Spring Break has come and gone. It’s my sincere hope that you and your family were able to enjoy some quality time during this break from school, and that you were able to enjoy the long awaited sunshine and warmer temperatures that have peaked through recently. With that, here’s what’s happening at your Capitol. . .
House Interim Charge: Economic & Small Business Development
As will be the theme with all interim committees, and the driving force behind most of what will be done in the next session, this committee will examine the impact of natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey. Particularly as to whether the state is adequately prepared to assist in the recovery efforts of our state’s workforce. In a time of crisis, arguably nothing is more important than getting communities back on their feet by training a workforce that meets the needs of that specific region, and can help small businesses begin to thrive like before. Similarly, the committee is doing a deep-dive into how the state has adapted to a changing workforce in previous years. With Texas continuing to grow at such a rapid pace, we should be prepared for further diversity in the workforce, and make sure that the states resources are sufficient enough to address shortages both now and in the future. The Legislature must take seriously its duty to prepare our state’s professionals in anticipation for new jobs and changing industries.
House Interim Charge: Business & Industry
While these committees handle similar issues, this interim the House Committee on Business and Industry is taking a closer look at some of the technology and data-based issues of our ever evolving state. One example of this work is their charge to study the impact of hacking and data breaches on state entities, private businesses, and most importantly the consumer. While there is certainly an advantage, an efficiency, and usually a cost savings associated with cloud services and electronically held data, our state must be vigilant in efforts to protect consumers and employees who share this information. The committee will examine the consequences of recent data breaches and the mitigation efforts used thereafter, as well as determine if the existing rules and regulations are ample in addressing the issue in the future.
The House Committee on Business and Industry will also be teaming up with the House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures to ensure that, especially within the construction and skilled trade industries, our state is not presenting any unnecessary barriers to the post-Harvey recovery efforts. While it is important to determine whether those rebuilding our state have the knowledge and appropriate prerequisites to do the job, we must remember that red-tape cannot get in the way of Texans getting back to their usual way of life.
The mobile office is on the road for the month of March and looks forward to seeing you on March 28th at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine from 9:00-11:00am.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office if we can help you in any way. Our district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762, or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.