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News News
Interim Charges for House Committees
Article By: by Texas State Rep. Larry Phillips
Posted: 2/28/2014 Views: 2116  Impressions: 9025
Categories: Business: Employment, Politics



This week I will discuss the interim charges recently issued to the House Committee on Business and Industry. Interim charges are the issues that the Speaker asks committees to study during the time between regular legislative sessions in order to make recommendations for legislation for the following legislative session. The charges are good indicators of what legislation the legislature will take up during the next session. Legislators rely on public input when crafting legislation, and it is important that they hear from people during the interim.

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS & INDUSTRY:

* Study the voluntary nature of workers' compensation in Texas and how it meets the needs of employers and employees.
* Review existing lien laws in Texas. Examine laws concerning the enforcement of contract liens affecting real property. Identify improvements, if any, that will enhance the certainty of title following sale, enhance ability to ensure that sales are conducted by qualified trustees, prevent unnecessary litigation, facilitate loss mitigation between borrowers and sellers, and protect the interests of homeowners, lenders and trustees. Study the imposition of mechanics' liens on automobiles and its impact on mechanics, car owners and purchasers, and lenders. Review ad valorem tax lien lending after the implementation of legislation that passed last session and the impact on homeowners, taxing authorities, mortgage lenders, and tax lien lenders. Review the procedures and powers of the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner to ensure compliance.
* Study the impact of SB 1024 (82R) on wage theft and law enforcement's and regulatory agencies' responses to wage theft claims. Recommend changes if necessary.
* Examine the issue of misclassifying employees as independent contractors on workers, employers, income tax withholding, and the unemployment insurance system. Review current statutory deterrents and make recommendations for changes if necessary.
* Study the impact of credit card data theft and other credit or privacy information theft on Texas consumers and businesses.
* 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: consider any reforms to state agencies to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens; identify issues regarding the agency or its governance that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate; determine whether an agency is operating in a transparent and efficient manner; and identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs.

The House Committee on Business and Industry can be reached at 512-463-0766. For more information on these charges or any other matter of state government, please contact my office by writing to P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768-2910 or by emailing me at larry.phillips@house.state.tx.us. My district office phone number is (903) 891-7297.




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