Kelly Hancock, Chair
Brandon Creighton, Vice Chair
|• Study infrastructure security and energy restoration post weather events. Identify ways state government entities can help utilities more effectively stage pre-hurricane mobilization crews for managing resources before an event.|
|• Examine state mortgage requirements regarding the notification of homebuyers on their need for flood insurance in flood plains and flood pool areas and make recommendations on how to better inform consumers.|
|• Examine local government regulations, including occupational licenses, as related to Hurricane Harvey and determine if any are a detriment to rebuilding efforts.|
|• Examine and make recommendations on the need for changes to the Texas Constitution for home equity lenders to offer various forms of relief to Texas homeowners affected by natural disasters including, among others, the authority to enter into deferment agreements. This examination should include a study of home equity rules regarding negotiation, modification and refinancing and whether constitutionally established time periods can be waived in times of disasters.|
|• Free Market Electricity: Examine the competitive nature of the Texas retail electric system and what government competitive intrusions in the free energy markets may have in distorting those markets. Review the impact of competitive versus noncompetitive retail electricity markets across the state in terms of price and reliability. Consider the projected impact of establishing competitive electric retail markets statewide.|
|• Health Insurance Market Stability: Study the factors affecting health insurance markets in Texas, particularly the individual market, including federal and state law. Make recommendations that would result in increased stability in the markets and enhance value and affordability for individual consumers and businesses. Examine what steps the state needs to take to allow out-of-state health insurance sales. In developing its recommendations, the committee should consider the flexibility afforded to states by 1332 "state innovation" waivers, which allow states to modify or eliminate tax penalties associated with individual and employer coverage mandates; modify requirements for benefits and subsidies; and find alternative ways to provide benefit plan choices, determine eligibility for subsidies, and enroll consumers.|
|• Licensing and Fees: Review licensing requirements and fees imposed on entities within the committee's jurisdiction. Make recommendations for state licenses and fees that should be reduced, repealed or transitioned to private-sector enforcement.|
|• Social Media Access: Study access issues regarding digital assets of decedents. Study social media privacy laws and whether job applicants and students' privacy is jeopardized under current law.|
|• Examine the 2018 electric reliability forecasts announced by ERCOT and review how expected diminished reserve markets will impact the rates of residential and business consumers. Monitor current mechanisms available to ERCOT to ensure grid reliability, identify trends in the wholesale electric market, and make recommendations to maintain grid reliability moving forward.|
Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce during the 85th Legislature, Regular Session, including:
• The implementation of legislation to deregulate occupational licensing;
• The settlement of out-of-network health benefit claims involving balance billing and patient's explanation of benefits statements; and
• Make recommendations regarding any additional legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/ or complete implementation.
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