AUSTIN –Speaker Joe Straus issued interim charges Friday to every standing committee in the Texas House of Representatives.
The charges highlight some of the issues that the House will study and investigate to prepare for the next legislative session, which will begin in January 2015.
Friday’s charges are based on requests and suggestions made by House Members. In the coming weeks and months, Straus will announce additional charges and initiatives to highlight his own priorities for the next session.
“Today’s interim charges, combined with the initiatives that I will announce in the weeks to come, will help Members prepare to tackle serious challenges in the next session,” said Straus, San Antonio. “I am confident that we can continue to address these issues in a responsible, bipartisan way.”
The House is coming off an extremely successful year. In 2013, Members balanced the state budget, cut taxes, made a historic commitment to address long-neglected water needs, reduced excessive testing in public schools and made the use of taxpayer dollars more transparent and accountable. Each of those achievements passed the House with overwhelming support.
“One of the reasons that the 83rd Legislature was so successful was that we identified key priorities early and made important progress on those priorities before the opening gavel fell,” Straus said in a Friday letter to House Members. “I hope you will take a similar approach to our work over the next 12 months.”
Straus also encouraged Members to approach this year’s work with focus and diligence.
“Don’t be afraid to consider new and different ways to make state government more effective, efficient and accountable to taxpayers,” he wrote.