The Texas State Senate News
AUSTIN - On Wednesday, October 22, the Senate Interim Finance Subcommittee met in an open meeting at the State Capitol. Senators Gonzalo Barrientos of Austin (chair), Ken Armbrister of Victoria and Teel Bivins of Amarillo compose the committee that is responsible for reviewing the operations of the Texas Department of Information Resources, the Legislative Budget Board, and the State Auditor's Office.
The committee heard lengthy testimony from representatives of all three agencies. The Texas Department of Information Resources provided an overview of technology in state government regarding present and future uses in schools, businesses and other areas. One example discussed was the possible replacement of textbooks with laptop computers in Texas public schools. Testimony stated that this change would not only be cost effective in the long run but would also better prepare students for careers in the technological age.
The Legislative Budget Board reviewed Texas' budget process, explained measures of performance, reviewed line-item strategies and Full Time Equivalent (FTE) monitoring relating to employees. Finally, the State Auditor's Office updated the committee on issues of agency accountability, the certification of performance measures and trends in employee FTE.
The members plan to meet again in mid-November. Senate Jurisprudence Committee meets for first time during Interim
AUSTIN - The Senate committee on Jurisprudence met for the first time this Interim on Monday, October 20, in the Senate Chamber. The organizational meeting included discussion of Interim charges and hearing of invited testimony with Senator Rodney Ellis of Houston chairing the meeting. Members include Senators David Cain of Dallas, Robert Duncan of Lubbock, and Gregory Luna of San Antonio, Chris Harris of Arlington, Steve Ogden of Bryan, and Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio.
The committee heard testimony from Chief Justice Thomas R. Phillips and former Chief Justice John Hill as well as a district court judge and an appellate court judge regarding judicial selection and districting. The members also heard the State Auditor's Report regarding the management process among the 14 appellate courts in Texas.
The committee plans to meet throughout the Interim in order to tackle the remaining charges laid out by Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock.