LRL Home - Points of Interest

Interim Hearings – Week of October 6th

Interim Hearings – Week of October 6th
Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of interim committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming Interim Hearings.
October 6th Top
Topic: Speaker's Strategic Fiscal Review Charge testimony regarding:
  • General Revenue-funded Programs at the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
 
Topic: Speaker's Strategic Fiscal Review Charge testimony regarding:
  • Public Utility Commission
  • Texas Emissions Reduction Plan at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
  • Texas Department of Transportation
 
House Select Committee on Health Care Education & Training
Topics: Innovative educational models, state workforce programs and policy recommendations to strengthen the health care workforce in Texas; dental health care workforce; veterans employment opportunities in health care careers
 
October 7th Top
Topic: Speaker's Strategic Fiscal Review Charge testimony regarding:
  • Higher Education Coordinating Board
  • University System Offices
  • Available University Fund
  • Texas Education Agency
 
House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence
Charge: Impact of SB 1289, 83rd Legislature, R.S., sale of criminal histories and arrest records 
 
Charge: Non-traditional criminal offenses outside of the Penal Code, use of the Rule of Lenity and Mens Rea requirements in Texas
 
Charge: Deferred adjudication and orders for non-disclosure, use of expunction of criminal records history
 
Charge: Current pecuniary loss thresholds associated with graffiti offenses, existing Graffiti Abatement Programs in Texas
 
Charge: Community supervision in state jail felonies and effectiveness of the state jail
 
Charge: Emergency preparedness
 
Topic: Border operations update
 
Topic: Driver Responsibility Program
 
Topic: Ammonium nitrate storage
House Committee on Insurance   
Charge: Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA)
 
October 8th Top
House Committees on Corrections and Public Education (Joint Hearing)
Charge: Impact of SB 393, 83rd Legislature, R.S. and SB 1114, 83rd Legislature R.S.; School discipline and school-based policing
 
House Committee on Corrections
Charge: Review of correctional facilities and processes within Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, and Texas Juvenile Justice Department with emphasis on efficiencies, effectiveness, and recidivism
 
House Committee on Public Education
Charge: Implementation of HB 5, 83rd Legislature, R.S., and recommendations for improvement; creation of additional rigorous mathematics and science courses needed to address the current and projected needs of the state's workforce
Joint Legislative Committee on Texas Lottery
Topic: Charitable bingo
 
Topic: Elimination of the state lottery
 
House Committee on Ways & Means
Topic: Implementation of recent amendments to the property tax; frequency of reappraisals
 
Topic: Marketplace Fairness Act
 

Week in Review, September 25th

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Examine how the U.S. Census Bureau arrives at health insurance coverage estimates for 2013 based on its annual Current Population Survey. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, September 11, 2014)
  • See which metropolitan areas experienced economic growth in 2013. (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, September 16, 2014)
  • Consider how states address insurance and Medicaid coverage of abortion services. (Kaiser Family Foundation, accessed September 24, 2014)
  • Map potential flooding risk due to climate change by country. (The New York Times, September 23, 2014)
 
 

Interim Hearings - Week of September 29

Interim Hearings - Week of September 29th     
Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of interim committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming Interim Hearings.
September 29th Top
House Committee on Environmental Regulation
Charge: Environmental Protection Agency's newly proposed Clean Power Plan and potential impact on Texas
 
September 30th Top
House Select Committee on Child Protection
Topics: Review of abuse and neglect fatalities; Coordination and collaboration among local agencies, faith-based organizations, the private sector, non-profits, and law enforcement; Efficacy of ongoing prevention efforts
 
House Committee on Environmental Regulation
Charge: Environmental Protection Agency's newly proposed Clean Power Plan and potential impact on Texas
(see September 29th above)
 

Week in Review, September 18th

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Review a new report on obesity. (Trust for America's Health, September 2014)
  • Consider the possible effects of shale gas mining on drinking-water wells. (PNAS, September 15, 2014)
  • Read about the implementation of certain federal regulations for coal-fueled electricity generating units. (U.S. Government Accountability Office, August 2014)
  • See how California is handling rideshare carpooling services. (CNET, September 12, 2014)
  • Examine data and a new report on Texas–Mexico border incidents. (Texas Department of Public Safety, September 11, 2014)
 
 

Texas Penal Code Revision Research Guide

The library is pleased to announce the addition of Texas Penal Code Revision Research Guide to our online collection of statutory revision material. The guide provides information on sources available for legislative intent research for the Texas Penal Code as enacted in 1973. That enactment was the culmination of a substantial revision process conducted by the Texas Penal Code Revision Project, a collaborative effort of the Texas Bar Association and the Texas Legislative Council, from 1965 to 1973. The Guide includes information about the revision process; a timeline; a chronological list of documents related to the revision; a list of documents organized by Penal Code section; and other resources.
 

Interim Hearings – Week of September 22nd

Interim Hearings – Week of September 22nd
Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of interim committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming Interim Hearings.
September 22nd Top
Senate Committee on Economic Development
Charge: Legislative and regulatory barriers to capital investment, growth, and expansion of Texas businesses; reducing regulatory barriers to professions regulated by Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
 Charge: Biennial state review process for economic development programs
 Charge: Implementation of SB 21, 83rd Legislature R.S., which requires drug testing for unemployment insurance claimants
September 23rd Top
House Committee on Agriculture & Livestock 
Charge: Transparency, accountability, and efficiency in state agencies under the committee's jurisdiction; cost-saving technologies such as the route optimization system used by the Texas Department of Agriculture to save funds in inspection activities
 Charge: Texas Right to Farm Act
 Charge: Legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction
 
House Committee on Special Purpose Districts
Charge: Comprehensive review of existing special purpose districts in the state
September 24th Top
House Committee on Agriculture & Livestock CANCELLED
Continuation of any unfinished business from the previous day
 
House Select Committee on Economic Development Incentives
Topics: Energy and private space incentives, freeports, and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
Senate Committee on Finance
Topic: Legislative Budget Board (LBB) presentations about major cost drivers for the state budget in:
  • Public Education
  • Higher Education
  • Medicaid
  • Mental Health
  • Transportation
  • Water
  • Employee Retirement Systems
  • Teacher Retirement System
House Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism
Charge: Commercial oyster industry in the Commercial Fishing License Buyback Program at the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Charge: Implementation of HB 3279, 83rd Legislature, R.S., regarding the protection of seagrass plants
Charge: Economic impact of cultural, recreation, or tourism grants provided by the state, including any economic development grants related to cultural, recreational, or tourism industries, heritage tourism, courthouse restoration, and historic district revitalization 
Topic: Update on Battleship Texas
House Committee on Public Health
Charge: Efficient exchange of electronic health information with Texas Health and Human Services enterprise agencies
 Charge: Legislative oversight and monitoring of agencies and programs, including implementation of HB 15, 83rd Legislature, R.S.
 
September 25th Top
Joint Interim Committee to Study Human Trafficking
Topics: Services and resources available to victims of human trafficking; current efforts in North Texas region to combat human trafficking
September 26th Top
House Committees on Energy Resources and International Trade & Intergovernmental Affairs  (Joint Hearing)
Charge: Impact on Texas' economy and businesses of the recent expansion of oil and gas production in Northern Mexico, Mexico's efforts to recover shale gas from Eagle Ford Shale

Highlights from our Collection

The library adds new books to its collection every week. Here are several books recently added.

Getting Life: An Innocent Man's 25-Year Journey from Prison to Peace, by Michael Morton (2014).
"He spent twenty-five years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He lost his wife, his son, and his freedom. This is the story of how Michael Morton finally got justice—and a second chance at life." (Publisher's website)

The Second Amendment: A Biography, by Michael Waldman (2014).
"At a time of renewed debate over guns in America, what does the Second Amendment mean? This book looks at history to provide some surprising, illuminating answers." (Publisher's website)

 

Constitutional Brinksmanship: Amending the Constitution, Russell L. Caplan (1988).
"In this first systematic study of the legal problems relating to the convention clause, Russell Caplan shows that repeated constitutional crises have given rise to state drives for a national convention nearly every twenty years since the Constitution was enacted." (Publisher's website)

Texas Law of Streets and Alleys: A Handbook, by Kenneth L. Bennight, Jr. (2014).
"Who owns the streets? Is there a difference between streets and alleys or between urban streets and rural roads? ... What limits are there on cities' discretion? These questions and more are answered in this convenient handbook. If you represent a city or are a city official or if you deal with cities or represent people who do, this handbook will help you in your work." (Publisher's website)

Rough Country: How Texas Became America's Most Powerful Bible-Belt State, by Robert Wuthnow (2014).
"Tracing the intersection of religion, race, and power in Texas from Reconstruction through the rise of the Religious Right and the failed presidential bid of Governor Rick Perry, Rough Country illuminates American history since the Civil War in new ways, demonstrating that Texas’ story is also America’s." (Publisher's website)

A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest, by William DeBuys (2013).
"The Southwest continues to be the fastest-growing and one of the most urban regions in the country--the book addresses whether or not its oasis-based culture will be able to continue. " (Publisher's website)

 

Week in Review, September 11th

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Explore land use in Texas by county or by region. (Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, accessed September 10, 2014)
  • Read about the misclassification of employees. (McClatchyDC, September 4, 2014)
  • Consider obesity prevalence state by state. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 5, 2014)
  • Examine 2012 data on female homicide victims and the male perpetrators. (Violence Policy Center, September 2014)
 
 

Interim Hearings – Week of September 15th

Interim Hearings – Week of September 15th    
Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of interim committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming Interim Hearings.
September 15th Top
Senate Committee on State Affairs
Charge: Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs)
 Charge: Emerging negative impacts of Affordable Care Act, including navigators, rising health insurance premiums, lack of access to healthcare, etc.
 Charge: Medical price transparency, including impact of SB 1731, 80th Legislature, R.S.
 Charge: Texas Mutual Insurance Company and residual market for workers' compensation insurance
Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Edwards Aquifer
Topic: Update on the Edwards Aquifer Authority
September 16th Top
House Select Committee on Health Care Education & Training
Topic: Mental health care workforce in Texas
Senate Committee on State Affairs
Charge: Personal privacy of Texas residents from governmental and commercial surveillance
 Charge: Personal data collected by governmental and commercial entities
  • DNA collection and databases
  • Gun owner privacy
  • Protection of private health care information
  • Anonymous data handling
  • Data Disposal Laws, National Conference of State Legislatures, last updated December 26, 2013
 Charge: Citizens' ability to know what data is being collected, including analysis of consumer informed consent
 Charge: Online legislative resources from Texas Senate Committee websites
Topic: Future reliability of all current state transportation funding sources
 Topic: Alternatives that may increase available state funding for transportation
 Topic: Alternative transportation funding options used nationally and internationally
Charge: Access to services provided by non-profit organizations to veterans, their families, and survivors, including 2-1-1 system
 Charge: Veterans'  mental health
House Committee on Ways & Means
Charge: Implementation of recent amendments to the franchise tax
Topic: Texas Economic Outlook
Topic: Dynamic Scoring and Analysis use in tax policy
September 17th Top
Senate Committee on Transportation
Charge: Impact of increased oil and gas production on roadways and bridges
 Charge: Implementation of SB 1792, 83rd Legislature, R.S., toll nonpayment
 Charge: Uninsured motorists
September 19th Top
Senate Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Studying Impacts of Mexico's Energy Reforms on Texas  
Charge: Impact on Texas' economy and businesses of the recent expansion of oil and gas production in Northern Mexico, Mexico's efforts to recover shale gas from Eagle Ford Shale
 

Week in Review, September 4th

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Explore the Minimum Wage Legislation Database. (National Conference of State Legislatures, July 28, 2014)
  • Review a study about youth e-cigarette use. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 25, 2014)
  • See which U.S. immigrants become small-business owners. (National Journal, ©2014)
  • Read about restricted areas in counties as fall hunting seasons get underway. (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Outdoor Annual 2014-2015)
 

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