When Texas Speaker Joe Straus issued interim study charges to House committee members more than a year ago, he did so with ambitious rhetoric."These charges, and the subsequent recommendations you and your committees will make," Straus said in an Oct. 20, 2011, letter to members, "will provide a blueprint for the legislation we will consider during the 83rd Regular Session."That 83rd session is scheduled to begin in only six days, and some of the House committees haven't been quite so ambitious. Although Straus issued charges to 33 committees, only eight had posted reports on their work as of midday Monday, almost a month after the Dec. 1 deadline set by Straus."Other committees will finish their reports in the coming weeks as the 83rd Legislature prepares to convene Jan. 8," a news release from the speaker's office said Thursday.There are some impressive reports.The one from the Business and Industry Committee, submitted with a cover letter dated Dec.18, has by far the most specific "blueprint for legislation." The committee is chaired by Rep. Joe Deshotel, D-Beaumont.Told to examine state laws governing liens filed by subcontractors and suppliers in the construction industry and others, the committee said it found "a confusing patchwork" that "lacks the continuity needed for a well-coordinated statutory scheme."It said the House should build new laws covering the mechanic's, contractor's or materialman's liens and laid out five specific requirements those new laws should meet.The committee also showed it was not zealous in pursuit of new laws. Told to perform a similar examination of property tax liens, the committee delivered several pages of solid information about how that lien system works, then declared it "reasonable" and made few recommendations for change.None of that is particularly sexy stuff, but it's the sort of thing that makes up most of the day-to-day work of a legislative session.Straus instructed all of the committees to "study and make recommendations for significantly improving the state's manufacturing capability."The Economic and Small Business Development Committee, chaired by Rep. John Davis, R-Houston, took that assignment and delivered a Dec. 3 report with the most interesting writing of those turned in so far.Interesting writing doesn't necessarily produce working guidance for the Legislature. Although the 90-page report cites broad topics lawmakers "should consider," it also contains such puzzling thoughts as "expanding the pool would enable a lot more fish to swim," and "If you owe a small business money, pay up," and, on whether a particular law should be changed, "If it needs to be tweaked, tweak it."Finally, the report from the Transportation Committee should be one of value to residents of traffic-congested North Texas. The panel is chaired by Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, and is dated Dec. 20.Don't get your hopes up. With the state in desperate need of funding for highways, freight rail and passenger rail, the best the committee could come up with was that legislators "should work to establish long-term solutions" and "evaluate" the $881.5 million a year diverted from the transportation fund to other state agencies.Other than that, the report contains a lot of suggestions to "monitor" this and "examine" that, urges highway officials to maintain infrastructure, "work with federal officials," and, of course, "consider" and "study."Texas legislators often talk about the amount of time they spend away from their homes and jobs while in regular sessions, special sessions and in interim committee hearings to produce reports like these. For the most part, at least with this small sample of interim reports, that hard work isn't showing this time around.