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Interim Hearings - Week of February 15

Interim Hearings - Week of February 15
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.

February 17
Senate Committee on State Affairs
Charge: First Amendment religious liberty protections
 
February 18
House Select Committee on Mental Health
Invited testimony
 
Senate Committee on Health & Human Services   
Charge: Healthy aging
 
Charge: Long-term care
 
Charge: "Wrongful birth" cause of action
 
Senate Committee on State Affairs
Charge: Judicial salaries, legislators' retirement annuities, straight-ticket voting
 
 
 

Week in Review, February 4

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Explore what local health agencies across the U.S. are doing to address the Zika virus. (Governing, February 4, 2016)
  • Read about the new lower passing score for the GED Testing Service. (Education Week, Curriculum Matters, January 20, 2016)
  • Consider the federal corrections system and recent recommendations for improving it. (Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections, January 2016)
  • Review developing policy and regulations related to unmanned aircraft systems. (Congressional Research Service, January 27, 2016)
  • Examine the effect of the removal of Planned Parenthood from the Texas Women's Health Program. (The New England Journal of Medicine, February 3, 2016)
 

Interim Hearings - Week of February 8

Interim Hearings - Week of February 8
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.
February 9 Top
House Committee on Corrections
Charge: Incarceration rates for non-violent drug offenses, alternatives to incarceration including community supervision
Charge: Inmate release policies of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, including direct release from administrative segregation
House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Private Property Rights in Water
Topic: How to supply water while respecting private property rights of individual owners
House Committee on Public Education  
Charge: Middle grades
Charge: High performing students
February 10 Top
House Committee on Corrections
Charge: Recidivism & Reentry
House Committee on Public Health
Charge: Preparedness for public health threats and emergencies, including natural disasters and infectious diseases
Charge: Telemedicine in Texas
Senate Committee on Education
Charge: Monitor implementation of legislation, specifically:
Topic: Local briefing on English Language Learning
February 11 Top
Topic: Select committee budgets
 
House Committee on Higher Education
Charge: Community college system
Charge: Community colleges offering affordable baccalaureate degree programs, student pathways
Senate Select Committee Property Tax Reform & Relief  
Charge: Property tax process, including appraisal system
Charge: Reducing tax burden
 
 

Week in Review, January 28

  • Find investigation information and related reports about the West fertilizer explosion and fire. (U.S. Chemical Safety Board, accessed January 28, 2016)
  • Read about the gender wage gap and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. (Economic Policy Institute, January 26, 2016)
  • View the grand jury indictments related to the Planned Parenthood investigation. (District Court of Harris County, Texas, January 25, 2016)
  • Map abortion coverage through Affordable Care Act Marketplace health insurance plans. (Kaiser Family Foundation, January 20, 2016)
 

Members Not Returning, 85th Legislature

Below is a list of members (as of January 27, 2016) not returning to the 85th Texas Legislature.

  • A complete list of candidates in the Texas House 2016 Primary can be seen here.
  • A list of candidates in the Texas Senate 2016 Primary can be seen here.
Information about candidates by county is available on the Texas Secretary of State's website, filings by county page.
 
 
Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock Retiring
Rep. Myra Crownover Retiring
Sen. Kevin Eltife Retiring
Rep. Joe Farias Resigned effective 8/10/15
Rep. Allen Fletcher Retiring
Sen. Troy Fraser Retiring
Rep. Patricia Harless Retiring
Rep. Bryan Hughes Seeking another office
Rep. Jim Keffer Retiring
Rep. Susan King Seeking another office
Rep. Marisa Márquez Retiring
Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer Seeking another office
Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon Resigned effective 1/31/16
Rep. Elliott Naishtat Retiring
Rep. John Otto Retiring
Rep. David Simpson Seeking another office
Rep. Scott Turner Retiring
Rep. Sylvester Turner Resigned effective 1/1/16; sworn in as Mayor of Houston on 1/2/16 
 

Interim Hearings - Week of February 1

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.
 
Week of February 1
February 2
House Committee on Natural Resources
Charge: Water markets in Texas
 
Charge: Regional and state water planning processes, with emphasis on integration of HB 4, 83rd Legislature, R.S., regional planning groups, groundwater management, drought of record, and related issues
 
Charge: Legislative oversight and monitoring of agencies, including review of the surface water permitting process in Texas
 
February 3
House Committee on Energy Resources
Charge 1: Impacts of declining oil prices, energy development strategies
 
Charge 2: Oilfield theft
 
Charge 7: Legislative oversight and monitoring of agencies
Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations 
Charge 3: Natural disaster preparedness planning, as it pertains to Hurricane Dolly disaster recovery efforts

Week in Review, January 21

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Read about students who transfer from community colleges to four-year institutions. (Community College Research Center, January 2016)
  • Consider the Texas AG opinion and related documents about playing daily fantasy sports for a fee. (Legal Sports Report, January 19, 2016)
  • Track recent and past crime statistics. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, accessed January 2016)
  • Review documents related to the drinking water issues in Flint, MI. (Flint Water Study, accessed January 2016)
 
 

Interim Hearings - Week of January 25

Interim Hearings - Week of January 25
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.
 
January 25
Joint Legislative Committee on Health & Human Services Transition, Oversight
Invited testimony only
 
January 26
House Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism
Invited testimony on all interim charges
 
Senate Committee on Business & Commerce
Charge: Elder financial abuse
·         Financial Crimes Against the Elderly, 2015 Legislation, National Conference of State Legislatures, November 20, 2015
·         "Lies, Secrets, and Scams: How to Prevent Elder Abuse," Consumer Reports, November 3, 2015
·         "Why Elder Financial Abuse Is Such A Slippery Crime," Forbes, February 13, 2015
·         Cumulative 2015 Elder Financial Abuse Legislation, American Bankers Association, updated as of January 26, 2015
·         The True Link Report on Elder Financial Abuse 2015, True Link Financial, January 2015
·         Georgia Akers, Associate Judge, Harris County Probate Court No. 3, "Elder Abuse, Exploitation and Consumer Scams: Ethical Duties," 2014 CPE by the Sea, Houston TSCPA Foundation and TSCPA CPE Foundation, Inc., Galveston, Texas, June 11-13, 2014
 
Charge: Collection process of delinquent ad valorem property taxes, role of tax lien transfers
·         Interim Report to the 84th Legislature (Charge 3 - Property tax liens), House Committee on Business and Industry, January 2015
·         Texas Property Tax Law Changes 2015 (Tax Code, Chapter 31, Collections, and Chapter 33, Delinquency), Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, August 2015
·         Property Tax Lending Consolidated Volume Report Calendar Year 2014, Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner, June 23, 2015
·         Property Tax Lending Study, Finance Commission of Texas, prepared by Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner, August 2012
·         Property Tax Bills (delinquent tax bill contents, delinquency dates, penalty and interest by type of property tax bill), Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
 
Senate Committee on Finance
Topic: Testimony from Comptroller of Public Accounts and the Legislative Budget Board on impact of oil prices and production on state revenue and the budget
·         "Falling Oil Prices Leading to Drop in Texas Road Funding," Texas Tribune, January 20, 2016
·         2016 Texas Economic Outlook: Riding the Energy Roller Coaster, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, January 12, 2016
·         Monthly State Revenue Watch, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Updated January 2016
·         The 2016-2017 Certification Revenue Estimate, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, October 13, 2015
 
Charge: Behavioral/mental health services and expenditures across state government
·         A Guide to Understanding Mental Health Systems and Services in Texas, 2nd Edition, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, The University of Texas at Austin, 2014
·         Texas Behavioral Health Strategic Plan, Texas Department of State Health Services, June 2012
·         Comprehensive Analysis of Public Behavioral Health System (Rider 71 report background), Texas Department of State Health Services
 
Senate Committee on State Affairs  
Charge: Implementation of open carry (HB 910) and campus carry (SB 11)
 
January 27
Senate Committee on Transportation
Charge: State's Vehicle Inspection Program
·         Texas "Two Steps, One Sticker" Program Starts as a 'Square Dance', Texas Association of Counties, April 2, 2015
·         Vehicle Inspection and Two Steps One Sticker, Texas Department of Public Safety
 
Charge: Necessity of Driver Responsibility Program
·         Interim Report to the 84th Legislature (Charge 4), House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety, January 2015
·         An Audit Report on Selected Contracts at the Department of Public Safety (Chapter 3 - Driver Responsibility Program), State Auditor's Office, June 2013
·         Driver Responsibility Program (Issue Brief), Legislative Budget Board, January 2013
·         Texas State Government Effectiveness and Efficiency: Selected Issues and Recommendations (Driver Responsibility Program), Legislative Budget Board, January 2007
·         Driver Responsibility Program, Texas Department of Public Safety
 
Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform & Relief   
Charge: Property tax process
·         Texas State Government Effectiveness and Efficiency: Selected Issues and Recommendations (Property Appraisals), Legislative Budget Board, January 2015
·         Appraising the Appraisals: Local Values and Property Taxes, Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, July 2014
·         Interim Charge Recommendations to the 82nd Legislature (Property Tax System), Senate Committee on Finance, January 2011
·         Interim Report to the 82nd Texas Legislature (Property Tax Appraisals), House Committee on Ways & Means, January 2011
·         Interim Report (Property Tax Appraisal System), Senate Finance Subcommittee on Property Appraisal and Revenue Caps, January 2009
·         Interim Report to the 81st Legislature, House Select Committee on Property Tax Relief and Appraisal Reform, December 2008
·         Interim Report to the 81st Legislature (Charge 4), House Committee on Local Government Ways and Means, December 2008
·         Findings and Recommendations: a Report from the Texas Task Force on Appraisal Reform, Texas Task Force on Appraisal Reform, January 2007
·         Texas Property Tax System, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
 
Charge: Tax burden
·         "Lopsided Election Puts Political Target on Property Taxes," Austin American Statesman, November 9, 2015
·         "Property Tax Relief Comes With Big Cost to State," Texas Tribune, October 4, 2015
·         A Brief History of Texas Property Tax Relief Initiatives (Presentation), Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, May 20, 2008
 
 

Week in Review, January 14

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Examine the recent increase in Freedom of Information Act cases filed. (The FOIA Project, January 6, 2016)
  • Consider electronic cigarette advertising that reaches middle and high school students. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, January 8, 2016)
  • Review issues related to the death penalty in Texas in the past year. (Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, December 16, 2015)
  • Explore causes of death and which segments of the population are affected by specific causes. (FlowingData, accessed January 13, 2016) 
 

New & Noteworthy List for January 2016

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the six titles from our January 2016 New & Noteworthy list.
 
Check out and delivery of New & Noteworthy titles is available to legislative staff in Capitol and District offices. To arrange check out of any of these items, please contact the library at 512-463-1252.
 

1. Black Silent Majority: The Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Politics of Punishment By Michael Javen Fortner
Examines the social and political support provided by the African-American "silent majority" of New York City during the buildup to the Rockefeller Drug laws of 1973, which were among the first to establish lengthy mandatory minimum sentencing for narcotics offenses. Details the motivations of the working and middle class residents, activists, and civic leaders who helped to push "tough on crime" policies following the perceived failure of treatment-based anti-narcotics strategy of the 1960's. Concludes by considering the effects of the 1970's drug laws, and in particular how they impacted the African-American community through high incarceration rates and associated societal impacts
Harvard University Press, 2015. 350 pages.
364.1 F778B 2015


 

2. Fifty State Systems of Community Colleges: Mission, Governance, Funding, and Accountability By Janice Nahra Friedel, et al.
Details the unique and varied models of community colleges systems in the U.S. where no common model is available. Highlights the system of each state in terms of its history, purpose, governance, structure, funding, accountability, and challenges & opportunities. Allows for the comparison of key factors driving community colleges today including the political and financial aspects of the various administrative systems and how each system answers to taxpayers and policymakers.
Overmountain Press, 2014. 384 pages.
378.1543 F912F 2014


 

3. Fracking the Neighborhood: Reluctant Activists and Natural Gas Drilling By Jessica Smartt Gullion
Examines what happens when natural gas extraction by means of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” takes place, not on open rural land, but in densely populated areas. Offers an analysis of the environmental health activism, often by people who have never been activists, that has sprung up in otherwise politically conservative Texas urban communities. Chronicles the intrusive effects of fracking on these communities and highlights the frustration of residents who feel they are not provided with enough advance warning or information about the process. Describes the health effects from the environmental pollution that is created where fracking is taking place.
MIT Press, 2015. 191 pages.
622.3381 G946F 2015


 

4. Mexicans in the Making of America By Neil Foley
Analyzes the impact that Mexicans have had and are having on the evolving American landscape. Reviews many of the racially motivated legal and legislative hurdles aimed at Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. Chronicles both the struggles and milestones for Latinos from the Mexican-American War in 1848 through the present-day immigration debates. Suggests that the fast evolving demographics of the United States will not only help to shape the cultural diversity of this country but also its politics, and its economics.
Belknap Press of Harvard University, 2014. 344 pages.
973.046872 F699M 2014


 

5. Pulled Over: How Police Stops Define Race and Citizenship By Charles R. Epp, Steven Maynard-Moody, and Donald Haider-Markel
Traces the development of "investigatory stops" in police practice. Presents results of an extensive survey and statistical modeling of traffic stops in the Kansas City metropolitan area, including the factors in a police officer's decision to make a stop and the experiences of drivers. Addresses racial disparities in investigative stops, particularly for African Americans. Recommends changes to law enforcement policy and practice to move toward racial justice in police stops.
University of Chicago Press, 2014. 253 pages.
363.2 EP61P 2014
 


 

6. Federalism on Trial: State Attorneys General and National Policymaking in Contemporary America By Paul Neolette
Focuses on the activist role of state attorneys general in the use of coordinated policy-oriented lawsuits to influence national policymaking. Explores their role through case studies involving drug pricing, environmental policy, and health care reform. Highlights the fact that this activism at the state level has led to expanded governmental power at all levels and has had both positive and negative impacts.
University Press of Kansas, 2015. 286 pages.
320.6 N716 2015
 


 

7. Texas Women First: Leading Ladies of Lone Star History By Sherrie S. McLeRoy
Celebrates the contributions and achievements of a mix of unconventional, trailblazing women in the Lone Star state. Profiles famous and not so famous women who broke barriers in areas as diverse as aeronautics, government, arts & entertainment, business, education, medicine, law, military, and social justice. Highlights memorable "firsts" accomplished by Texas women who have helped shape American history and continue to influence and inspire generations of people.
History Press, 2015. 188 pages.

979 M154T 2015
 
 

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