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TribBlog: Interim Charges

Speaker Joe Straus has given committees their assignments for the next year.

Speaker Joe Straus just released House committees' interim charges — topics for committees to examine and review in preparation for the next legislative session. In particular, voter ID hasn't gone away; the Elections Committee will examine laws around identification.

Straus told The Texas Tribune in a recent interview that the state's finances were going to be front and center in the interim charges: "We are in relatively good health as a state, fiscally, and I see no reason to take extraordinary action at this time. But we should always take a look at where we are and find efficiencies where and when they can be taken."

Other highlights from the interim charges: 

Appropriations

—Monitor the Department of Information Resources' implementation of the data consolidation project, which has come under fire for mismanagement. 

—Review how border homeland security funds have been distributed and used. 

—Monitor disparities in health care costs statewide, which were the subject of a much-discussed New Yorker article earlier this year. 

Human Services

—Oversee the Department of Justice settlement over abuse, neglect and poor conditions in the state-supported living centers for people with disabilities. 

Elections

—Examine statistics and data on voter fraud in Texas to guide future legislation (aka Voter ID). 

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Reference

Interim Charges

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