HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
NOTICE OF FORMAL REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
COMMITTEE: International Relations & Economic Development
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and challenges in scheduling public hearings at this time, the House Committee on International Relations and Economic Development is seeking written submissions from interested parties and the public on the interim charges listed below. Submissions received in response to this request will be transmitted to members of the committee and posted on the House website.
· Submissions must be in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.
· Please submit a separate document for each interim charge to which you are responding.
· Submissions are requested to be limited to 5 pages in length.
· Submissions must be submitted via email to email@example.com
· Please include the following contact information in the body of the email: submitter name, organization or entity (if applicable and an authorized representative), mailing address, and telephone number.
· Please include "IRED RFI" and the interim charge number(s) to which you are responding in the subject line of the email.
· The deadline for all submissions is Monday, August 31.
Interim Charge 1: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 86th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:
· HB 680, which relates to reporting requirements for the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and local workforce development boards regarding the provision of child care. Monitor the TWC's and local workforce development boards' reporting of certain metrics related to the type and quality of child care being provided. Examine the information provided by the TWC to recommend strategies to increase access and participation in the Texas Rising Star program.
· SB 753, which relates to wage requirements for certain community rehabilitation programs employing people with disabilities. Examine the process by which state agencies collaborate, plan, and implement strategies to assist community rehabilitation programs in creating a minimum wage plan. Monitor the process and circumstances that allow for certain community rehabilitation programs to be exempted from the minimum wage plan requirements.
Interim Charge 2: Study Texas' current and future workforce pipeline structure, with a focus on input from the state's largest industries and middle skill employers. Examine what skill gaps exist within our state; identify methods of improving regional coordination and alignment between industry, the public workforce system, public schools, higher education institutions, and community-based organizations to create college and career pathways; and provide recommendations to overcome barriers in the workforce pipeline and to enhance career path options.
Interim Charge 3: Study the state's seaport infrastructure and the infrastructure at land ports of entry to facilitate international trade and economic growth. Examine seaport infrastructure and the auxiliary rail and roadway needs connected to each port as well as the port's ability to keep pace with oil and gas production. Make recommendations to maximize the economic flow of goods and products to and from seaports and study the feasibility and economic impact of dredging and widening Texas ports in order to remain competitive in international trade. Examine the infrastructure at international border ports of entry in Texas and identify transportation-related impediments to international trade that negatively impact the state. Make recommendations to reduce border wait times, facilitate economic growth, and expedite trade. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Transportation)
Interim Charge 4: Examine and report on policy proposals from business, labor, and other states that utilize portable platforms to address the growing number of independent contractors and employees in the "gig economy." Study the effects and implementation of the new rules adopted by the TWC related to the "gig economy."
Interim Charge 5: Review the connection between the economic vitality of business and industry and the economic vitality of our military veterans transitioning into the workforce. Specifically, the committee should analyze barriers to military veterans transitioning from active duty to civilian life, the effectiveness of government transition and training benefits, and current and ongoing demand for veteran and military spouse employment from industry in Texas.(Joint charge with the House Committee on Defense & Veterans' Affairs)
Interim Charge 6: Monitor the State Auditor's review of agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction. The Chair shall seek input and periodic briefings on completed audits for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years and bring forth pertinent issues for full committee consideration.