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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
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)
 

Interim Hearings - Week of September 8th

Interim Hearings - Week of September 8th
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 9th Top
House Committee on Higher Education
Charge: Strategies and business models for funding General Academic institutions.
 
Senate Committee on Business & Commerce
Charge: Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) business practices, litigation, exposure reduction, qualifications for building inspectors conducting inspections
Charge: Texas FAIR Plan's organizational and financial structure as the state's insurer of last resort for residential homeowner's insurance coverage
Topic: Updates from the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the Office of Public Utility Counsel, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas
 
House Committees on Insurance and Land & Resource Management (Joint Hearing)
Charge: Examine opportunities to improve the resiliency of the Texas coast to withstand tropical storms. Study hazard mitigation, building codes, and insurance. Coordinate as necessary with the joint interim committee created by HB3459 (83R).
 
September 10th Top
House Select Committee on Child Protection
Border Support Operations, Sunset staff recommendations, Child Protective Services workforce, use of data to improve outcomes
House Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism  CANCELLED
Topic: Efforts to preserve and promote the Alamo building and history, and redevelopment of HemisFair Park
September 11th Top
House Committee on Energy Resources
Study the implementation of SB 1747 (83R) to ensure effective implementation in keeping with legislative intent.
 
Joint Committee on Border Wait Times
Topic: Opportunities and efficiencies in border crossings
 

Bills Effective September 1, 2014

On September 1, 2014, provisions of 11 bills passed during the 83rd Legislature, Regular Session and 2nd Called Session will take effect, relating to public schools, motor vehicle inspections, indigent defense, veterans, public retirement systems, regulation of abortion, and other topics.
 
Additionally, sections of bills passed during the 82nd Legislature, Regular Session and 82nd Legislature, 1st Called Session in 2011 will take effect on September 1.
 
To keep up with new laws throughout the year, check the Library's list of bill effective dates.
 

Week in Review, August 28th

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Consider a review of the problems plaguing the Phoenix VA Health Care System. (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, August 26, 2014)
  • Examine the legal background of same-sex marriage after the United States v. Windsor case. (Congressional Research Service, August 15, 2014)
  • Check out this free casebook on intellectual property law. (Duke Law School, 2014)
  • Explore the redesigned Texas Ahead website. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, accessed August 27, 2014)
  • Read about changes to what is available on PACER. (Public Access to Court Electronic Records, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, August 11, 2014)
 
 
 

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