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Week in Review, May 26

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Map where water crises may develop over the next few decades. (Pacific Standard, May 23, 2016)
  • See which states have the largest number of removal orders granted by immigration judges. (Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, April 2016)
  • Read about Americans working beyond retirement age. (Bloomberg, May 13, 2016)
  • Explore what's different on the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods.  (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, May 20, 2016)

The Texas "Killer Bees"

37 years ago, during the 66th Regular Session, a group of 12 state senators nicknamed the "Killer Bees" organized in the Texas Legislature. From May 18 - May 22, 1979, the Killer Bees hid offsite to prevent the 31-member Senate from reaching a quorum on two bills: S.B. 602, which proposed an early date for a Texas presidential primary, and S.B. 1149, which related to filing fees for primary elections. S.B. 1149 was broad enough that it could be amended to include the provisions of S.B. 602.  
According to the The Miracle of the Killer Bees (below), the group got its name from Lt. Governor Hobby, who told a reporter he called them that because "you never know where they're going to hit next." The Killer Bees were Senators Carl Parker, Carlos Truan, Chet Brooks, Ron Clower, Lloyd Doggett, Gene Jones, Glenn Kothmann, Raul Longoria, Oscar Mauzy, W.N. 'Bill' Patman, A. R. 'Babe' Schwartz, and Bob Vale.

The Texas House receives a message from a Senate "Bee Man." Image courtesy of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Interim Hearings - Week of May 30

Interim Hearings - Week of May 30
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.
June 1 Top
House Committee on Insurance
Charge 2: Transparency and adequacy of health care networks, consumer protection relating to out-of-network services
House Committee on Natural Resources
Charge 1: Regional and state water planning processes
Charge 6: Joint groundwater planning, including HB 200, 84th Legislature, R.S.; groundwater ownership, access, and management
Charge 9: Legislative oversight and monitoring of agencies, including review of surface water permitting in Texas
June 2 Top
House Committee on Defense & Veterans' Affairs
Topic 1: Maintaining military value of defense installations and communities
Charge 1: Encroachment on military bases
Charge 2: Real Estate property disclosures of proximity to military installations
Charge 4: Minimize negative consequences of a potential forthcoming BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) round
Charge 5: Impact of sequestration and federal defense spending on Texas military
Topic 2: Education and employment barriers for veterans
Charge 6: Education/employment barriers for veterans; college credit for service-related training in the armed forces
Topic 3: Oversight of legislation passed by committee
Charge 7: Legislative oversight and monitoring of agencies
House Select Committee on Mental Health
Topic: Mental/behavioral health care services in Texas, including health insurance plans and law enforcement/criminal justice

Week in Review, May 19

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Consider state funded pre-K programs by state. (National Institute for Early Education Research, ©2016)
  • See how Texas government websites rate based on clarity of written content. (VisibleThread Clarity Index, 2016)
  • Explore the performance of virtual schools. (National Education Policy Center, April 2016)
  • Read about earthquakes in Texas. (Southern Methodist University, May 17, 2016)
  • Examine recent economic trends in the American middle class. (Pew Research Center, May 11, 2016)

New & Noteworthy List for May 2016

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the six titles from our May 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, you can submit an online request through the New & Noteworthy page on our website, or contact the library at 512-463-1252.

1. Lost Causes: Blended Sentencing, Second Chances, and the Texas Youth Commission By Chad R. Trulson, et al.
Presents an in-depth study of determinate (blended) sentencing outcomes in Texas. Delves into the social and delinquent histories, Texas Youth Commission incarceration experiences, and release and recidivism outcomes of close to 3,500 juvenile offenders who received blended sentences between 1987 and 2011. Seeks to understand the impact of this unique sentencing structure, which blends parts of the juvenile and adult justice systems, and gives some of the most violent youthful offenders a second chance to remain in the juvenile justice system instead of transferring to the Texas Prison system.
University of Texas Press, 2016. 204 pages.
364.3609764 T769L 2016


2. LBJ and Grassroots Federalism: Congressman Bob Poage, Race, and Change in Texas By Robert Harold Duke
Explores the expansion of collaboration between local communities in Texas and the federal government through the careers of President Lyndon B. Johnson and Texas Congressman William R. Poage, of Waco. Examines projects ranging from the New Deal era through the 1960's, including the Waco Dam project, and how the growth of political engagement in minority communities impacted the implementation of federal programs.
Texas A&M University Press, 2014. 248 pages.
320.6 D885L 2014



3. America Ascendant: A Revolutionary Nation's Path to Addressing its Deepest Problems and Leading the 21st Century By Stanley B. Greenberg
Provides a unique and very hopeful look into how America is poised to address all the problems the 21st century has brought – widening inequality, poverty, racism and general dark side of progress. Articulates a vision of how America will come through these crises, as it did at the turn of the 20th century with radical and progressive reforms. Argues that today’s growing anger will reach a tipping point that compels the nation’s leaders to work to address America’s deepest problems.
Thomas Dunne Books, 2015. 406 pages.
320.973 G829A 2015



4. The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials are Leading America (and How Republicans Can Keep Up) By Kristen Soltis Anderson
Examines how cultural factors are changing the way a new generation of voters considers issues. Analyzes demographic shifts, lifestyle, and consumer choices through the use of data mining and social media to emphasize what is important to youth, women and minorities. Offers insights and advice from a leading Republican pollster about how to best appeal to these voters.
Broadside Books, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, 2015. 262 pages.
324.973 AN23S 2015



5. Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival By Michael E. Webber
Examines the interrelation between water and energy and their importance to people. Details the critical role that water plays in energy production, highlighting its use in the operation of hydro-electric plants, nuclear reactors, and bio-fuels. Suggests ways energy can alleviate water shortages by fueling desalination plants, long-haul transfers, and drilling deeper wells. Points out the human race's growing need for both precious resources and possible solutions to long-term needs, both in technical and non-technical approaches.
Yale University Press, 2016. 235.
333.7915 W387T 2016



6. Texas Women: Their Histories, Their Lives By Elizabeth Hayes Turner, Stephanie Cole, and Rebecca Sharpless, editors
Presents a collection of biographies and essays of Texas women showing the racial, class, and religious diversity of the Lone Star State, beginning with the Spanish colonial era. Includes fascinating stories of Spanish law and women in colonial Texas, women in slavery, women's higher education in antebellum Texas, women's fight for equal rights, African American and Hispanic women, and ranch women and rodeo performers in post-World War II West Texas. Profiles Oveta Culp Hobby and Barbara Jordan - two prominent women in the history of the Texas Legislature.
The University of Georgia Press, 2015. 526 pages.
305.409764 T852T 2015

Interim Hearings - Week of May 23

Interim Hearings - Week of May 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.
May 23 Top
House Committee on Agriculture & Livestock
Charge 1: Policy challenges to the state's agriculture and livestock industry
Charge 4: Windblown trash
Invited Testimony
Charge 5: Appraisal of agricultural land
House Committee on Environmental Regulation
Charge 1: Household hazardous waste disposal
Charge 4: Scrap tire management and disposal
Charge 5: Legislative oversight and monitoring
House Committee on Urban Affairs
Charge 3: Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs low-income tax credit, compliance with U.S. Supreme Court decision in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs et al. v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., et al. on fair housing in Texas
Charge 4: Housing programs and policies in Texas, compliance with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rules
Charge 5: Low-income housing availability
Charge 7: Legislative oversight and monitoring, including Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Charge: Surface water and groundwater
May 24 Top
Joint charge: Emerging technologies used by law enforcement and issues related to appropriate dissemination of the data
May 25 Top
Joint charge: Criminal records
Charge: Public information
Charge: Commercial motor vehicles
House Committee on Transportation
Topic: Utility relocation issues on state right-of-way construction and maintenance projects
Topic: Toll revenues and total debt service
Topic: TxDOT Rail Division
Topic: TxDOT Rural Transit Division
Topic: Texas ports 
·        Interim Hearings – Week of May 2, Senate Select Committee on Texas Ports, Legislative Reference Library, May 4, 2016
Topic: DMV processing and handling fee
Topic: Financial forecast relating to transportation funding (testimony from Comptroller Hegar)
Topic: Finance options used in other states to fund transportation infrastructure
Topic: Design-build contracts

Announcing the Mark L. Kincaid Legislative Papers

The Texas Legislative Reference Library has recently received a collection of documents from the late Austin attorney Mark L. Kincaid. Mr. Kincaid was known as "The Policyholder's Lawyer." He had established a reputation for crafting public policy for the protection of insurance policy holders who had little or no ability to prevent abuses in the claims process. Kincaid's papers enhance the Joe K. Longley-Philip K. Maxwell Deceptive Trade Practices Act Legislative Archive housed at the library.
Spanning two decades, from 1995 through 2015, the collection showcases Kincaid's efforts to curb tort reform, to document the 74th Legislature's intent behind H.B. 668, and to monitor and influence changes to the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The collection includes legislation, analyses on a variety of bills, testimony transcripts, PowerPoint presentations, and correspondence with many interested parties.
Mark L. Kincaid passed away on January 19, 2016, but he leaves a legacy of research and experience that will benefit the legislative and legal communities for years to come. The collection is not yet entirely processed by the Library, but we couldn't wait to give you a preview.

        Mark L. Kincaid, 1959-2016



Week in Review, May 12

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Read about new federal rules banning the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18. (The Washington Post, May 5, 2016)
  • See the complaint filed by the DOJ against North Carolina regarding the rights of transgender individuals. (U.S. Department of Justice, May 9, 2016)
  • Consider the effects of hydraulic fracturing on U.S. natural gas production. (U.S. Energy Information Administration, May 5, 2016)
  • Find which vehicle makes and models are part of the Takata airbag recall. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, accessed May 11, 2016)
  • Learn about bison, the national mammal. (U.S. Department of the Interior, May 9, 2015)

LRL's Texas Governor Pages: Your Portal to Governor Information

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry's portrait was unveiled last week (whoop!), giving us the perfect opportunity to highlight our Texas governor pages. The LRL's Texas governor pages serve as a portal to a variety of information about Texas governors, including biographical information, term dates, previous offices held, and more. You can even see images of the governor portraits that hang in the Capitol Rotunda.
A favorite feature of the Texas governor pages is a searchable database that contains a wide range of gubernatorial documents for each Texas governor, including vetoes, executive orders, legislative messages, proclamations, speeches, and even inaugural invitation materials. In addition to our online governor materials, the library also has a large collection of hard copy materials that includes bound press memo volumes. For questions or assistance using the governor pages or governor materials in our collection, please contact the library at (512) 463-1252.
If you're interested in learning more about our Texas governor pages, see our previous blog posts on this topic.

Interim Hearings - Week of May 16

Interim Hearings - Week of May 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.
May 16 Top
House Committee on County Affairs
Topic: Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program 1115 Waiver
Topic: Counties involvement in Child Protective Services (CPS) cases
House Committees on County Affairs and Urban Affairs (Joint Hearing) 
Joint charge: Risk and mitigation of wildfires, floods, and other natural hazards in the wildland-urban interface; natural disasters
House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence
Charge: Asset forfeiture
Senate Committee on Higher Education
Charge: Current funding methods for both general academic institutions and community colleges, performance-based funding for community colleges
Charge: Funding for GAIs (General Academic Institutions) and HRIs (Health Related Institutions), tuition-revenue generating special items and formula and research funding for new medical schools
May 17 Top
House Committees on Corrections and Criminal Jurisprudence (Joint Hearing) 
Charge: Probation & parole - fees and revocations
House Committees on Human Services and Urban Affairs
Charge: Boarding homes
Senate Committee on Criminal Justice
Charge 3: Reentry programs provided by TDCJ and the Windham School, including inmates in administrative segregation; Certified Peer Support Services; Darrington Seminary Program   
Charge 4: Pretrial diversion and treatment programs   
Charge 5: Dissemination of bulk criminal records   
Charge 6: Costs for family members to maintain contact with incarcerated family members    
Senate Committee on Finance
Charge: Strengthening restriction on appropriations established in Article VIII, Section 22 of the state constitution (spending cap)
Senate Committee on Health & Human Services  
Topic: Zika virus
May 18 Top
House Committee on Appropriations
Charge 1 (partial): Dedicated accounts, budget transparency
Charge 3: Texas constitutional spending limits, comparison to other states
Joint Legislative Committee on Health & Human Services Transition, Oversight  
Invited testimony
May 19 Top
Topic: Cost reporting process for long term programs
House Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence  
Charge 1: Trafficking
Charge 4: Jury service
Charge 6: Lemon law
House Committee on Public Health
Charge: Improving birth outcomes
Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations
Charge 1: Extraterritorial jurisdiction expansion and municipal annexation process

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