Select Interim Charges Released
Lt. Governor Dewhurst has announced select interim charges to committees of the Texas Senate to study prior to the 2015 legislative session. The descriptions of city-related charges are reprinted below. TML will continue to monitor additional charges released by the Lt. Governor and the progress of each study.
Agricultural, Rural Affairs, and Homeland Security
Safety Requirements: In light of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas this year, Dewhurst asked the Committee to examine the current regulatory and insurance requirements for the storage of ammonium nitrate, including the role of the State Chemist and the Texas Department of Insurance. Additionally, he requested recommendations that would eliminate inconsistencies, improve transparency, and protect Texans' safety without creating duplicitous practices and procedures for the Texas workforce.
Disaster Relief Efforts: Considering the aftermath of the West explosion, Dewhurst charged the Committee with dissecting the role of state and local governments regarding recovery operations across the state in the event of a disaster, including how state, local governments, and businesses can work together in order to assist with the rebuilding/recovery of affected areas in the event of a disaster. He also requested the Committee to identify essential personnel and resources needed to increase existing response capabilities.
Business and Commerce
State of Texas Windstorm Insurance Association: Dewhurst requested the Committee to review the administrative and financial state of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) and determine alternative financial methods to fund a probable maximum loss of a 1-in-75 or 1-in-100 year event. Additionally, Dewhurst requested the Committee to monitor litigation developments, develop and evaluate plans to reduce TWIA's total insured exposure, make recommendations regarding an exposure reduction clearinghouse under development at TWIA, which aims to assist the transfer of TWIA policies to the free market, make recommendations regarding the qualifications for building inspectors conducting inspections for the TWIA and other building inspectors statewide, and consider expanding the types of professionals qualified to conduct inspections and the appropriate entity to oversee inspectors.
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