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Legislative Scorecards, 85th Legislature

Following each legislative session in Texas, some organizations create scorecards "grading" the performance of legislators. Scorecards typically focus on bills significant to a particular viewpoint or subject area.

 

The LRL tracks legislative scorecards as we find them to be a helpful research tool. Listed below are the 85th Legislature scorecards we have found thus far. 

 

Conservative Round Table of Texas

 

Empower Texans

 

Environment Texas

 

Equality Texas

 

Sierra Club – Lone Star Chapter

 

Texas Association of Business

 

Texas Right to Life

 

Texas Uniting for Reform & Freedom (TURF)

 

Texas Values Action

 

Young Conservatives of Texas

 

Cover image by Flickr user Jon Wiley / CC BY-NC 2.0.

Texas Law Timeline

Tackling Texas legal research can be daunting…but understanding how it all fits together is a good start! The LRL's Texas law timeline starts from the very beginning with the 1824 Mexican Constitution and charts to the present day with the ongoing Statutory Revision Program. You can click and drag the timeline by year and select timeline items to see more information and access links to bills, revisor's reports, and more.

 

The page also highlights online sources for researching current Texas laws and finding historical legal sources. From the Legislative Archive System and Texas Legislature Online to digitized Texas Constitutions and historical Texas statutes (and many more offerings), the LRL and other state libraries and agencies work hard to make Texas law resources readily accessible to the public. These databases are a work in progress and are updated as historical materials are digitized…and of course, as new legislation is created!

 

The LRL also houses a variety of print materials related to legislation and the legislative process. You can read more about these resources here; please contact the Library at 512-463-1252 if you have any questions.

State Budget Resources

Whether you're examining current state budget documents or seeking historical perspective, visit the LRL's budget page to explore a variety of resources on the subject. This page can be your one-stop shop to find the final General Appropriations Act, proposed budgets and agency requests, the biennial revenue estimate, and more for the current biennium.  An interactive timeline helps visitors track the current status of the biennium and is updated as budget bills and related documents are released.

 

You'll also find timelines for past biennium that are available as PDFs, as are scanned appropriations acts and major biennial appropriations bills from 1927-2015. The page includes links to reports from the Comptroller and the Legislative Budget Board, as well as helpful guides explaining the budget-writing process in Texas.

 

The Library also has state agency budgets, legislative appropriations requests, agency strategic plans, and other primary documents relating to the budget process available for use in print.

 

Constitutional Amendment Election, November 2017

On November 7, 2017, voters will have a chance to consider seven constitutional amendments proposed by the 85th Legislature. The proposed amendments cover a wide range of topics, including property taxes, raffles, home equity loan provisions, and more.

 

For background and analysis of the ballot propositions, see the House Research Organization's Constitutional Amendments Proposed for November 2017 Ballot, and the Texas Legislative Council's Analyses of Proposed Constitutional Amendments.

 

The Texas Constitution is one of the longest in the nation, at an estimated 86,936 words (The Book of the States, vol. 49). The Constitution is changed through amendments, which are proposed by the Texas Legislature and accepted or rejected by the voters. Since the current Texas Constitution was adopted in 1876, 491 amendments have been passed.  

 

Amendments Proposed for the November 7, 2017 ballot by the 85th Legislature

HJR 21 Prop. 1 The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization for less than the market value of the residence homestead and harmonizing certain related provisions of the Texas Constitution.  
SJR 60 Prop. 2 The constitutional amendment to establish a lower amount for expenses that can be charged to a borrower and removing certain financing expense limitations for a home equity loan, establishing certain authorized lenders to make a home equity loan, changing certain options for the refinancing of home equity loans, changing the threshold for an advance of a home equity line of credit, and allowing home equity loans on agricultural homesteads.  
SJR 34 Prop. 3 The constitutional amendment limiting the service of certain officeholders appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate after the expiration of the person’s term of office.  
SJR 6 Prop. 4 The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to require a court to provide notice to the attorney general of a challenge to the constitutionality of a state statute and authorizing the legislature to prescribe a waiting period before the court may enter a judgment holding the statute unconstitutional.  
HJR 100 Prop. 5 The constitutional amendment on professional sports team charitable foundations conducting charitable raffles.  
SJR 1 Prop. 6 The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a first responder who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.  
HJR 37 Prop. 7 The constitutional amendment relating to legislative authority to permit credit unions and other financial institutions to award prizes by lot to promote savings.  

Sunset Commission Report, 2016-2017

The Sunset Commission’s last report of the 2016-2017 cycle, Final Results of Sunset Reviews, is now available on the Sunset Advisory Commission's website

 

A diagram of how the Sunset process works is available via the Sunset Advisory Commission's websiteClick here to see a list of the agencies under review for the 2018-2019 cycle. 

 

 

Cover image by Flickr user Nathan Eaton Jr.

Legislative Wrap-ups, 85th Legislature

Following each legislative session in Texas, organizations, state agencies, and other entities publish "wrap-ups" summarizing new laws and key legislative developments in areas ranging from agriculture to criminal justice to health care. Wrap-ups can range from a simple list of bills to a detailed report that includes background information and expert analysis.

 

The LRL tracks legislative wrap-ups as we find them to be an excellent research tool and summary of the topics covered during a particular session. Wrap-ups are a work in progress. Listed below is a short selection. To find one on a topic that interests you, check the websites of organizations or state agencies that focus on the issue, or contact the library for assistance.

 

State Agencies

Employees Retirement System of Texas

 

Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth and Families

 

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission

 

 

Texas Department of Information Resources
Technology Legislation

 

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
Results of the 85th Texas Legislature for TDLR

 

Texas Department of Transportation

 

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

 

Texas Real Estate Commission

 

Associations and Organizations

National Alliance on Mental Illness
85th Texas Legislature Wrap-up

 

 

Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts
Legislative Wrap Up

 

Texas Association of Community Colleges
85th Legislative Session

 

Texas Association of Counties
Legislative Highlights - 85th Regular Session

 

Texas Coalition of Veterans Organizations (TCVO)

 

Texas District & County Attorneys Association
Legislative Updates

 

Texas Farm Bureau
Regular Session Wrap­-up

 

Texas Humane Legislation Network
2017 Legislative Session

 

 

Texas Public Employees Association
TPEA's Wrap-up of the Legislative Session

 

Bill Effective Dates, 85th Legislature

The Library has updated its effective dates for bills page for the 85th Legislature to include the 12 bills passed in the 85th 1st C.S. A few of those bills went into effect immediately; others will take effect throughout the remainder of 2017 and into later years.

 

On September 1, 2017, provisions of 673 bills passed during the regular session of the 85th Legislature will take effect.

 

Additionally, sections of bills passed during the 84th Legislature83rd Legislature, and 82nd 1st C.S. will take effect on September 1.

 

To keep up with new laws throughout the year, check the Library's list of bill effective dates.

 

Final Bill Statistics, 85th 1st C.S.

The Governor signed all of the bills that were sent to his desk. See how the numbers shaped up for this special session.

 

  House Bills (HB) & Joint Resolutions (HJR) Senate Bills (SB) & Joint Resolutions (SJR)
Filed  428 132
Reported out of committee 83 22
Passed by chamber of origin 33 21
Referred to committee in opposite chamber 11 12
Reported out of committee in opposite chamber 7 11
Passed opposite chamber 6 7
Sent to the Governor (bills only) 6 6
Signed by the Governor (bills only) 6 6

 

  • View recent blog posts to see how these statistics have changed over the past few weeks and for more information about the legislative process.
  • These bills have not yet been assigned session law chapters. To learn more about session law chapter numbers and copies of signed bills, please read our blog post from June 5.

 

Cover image by Flickr user nateClicks.

Bill Statistics, August 14

These statistics were pulled on August 14 at 8:30 a.m. The numbers will continue to change as the special session progresses. 

 

  House Bills (HB) & Joint Resolutions (HJR) Senate Bills (SB) & Joint Resolutions (SJR)
Filed  427 132
Reported out of committee 83 22
Passed by chamber of origin 33 21
Referred to committee in opposite chamber 11 12
Reported out of committee in opposite chamber 7 11
Passed opposite chamber 3 5
Sent to the Governor (bills only) 1 3
Signed by the Governor (bills only) 0 3

 

Bill Statistics, August 7

These statistics were pulled on August 7 at 1:30 p.m. The numbers will continue to change as the special session progresses. 

 

  House Bills (HB) & Joint Resolutions (HJR) Senate Bills (SB) & Joint Resolutions (SJR)
Filed  417 129
Reported out of committee 73 22
Passed by chamber of origin 23 20
Referred to committee in opposite chamber 4 10
Reported out of committee in opposite chamber 0 4
Passed opposite chamber 0 0
Sent to the Governor (bills only) 0 0
Signed by the Governor (bills only) 0 0

 

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