Tuesday, March 27, 2018

10:00 AM

Capitol Extension, Room E1.028




Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule 11.10 and 11.18, a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations was held on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, in the Capitol Extension, Room E1.028, at Austin, Texas.







Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., Chair


Senator Donna Campbell

Senator Paul Bettencourt, Vice Chair



Senator Sylvia Garcia



Senator Don Huffines



Senator José Menéndez



Senator Van Taylor






The Chair called the meeting to order at 10:03 AM.  There being a quorum present, the following business was transacted:


The following members arrived after the roll was called:

Senator Paul Bettencourt

Senator José Menéndez


The Chair laid out the following interim charges:


Examine and report on ways to improve the coordination of rebuilding housing and infrastructure following a natural disaster, including evaluating additional cost effective options for FEMA to utilize in providing direct housing assistance immediately following a disaster, creation of comprehensive lists of housing opportunities or web portals to disseminate information to survivors, ways to automatically waive local government regulations to facilitate rebuilding, and additional local resources available for rebuilding efforts.


Monitor the distribution of federal disaster relief funds related to housing and infrastructure, including community development block grant (CDBG) funds, to ensure the timely dissemination of monies by state entities to local governments for reconstruction efforts. Develop recommendations for any statutory changes necessary to improve the efficiency of disaster recovery efforts, maximize housing and infrastructure funds, and ensure cooperation between private and government partners.


Review and recommend options to expedite debris removal, including cutting unnecessary regulation and streamlining the process.


Identify and report on existing disaster training opportunities available for local officials and make recommendations for training programs that equip them to efficiently interact with state and federal agencies during times of disaster.


Special Purpose Districts Bond Reform: Study the state agency review of tax exempt bonds issued by special purpose districts and public improvement districts used to finance water and sewer infrastructure in new residential and commercial developments. Examine the disparities that exist between the feasibility review of water and sewer bonds backed by property- based assessments and those backed by ad valorem taxes, and make recommendations that ensure the continued stability of the Texas tax- exempt bond market by requiring all districts to undergo appropriate reviews prior to issuance.


The Chair opened invited testimony on the interim charges.


Invited testimony was heard.  Witnesses testifying and registering are shown on the attached list.


Senator Garcia assumed the chair.


Senator Lucio resumed the chair.


Senator Bettencourt assumed the chair.


Senator Lucio resumed the chair.


The Chair moved that invited testimony be closed.  Without objection, it was so ordered.


The Chair opened public testimony on the interim charges.


Public testimony was heard.  Witnesses testifying and registering are shown on the attached list.


The Chair moved that public testimony be closed.


There being no further business, at 1:52 PM Senator Bettencourt moved that the Committee stand recessed subject to the call of the chair.  Without objection, it was so ordered.









Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., Chair




Dilip Kanuga, Clerk