FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 01/31/2014
Rep. Thompson Addresses Interim Charges for the House Committees
Rep. Thompson Addresses Interim Charges for the House Committees on Environmental Regulation and Special Purpose Districts
AUSTIN, Texas: Today House of Representatives Speaker Joe Straus issued interim charges for standing committees of the 83rd Texas Legislature. "I enjoyed the work my colleagues and I accomplished on both the Environmental Regulation Committee and Special Purpose Districts Committee this session," Thompson said. "I am grateful to have served on these committees and I'm eager to address their respective issues over the interim."
Speaker Straus released the following charges for the House Environmental Regulation Committee to address following the 83rd Legislature:
1. Study the environmental permitting processes at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), specifically the contested-case hearing process at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) and the timelines associated with the process. Study the economic impact that the state's permitting processes have on Texas manufacturing sectors and how neighboring states' and the federal permitting processes and timelines compare to those in Texas.
2. Study the rules, laws, and regulations pertaining to the disposal of high-level radioactive waste in Texas and determine the potential economic impact of permitting a facility in Texas. Make specific recommendations on the state and federal actions necessary to permit a high-level radioactive waste disposal or interim storage facility in Texas.
3. Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 83rd Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee should:
a. consider any reforms to state agencies to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens;
b. identify issues regarding the agency or its governance that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate;
c. determine whether an agency is operating in a transparent and efficient manner; and
d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs.
Furthermore, the Special Purpose Districts Committee will aim to tackle the following agenda prior to the 84th Session:
1. Conduct a comprehensive review of existing special purpose districts in the state. Study how special districts interact with other local governments and local taxpayers during and after their creation. Examine circumstances under which special districts are accountable to local taxpayers and make recommendations on ways to increase spending transparency among districts.
"With District 29 continuing to grow and more special districts being formed, I am looking forward to learning more about their impact on the state and its citizens," said Rep. Thompson. "I am proud of all that the House achieved during the 83rd Session and am ready to begin groundwork for the challenges we'll face in the 84th Session."