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Ahead of the 2017 legislative session, House Speaker Joe Straus issued more than 150 interim charges, directing committees to study a diverse list of topics like the effectiveness of the state's role in border security and the effect of the plummeting cost of oil on the local economy. There is some overlap between Straus' charges to the House and the interim charges Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued last month to the Senate, including a charge to identify and address potential gaps in Texas businesses’ and state cybersecurity policies; monitor the implementation of SB 20, the state contract reform law; evaluate Texas's competitiveness with other states in recruiting and cultivating high-growth, high-tech industries; study the possibility of eliminating the unpopular franchise tax paid by businesses; and study the issues surrounding broadband access and deployment in schools.
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