edwards
O.H. 'Ike' Harris
Don Henderson
Ed Howard
Bob McFarland
Bill Sarpalius
Craig A. Washington
• Monitor problems that develop with the Administrative Procedures Act and recommend amendments to solve those problems.
• Maintain periodic contact with the Alcoholic Beverage Commission and relevant lobby groups in order to stay on top of developing issues. Plan for a comprehensive hearing in the State Affairs Committee during the 69th Session.
• Inquire into the aftermath of the Brain Death Act in 1979 and determine whether the standard for when human death occurs is sufficient in practice and whether any modifications need to be made.
• Continue liaison with the Attorney General and Secretary of State to determine whether the Business Opportunities Act is successful in deterring fraud and whether further amendments are needed.
• Monitor the progress of the lawsuit challanging the counstitutionality of SB 643, 68th R.S., allowing cable television companies to use easements and rights of way that are dedicated for the use of public utilities.
• Determine the effect of the measures to promote stronger enforcement of child support obligations on increased collections and compliance with court orders, with particular emphasis on the performance of the Attorney General's Child Support Enforcement Division.
• Keep periodic contact with the Railroad Commission, the Areonautics Commission and relevant lobby groups to remain apprised of problems in the area and develop and expectation of upcoming legislation.
• Develop legislation to deal specifically with "computer crimes".
• Monitor the effectiveness of recently enacted legislation and document current problems in criminal corrections, and develop legislation to address these problems.
• Provide staff support to Senator Farabee, monitor the progress of the Criminal Justice Policy Council and develop legislation growing out of Council recommendations.
• Monitor the actions of the committee to develop a revision of the Election Code, assist when possible, and prepare for the Election Code hearings in the Spring of 1985.
• Continue oversight and monitoring of problems that arise in the conduct of elections.
• Assess the success of the implementation the Texas Human Rights Commission and its processing of employment discrimination cases and determine if there are any workability problems.
• Put together a comprehensive package of reforms to enhance the effectiveness of the court system.
• Maintain liason with DPS and the Highway Dept. to stay on top of issues involving motor vehicles.
• Evaluate the feasibility of the proposal to refuse to renew licenses for individuals and automobiles identified as having outstanding fines.
• Monitor the effect of the Natural Death Act and determine whether changes in the Act are needed.
• Develop a bill to deal with the latest legal problems involved in organ transplants.
• Monitor the development of new problems in property law and develop legislation to address those problems.
• Document the problems in the timesharing industry and redraft the bill to overcome previous objections. Also formulate a satisfactory answer to the question of why the DTPA is inadequate to deal with the problem.
• Study suggested reforms in the property taxation area.
• Maintain ongoing communication with the Public Utilities Commission, consumer groups, the Public Advocate and utility companies to stay on top of developing issues.
• Maintain liason with the various state retirement systems, and the Pension Review Board to determine current problems, develop legislation and prepare for the State Affairs Committee hearing on retirement systems during the 69th Legislature.
• Study to see if the present Child Care Licensing Law and the Family Code are sufficiently protecting the children, birth mothers and prospective adoptive parents, and what changes could be made to better protect the parties involved.
• Monitor the emergency of problems in the area involving State lands and the Purchasing and General Services agency. Develop legislation to deal with those problems.
• Review proposals which affect state taxing methods and procedures, as well as review which taxes are used.
• Determine which cities in Texas have begun to use tax increment financing and with what results. Also determine the workability problems that exist and propose ways to correct them.
• Evaluate the effectiveness of SB 394, 68th R.S., to require prescriptions for Schedule 2 drugs to be written on triplicate forms, with a copy sent to the D.P.S.. Recommend whether or not SB 394, 68th R.S., should be reenacted.
• Evaluate the feasibility of a proposal to expand the fiscal note process to include a statement of impact on local finances.
• Evaluate a proposal to allow all cities over 50,000 population to establish transit authority districts.
• Evaluate the feasibility of a proposal to give cities debt and investment options. This proposal includes granting authority to municipalities to issue and purchase short term debt instruments, such as commercial paper, and to invest short term funds in federal agency notes.
• Evaluate the feasibility of suggestions for procedural changes in property taxation in the 1983 A&M Report on Municipal Issues, and improving the truth in taxation law.
• Evaluate a proposal made to increase truck load limits and increase the the interest rate that cities can charge on late payment of street paving assessments.
• Evaluate the feasibility of a proposal made to allow cities to raise the hotel-motel tax rates from 4% to 7% on a local option basis.
• Find an alternative tax that can be put on the banks to make up for the loss of revenue from the U.S. Supreme Court holding that the state or local governments cannot tax bank property in the form of federal securities.
• Review Texas home rule law in view of changing federal requirements.
• Arizona has a system whereby persons may apply for a drivers license and register to vote simultaneously. This system appears to have potential to increase voter registration. Can it work in Texas?

No report was issued.
Charges are from a project assigment list found in Index to Interim Committees from 67th & 68th Legislatures, L1800.1 IN8 1981-84.

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