The Texas House Speaker recently established the Investigative Committee on the Robb Elementary Shooting to conduct a thorough examination into the circumstances surrounding the tragic school shooting in Uvalde. This investigative committee has been tasked with collecting and analyzing evidence from law enforcement, making comprehensive findings, and reporting the conclusions as soon as possible to help guide the Texas House’s response to this tragedy moving forward.
Additionally, the Speaker issued joint charges to the Select Committee on Youth Health & Safety and the Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee. These committees have been charged with examining strategies that promote firearm safety and reduce mass violence, evaluating the coordination between local and state agencies, identifying technological resources to detect potential threats, and recommending policies that promote school safety and mental health. Texans, rightfully, have lots of questions and concerns about what happened in Uvalde, and I applaud Speaker Phelan for taking decisive action in establishing these committees so that we can begin the discussions and conduct work that needs to be done prior to our next session.
With that, we’ll dive back into our examination of House interim charges. . .
House Interim Charge: Business & Industry
The House Committee on Business & Industry has jurisdiction over a number of state agencies, including the State Office of Risk Management, the Division of Workers’ Compensation, and the Texas Department of Insurance. Over the interim, members of this Committee will monitor these agencies and ensure that the legislation passed during the most recent legislative session is implemented properly.
Members of the Committee will study the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on unemployment trends and industry-specific disruptions, evaluate the state’s effort on data privacy and online consumer protections, and analyze the impact of organized retail crime. Additionally, the Committee will monitor the implementation of legislation with a focus on three specific bills.
SB 22 removes the requirement for first responders to prove to insurance companies that they contracted COVID-19 while on the job to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Another bill under review, SB 581, protects individual and religious liberty by prohibiting a property owners’ association from enforcing or adopting restrictions on homeowners that display religious symbols motivated by their sincerely held religious beliefs.
The final bill within the Committee’s focus, HB 3746, requires the Texas Attorney General to post a comprehensive list of security breach notices on the agency’s website. During the 86th Legislative Session, a measure was passed requiring entities that experience a security breach affecting at least 250 Texans to notify the Attorney General’s office. HB 3746 makes information regarding these breaches more publicly accessible to further enhance data privacy protections.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762. Additionally, I welcome you to follow along on my Official Facebook Page, where I will be posting regular updates on what’s happening in your State Capitol and sharing information that could be useful to you and your family: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrentAshby/.