The House Committee on State Affairs

80th Legislature

April 19, 2007

8:00 a.m.

E2.010

 

Pursuant to a notice posted on April 13, 2007, and the suspension of the 5-day posting rule on April 19, 2007, to consider HCR 193 and HCR 194, the House Committee on State Affairs met in a public hearing and was called to order by the chair, Representative Swinford, at 8:10 a.m.

 

The roll was answered as follows:

 

Present: †††††††††††† Representatives Swinford; Paxton; Van Arsdale; Christian; Cook, Byron; Farrar; Flynn (7).

 

Absent: †††††††††††† Representatives Parker; Veasey (2).

 

A quorum was present.

 

HB 3560

 

(Representative Paxton in chair.)

 

The chair laid out HB 3560.

 

The chair recognized Representative Swinford to explain the measure.

 

Representative Paxton offered a complete committee substitute.

 

(Representative Veasey now present.)

 

Testimony was taken.† (See attached witness list.)

 

Representative Cook, Byron moved that HB 3560, as substituted, be reported favorably to the full house with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed. The motion prevailed by the following record vote:

 

Ayes:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Representatives Swinford; Paxton; Christian; Cook, Byron; Farrar; Flynn; Veasey (7).

 

Nays:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† None (0).

 

Present, Not Voting:†††† None (0).

 

Absent:††††††††††††††††††††††††† Representatives Van Arsdale; Parker (2).

 

HB 2733

 

The chair laid out HB 2733.

 

The chair recognized Representative Swinford to explain the measure.

 

Testimony was taken.† (See attached witness list.)

 

Representative Swinford moved that HB 2733, without amendments, be reported favorably to the full house with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed. The motion prevailed by the following record vote:

 

Ayes:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Representatives Swinford; Paxton; Christian; Cook, Byron; Farrar; Flynn; Veasey (7).

 

Nays:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† None (0).

 

Present, Not Voting:†††† None (0).

 

Absent:††††††††††††††††††††††††† Representatives Van Arsdale; Parker (2).

 

(Representative Swinford in chair.)

 

The chair directed that the April 13, 2007, minutes for the House Committee on State Affairs be corrected. The corrected minutes were authorized without objection.

 

HB 2621

 

The chair laid out HB 2621.

 

The chair recognized Representative Isett, Carl, to explain the measure.

 

Representative Swinford offered a complete committee substitute.

 

(Representative Parker now present.)

 

Testimony was taken.† (See attached witness list.)

 

The chair recognized Representative Isett, Carl, to close on the measure.

 

Representative Christian moved that HB 2621, as substituted, be reported favorably to the full house with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed and be sent to the Committee on Local and Consent Calendars. The motion prevailed by the following record vote:

 

Ayes:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Representatives Swinford; Paxton; Christian; Farrar; Flynn; Parker; Veasey (7).

 

Nays:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† None (0).

 

Present, Not Voting:†††† None (0).

 

Absent:††††††††††††††††††††††††† Representatives Van Arsdale; Cook, Byron (2).

 

At 8:57 a.m., on the motion of the chair and without objection, the meeting was recessed until final adjournment/recess of the full House on April 19, 2007.

 

The committee reconvened at 2:41 p.m. and was called to order by the chair, Representative Swinford. The roll was answered as follows:

 

Present: †††††††††††† Representatives Swinford; Christian; Cook, Byron; Farrar; Flynn; Parker; Veasey (7).

 

Absent: †††††††††††† Representatives Paxton; Van Arsdale (2).

 

A quorum was present.

 

(Representative Paxton now present.)

 

(Representative Paxton in chair.)

 

HB 13

 

The chair laid out HB 13 as pending business.

 

The chair recognized Representative Swinford to explain the measure.

 

Representative Paxton offered a complete committee substitute.

 

Representative Cook, Byron, moved that HB 13, as substituted, be reported favorably to the full house with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed. The motion prevailed by the following record vote:

 

Ayes:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Representatives Swinford; Paxton; Christian; Cook, Byron; Flynn; Parker (6).

 

Nays:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Representatives Farrar; Veasey (2).

 

Present, Not Voting:†††† None (0).

 

Absent:††††††††††††††††††††††††† Representative Van Arsdale (1).

 

Statement of Vote

 

Representative Farrar added the following statement to the minutes.

 

"CSHB 13 creates a State Office of Homeland Security that is charged with the development of a statewide homeland security strategy that improves the stateís ability to detect and deter threats to homeland security, respond to home and security emergencies, and recover from homeland security emergencies.

 

"Unfortunately, CSHB 13 fails to adequately address these issues, as the State Office of Homeland Security is placed under the Office of the Governor.† This means that the State Office of Homeland Security is neither a law enforcement agency, nor is it overseen by a law enforcement agency.† It is overseen by a political office, which is worrisome since CSHB 13 tasks the State Office of Homeland Security with activities that have traditionally been developed, administered, and executed by law enforcement agencies.

 

"One of the most pressing aspects of this overall concern involves the Texas Data Exchange (TDEx).† CSHB 13 places TDEx under the Texas Rangers.† However, the Office of Emergency Management, which is part of the Governorís State Office of Homeland Security, is charged with project management of TDEx.† The Governorís State Office of Homeland Security, which is run by Mr. Steve McCraw and is a political office rather than a law enforcement office, continues to have access to and control over the administration of this database.† The risk of putting highly sensitive and classified information in the hands of a political office is too high.

 

"The Texas Rangers never testified to the House Committee on State Affairs on whether or not they are capable of administering and developing a database such as TDEx with their current responsibilities and manpower.† They are already charged with investigating capitol murder, helping local law enforcement, and investigating official wrongdoing with the 112 officers they currently have. Another issue is that they are currently tasked with overseeing the current Texas Youth Commission investigation, where their focus should remain.

 

"In addition, the Texas Rangers have no experience in administering, developing, or implementing any kind of database.† However, the Criminal Law Enforcement Division of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) is charged with maintaining and administering DPS databases.† Therefore, TDEx would most naturally be accommodated there.

 

"Another concern with CSHB 13 is that it requires that local and state law enforcement officers enforce the Federal Immigration and Nationality Act.† Chairman Swinford has repeatedly stated that he did not intend this legislation to force local and state law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws.† The language on immigration laws in CSHB 13 contradicts his statements and supposed intent.

 

"Along with the concern regarding the enforcement of federal immigration law, it is a concern that the Border Security Council that consists of the director of the State Office of Homeland Security, the public safety director of DPS, and the executive director of the Texas Border Sheriffís Coalition is charged with deciding how to disburse funds for border security activities.† This means that the director of the State Office of Homeland Security and the executive director of the Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition could easily outvote the public safety director of DPS, even though DPS is the state law enforcement arm of the council.† In addition, the Border Security Council is charged with implementing performance measures and auditing the programs administered by the State Office of Homeland Security.

 

"The result is that the Governorís State Office of Homeland Security, which is the entity that administers the border security programs, and the border sheriffs, which are the entities that receive and use the funds for border security programs, decide where the money goes as well as what are and are not adequate results.† In other words, the same entities receiving the funds for border security are responsible for monitoring and auditing themselves.† This is an obvious conflict of interest, and it does not compensate for the fact that a political office will have control over where the money goes and how it is used.

 

"Along with the creation of the Border Security Council, CSHB 13 focuses solely on providing assistance to border sheriffs.† Municipal police forces have been virtually shut out of the programs that so far have been administered by the Governorís State Office of Homeland Security, even though they are charged with the protection of the majority of residents on the Texas border.† Municipal police chiefs have voiced their concern that they are not included in either the decision-making process involved with these programs in CSHB 13, nor have they been included in the border security projects that have so far been executed.

 

"Crimes related to drugs and human trafficking are not limited to the border area.† Major metropolitan Texas areas as well as other towns and cities feel they also need funds and support from the state to target the crime their communities are seeing."

 

 

HCR 193

 

The chair laid out HCR 193.

 

Testimony was taken.† (See attached witness list.)

 

Representative Flynn moved that HCR 193, without amendments, be reported favorably to the full house with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed. The motion prevailed by the following record vote:

 

Ayes:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Representatives Swinford; Paxton; Cook, Byron; Flynn; Parker; Veasey (6).

 

Nays:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Representative Farrar (1).

 

Present, Not Voting:†††† None (0).

 

Absent:††††††††††††††††††††††††† Representatives Van Arsdale; Christian (2).

 

HCR 194

 

The chair laid out HCR 194.

 

Representative Cook, Byron moved that HCR 194, without amendments, be reported favorably to the full house with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed. The motion prevailed by the following record vote:

 

Ayes:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Representatives Swinford; Paxton; Cook, Byron; Flynn; Parker; Veasey (6).

 

Nays:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Representative Farrar (1).

 

Present, Not Voting:†††† None (0).

 

Absent:††††††††††††††††††††††††† Representatives Van Arsdale; Christian (2).

 

(Representative Swinford in chair.)

 

HB 3649

 

The chair laid out HB 3649.

 

The chair recognized Representative Allen, Alma to explain the measure.

 

The bill was left pending without objection.

 

HB 3632

 

The chair laid out HB 3632.

 

The chair recognized Representative Hartnett to explain the measure.

 

The bill was left pending without objection.

 

HB 3874

 

The chair laid out HB 3874.

 

The chair explained the measure.

 

Representative Swinford offered a complete committee substitute.

 

The committee substitute was withdrawn without objection.

 

The bill was left pending without objection.

 

HB 39

 

The chair laid out HB 39.

 

The chair recognized Representative Paxton to explain the measure.

 

The bill was left pending without objection.

 

HB 104

 

The chair laid out HB 104.

 

The chair recognized Representative Riddle to explain the measure.

 

The bill was left pending without objection.

 

HB 3829

 

The chair laid out HB 3829.

 

The chair recognized Representative Morrison to explain the measure.

 

The bill was left pending without objection.

 

HB 159

 

The chair laid out HB 159.

 

The chair recognized Representative Zedler to explain the measure.

 

The bill was left pending without objection.

 

HB 141

 

The chair laid out HB 141.

 

The chair recognized Representative Flynn to explain the measure.

 

The bill was left pending without objection.

 

HB 39, HB 104, HB 141, HB 159, HB 3632, HB 3649, HB 3829, HB 3874

 

The chair laid out HB 39, HB 104, HB 141, HB 159, HB 3632, HB 3649, HB 3829, HB 3874 and its substitute as pending business.

 

Testimony was taken.† (See attached witness list.)

 

HB 39 was left pending without objection.

 

HB 104 was left pending without objection.

 

HB 141 was left pending without objection.

 

HB 159 was left pending without objection.

 

HB 3632 was left pending without objection.

 

HB 3649 was left pending without objection.

 

HB 3829 was left pending without objection.

 

The committee substitute to HB 3874 was withdrawn without objection.

 

HB 3874 was left pending without objection.

 

HB 2248

 

The chair laid out HB 2248.

 

The chair explained the measure.

 

The bill was left pending without objection.

 

At 12:01 a.m. on April 20, 2007, on the motion of the chair and without objection, the meeting was adjourned subject to the call of the chair.

 

 

 

 

 

________________________

Rep. Swinford, Chair

 

 

________________________

Allison Scott, Clerk