With the second decade of the 21st century in the rear view mirror, this New Year provides a unique opportunity for new beginnings. As we turn the page to a new year and a new decade, it’s important to spend time reflecting not only on what we did right over the years, but also what we can do to improve in the future. Regardless of whether or not we make official “resolutions,” it is my hope that we, as a people, will make a renewed effort to forgive more, anger less, and be kinder to one another.

With that, we’ll dive back into our examination of the recently released interim charges. . .

House Interim Charge: Licensing & Administrative Procedures

The House Committee on Licensing & Administrative Procedures is one of the larger committees in the Texas House with jurisdiction over more than a dozen state agencies. As such, this 11-member committee will spend a significant amount of time this interim monitoring the implementation of legislation and the associated rulemaking authority. In particular, the Speaker has asked the Committee to focus on the implementation of House Bill 2847, which updates outdated regulations and repeals certain licensing requirements for overly regulated occupations. The Committee will ensure that certain provisions of the bill, including the length of a license term, a fee for the issuance or renewal of a license, and any continuing education required to renew a license, are properly applied and not overly burdensome.

The Committee has also been charged with studying efforts by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) to combat human trafficking at all licensed locations. Data shows that Texas ranks second in the nation for reported human trafficking cases, some of which can be (and have been) operated through TABC-licensed locations. As such, the Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee members have been charged with making recommendations to increase TABC’s ability to rescue victims and successfully prosecute more criminals, including recommending harsher penalties for permit holders that have been identified as participating in human trafficking, and to make regulatory and statutory changes needed to combat human trafficking in Texas.

Reminders

The mobile office is back on the road in the month of January and looks forward to seeing you on the following dates, in the following locations: 9-11 a.m. Jan. 15 at the Houston County Courthouse Annex in Crockett, or 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton. 9-11 a.m. Jan. 22 at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine.

Author

Rep. Trent Ashby
Trent Ashby is honored to be representing District 57 in the Texas House of Representatives. House District 57 includes Angelina, Houston, Leon, Madison, San Augustine and Trinity Counties. He can be reached at (512) 463-0508, (936)634-2762, or by email at trentashby@house.state.tx.us.