The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled several meetings to hear invited and public testimony on interim charges. They will meet in E1.036 (Finance Room) of the Capitol at 10 a.m. on the following days: February 25, March 24, and June 2, 2020.
The committee was issued the following interim charges relating to public education:
Investment of State Funds: Review the investment strategies and performance of funds invested through the Teacher Retirement System, the Permanent School Fund, and university funds. Make recommendations to better coordinate and leverage Texas’ purchasing power to maximize investment income to the state.
Spending Limit: Examine options and make recommendations for strengthening restrictions on appropriations established in Article VIII, Section 22, of the Texas Constitution, including related procedures defined in statute. Consider options for ensuring available revenues above spending limit are reserved for tax relief.
Business Personal Property Tax: Study the economic dynamics of the current business personal property tax. Consider the economic and fiscal effects of increased exemptions to the business personal property tax, versus its elimination. Following such study, make recommended changes to law.
Natural Disaster Funding: Review federal, state, and local eligibility and receipt of disaster funds from Community Development Block Grants – Disaster Relief and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Identify any barriers to the effective utilization of those funds and recommend any changes to statute, rule, or practice to promote the efficient deployment of those funds and expedite recovery by affected citizens, businesses, and communities.
Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Finance 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:
Senate Bill 12, relating to the contributions to and benefits under the Teacher Retirement System;
- House Bill 3384, relating to the authority of the comptroller to conduct a limited-scope review of an appraisal district located in an area declared by the governor to be a disaster area;
- House Bill 4388, relating to the management of the permanent school fund by the School Land Board and the State Board of Education and a study regarding distributions from the permanent school fund to the available school fund;
- House Bill 4611, relating to certain distributions to the available school fund;
- Contingent upon voter approval, study the implementation of House Bill 492 and House Joint Resolution 34, relating to a temporary exemption from ad valorem taxation of a portion of the appraised value of certain property damaged by a disaster;
- District implementation of increases in teacher compensation provided by the 86th Legislature; and
- Efficiencies in state-funded health care programs that reduce or contain costs and improve quality of care. Assess the quality and performance of health plans that contract with the state, including contract compliance, financial performance and stability, quality metrics, and consumer surveys, among other indicators. Monitor the implementation of Health and Human Services Commission Rider 19 and Article IX, Section 10.06.