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Bill Statistics at the 45th Day of Session

Yesterday marked the 45th day of the 84th Regular Session. That means we're 3/4 of the way to the 60-day bill filing deadline, which is Friday, March 13, 2015. For those who are curious, here is a look at bill statistics in comparison to a similar period last session.
Bills and Joint Resolutions
83rd Regular Session
(Nov. 12, 2012-Feb. 21, 2013)
84th Regular Session
(Nov. 10, 2014-Feb. 26, 2015)
House filed 1,733 2,057
Senate filed 743 834
Total filed 2,476 2,891
House referred to committee 1,188 837
Senate referred to committee 588 721
Total referred to committee 1,776 1,558
House scheduled for hearing 30 25
Senate scheduled for hearing 82 24
Total scheduled for hearing 112 49
House reported out of committee 1 2
Senate reported out of committee 33 5
Total reported out of committee 34 7

Week in Review, February 26th

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Explore the major taxes of Texas. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, February 2015)
  • See where Texas lands among states for well-being. (Gallup, February 19, 2015)
  • Examine economic segregation in America's metro areas. (Martin Prosperity Institute, February 2015)
  • Consider occupational hazards of public transportation. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, February 2015)

Week in Review, February 19th

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Examine the effects of eliminating the Affordable Care Act's tax credits in federally-run marketplaces. (RAND, 2015) 
  • Review the outlook for the Texas economy. (Real Estate Center, Texas A&M University, February 2015) 
  • Consider the attorneys who may be arguing same-sex marriage cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. (Keen News Services, February 17, 2015)
  • Read about a federal judge temporarily blocking President Obama's executive order on immigration. (Jurist, February 17, 2015)

Generations in the Texas Legislature

A fun story came to us from Emily Richardson, a reading clerk in the Texas House. She recently discovered that her great grandfather, George E. Adams, served in the Texas Legislature during the 1940s. At the urging of one of her co-workers, she looked him up in the library's Texas Legislators: Past and Present database, and was pleasantly surprised to find not only information about his terms of service and committee appointments, but also a resolution honoring her grandmother (George's daughter) that mentioned Emily and her sister!

We love to hear stories like these, especially when they involve our Texas Legislators database. Librarians have worked on this database for more than a decade, compiling a wealth of information on current and former Texas Legislators. Need to know the committees on which a particular member served during the 55th Legislature? Or who represented Zavala County in 1995? Texas Legislators: Past and Present is your one-stop shop for this information, and, as Emily's story demonstrates, is great for looking up family members who served in the Texas Legislature. Thanks, Emily, for sharing your story!


George E. Adams served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1945 to 1947. He represented Brazos County.

Emily Richardson, great granddaughter of George E. Adams, and currently a Reading Clerk in the Texas House of Representatives.


Week in Review, February 12th

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.

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."
"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.

Week in Review, February 5th

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.

Guides to the Texas Legislature

This post includes a list of guides published by Texas legislative agencies to assist you in following the legislative process. These guides will help you track and read a bill, understand the terminology used in the Texas Legislature, learn about issues facing the Legislature, and much more.

Guide to Texas Legislative Information, prepared by the Research Division of the Texas Legislative Council for the 84th Legislature (2014).
"The purpose of this publication is to help legislators, other state officials and employees, and interested citizens in researching the work of past legislatures and in tracking the work of the current legislature."

Issues Facing the 84th Texas Legislature, prepared by the Texas Senate Research Center (2015).

"[This report] is intended to serve as a reference guide to issues facing the 84th Legislature. It is not a comprehensive list of issues, but rather an outline of broad categories and topics of concern that have arisen during the interim."

Research Spotlight: Legislative Lexicon, prepared by the Texas Senate Research Center (2015).
"[This publication] provides users with clear definitions of many of the words, terms, and phrases used in the Legislature."

Reading Statutes and Bills, prepared by the Research Division of the Texas Legislative Council (2014).
"The purpose of this publication is to provide a basic overview of Texas statutes and bills and tips for how best to read and understand them."

Topics for the 84th Legislature, by House Research Organization (2014).
"This report highlights many, although by no means all, of the issues the 84th Legislature may consider during its 2015 regular session."



Week in Review, January 29th

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.

Code of Criminal Procedure Research Guide

Image of scales of justice The library has created a new research guide that provides an overview of the 1965 revision of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.  Included in the guide is a timeline and overview of the revision process, an annotated list of legislation that lead to the enactment of the new Code of Criminal Procedure in 1965, links to previous versions of the Code, and documents available for each year of the revision process. The guide serves as an excellent resource for discovering materials in the library collection that are relevant to the Code of Criminal Procedure's revision, and may aid researchers in tracing the reasoning and intent of specific statutory language.  
This is the library's second such research guide; the first guide provided information relating to the Penal Code revision.



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