LRL Home - Points of Interest - Bills in the News

Bills in the News: High-Speed Rail

In this occassional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 85th legislative session, and related resources.

 

Bill Search

 

 

Search with the subjects Transportation--Mass Transit (I0823) and Transportation--Railroads (I0821) to find bills related to high-speed rail. Be sure to click on the radio button next to "And" so that bills with both subjects assigned will be returned in your search.

 

Resources

News

 

 

Bills in the News: Sexual Assault on Campus

In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 85th legislative session, and related resources.

 

Bill Search

Search with the subjects Crimes--Against Persons--Sexual (I0171) AND Education--Higher--Institutions & Programs (I0223) to find bills related to sexual assault on college campuses. Be sure to click on the radio button next to "And" so that bills with both subjects assigned will be returned in your search.

 

Resources

 

News

 

Bills in the News: Transportation Network Companies

In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 85th legislative session, and related resources.

 

Bill search

 

Try using the subject VEHICLES FOR HIRE (S0795) to find bills related to transportation network companies.

 

 

Resources

News

 

Bills in the News: Red Light Cameras

Bills in the News
In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 84th legislative session, and related resources.
 
Bills in the News: Red Light Cameras
 
Bill search
 
Search for bills related to red light cameras on the Texas Legislature Online:
 
Try using the subject PHOTOGRAPHIC TRAFFIC SIGNALS (S0439) to find bills related to red light cameras.
 
 
Resources
 
Court Documents
  • In re Jody Weiderman; Emergency original petition for writ of mandamus (No. 15-0243; red-light cameras, City of Arlington), March 27, 2015
  • In re Jody Weiderman; Original emergency petition for writ of mandamus (No. 02-15-00101-CV; red-light cameras, City of Arlington), March 20, 2015
  • Jody Weiderman v. City of Arlington; Plaintiff's original petition and application for temporary restraining order (Cause No. 236-277052-15; red-light cameras), February 25, 2015
 
News
 
 
 
Blog tile image adapted from flickr user Foomandoonian. Some rights reserved.
 

Bills in the News: E-cigarettes and Vaping

Bills in the News
In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 84th legislative session, and related resources.
 
Bills in the News: E-cigarettes and Vaping
 
Bill search
 
Search for bills related to e-cigarettes and vaping on the Texas Legislature Online:
 
Try the phrase "vapor product" with the Word/Phrase radio button selected.
 

Much of the proposed legislation relating to e-cigarettes and vapor products, such as liquid substances containing nicotine, would amend current law related to cigarettes and other tobacco products. Try searching for bills with the subject "Tobacco Products."

Resources

Bills in the News: Open Carry

Bills in the News
In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 84th legislative session, and related resources.
 
Bills in the News: Open Carry
 
Bill search
 
Search for bills related to openly carrying handguns on the Texas Legislature Online:
 
Try the phrase "openly carry" with the Word/Phrase radio button selected.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Much of the proposed legislation relating to openly carrying handguns would amend current law related to the licensed, concealed carrying of handguns. Try searching for bills with the subject "CONCEALED HANDGUNS."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
To cast a wider net, search for bills using the subject "Weapons."
 
 
Resources
 
"Open carry bills on fast-track in Texas Senate," Texas Politics blog, The Houston Chronicle, February 2, 2015.
 
"A week after dismissing open carry’s chances, Lt. Gov. Patrick puts it on the front burner," Trail Blazers Blog, The Dallas Morning News, February 2, 2015.
 
"While Texas holds out, majority of U.S. allows open carry," The Houston Chronicle, January 29, 2015.
 
"Open Carry Survives Despite Its Supporters," Texas Tribune, January 28, 2015.
 
"Map: Where Is ‘Open Carry’ Legal?" The Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2014.
 
 
Related topics
 
"Growing Public Support for Gun Rights," Pew Research Center, December 10, 2014.
 
Guns on Campus: Overview, National Conference of State Legislatures, March 7, 2014.
 
 
 

Bills in the News: Teacher Retirement

Bills in the News
In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 83rd legislative session, and related resources.
 
Bills in the News: Teacher Retirement
Proposed legislation that would make changes to the Teacher Retirement System can be found under "Retirement Systems--Teachers (I0726)." As legislative deadlines approach, the focus has been on HB1884 and SB1458. SB1458 is scheduled to be heard on the House floor on Friday, May 17.
 
The Texas Classroom Teachers Association and the Texas Retired Teachers Association have resources available online about how pending legislation would affect the Teacher Retirement System. Both organizations have toll-free numbers:
  • Texas Classroom Teachers Association: 888-879-8282
  • Texas Retired Teachers Association: 888-674-3788
Texas Classroom Teachers Association gives a brief update, and a more extensive summary of SB1458. Texas Retired Teachers Association provides a legislative update, focused on SB1458.
 
The Legislative Reference Library is unable to interpret or give legal advice on how bills apply to a particular situation.

Bills in the News: Payday Lending

Bills in the News
In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 83rd legislative session, and related resources.
 
Bills in the News: Payday Lending
Texas defines a deferred presentment transaction in Finance Code §341.001(6). Also known as payday loans, these transactions are cash advances against personal checks, usually for a fee. Payday loans are short-term loans that carry high interest rates. Recently, legislation has been proposed that would impose stronger regulations on the payday lending industry.
 
Bill search
 
To find proposed legislation filed during the 83rd Legislature about payday lending, use "PAYDAY LOANS (S0464)" or "DEFERRED PRESENTMENT TRANSACTIONS (S0380)." Related subject searches that may be of interest are "CREDIT SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS (S0165)" and "Consumer Protection (I0080)."
 
Resources
 
Recent news items have discussed proposed legislation regulating the payday lending industry in Texas and payday lending industry regulations considered by federal regulators.
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks current pending state legislation that would affect the payday lending industry.
 
The Federal Trade Commission provides information about payday loans geared toward consumers.
 
Pew Charitable Trusts has undertaken the Safe Small-Dollar Loans Research Project, a project aimed at finding safe and transparent loan products to meet the immediate financial needs of consumers.
 
 

Bills in the News: Term Limits

Bills in the News
In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 83rd legislative session, and related resources.
 
Bills in the News: Term Limits
Statewide elected officials in Texas currently are not subject to term limits, nor are state legislators. A handful of bills have been introduced in the 83rd Legislature that would impose term limits on some state offices.
 
Bill search
 
To find proposed legislation and proposed constitutional amendments filed during the 83rd Legislature about term limits, use "TERM LIMITS (S0105)." Related subject searches that may be of interest are "Elections--Candidates (I0280)" and "State Officers (I0761)."
 
Resources
 
Recent news articles have tracked proposed legislation that would institute term limits.
Terms of office for the Governor, state Senators, and state Representatives can be found in the Texas Constitution.
 
The Secretary of State provides a current list of statewide elected officials and when their terms expire.
 
The National Conference of State Legislatures [NCSL] has created a state-by-state chart of term limits for legislators. NCSL also tracks filed state legislation on term limits.
 
The Council of State Governments' Book of the States 2012 provides a state-by-state table of constitutional and statutory provisions related to executive terms of office and term limits.
 
 

Bills in the News: Dedicated Funds

Bills in the News
In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 83rd legislative session, and related resources.
 
Bills in the News: Dedicated Funds
 
The state budget in Texas relies partly on dedicated funds. "Dedicated revenue" is defined in Government Code 403.001(b)(2) as "revenue set aside by law for a particular purpose or entity." More on dedicated revenue can be found in Government Code 403.095.
 
Bill search
 
When searching for bills about dedicated funds on Texas Legislature Online, use the subject "State Finances--Management & Control (I0748)." This will bring up a list of bills about management of the state's finances, including bills allocating revenue from certain taxes or fees to particular funds.
 
Resources
 
Recent news articles have discussed how dedicated funds have been used in the past to balance the state budget.
The Legislative Budget Board provides a page of resources on General Revenue-Dedicated Funds, including a report outlining options to reduce reliance on general revenue-dedicated accounts.
 
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts provides a Fees Schedule of State Revenues and Balances, including a Fees Schedule–General Revenue-Dedicated Accounts. The Comptroller also issues a report after each legislative session on Use of General Revenue - Dedicated Funds, listing which funds were used for budget certification. The Comptroller's 2014-2015 Biennial Revenue Estimate provides a complete fund detail, beginning on page 43 of the report. Details on dedicated funds begin on page 49.
 
The House Research Organization's publication "State budget: Restrictions on spending" includes a section, starting on page 2, about dedicated revenues and funds.
 
The Texas Tribune offers a searchable list of dedicated funds with descriptions of each fund.
 

More Entries