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Week in Review, October 16th

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Consider a study on accessibility of jobs by transit. (Accessibility Observatory, University of Minnesota, October 9, 2014)
  • Read about the offline population and how much of the United States is offline. (The Washington Post, October 1, 2014)
  • Find out about how Ebola may affect pets. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, October 13, 2014)
  • Examine the energy and fuels outlook for the winter heating season. (U.S. Energy Information Administration, October 2014) 
  • Review information about Common Core state standards. (Congressional Research Service, September 15, 2014)
 
 

New Texas Books in our Collection

The library adds new books to its collection every week. Here are six Texas-themed books recently added.

Going to Texas: Five Centuries of Texas Maps, presented by the Center for Texas Studies at TCU (2007).
"These maps tell us much about the geography of Texas, but also about its economics, social milieu, history, politics, foreign policy and politics at given moments in history … In doing so, they provide a window into the things that make Texas unique." (Website)

Historic Texas: An Illustrated Chronicle of Texas' Past, by Archie P. McDonald (1996).
"This is a look at the events, the cultures, the well-known and perhaps not-so-well-known happenings, politics and actions that influenced the growth and changes that have become your area." (Website)

Texas: Mapping the Lone Star State Through History, by Vincent Virga and Don Blevins (2010).
"Combining 50 rare, beautiful, and diverse maps of Texas from the collections of the Library of Congress, informative captions about the origins and contents of those maps, and essays on Lone Star State history, this book is a collectible for cartography buffs and a celebration of state history for residents, former residents, and visitors." (Website) [Book does not circulate]

Notable Men and Women of Spanish Texas, by Donald E. Chipman and Harriett Denise Joseph (1999).
"By combining dramatic, real-life incidents, biographical sketches, and historical background, the authors bring to life famous (and sometimes infamous) people of Spanish Texas." (Website)

Texas: Crossroads of North America, by Jesús F. de la Teja, Paula Marks, and Ron Tyler (2004).
"Incorporating the latest scholarship, this text chronicles the development of the political, economic, and social identity of Texas through the unique insight of three authors. The thematically arranged text covers the full scope of Spanish exploration and colonization efforts, as well as the transformation of the Texas economy and society in the 20th century." (Website)

William Barret Travis: A Biography, by Archie P. McDonald (1995).
"[This book] is the first scholarly biography of the legendary Alamo commander … [It] is an in-depth study that searches for an understanding of Travis' character and multifaceted personality. The result is an exciting and entertaining, but above all contemplative analysis of Travis and the Texas War for Independence." (Website)

 

Interim Hearings - Week of October 20th

Interim Hearings – Week of October 20th
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 20th Top
Topic: Speaker's Strategic Fiscal Review Charge testimony regarding:
  • Trusteed Programs within the Office of the Governor
  • Department of Information Resources
  • State Law Library
  • Juvenile Justice Department
  • Department of Public Safety
House Committee on County Affairs 
Charge: Population growth and impact on housing, available land resources, businesses, and the state's economy
 
Charge: Health advisory panel from HB 3793, 83rd Legislature, R.S.
Charge: Oversight of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, jail issues including mental health
Charge: Legislative oversight and monitoring of agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction, including counties' emergency response preparedness
 
October 22nd Top
Joint Legislative Committee on Human Trafficking
Prosecution of human trafficking, resources for victims of human trafficking, labor trafficking, and combating human trafficking.
 
October 23rd Top
Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations
 
Senate Committee on Jurisprudence
Charge: Failure to attend school (Section 25.094, Texas Education Code), adjudicating juvenile truancy as a civil offense
 
Charge: Deferred adjudication, orders for non-disclosure, and expunctions,  extending the use of expunction of criminal records history and non-disclosures
October 24th Top
House Committees on Agriculture & Livestock and Culture, Recreation & Tourism (Joint Hearing) 
Charge: Eradication of feral hogs
 
House Committees on Culture, Recreation & Tourism
Charge: Long-term plan to incorporate land donated or sold to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department into state park system
 
Charge: Texas Film Commission and the Texas Music Office and effectiveness in economic development
 
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 
 
Charge: Legislative oversight and monitoring of agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction
 

Capitol Spirits on Pinterest

Our Capitol Spirits Pinterest board is back! During the month of October, we'll be adding new tales of ghostly hauntings and unfortunate events that occured in the Capitol building and surrounding area. Click below to view.
 
Cover image by Daniel Mingus.
 
 
 

Week in Review, October 9th

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Examine national standardized test results and what they may indicate. (College Board, October 7, 2014)
  • Discover new online resources for Latino students. (Education Week, October 2, 2014)
  • Review information about the Ebola virus and guidance from the CDC. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last updated October 7, 2014)
  • Consider the relationship between crime and imprisonment. (Pew Charitable Trusts, September 2014)
 
 

Interim Hearings - Week of October 13th

Interim Hearings – Week of October 13th
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 13th Top
Senate Committee on Higher Education
Charge: Alignment between high school and freshman level college coursework, specifically mathematics (including Algebra II) and science courses
 
Charge: Use of dual credit coursework and other secondary school programs for college credit
 
Charge: Implementation of legislation, specifically, the following:
  • SB 414, 83rd Legislature, R.S. (2013), relating to a study and report regarding authorizing certain public junior colleges to offer baccalaureate degree programs to address regional workforce needs
  • SB 62, 83rd Legislature, R.S. (2013), relating to the vaccination against bacterial meningitis of entering students at public and private or independent institutions of higher education
               
  • SB 28, 82nd Legislature, R.S. (2011), relating to eligibility for a TEXAS grant and to administration of the TEXAS grant program
  • HB 1244, 82nd Legislature, R.S. (2011), relating to developmental education and the assessment of student readiness under the Texas Success Initiative and to students enrolled in developmental education at public institutions of higher education
 
October 14th Top
Joint Interim Committee on Education Policy for a Skilled Workforce
Charge: Career and technical education's impact on high school graduation, transitions to postsecondary education, industry-based certification, a postsecondary certificate, or an associate's degree
Charge: High school career and technical education, career exploration, and curricula that align with postsecondary programs and employer-based training
 
October 15th Top
House Select Committee on Economic Development Incentives
Topics: Financial tools, permitting process, key tax incentives, and needs for small businesses
House Committees on Land & Resource Management  and Urban Affairs (Joint Hearing, 10:30 A.M.)
Examine population growth in Texas and evaluate Texas' preparedness to respond to future growth and ensure economic stability
 
House Committee on Urban Affairs, 1:00 P.M.
Charge: Strategies to address chronic graffiti problem
 
Charge: Recommendations in report by Texas Coordinating Council for Veterans Services (TCCVS), homeless veterans
Charge: Legislative oversight and monitoring of agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction
 
October 16th Top
House Committee on Public Education
Charge: School district governance, effective relationship between board and superintendent
Charge: Role of the Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) in serving school districts
History of HCDE, Harris County Department of Education
 
 House Committee on Licensing & Administrative Procedures
 Charge: Evaluate and consider cost-saving technologies and programs used by the Department of Licensing and Regulation to increase efficiencies and access to those with licensing occupations.
 Charge: Expand the right of individuals to challenge occupational licensing rules and regulations; identify occupational licenses that may not be necessary for public safety or health.
 Charge: Effect of HB 3038, 83rd Legislature, R.S. on multi-state auction companies, as well as business-to-business auctions.
 Charge: Legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 83rd Legislature.
 

Week in Review, October 2nd

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 figures on poverty and income disparities. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, September 11, 2014)
  • Examine non-candidate spending on political advertising in state elections. (The Center for Public Integrity, September 27, 2014)
  • Read a report on racial profiling and racial profiling laws. (NAACP, September 2014)
  • Explore Glasshouse Policy, a forum aimed at the political process in Texas. (Glasshouse Policy, accessed October 1, 2014)
 
 

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)
House Committee on Agriculture & Livestock
Topic: Agricultural commodity import traffic delays
Senate Committee on Health & Human Services
Topic: State's public health preparedness and response to infectious disease threats; overview of the ongoing local, state, and federal response to the confirmed Ebola case in Dallas
 
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
Topic: Original purpose of the economic stabilization fund, appropriateness of using the net amount of oil and gas production taxes received in the 1987 state fiscal year as the basis for making general revenue transfers to the economic stabilization fund
 
Topic: Additional funding made available to Texas Department of Transportation not originally identified in the 2014-15 General Appropriations Act
 
Topic: New and previously discussed future funding options
Topic: Structure and functions of regional mobility authorities
 
House Committee on Defense & Veterans’ Affairs
 
Charge: Texas Coordinating Council for Veterans Services (TCCVS) report recommendations; new methods to help homeless Veterans using state, regional, and local resources
Charge: Strategies for effectively supporting military veteran students in their academic and workforce goals
 

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)
 

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