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Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations - 82nd R.S. (2011)

Committee Members
Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Chair
Royce West, Chair
Robert Nichols, Vice Chair
Mario Gallegos
Dan Patrick
Jeff Wentworth
Royce West
Charges
• Analyze ways to better coordinate existing federal, state and local housing resources to increase access to affordable housing following a disaster.
• Review best practices for fulfilling emergency short-term housing needs and developing long-term housing opportunities using existing tools, such as land trusts, land banks and other available incentives.
• Review housing and development codes, and guidelines for structures in areas prone to natural disasters, and make recommendations on how these structures can be "hardened" to avoid loss.
• Make recommendations to educate and enable private landowners to use best practices in fire risk mitigation, fuel reduction and urban forest management to reduce exposure to wildland fires.
• Study the impact that regulatory requirements have on the price of residential housing, including costs and benefits during the development, construction, sale, and resale of housing. Consider how regulatory loads affect the ability of the housing market to return to normal economic levels, and focus on the impact on the sale of new and used homes. Include costs and benefits of individual categories or types of regulation to allow a better assessment of ways to improve the affordability of housing.
• Review state policies regarding the provision of affordable housing, including ways to better coordinate existing federal, state, county, and city resources to appropriately increase homeownership and make recommendations to address any issues. Identify any impediments that prevent local governments from using existing tools, such as land trusts, land banks, and other available incentives. Study methods to improve the provision of affordable housing to special-needs populations, such as co-location with social services and coordination with mass transit.
• Study the impact of recent court rulings regarding the determination of eligibility for property tax exemptions of community housing development organizations (CHDOs) by local appraisal districts. Review how these decisions impact existing programs, and make recommendations for any necessary changes to ensure the provision of affordable housing and reduce any cost to the state.
• Study the possible implications for local government corporations to receive a non-profit tax exemption on property owned in the state. Specifically, consider the impact of property located outside of the taxing area of the parent local government.
• Study the statutory oversight granted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) regarding the financial feasibility of bonds issued by special purpose districts, including determining whether changes in the oversight structure are needed.
• Study current law regarding the transfer of a tax lien pursuant to Section 32.06, Tax Code, with respect to the impact of tax lien transfers on local governments, political subdivisions, and property owners. Make recommendations for any necessary changes.
• Study ways to assist local governments in reducing the costs associated with procurement. Include an assessment of the costs and benefits of electronic notices for bid notices.
• Study the most effective ways to identify and report data on homeless and runaway youth, and develop recommendations for prevention and maximizing services for this population.
• Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations, 82nd Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the codification of Senate Bill 1234, relating to municipal management districts and the use of the "standardized language" for municipal management district (MMD) creation.

Note:
The charges related to drought and wildfire preparedness were issued by the Lt. Governor on October 18, 2011.
Senator Royce West, Chair, 1/28/2011-10/4/2012. Senator Juan Hinojosa appointed Chair and Senator West, Member, 10/4/2012 (Press release, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, 10/4/2012).

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