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MINUTES

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON STATE AFFAIRS

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

1:00 PM

Senate Chamber

 

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Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule 11.10 and 11.18, a public hearing of the Senate Committee on State Affairs was held on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, in the Senate Chamber.

 

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MEMBERS PRESENT:

 

MEMBERS ABSENT:

Senator Bryan Hughes, Chair

 

None

Senator Brian Birdwell, Vice Chair

 

 

Senator Paul Bettencourt

 

 

Senator Donna Campbell

 

 

Senator Bob Hall

 

 

Senator Lois Kolkhorst

 

 

Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr.

 

 

Senator Charles Schwertner

 

 

Senator Judith Zaffirini

 

 

 

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The chair called the meeting to order at 1:34 PM. There being a quorum present, the following business was transacted:

 

A moment of silence was observed in memory of those lost in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022.

 

The Committee heard invited and public testimony on the following interim charges:

 

Human Trafficking – Examine opportunities and make recommendations to reduce the profitability of and demand for human trafficking in Texas.  Determine ways to increase public awareness of the proliferation of human trafficking, as well as resources for victims and survivors.  Monitor the implementation of House Bill 1540 (87th Legislature) and examine changes in arrest rates, judicial dispositions, and sentencing amongst offenders due to provisions of the legislation.  Examine opportunities for attorneys to combat human trafficking in their local communities, including use of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, to generate revenue for local law enforcement officials combating human trafficking.  Make any other recommendations to prevent human trafficking.

 

Investment Practices – Study the investment practices of financial services firms and how those practices affect the state’s public pensions.  Make recommendations to ensure the state’s public pension funds are not being invested to further political or social causes.

 

Senator Hughes presented a written Motion to Authorize Subpoenas (see attached).  Senator Birdwell moved the motion be adopted.  The motion carried with a record vote of 9 ayes, 0 nays, 0 present not voting, and 0 absent.

 

Privacy and Transparency – Review the current state laws that protect and secure individuals’ biometric identifiers.  Explore ways to protect against the use of biometric identifiers for unintended purposes without an individual’s consent and make recommendations to the Senate.  Study websites that closely resemble government websites or fraudulently represent companies that they are not, including websites that use names of state agencies or licenses.  Make recommendations to ensure that Texans are not mislead, taken advantage, or defrauded, especially when they try to seek assistance from a state website.

 

Witnesses testifying and registering are shown on the attached list.  Public testimony was closed at 5:59 PM.

 

There being no further business, at 5:59 PM Senator Hughes moved that the Committee stand recessed subject to the call of the chair. Without objection, it was so ordered.

 

 

 

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Senator Bryan Hughes, Chair

 

 

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Courtney Smith, Clerk