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Freshmen in the Texas Legislature, 61st-86th Legislatures

Every few years, we update our comparison across Legislatures of the percent of freshmen at the beginning of each regular session. Here's our first post from 2012 on the topic (which explains some of the reasons for unusually high numbers), and the 2014 and 2017 updates.

 

Below you can see how the numbers compared over the past 50 years, from 1969-2019 (61st-86th Legislatures). Please note that we defined freshmen as new legislators sworn in during the first day or week of the regular session. Members who first served during a called session of a legislature are counted as freshmen members of that legislature. Excluded are members who were elected to a legislature but never sworn in due to death, resignation, or other factors.

 

You can see these and other figures on our member statistics page. Exact percentage of freshmen each session can be found here.

 

Percentage of freshmen in the Texas Legislature

 

Data compiled from the library's Texas Legislators: Past and Present database

Current Articles & Research Resources, February 13

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community.

  • Explore trends in workforce development. (National Conference of State Legislatures, February 4, 2020)
  • Read about identity and community in Black Americans. (Pew Research Center, February 5, 2020)
  • Review President Trump's proposed budget for fiscal year 2021. (The White House, February 10, 2020)
  • Consider ways to prevent children from accessing adults' prescription medication. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, February 12, 2020)

Members of the Texas legislative community may request the articles below here or by calling 512-463-1252.

  • 20.02.13  /  "How a fringe idea went mainstream." By Vimal Patel. Chronicle of Higher Education, January 31, 2020, pp. A8-A12.
    Examines the $1.5 trillion student loan debt problem that is increasingly affecting the middle class. Argues the debt is a clear case of exploitation with the investor class making money from students as the debt is repackaged and sold. Predicts a solution will be found since President Trump and many Democrats are seeking a remedy.
  • 20.02.14  /  "Praying for a political payoff?" By Rob Boston. Church & State, February 2020, pp. 4-5.
    Analyzes the Trump administration's guidelines on prayer and other religious activities in public schools, released on January 16, 2020.
  • 20.02.15  /  "America's quiet policing crisis." By Charles Fain Lehman. City Journal (Manhattan Institute), February 5, 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Reports police departments across the United States are confronting a recruitment crisis. Includes the Police Executive Research Forum's recommendations on how to improve recruitment efforts.
  • 20.02.16  /  "Car trouble." By Jessica Wehrman. CQ Weekly, January 21, 2020, pp. 14-21.
    Explores the transitioning auto industry and its struggles to navigate the federal regulatory complexity recently created by policies of the Trump administration.
  • 20.02.17  /  "Testing and college admissions: What's SAT?" Economist, February 8th-14th, 2020, pp. 23-24.
    Examines the debate over the use of college entrance exams, such as the SAT and ACT, as a requirement for college admissions. Discusses the lawsuit seeking to end the University of California System's use of these tests.
  • 20.02.18  /  "Guns in political advertising over four US election cycles, 2012-18." By Colleen L. Barry, et al. Health Affairs, February 2020, pp. 327-333.
    Observes that gun references have increased substantially in candidate-related ads in recent elections, particularly in communities more attuned to elections or that were near mass shootings.
  • 20.02.19  /  "Implications of the rapid growth of the nurse practitioner workforce in the US." By David I. Auerbach, Peter I. Buerhaus, and Douglas O. Staiger. Health Affairs, February 2020, pp. 273-279.
    Observes that the registered nurse [RN] workforce has been reduced following policy advocating for greater use of nurse practitioners to fill the health care gap left by physician shortages.
  • 20.02.20  /  "State policy recommendations for addressing teacher shortages." By Ana Ramón. IDRA Newsletter (Intercultural Development Research Association), January 2020, pp. 1-2.
    Identifies various alternative teacher certification programs that have been used in Texas, including the IDRA accelerated teacher certification model designed to prepare teachers for diverse classrooms. Presents seven policy recommendations for the Texas Legislature to consider in the areas of recruiting, preparing, and retaining highly qualified educators.
  • 20.02.21  /  "Caring for tomorrow." By Alisa Chester. Internet Resource, January/February 2020, pp. 1-3.
    Describes Texas hospitals' work to enhance access to pediatric mental health care, curb the outbreak of teen vaping, address the rising uninsured children rate, and use telemedicine to provide access to pediatric specialists in rural areas.
  • 20.02.22  /  "Out-of-network bills for privately insured patients undergoing elective surgery with in-network primary surgeons and facilities." By Karan R. Chhabra, et al. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), February 11, 2020, pp. 538-547.
    Evaluates out-of-network billing across common elective operations — like knee replacements, breast lumpectomies, and others — performed with in-network primary surgeons and facilities. Finds that almost 21 percent of episodes had an out-of-network bill.
  • 20.02.23  /  "How Black Lives Matter is changing Black History Month." By Olivia B. Waxman. Time, February 17, 2020, pp. 18-19.
    Examines how the Black Lives Matter movement is transforming how black history is being taught in public schools.

The Legislative Reference Library compiles this weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. Professional librarians review and select articles from more than 300 periodicals, including public policy journals, specialized industry periodicals, news magazines, and state agency publications. Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles using our online form.

Interim Hearings – Week of February 17

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.

 

For recent posts on Interim Hearings, see Interim Hearing Resources on the LRL homepage. The "Recent Entries" list on the left provides quick access to interim hearings posts from previous weeks.

 

February 20

House Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism (Victoria)

Charge 1 (selection): HB 1300 and HB 2321, which relate to the regulation of oyster harvesting and to cultivated oyster mariculture. Monitor the implementation of the cultivated oyster mariculture program, the implementation of increased penalties related to the regulation of oyster harvesting, and the effectiveness of these state laws as related to the protection, conservation, and sustainability of oysters in Texas coastal waters.

 

February 21

House Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism (Seadrift)

Topic: Short briefing by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on illegal oyster harvesting and to observe Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's law enforcement activities for oyster harvesting on Matagorda Bay and the surrounding area.

 

House Committees on International Relations & Economic Development and Transportation (Laredo, Joint Hearing)  

Charge (selection): Examine the infrastructure at international border ports of entry in Texas and identify transportation-related impediments to international trade that negatively impact the state. Make recommendations to reduce border wait times, facilitate economic growth, and expedite trade.

Library Update – Back in the Capitol!

Following our temporary relocation, the Legislative Reference Library is back in our Capitol space! With thanks to the Texas State Preservation Board for their leadership in the renovation process, we are enjoying new carpet, paint, public computer stations, and updated staff work areas.

 

Peruse the photos below to see some of the work in-progress and the final results. Come visit! And as always, please continue to call us at (512) 463-1252 and/or email us at LRL.Service@lrl.texas.gov with your reference and research needs.

 

When a carpet is 20+ years old, it needs replacing! The new carpet is the same pattern, following our historical room treatment, but now the colors are more vivid.

 

Updated offices and reference desk will help us better serve our patrons.

 

The final results!

Photos courtesy of the Texas State Preservation Board and LRL staff.

Current Articles & Research Resources, February 6

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community.

  • Explore state roles in protecting the electric grids. (National Conference of State Legislatures, January 24, 2020)
  • Review a list of local fire departments that offer smoke alarm programs. (State Fire Marshal, updated January 27, 2020)
  • Consider the mortality consequences of the opioid epidemic. (Cato Institute, January 15, 2020)
  • Find a lot of fact sheets about utilities in Texas. (Public Utility Commission of Texas, accessed February 5, 2020)

Members of the Texas legislative community may request the articles below here or by calling 512-463-1252.

  • 20.02.01  /  "Online governance: A court of public opinions." Economist, February 1st-7th, 2020, p. 57.
    Discusses Facebook's draft of the bylaws that will govern the company's oversight board, with details on the board's structure and decision-making authority.
  • 20.02.02  /  "The politics of gender: Changing states." Economist, February 1st-7th, 2020, pp. 21-22.
    Explains why blanket bans on medical interventions for transgender children are likely to be counterproductive and suggests a better approach. Mentions Senator Ted Cruz and the James Younger custody case in Dallas County.
  • 20.02.03  /  "2019 county election website review." By League of Women Voters of Texas. Internet Resource, November 2019, pp. 1-26 (Note Length).
    Evaluates Texas county websites for accessibility and security of voting and election information in light of new Texas election laws, HB933 and HB1241, 86th Legislature. Provides best practices for providing accurate election information online.
  • 20.02.04  /  "Malpractice liability and quality of care." By William M. Sage and Kristen Underhill. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), January 28, 2020, pp. 315-317.
    Suggests that greater tort liability was not associated with improved quality of patient care, based on a systematic review of studies published between 1990 and 2019.
  • 20.02.05  /  "Who's paying now? The explicit and implicit costs of the current early care and education system." By Elise Gould and Hunter Blair. Policy Report (Economic Policy Institute), January 15, 2020, pp. 1-12.
    Examines the chronic underfunding and hidden costs of the current early care and education [ECE] system, including forgone parental income and the underpayment of ECE teachers.
  • 20.02.06  /  "Electrify everything? Heat and light in deep decarbonization policies." By Hal Nelson. Public Utilities Fortnightly, January 2020, pp. 62-66.
    Considers two essential questions about decarbonization policies that share the common element of electrification of transport and buildings. Provides various examples.
  • 20.02.07  /  "Grid modernization: State policies." By Kristy Hartman, et al. Public Utilities Fortnightly, January 2020, pp. 68-71.
    Discusses the National Conference of State Legislatures' [NCSL] work and resources relating to utilities. Refers to NCSL's recent report, Modernizing the Electric Grid: State Role and Policy Options.
  • 20.02.08  /  "Sex offender laws are broken. These women are working to fix them." By Hallie Lieberman. Reason, February 2020, pp. 42-48.
    Reviews the history of laws relating to sex offenders and sex offender registries. Highlights the work of various reform groups seeking changes to these laws.
  • 20.02.09  /  "Changes & opportunities in agriculture." By David M. Kohl. Texas Banking, February 2020, pp. 8-11.
    Looks at economic cycles in the agricultural industry, including "green shoots," or positive industry developments, such as value-added agricultural services and the emergence of younger farmers and ranchers.
  • 20.02.10  /  "Employee monitoring: An overview of technologies, treatment, and best practices." By Andrew Milam Jones. Texas Bar Journal, February 2020, pp. 98-100.
    Considers technological and legal developments regarding employee monitoring. Points out circumstances that support the monitoring of employees.
  • 20.02.11  /  "The engineer will see you now." By Jason Heid. Texas Monthly, February 2020, pp. 66-72.
    Profiles the development and inaugural class of EnMed, a collaboration between Houston Methodist and Texas A&M University in which future graduates will earn an M.D. and a master's degree in engineering. Discusses the potential benefits of a multi-discipline medical education.
  • 20.02.12  /  "Feeding a changing world." By Alana Semuels. Time, February 3, 2020, pp. 66-71.
    Explores the future of food tech and the startup companies that are creating new methods of food production to counter the negative impact the current agricultural system is having on the environment. Addresses the benefits of planet-friendly foods and farming, as well as the obstacles to these alternatives.

The Legislative Reference Library compiles this weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. Professional librarians review and select articles from more than 300 periodicals, including public policy journals, specialized industry periodicals, news magazines, and state agency publications. Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles using our online form.

Interim Hearings – Week of February 10

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.

 

For recent posts on Interim Hearings, see Interim Hearing Resources on the LRL homepage. The "Recent Entries" list on the left provides quick access to interim hearings posts from previous weeks.

 

February 11

House Committee on Higher Education

Charge 1: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 86th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:

SB 38: The Committee will hear testimony on SB 38, which relates to the offense of hazing. The Committee will monitor implementation and compliance and will discuss all relevant issues.

Research Minute: Searching for Signed Legislation

When looking for signed legislation, here are a few avenues of research to try:

 

If you know the bill number or session law chapter, and it's from the 82nd Legislature forward...

Use the Direct Search in the LRL's Legislative Archive System (LAS). For bills that passed, there will be a "signed legislation" link in the History tab. (If the bill passed but was filed without the governor's signature, there is still a "signed legislation" link. It will have signatures of the Chief Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate, but no governor's signature.)

 

If you know the topic of the bill, but not the citation...

LAS is a good starting point. You can use the Advanced Search to search by subject, author, session, committee, and other access points. You also can view a complete list of the bills passed in a session by navigating to Direct Search, selecting the legislature in the "search by session law chapter" option, and leaving the chapter box blank. This will give you the session's bill/chapter cross reference table, and you can peruse the bill captions to try and locate the number of the bill you seek. You can pull these tables all the way back to the 12th Legislature (1871)! Then, you can use one of the resources below to see if the signed legislation is available online:

Signed bills older than the 78th Regular Session are in the Texas Secretary of State's Government Filings Section records at TSLAC. Please call 512-463-5455 for information on accessing physical copies of signed bills. 

 

Note that signed copies of simple resolutions are not generally retained. Unsigned copies may be found in the bill files at the LRL. If you cannot find a simple resolution online in LAS or Texas Legislature Online (TLO), contact the LRL at 512-463-1252.

Current Articles & Research Resources, January 30

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community.

  • See how states are planning for more extreme weather events and natural disasters. (Stateline, January 29, 2020)
  • Explore the differences among Americans relating to their preferred news sources. (Pew Research Center, January 24, 2020)
  • Read about federal funding for women's health services in Texas. (Texas Health and Human Services Commission, January 24, 2020)
  • Consider how Americans like to spend their spare time. (Gallup, January 24, 2020)

Members of the Texas legislative community may request the articles below here or by calling 512-463-1252.

  • 20.01.44  /  "IDEA turns 45." By Michelle Healy. American School Board Journal, February 2020, 16-20.
    Reviews the positive impact of the Individuals with Disabilities Act [IDEA] since its passage in 1975 but argues its full potential hasn't been realized due to funding challenges. Discusses the effects of IDEA's funding shortages and what can be done to improve and modernize the law.
  • 20.01.45  /  "General counsel's report." By Jim Allison. County Progress, January 2020, pp. 6, 52-55.
    Provides an overview of the 86th Texas Legislature and the issues assigned to legislative committees to study during the interim. Lists almost two dozen bills as assigned to legislative committees that affect county governments.
  • 20.01.46  /  "California exit: Amid an exodus, Golden State loses its luster." By Mark Calvey. Dallas Business Journal, January 17, 2020, pp. 16-19, 22-23.
    Reports the corporate exodus out of California is showing signs of accelerating, and area businesses are bracing for further departures. Points out the top ten states where Californians are moving.
  • 20.01.47  /  "Housing: No place like home." Economist, January 18th-24th, 2020, pp. 3-12.
    Presents special report highlighting shortcomings in current housing policies. Suggests flexible planning systems, appropriate taxation, and financial regulation can turn housing into a force for social and economic stability.
  • 20.01.48  /  "California ride share contracting legislation is a solution in search of a problem." By Ryan Radia. Internet Resource, December 17, 2019, pp. 1-11.
    Argues California's Assembly Bill 5, 2019-2020 Regular Session, which redefines whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor, will negatively impact ride share companies like Uber and Lyft. Discusses how minimum wage, health insurance, employee expenses, and employee leave will result in reduced pay and flexibility for drivers, higher costs for the companies, and higher fares for customers.
  • 20.01.49  /  "A field guide to the taxes of Texas (2020)." Internet Resource, January 27, 2020, pp. 1-26 (Note Length).
    Provides a graphical overview of major Texas state and local taxes, including sales and use, motor vehicle sales, motor fuel, franchise, oil production, and natural gas production taxes. Describes revenue by source, future revenue growth, historical volatility, and major exemptions for each tax. Includes charts on local property and sales taxes.
  • 20.01.50  /  "Municipalities feel the chill of Knick in the air." By Abigail M. Jones. Natural Resources & Environment, Winter 2020, pp. 57-58.
    Summarizes Knick v. Township of Scott, a case recently decided by the United States Supreme Court, which overturned a precedent barring plaintiffs from bringing actions in federal court under the Fifth Amendment's takings clause unless they had already lost in state court. Discusses how this ruling may effect federal challenges to local zoning ordinances by oil and gas companies and fracking moratoriums by municipal governments.
  • 20.01.51  /  "The Texas Pension Review Board: A model for nationwide reform." By Josh B McGee. Report (Manhattan Institute), January 14, 2020, pp. 1-15.
    Commends the Texas Pension Review Board [PRB] for its positive impact on state pension funding policy and offers model legislation for states who wish to create a PRB-style agency. Mentions Senators Paul Bettencourt, Joan Huffman, and Royce West, as well as SB322, 86th Legislature.
  • 20.01.52  /  "Texas sees job, output gains from 2018 U.S. tax cut." By Anil Kumar. Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Fourth Quarter 2019, pp. 10-13.
    Looks at the effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 on state tax calculations, state-level tax breaks, job growth, and economic activity in Texas.
  • 20.01.53  /  "Filling in for the Feds." By Alan Greenblatt. State Legislatures, January/February 2020, pp. 10-16.
    Reports Congress' lack of legislative productivity is placing the burden on states to address the perennial issues that Washington has either failed to address or refused to fund, including infrastructure funding, Medicaid costs, immigration, and gun rights.
  • 20.01.54  /  "Shell's crude awakening." By Justin Worland. Time, January 27, 2020, pp. 40-46.
    Examines how oil and gas companies are responding to concerns regarding climate change. Profiles the Royal Dutch Shell company and discusses its strategies to remake itself and survive in a time when shifting political and economic tides threaten the future of fossil fuels. Mentions oil firms in Texas.

The Legislative Reference Library compiles this weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. Professional librarians review and select articles from more than 300 periodicals, including public policy journals, specialized industry periodicals, news magazines, and state agency publications. Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles using our online form.

Interim Hearings – Week of February 3

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.

 

For recent posts on Interim Hearings, see Interim Hearing Resources on the LRL homepage. The "Recent Entries" list on the left provides quick access to interim hearings posts from previous weeks.

 

February 3

House Committee on House Administration

Topic: Budgets for recently appointed committees

 

February 5

House Committee on Ways & Means

Charge 1.2: HB 1525 and HB 2153, which relate to the collection of sales and use taxes by marketplaces and out-of-state businesses. Monitor the Comptroller of Public Accounts' rules regulating the collection of sales, use, and franchise tax to ensure compliance by marketplace providers and out-of-state businesses and monitor any revenue increases as a result of implementation of these bills.

Charge 5: Review the use of third-party tax collection firms, including law firms and tax specialty firms, by governmental units. Evaluate what methods other states use to collect taxes. Determine whether the use of those firms is cost-effective for the taxing jurisdiction or if the tax collection efforts should be performed by the taxing units directly.

Charge 6: Monitor the State Auditor's review of agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction. The Chair shall seek input and periodic briefings on completed audits for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years and bring forth pertinent issues for full committee consideration.

 

February 6

Senate Committee on Business & Commerce

Charge: Electricity: Assess the electricity market in Texas. Examine changes in customer demand, such as on-site storage, distributed generation, and electric vehicles. Study the usage of "non-wires alternatives," including energy storage, and recommend legislative changes if needed. Identify barriers to the electric market at the state or local level. Make recommendations to maintain grid reliability and encourage the continued success of the electric market.

86th Legislative Session Summaries Available

After each legislative session, the House Research Organization (HRO), the Senate Research Center (SRC), and the Texas Legislative Council (TLC) publish overviews of the session's accomplishments. These reports provide summaries of enrolled bills and analysis of major legislation. All three are now available for the 86th Legislature: 

Each overview is organized by topic and gives a unique look at the session. The SRC overview provides brief summaries of all enrolled bills, including an analysis of the appropriations bill. The TLC overview offers summaries of all enrolled legislation, notes effective dates, and contains veto statements. The HRO overview highlights legislation on major topics, including bills that did not pass, and features extensive analysis and statements by supporters and opponents.  
 

The TLC additionally published New, Renamed, and Abolished State Governmental Entities: 86th Legislature and updated the online statutes and Texas Constitution to reflect the 86th Legislature's enactments and the November 2019 constitutional amendment election outcomes.
 

If you're looking for information on previous sessions, overviews back to the 48th Legislature can be found at the Legislative Reference Library's Session Summaries page.

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