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Senate Committee on International Relations and Trade - 81st R.S. (2009)

Committee Members
Eddie Lucio, Chair
Wendy Davis, Vice Chair
Kel Seliger, Vice Chair
Wendy Davis
Craig Estes
Troy Fraser
Mario Gallegos
Tommy Williams
Charges
• Review the effectiveness of the Coordination of Colonia Initiatives and related measures addressed by the Committee and develop recommendations to better address substandard communities across the state where no potable water or sewage services are provided. Review state and local laws and policies relating to development and growth in unincorporated regions of the state and develop recommendations aimed at providing local units of government the necessary local control tools to curtail the spread of colonia-like developments in their jurisdictions.
• Examine effectiveness of state homeownership programs serving colonia residents. Study the need for contract for deed conversions in the colonias within 150 miles of the Texas/Mexico border. Examine existing statute regarding statewide distribution of the Texas Bootstrap Loan Program and recommend changes to increase the state's ability to expedite allocation of funds. Develop recommendations to address abusive lending practices in distressed areas and fair housing violations in the colonias.
• Study and make recommendations for state actions to increase efficiencies and reduce wait times in crossing the Texas-Mexico border, while ensuring proper security. Review initiatives to maximize bridge-crossing revenue.
• Assess Texas' trade-related programs and work with the appropriate state and federal agencies to develop initiatives that will increase NAFTA-related commerce in Texas. Make recommendations to encourage communities currently unable to participate in international trade, due to their lack of resources and capacity, to engage in such trade.
• Review the state's efforts aimed at helping distressed areas, coastal regions and rural communities to compete in the international marketplace. Work with the appropriate state and federal agencies to develop recommendations to create initiatives that will build regional development and capacity with the goal of better facilitating trade and commerce, as well as tourism, in these communities.
• Review the state's efforts and policies aimed at addressing the workforce training needs of trade-displaced citizens. Report on the effectiveness of these programs and develop recommendations to better assist hard to reach populations in distressed areas, including Spanish-predominant speaking displaced citizens along the Texas-Mexico border region.
• Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on International Relations and Trade, 81st Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation.

  • Review the housing initiatives addressed by the Committee and work with the appropriate housing officials to develop recommendations to better address the housing needs of smaller and distressed communities in Texas. Develop recommendations for the cost-effective use of existing housing monies, leveraging of funds and initiatives for new funding sources.

Note:
Senator Seliger, Vice Chair and Senators Davis and Estes, Members, 1/30/2009-7/14/2010. Senator Davis appointed Vice Chair and Senators Seliger and Shapleigh appointed Members, 7/14/2010 (Press release, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, 7/14/2010).

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