Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Border Security - 86th R.S. (2019)
- Veteran Treatment Courts: Review the effectiveness of diverting veterans from the traditional criminal justice system to veteran treatment courts. Make recommendations to strengthen veteran treatment court outcomes and expand access to locations not currently served by the courts.
- Veteran Health Care: Examine the adequacy of long-term health care services and support options for veterans in Texas. Identify under-served areas and barriers to accessing quality care for both institutional as well as home and community based settings. Discuss the potential impact of federal reforms, such as the implementation of the Veterans Affairs MISSION Act on care delivery. Make recommendations to best leverage federal assistance and create greater efficiencies in veteran health care delivery.
- Veteran Mental Health: Review suicide prevention strategies and programs identified by the federal Defense Suicide Prevention Office and make recommendations to connect at-risk individuals with available resources as they transition into veteran status.
- Border Security Transnational Crime: Review the different platforms used by fusion centers, Joint Operations Intelligence Centers, and the Texas Transnational Intelligence Center to share transnational crime intelligence. Study the ability of law enforcement to share information through existing communications networks and identify ways to promote collaboration and improve the flow of information.
- Border Security Technology: Study the Department of Public Safety camera detection program "Operation Drawbridge." Review the program and assess its performance, benefits, and challenges. Consider what role new technologies could play in preventing the northbound smuggling of drugs and people into Texas and the southbound smuggling into Mexico over the international bridges. Consider the cost and efficiencies of these technologies. Determine if any changes are needed and make recommendations on any additional technologies that could increase the level of border security.
Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Border Security passed by the 86th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:
- HB 11 84th R.S. - Review the ten-hour workday implemented from this legislation and consider its impact on 1) public safety along the Texas-Mexico border and throughout the state, by increasing the statewide patrol and investigative capacity of the Department of Public Safety without the addition of new officers, 2) the recruitment and retention of officers, and 3) the overall impact on the morale of officers having to work the extended hours.
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