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Hurricane Harvey Interim Charges and Related Resources

House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick recently issued several interim charges relating to Hurricane Harvey for further study, and a few committees have already scheduled hearings in Houston to consider the charges.

Specifically, Speaker Straus issued charges to the Committees on Appropriations, Public Education and Natural Resources. The Appropriations Committee will examine the use of federal funds by state agencies responding to the effects of Harvey and identify opportunities to maximize the use of federal funds to reduce the impact of future natural disasters, while the Natural Resources Committee will study various flooding issues. Additional interim charges for House committees are expected in the coming months. A complete list of the House charges relating to the hurricane is available on the House website.

Lt. Gov. Patrick also issued charges to several committees, including: Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs; Business and Commerce; Education; Finance; Government Reform; Health and Human Services; Intergovernmental Relations; State Affairs; and Transportation. The Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs Committee will study and make recommendations on how to move forward with water infrastructure projects in the State Water Plan that will help mitigate floods. The Business and Commerce Committee will examine local government regulations as related to Hurricane Harvey and determine if any are a detriment to rebuilding efforts. The Finance Committee will evaluate the long-term impact of the hurricane on the Texas economy and the gulf coast region. 

The Select Committee on Government Reform is directed to evaluate how property tax law could better advance disaster recovery after Hurricane Harvey while ensuring that taxpayers are protected from excessive taxation and wasteful spending. Additionally, the Intergovernmental Relations Committee will examine ways to improve the coordination of rebuilding housing and infrastructure following a natural disaster, and review options to expedite debris removal. A complete list of the Senate charges relating to the hurricane is available on the Lt. Governor’s website​.

The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider invited testimony on its charges at a hearing in Houston on Oct. 2. The House Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to consider invited and public testimony on its charges at a hearing in Houston on Oct. 4. Additional information about the hearings is available on the Texas Legislature Online website.

Additionally, there are a few websites with information on resources available for those counties affected by the hurricane:

Rebuild Texas (Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas)

Texas Rebuilds (Texas General Land Office)

Hurricane Harvey and Your County (TAC Legal Department)​

TAC legislative staff will continue to update officials about the charges and related hearings throughout the interim.​​