With Texas’ energy industry expected to grow in 2017, Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, will play a key role on legislative matters that affect this vital economic force, which accounts for $13.8 billion in Fiscal Year 2015 ($15.7 billion in FY 2014) in taxes and royalties that directly fund Texas’ public schools, roads and emergency services.

Canales on Thursday, February 9, 2017, was reappointed to the House Committee on Energy Resources, which has widespread jurisdiction over proposed laws and policies that, among its duties, deals with the conservation of the energy resources of Texas, the production, regulation, transportation, and development of oil, gas, and other energy resources, protecting the environment, and the activities of the Railroad Commission of Texas.

The House District 40 state legislator, who is in his third two-year term, also was reappointed to the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, which usually considers proposed measures designed to protect Texans from criminals.

“I appreciate the confidence of Speaker of the House Joe Straus, who announced the House committee assignments, to allow me to build on my expertise and achievements with these two very important working groups of legislators,” said Canales. “Generating economic development and protecting Texans from crime are among the highest priorities of the Texas Legislature, and I will have a direct say on these goals through my service on the House Committee on Energy Resources and House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence.”

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE JOE STRAUS: “THESE ASSIGNMENTS RELECT THE DIVERSITY OF THE TEXAS HOUSE”

These legislative panels are known as standing committees, and are created in the rules of the House of Representatives and the Senate. House committee members are appointed by the Speaker of the House, while Senate committee members are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.

More information on House committees and the state legislative process in the Texas House of Representatives are available online at:

http://www.house.state.tx.us/resources/frequently-asked-questions/

Straus, R-San Antonio, said Canales’ and the other state representatives’ committee assignments were chosen “to utilize Members’ strengths and allow them to work on issues that matter to their districts.”

There are 38 standing committees in the House. In addition, Straus established two select committees: The Select Committee on State and Federal Power and Responsibility, and the Select Committee on Texas Ports, Innovation & Infrastructure.

Eight House members will chair committees for the first time, while 11 returning chairs are now leading new committees.

“These assignments reflect the diversity of the Texas House,” Straus said.

He added, “Some very good Members are taking on new challenges. I’m looking forward to their leadership. There is always a balance to strike between continuity and fresh thinking, and I think we have the right mix.”

U.S. ECONOMISTS PREDICT OIL AND GAS DRILLING IN TEXAS TO INCREASE THROUGH 2017

As evidence of the importance of the House Committee on Energy Resources, one of the major state agencies over which Canales and his colleagues on that legislative group have legislative jurisdiction is the Railroad Commission of Texas.

In 2015, 57 proposals were assigned to the House Committee on Energy Resources, with 22 measures being approved by that panel for action by the full Legislature.

According to its website, the Railroad Commission of Texas – often referred to as the Texas Railroad Commission – was established in 1891 to regulate the rail industry of the 1800s. Since that time the Railroad Commission of Texas has been given the responsibility for overseeing the activities of many different industries. Equally important, the Railroad Commission of Texas considers protection of the environment and preservation of individual property rights to be two of its primary responsibilities.

Christi Craddick, the Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas, during her Wednesday, February 1, 2017 presentation before the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Dallas Fed), reported that U.S. economists predict that Texas’ oil and gas drilling activity will increase through 2017.

The Federal Reserve Bank was created by Congress to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system, according to its website.

“We know from previous downturns that when the oil and gas industry ramps up, it ramps up quickly,” Craddick said. “We must be fully staffed and prepared for an uptick in industry activity. I am optimistic about oil and gas production growth in Texas this year, but look forward to seeing a continued rise in permitting and new drilling reports before we expect a significant shift within the industry. Until then, we will continue to move resources planned for permitting to other areas of the agency as needed.”

Craddick added, “It is critical for the industry’s continued success and for the public’s safety that the Railroad Commission has as much information as possible about the industry’s near-term future as we determine strategic plans for the agency.”

Canales said his membership on the House Committee on Energy Resources also will allow him to continue influencing legislation to protect the Texas environment, specifically through improvements of oil and gas monitoring and enforcement, and by providing sufficient and equitable bonding requirements to clean up a large backlog of abandoned oil wells.

PROTECTING WOMEN AND CHILDREN FROM FAMILY VIOLENCE

As a veteran member on the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, Canales will act on legislation dealing with criminal laws and penalties, and probation and parole, among its jurisdictions.

In 2015, 280 proposals were assigned to the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, with 167 measures being approved by that panel for action by the full Legislature.

In particular, Canales will work on improving and passing laws that protect women and children from family violence.

“I will be supporting efforts to let family violence victims know more accurately the whereabouts of convicted abusers when those criminals are out on bond for their violence, to develop classroom education to teach young people how to be in a healthy relationship, and to increase state funding for women’s shelters across the state,” he said.

Although committees begin meeting about a month after the Texas Legislature returned to work on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, according to the Texas Constitution, the House cannot consider legislation during the session’s first 60 days unless that legislation relates to an emergency item designated by the governor.

House committees will begin meeting in the coming days.

More details on the committee make-up are available online at:

Appointments by Member

http://www.house.texas.gov/_media/pdf/member.pdf

Appointments by Committee

http://www.house.texas.gov/_media/pdf/committee.pdf

As of Friday, February 10, 2017, 51 bills and resolutions had been filed by Canales. Those measures, which use the prefix HB and HR, which mean House Bill and House Resolution, respectively, are:

HB 209

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to voter registration application forms in high schools.

HB 211

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the participation of students under the supervision of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department in University Interscholastic League sponsored activities.

HB 213

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to requirements regarding electronic access to instructional materials provided in printed book format purchased for public schools.

HB 214

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to a recording of certain proceedings of the Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals and the publication of the recordings.

HB 215

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the rights of certain defendants who successfully complete a term of community supervision.

HB 217

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the authority of certain persons to defer or abate the collection of ad valorem taxes on a person's residence homestead.

HB 229

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the electronic recording and admissibility of certain custodial interrogations.

HB 230

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the eligibility of school bus drivers for unemployment compensation benefits.

HB 316

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the extent of a defendant's criminal responsibility for the conduct of another in capital felony cases.

HB 317

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the consideration by certain employers of the consumer credit reports of certain employees and applicants for employment; providing administrative penalties.

HB 318

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to an appropriation of money from the economic stabilization fund to the fund for veterans' assistance for grants to improve the level of health services provided to certain veterans.

HB 319

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to a distance learning program at The University of Texas at Austin School of Law.

HB 320

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the additional tax imposed on land appraised for ad valorem tax purposes as qualified open-space land if a change in use of the land occurs.

HB 321

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the development of a statewide motor vehicle registration program to prevent transnational motor vehicle theft; authorizing fees.

HB 322

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the automatic expunction of arrest records and files for certain veterans and the waiver of fees and costs charged for the expunction.

HB 323

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the award of court costs, storage fees, and attorney's fees in a criminal asset forfeiture proceeding.

HB 324

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the recording and disclosure of certain grand jury proceedings that involve a governmental employee.

HB 325

Last Action:: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the expunction of arrest records and files relating to certain nonviolent offenses.

HB 326

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the payment of gratuities to certain employees.

HB 327

Last Action: 11/14/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the sale of wine and beer on Sundays.

HB 341

Last Action: 11/15/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to requiring certain textbook publishers to offer electronic textbooks.

HB 342

Last Action: 11/15/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to notice provided to a court regarding certain defendants placed on state jail felony community supervision.

HB 343

Last Action: 11/15/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to a sales and use tax exemption for certain disabled veterans and surviving spouses of certain disabled veterans.

HB 344

Last Action: 11/15/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the state's burden of proof in certain criminal asset forfeiture proceedings.

HB 345

Last Action: 11/15/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the calculation of the ad valorem rollback tax rate of a taxing unit.

HB 346

Last Action: 11/15/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the expunction of arrest records and files relating to an offense for which an indictment or information was dismissed with prejudice.

HB 347

Last Action: 11/15/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the establishment of a pilot program for the issuance of digital identification.

HB 348

Last Action: 11/15/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the admissibility of evidence in an asset forfeiture proceeding and the seizure and forfeiture of certain property.

HB 349

Last Action: 11/15/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the disclosure under the public information law of certain information related to parades, concerts, or other events open to the general public that are paid for with public funds.

HB 350

Last Action: 11/15/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to exempting textbooks purchased, used, or consumed by university and college students from the sales and use tax for limited periods.

HB 351

Last Action: 11/15/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the discharge or waiver of fines and costs imposed on indigent defendants.

HB 662

Last Action: 12/20/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to a credit toward payment of costs for a defendant confined in jail or other facility before sentencing.

HB 663

Last Action:: 12/20/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the ownership and disposition of official court reporter notes and transcripts; authorizing fees.

HB 664

Last Action: 12/20/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the release on bail of a defendant arrested following a violation of a condition of community supervision.

HB 665

Last Action: 12/20/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the requirement that contractors verify compliance with wage payment laws in contracts with public bodies.

HB 666

Last Action: 12/20/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the expunction of arrest records and files relating to certain nonviolent misdemeanor offenses.

HB 667

Last Action: 12/20/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to prohibiting a person's waiver of a right to an expunction or to an order of nondisclosure of criminal history record information with respect to a criminal offense.

HB 668

Last Action: 12/20/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to a special bill of review to reform a final judgment of forfeiture of a bail bond.

HB 669

Last Action: 12/20/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the inclusion of a magistrate's name on certain signed orders.

HB 670

Last Action: 12/20/2016 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the expunction of arrest records and files relating to certain nonviolent misdemeanor offenses.

HB 822

Last Action: 01/04/2017 H Filed

Caption: Relating to designating April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

HB 1096

Last Action: 01/18/2017 H Filed

Caption: Relating to requiring public institutions of higher education to establish a policy and prevention and outreach program on campus sexual assault, family violence, and stalking.

HB 1097

Last Action: 01/18/2017 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the expunction of records in residential eviction suits.

HB 1098

Last Action: 01/18/2017 H Filed

Caption: Relating to the amount of late fees that may be charged to certain tenants.

HB 1099

Last Action: 01/18/2017 H Filed

Caption: Relating to a residential tenant's right to summon police or other emergency assistance.