Editorial

09 December 2019

Capitol Update: House Committee on Business and Industry

Following every Legislative Session, the Texas Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House issue interim charges for committees in their respective chambers to study important issues that help guide the Texas Legislature’s policymaking in the future. The Texas House recently received our interim charges, and members will soon begin to meet with their respective committees to hold interim hearings on charges that pertain to the work each committee conducted during the 86th Legislative Session.

Given the recent release of interim charges, my subsequent columns will examine a House Committee and go into greater detail about the issues that committee will be working on during the interim.

With that, our first committee will be the House Committee on Business and Industry.

House Interim Charge: Business and Industry

Like many other committees, the House Committee on Business and Industry will spend time over the interim monitoring the agencies and programs under their jurisdiction. This committee 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. Not only will members monitor these agencies, but they will also ensure that the implementation of legislation passed during the most recent Legislative Session is done so with the intended outcome in mind.

In the interim charges for Business and Industry, the Speaker asked the members of the Committee to work with the Attorney General to review complaints related to freestanding emergency room pricing, enforcement actions, and determine what additional steps should be taken to address these issues. The Committee will also monitor the implementation of House Bill 4390, which establishes a specific deadline for the required disclosure of data breaches, and provides new protocols for reporting data breaches in incidents involving the data of 250 or more Texans. The charges also ask for the Committee to obtain status updates on the number of breaches that have occurred, and determine what obstacles businesses face in meeting the new protocol requirements. The Committee has also been charged with reviewing the implementation of Senate Bill 935, which requires workers’ compensation insurance carriers to reimburse federal military treatment centers at the same rate that is required under federal law. The charges stipulate that the committee will work with the Division of Workers’ Compensation to ensure the provisions of this bill are properly applied.

Reminders

With the holiday season upon us and many special events in all areas of House District 57, please be advised that the mobile office has suspended its regular Wednesday schedule until the start of 2020. For any questions you may have, or issues you need help resolving, please reach out to one of our offices. We will make every effort to facilitate meetings and respond to your needs. Our district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762, or you can call our Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.

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