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Week in Review, October 19

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

  • Consider the elimination of state and local tax deductions as part of tax reform. (The Heritage Foundation, October 16, 2017)
  • Explore manufacturing in Texas. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, accessed October 19, 2017)
  • Read about oyster bed restoration in Galveston Bay. (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, October 9, 2017)
  • Explore what happens to a person's email account after death. (Nextgov, October 18, 2017)

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.

Interim Hearings - Week of October 23

Interim Hearings - Week of October 23

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 24

Senate Committee on Finance

Charge: Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery funds

 

Charge: Long-term impact of Hurricane Harvey on the Texas economy and the gulf coast region

 

October 25

Senate Committee on State Affairs

Charge: Emergency management (agency interactions in natural disasters, emergency situation operations, disaster recovery centers)

 

Charge: Single, comprehensive Web-based source on State Emergency Operations during disaster

 

Joint Oversight Committee on Government Facilities

Topic: Deferred maintenance projects, facility space needs, and update on Texas Capitol Complex Master Plan

Week in Review, October 12

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

  • Review pay patterns and earnings in the American workforce. (U.S. Census Bureau, September 2017)
  • Explore the level of economic freedom experienced by Americans. (Cato Institute, October 11, 2017)
  • Read about the status of women in the workplace. (McKinsey & Company, 2017)
  • Consider public employee Fifth Amendment rights. (National Conference of State Legislatures, October 6, 2017)

Interim Hearings - Week of October 16

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 16

Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs (East Montgomery County Improvement District, New Caney, Texas) 

Charge: Capacity and structure of Addicks and Barker Reservoirs, timely and transparent reservoir release figures

Charge: Data-sharing for rainfall and stream gauges, statewide flood warning system

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.

 

Week in Review, October 5

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

Interim Hearings - Week of October 9

Interim Hearings - Week of October 9

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 10

Joint Interim Committee to Study a Coastal Barrier System  (Galveston)

Topic: Desirability and feasibility of constructing a coastal barrier system

 

October 12

House Committee on Public Education   

Charge: Determine, to the extent possible, the scope of financial losses, including facilities, that resulted from Hurricane Harvey. Recommend possible state actions, such as changes to student counts or property valuation, to mitigate any negative impact on districts and ensure governance structures and parameters allow for effective responses.

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.  

Week in Review, September 28

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

  • Read about an experimental way to treat addiction. (National Geographic, September 2017)
  • Review long-term energy consumption projections. (U.S. Energy Information Administration, September 14, 2017)
  • Analyze how Americans get their science news. (Pew Research Center, September 20, 2017)
  • See which cities have the best public transportation systems. (24/7 Wall St., September 20, 2017)

 

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