Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities

Latest News from the 77th Legislature

04/04/01 -- The 77th Texas Legislative Session is just past the midway point, and bills continue to be discussed, debated, and voted upon at the committee level. Many of these affect the delivery of TDHCA programs and services, and the Department wants to keep all interested parties up to date with these legislative activities.

The following is an extremely brief summary of legislative activity affecting TDHCA and its subgrantees, as of April 3. For further details on these bills, or to learn about the many other bills not directly affecting TDHCA, please visit the Legislature's website: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/. The website allows you to search for bills filed by bill number, author, subject, committee and/or a keyword.

Senate Bills

SB 1 by Rodney Ellis: General Appropriations Bill for the 2002-2003 biennium; bill was passed by the Senate with the committee substitute adopted, referred to the House Appropriations Committee, and voted favorably out of the Committee as a substitute.

The bill, among other things:

  • Adds the Colonia Advisory Committee to the list of TDHCA committees authorized to receive travel reimbursements
  • Requires an annual assessment of colonia resident needs and a biennial action plan to address these needs, including the demand for contract-for-deed conversions, self-help housing, consumer education, and other services within 150 miles of the Texas-Mexico border
  • Provides general revenue funds for energy assistance programs if the Public Utility Commission assesses sufficient fees to meet the needs of the System Benefit Fund, and;
  • Requires TDHCA to adopt rules prohibiting board members from having any ex parte contacts with any "individual or company who has applied to the Department for assistance, except as specifically authorized by statute or rule."

SB 125 by Florence Shapiro: Changes the due date for the State Low Income Housing Plan and Annual Report to December 18 of each year; bill was reported favorably out of the House Urban Affairs Committee.

SB 1468 by Mike Moncrief: Relates to a Memorandum of Understanding for services for persons in need of multi-agency services; bill was favorably reported out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee as a committee substitute.

House Bills

HB 468 by Burt Solomons: Relates to ad valorem tax liens on manufactured homes; bill was favorably reported out of the House Ways and Means Committee as a committee substitute.

HB 1409 by Robert Junell: Prohibits Councils of Governments (COGs) from receiving a fee for administering Community Development Block Grants.

Again, this is a very brief list of recent activity by the 77th Legislature to help keep you informed. The Texas House and Senate also have websites to keep Texans informed. Through them you can follow Committee schedules and find out when public hearings on the bills will take place. You may also listen to Committee hearings and meetings of the full House or Senate through these websites. The House website is http://www.house.state.tx.us/. The Senate website is http://www.senate.state.tx.us/.