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Week in Review, April 23rd

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

Week in Review, April 16th

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Explore the economic effects of an increased use of digital technologies. (Accenture, March 10, 2015)
  • Review selected characteristics of the membership of the 114th Congress. (Congressional Research Service, March 31, 2015)
  • Consider the state of America's libraries. (American Library Association, April 12, 2015)
  • Read about how the earned income tax credit affects low-income working families with children. (Urban Institute, April 9, 2015)

Highlights From Our Collection


The library is always adding new books to its collection. Previewed below are six books recently added.

Reimagining Courts: A Design for the Twenty-First Century, by Victor E. Flango and Thomas M. Clarke (2015).
"[This book] recommends a triage process based upon case characteristics, litigant goals, and resolution processes. Courts must fundamentally reorganize their business processes around the concept of the litigant as a customer." (Website)

American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, by Colin Woodard (2011).
"In [this book the author] takes readers on a journey through the history of our fractured continent, offering a revolutionary and revelatory take on American identity, and how the conflicts between them have shaped our past and continue to mold our future." (Website)

Lone Star Politics: Tradition and Transformation in Texas, by Ken Collier, Steven Galatas, and Julie Harrelson-Stephens (2015).
"[This book] delves deeply into Texas’ rich political tradition, exploring how myth often clashes with the reality of modern governance. Explaining who gets what and how, this Nacogdoches author team uses the comparative method to set Texas in context with other states’ constitutional foundations, institutions, electoral practices, and policymaking." (Website)

Collaboration Nation: How Public-Private Ventures Are Revolutionizing the Business of Government, by Mary Scott Nabers (2012).
"[The author] focuses on how to transfer resources from government to the private sector and outlines alternatives that are emerging in cases where government can no longer maintain its functions at or below cost. In her view, outsourcing has often been the best method." (Website)

American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, by Chris Kyle; with Jim DeFelice and Scott McEwen (2013).
"In moving first-person accounts throughout, Kyle's wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their marriage and children, as well as on Chris. Adrenaline-charged and deeply personal, [this book] is a thrilling eyewitness account of war that only one man could tell." (Website)

Heads Above Water: The Inside Story of the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Program, by Robert L. Gulley; foreword by Andrew Sansom (2015).
"They had tried many times to resolve their differences about how to conserve, allocate, and use the water, but had always failed. Finally … 39 diverse stakeholders reached a consensus on the use of the Edwards Aquifer that balanced the needs of south central Texas for water with the needs of eight species protected by the Endangered Species Act." (Website)



National Library Week

This week is National Library Week. Across the U.S., libraries will be celebrating their role as valuable information service providers to the community.  As our way of celebrating, we've provided a little LRL history below. The LRL is proud to serve members of the Texas Legislature, state agencies, and the public.
The Legislative Reference Library's current location on the second floor of the State Capitol has been in continuous use as a library since 1889. Designated a library in the original architectural plans for the Capitol, the space was first occupied by the Texas Supreme Court Library, and later, in 1907, by the State Library, which in 1909 began offering "legislative reference and information" to the Legislature. In 1962, the State Library moved into its own building to the east of the Capitol, and in 1969, the Legislative Reference Library became an independent legislative agency.

The LRL continues to serve members of the Texas Legislature from its location in the north wing of the Capitol between the House and Senate chambers. As part of the 1990s Capitol renovation, the library was identified as a significant space within the Capitol for its historical and architectural importance, and was selected to receive an adaptive historical room treatment. The library is open to the public, so please drop by and visit us during National Library Week or any time you are in the area.


The State Library, c. 1915.
Photo courtesy of the Texas State Preservation Board.


Week in Review, April 9th

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Consider state-level English language learner policies. (Education Commission of the States, March 2015)
  • Read a new report on preschool. (U.S. Department of Education, April 2015)
  • See how states are handling the EPA's proposed greenhouse gas emissions standards. (National Conference of State Legislatures, April 7, 2015)
  • Review a table of state laws on parental involvement in a minor’s abortion. (Guttmacher Institute, April 1, 2015)
  • Examine political party affiliation by various demographics. (Pew Research Center, April 7, 2015)
  • Explore financial literacy state by state. (WalletHub, accessed April 8, 2015)

Week in Review, April 2nd

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Read about the effects of state-enacted texting-while-driving bans on crash-related hospitalizations. (Texas A&M Health Science Center, March 30, 2015)
  • Consider strategies aimed at reducing opioid overdoses and deaths. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, March 26, 2015)
  • Examine new payday lending proposals. (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, March 26, 2015)
  • Explore legislative approaches to reducing gun violence. (Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, accessed April 1, 2015)

Bills in the News: E-cigarettes and Vaping

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: E-cigarettes and Vaping
Bill search
Search for bills related to e-cigarettes and vaping on the Texas Legislature Online:
Try the phrase "vapor product" with the Word/Phrase radio button selected.

Much of the proposed legislation relating to e-cigarettes and vapor products, such as liquid substances containing nicotine, would amend current law related to cigarettes and other tobacco products. Try searching for bills with the subject "Tobacco Products."


Week in Review, March 26th

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

Week in Review, March 19th

In this weekly post, we feature online articles and policy reports published recently, and other helpful research tools.
  • Find contact information for legislative staff of the 84th Legislature. (House Research Organization, 2015)
  • Consider how education systems affect creativity in students. (TED Talks, accessed March 18, 2015)
  • Map unemployment by state. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2015)
  • Examine the federal debt limit. (Congressional Research Service, March 9, 2015)

Bill Filing Deadline Statistics

Friday marked the bill filing deadline for the 84th Regular Session. When the deadline had passed, a total of 6,305 bills and joint resolutions had been filed. How does this compare to previous sessions?

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