Select house committees are created by the speaker of the house and the members of each committee are appointed by the speaker. The select committees usually have a more narrow focus than standing committees and are formed for the purpose of studying a specific issue affecting the state.
After a select committee has studied its charge and issued its report, it is often disbanded; standing committees always remain operational throughout the biennium. This week I will talk about one of these select committees.
Select Committee on Special Purpose Districts
In January 2010, the speaker announced the creation of the House Select Committee on Special Purpose Districts. Special Purpose districts are independent governmental units that exist at the local level separately from cities and counties. Examples of special purpose districts include hospital districts, crime control districts, emergency services districts, health service districts, special utility districts (SUD's), municipal utility districts (MUD's), and water and waste water districts. The select committee is charged with reviewing the existing laws governing these districts and making recommendations for improving public accountability and transparency in the governance and operation of special purpose districts, with particular focus on water-related districts. In addition, the committee will study the effect multiple and overlapping special purpose districts have on taxpayers. The committee will hold hearings during the interim prior to the next legislative session in January.
Representative Harvey Hilderbran (R-Kerrville) is chair of the committee and Representative Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) is vice-chair.
The Select Committee on Special Purpose Districts can be reached at (512) 463-0536.