LRL Home - Points of Interest

Interim Hearings – Week of December 2

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.

December 3

Senate Committee on Finance

Charge: Spending Limit: Examine options and make recommendations for strengthening restrictions on appropriations established in Article VIII, Section 22, of the Texas Constitution, including related procedures defined in statute. Consider options for ensuring available revenues above spending limit are reserved for tax relief.

Charge: Business Personal Property Tax: Study the economic dynamics of the current business personal property tax. Consider the economic and fiscal effects of increased exemptions to the business personal property tax, versus its elimination. Following such study, make recommended changes to law. 

Charge: Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Finance passed by the 86th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:

  • HB 1525, 86th Legislature, Regular Session, relating to the administration and collection of sales and use taxes applicable to sales involving marketplace providers 


Senate Committee on Health & Human Services

Public Health

Charge: Examine the emerging public health concerns from the rise in e-cigarette use and "vaping," especially among minors. Determine if additional policies or laws are needed to protect the public's health.

Charge: Monitor the implementation of SB 21, 86th Legislature, Regular Session, including strategies to address tobacco and nicotine use, including e-cigarettes and vaping, by adolescents  

Health Care Costs

Charge: Examine the current status and future direction of the following programs: The Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver, including the DSRIP Transition Plan, and the Healthy Texas Women Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver. 


December 4

Charge: Assess how state and local law enforcement agencies, fusion centers, mental health providers, digital platforms and social media companies such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., can better collaborate to detect, prevent, and respond to mass violence and terroristic activity. Examine what resources, staffing and protocols are necessary to enhance these partnerships and whether state funding is needed to assist local authorities in this endeavor.


December 5

Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations

Charge 1: Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program: Review existing regulations governing the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program and the Qualified Allocation Plan to determine whether regulations exist that unnecessarily increase the cost of developing and maintaining affordable housing. Make recommendations to provide regulatory relief and provide greater development of affordable housing in Texas.

Charge 2: Federal Housing Review: Study all federal housing programs accessible to Texas. Make recommendations that ensure the state maximizes the use of those programs. 

Charge 3: Infrastructure Resiliency: Examine the authority special purpose districts have to generate natural disaster resilient infrastructure. Determine ways state government can work with special purpose districts to mitigate future flooding and promote more resilient infrastructure. Make recommendations on how special purpose districts may use their statutory authority to assist in mitigating damage from future natural disasters. 

Charge 4: Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations passed by the 86th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following: 

  • SB 1303, relating to landowner rights in a city's extraterritorial jurisdiction;
  • SB 1474, relating to private activity bonds; and
  • HB 2330, relating to simplifying disaster assistance.

Notable Names in the Minutes

Most of the people who testify at legislative hearings are "regular" people—active citizens or members of organizations who want to make their voices heard about proposed legislation. However, in our committee minutes scanning project, famous names sometimes jump out at us. Here are a few examples:

  • Musician Willie Nelson was the second individual to testify at the House Committee on Government Organization public hearing on April 4, 1989. Nelson spoke in favor of SB 489, 71R, a sunset bill that provided for the continuation of the Department of Agriculture. Noted in the minutes: "Chair recognized Willie Nelson of Austin, Texas, representing himself, as well as rabbits and horned toads." Congresswoman Barbara Jordan "of Austin, Texas, representing herself"—the Texas Legislature's own past Sen. Jordan—testified immediately following Nelson.
  • On March 11, 2009, the 81st Legislature's House Committee on Appropriations heard from Linda Gray and Larry Hagman, actors of Dallas fame, regarding film incentive funding.
  • Sometimes you have to know your Texas history—and possible name misspellings—to spot the notable figure mention. In the 39th Legislature (1925), the House Committee to Investigate Certain State Departments was charged with, among other items, investigating "the administration of highway affairs by the State Highway Commission." Former Rep. Sam Johnson, at the time a section foreman with the Highway Commission, testified before the committee, and he talks about his son, "Linden Johnson," who was driving tractors and helping Sam with payroll. "Lyndon" is the correct spelling of Rep. Johnson's son's name—as in future U.S. president Lyndon Baines Johnson! 

Current Articles & Research Resources, November 21

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

  • Explore how local governments are addressing flood risk. (Pew Charitable Trusts, November 19, 2019)
  • Read about the women who have served in Congress throughout history to today. (Congressional Research Service, November 13, 2019)
  • Find trustworthy sources of election information. (Texas Secretary of State, November 12, 2019)
  • Review the text of the General Appropriations Act for the 2020-21 biennium. (Legislative Budget Board, released November 20, 2019)


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

  • "Uncaring: Will you be denied medical assistance because of someone else's religion?" By Liz Hayes. Church & State, November 2019, pp. 9-11.
    Discusses the possible effects of the Trump administration's proposed Denial of Care rule on patients and health care providers.
  • "California utilities: Sparks fly." Economist, November 9th-15th, 2019, p. 58.
    Reports on the three-way battle for control of California's Pacific Gas & Electric, which declared bankruptcy due to potential liabilities from huge fire-related expenses. Notes the utility risks a state takeover if it is not restructured by a June 30 deadline.
  • "The splinternet: Net loss." Economist, November 9th-15th, 2019, pp. 53-54.
    Reports big tech firms are facing an increase in new international laws controlling what they can host on their online platforms.
  • "The effects of full-day prekindergarten: Experimental evidence of impacts on children's school readiness." By Allison Atteberry. Educational Evaulation and Policy Analysis, December 2019, pp. 537-563. (Note length)
    Presents results from a randomized controlled trial [RCT] study conducted on the effects of full- versus half-day prekindergarten in Colorado. Claims this is the first rigorous evidence of the positive impact of full-day prekindergarten on the school readiness skills of children.
  • "Texas driver's licenses: A customer service challenge." By Lisa Minton. Fiscal Notes, October 2019, pp. 7-10.
    Discusses the lengthy wait times in the state driver's license offices administered by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Driver License Improvement Plan established by the Legislature in 2011, and the methods employed in other states to reduce driver's license wait times.
  • "Measles, mumps, and communion: A vision for vaccine policy." By Joshua T.B. Williams. Health Affairs, November 2019, pp. 1944-1947.
    Proposes using the Beloved Community concept of love and justice to craft inclusive policies that protect public health and respect religious belief.
  • "Medicaid expansion associated with reductions in preventable hospitalizations." By Hefei Wen, et al. Health Affairs, November 2019, pp. 1845-1849.
    Analyzes hospital inpatient discharge data and finds that Medicaid expansions were associated with meaningful downstream reductions in hospitalizations for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions, such as COPD, diabetes-related complications, and bacterial pneumonia.
  • "The number of uninsured children is on the rise." By Joan Alker and Lauren Roygardner. Internet Resource, October 2019, pp. 1-19.
    Reports that the number of uninsured children in the United States increased by more than 400,000. Includes Texas on lists on 15 states showing statistically significant increases in the number and rate of uninsured children. Notes demographic characteristics of uninsured children.
  • "The long-term economic forecast for Texas metropolitan areas." By M. Ray Perryman. Perryman Report and Texas Letter, Vol. 36, No, 8, pp. 1-3, 6.
    Highlights results from the most recent long-term forecast for Texas' metropolitan statistical areas [MSAs], the major drivers of economic activity across the state. Notes the largest MSAs account for 75.7 percent of wages and salary employment in the state and 77.6 percent of output.
  • "5G is the future." By Eric Boehm. Reason, November 2019, pp. 21-27.
    Explains the significance of the developing 5G cellular network technology infrastructure. Identifies federal and local proposals and philosophies for regulating its formation and growth.
  • "The politics of Medicaid expansion have changed." By Michael Ollove. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), November 13, 2019, pp. 1-7.
    Examines factors making Medicaid expansion more favorable for Republican lawmakers.
  • "Texas outlaws 'deepfakes' — but can they be stopped?" By Kenneth Artz. Texas Lawyer, December 2019, pp. 16-17.
    Discusses SB751, 86th Legislature, which amended the state's Election Code to criminalize deceptive videos created with the intent to influence the outcome of an election. Questions the new law's constitutionality, noting political speech is one of the highest forms of protected speech.
  • "Big noises, big issues." By Joey Berlin. Texas Medicine, November 2019, pp. 18-23.
    Identifies and discusses some of the major health care issues in the 2020 election cycle, including health coverage, Medicaid, suprise medical bills, prescription drugs, and opioids.
  • "Special report — Texas pension funds achieve milestone in 2018-19." TEXPERS News Update, November 13, 2019, pp. 1-4.
    Reports on amortization period trends, a measure of Texas public retirement systems' health. (Related charts at:



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.


New & Noteworthy Books and Reports: November 2019

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the titles from our November 2019 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 and delivery of any of these items, you can submit an online request through the New & Noteworthy page on our website, contact the library at 512-463-1252, or use our PDF request form.


1. Border Land, Border Water: A History of Construction on the US-Mexico Divide
By C.J. Alvarez
Utilizes the history of construction on the United States-Mexico border, from the 1850s to the present, as a framework to examine the border region. Highlights the ecological diversity of the border and the variety of construction projects, illustrated with archival photos and maps. Considers the environmental, cultural, and political impact of construction and encourages better stewardship of the border.
University of Texas Press, 2019, 301 pages
363.6 AL86B 2019



2. The Conservative Sensibility
By George F. Will
Examines the history of American conservatism, framed by the American founding principles of natural rights, limited government, religious freedom, and human virtue and dignity. Contrasts the American political philosophy of Founding Father James Madison with the progressivism of Woodrow Wilson.
Hachette Books, 2019, 600 pages
320.520973 W66C 2019



3. Protecting Historic Coastal Cities: Case Studies in Resilience
By Matthew Pelz, editor
Presents an overview of how historic communities in coastal environments are confronting unique challenges, now magnified by the frequency of severe weather events. Brings together experts with diverse backgrounds in historical preservation, public history, environmental science, engineering, and architecture. Explores issues related to coastal living and studies communities that are taking proactive approaches to challenging environments, such as resilient housing initiatives, public infrastructure changes, and pioneering advances in flood protection.
Texas A&M University Press, 2019, 132 pages
333.917 P369P 2019



4. Researching Texas Law
By Brandon D. Quarles and Matthew C. Cordon
Instructs readers on how to conduct legal research. Covers case law, statutes, regulations, tracking bills, and compiling legislative histories. Provides research instruction for more practitioner-oriented items also, including: civil jury verdicts and settlements; briefs, records, and oral arguments; attorneys general opinions; and Texas practice materials.
William S. Hein & Co., Inc., 2019, 278 pages
340.09764 Q27R 2019



5. Social Media Law in a Nutshell
By Ryan Garcia and Thaddeus A. Hoffmeister
Examines the transformative impact social media is having on various legal areas including marketing, employment, freedom of speech, privacy, criminal law, and beyond. Provides tools for evaluating high-level social media legal risks so they can be avoided, and a framework for developing plans to address them if they occur.
West Academic Publishing, 2017, 421 pages
343.7309 G165S 2017



6. Highlights of the 86th Legislature, Vol. I & II
By Senate Research Center
Provides summaries of legislation passed during the 86th Texas Legislature, arranged by subject. Contains a comprehensive index that includes enrolled and vetoed bills. Presents information in a two-volume set.
Senate Research Center, 2019, 717 pages
Online at:
L1803.1 SO44 86H



7. Scoot Over: The Growth of Micromobility and Electric Scooters in the South
By Roger Moore
Summarizes the growth of shared micromobility vehicles and their ability to augment public transportation. Discusses problems resulting from the introduction of dockless electric scooters, including regulatory ambiguity, challenges for public safety, and issues with infrastructure. Compares legislation from seven southern states related to the regulation of electric scooters and their operation.
Southern Legislative Conference, Council of State Governments, 2019, 11 pages
Online at:
388.4 M786S 2019

Current Articles & Research Resources, November 14

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

  • Consider how hospital closures and doctor shortages affect maternity care in rural areas. (National Conference of State Legislatures, November 1, 2019)
  • Read about how election officials can prepare for high voter turnout. (Brennan Center for Justice, November 12, 2019)
  • Try silencing electronic devices to avoid sleep interruptions. (Wired, November 11, 2019)
  • Explore dam safety concerns across the country. (AP News, November 11, 2019)

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

  • "Latino power." By Francine Kiefer. Christian Science Monitor, November 4, 2019, pp. 22-28.
    Discusses the rise of Latino activists in the wake of California's 1994 Proposition 187, which sought to deny state services to unauthorized immigrants. Highlights the influence of Latinos as voters and as members of the California state legislature. Considers whether this impact could be replicated in Texas and other states.
  • "Texas' digital divide: The state of broadband in Texas' rural communities." By Lauren Mulverhill. Fiscal Notes, October 2019, pp. 1, 3-6.
    Examines the state of the digital divide in Texas, the lack of broadband and high-speed Internet in rural Texas, and the economic implications for telemedicine, agriculture, education, business, and tourism. Notes Laredo and Brownsville hold the top two spots on the 2017 list of the worst-connected cities in the United States.
  • "Up in smoke?" By Sy Mukherjee. Fortune, November 2019, pp. 120-125.
    Discusses health controversies surrounding vaping and the effect these controversies are having on the vaping industry and Big Tobacco. Explores the recent debut of heat-not-burn devices as an alternative nicotine product that could fill the void if vaping becomes untenable.
  • "Spotlight Brief: Houston Harris County Youth LEAD." By Khanya Collier. Internet Resource, October 2019, pp. 1-15.
    Describes the development of the Houston Harris County Youth Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion [LEAD] Program to mitigate the number of youth entering the school-to-prison pipeline.
  • "Charter school constitutional funding challenges: North Carolina and Texas may serve as a harbingers for the future." By R. Craig Wood. Journal of Education Finance, Spring 2019, pp. 341-360.
    Analyzes state court cases that challenged the constitutionality of how charter schools are funded. Focuses on recent cases from North Carolina and Texas.
  • "Opportunity Zone investments: More adventures in the Land of OZ." By Steven Berman and Louis Weller. Journal of MultiState Taxation and Incentives, November/December 2019, pp. 14-24.
    Provides a federal regulatory update on the Opportunity Zones program, established in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act to promote new economic development. Addresses selected aspects of Qualified Opportunity Zone investments and business operations.
  • "Why don't environmentalists just buy the land they want to protect? Because it's against the rules." By Shawn Regan. Reason, December 2019, pp. 46-51.
    Reviews the history of laws and regulations governing the use of federal-and state-managed lands. Explains rules usually bar conservation-minded bidders because there is frequently a requirement for leaseholders to develop resources. Highlights examples of recent attempts by environmentalists to bid on resources as an alternative to litigation.
  • "Latino education in Texas: A history of systematic recycling discrimination." By Albert H. Kauffman. St. Mary's Law Journal, Vol. 50, No. 3, pp. 861-916 (Note Length).
    Focuses on discrimination in public education, with greater emphasis on the last fifty years. Discusses major litigation, developments in the Texas Legislature, and developments in Texas and federal administrative agencies that have affected Latino education.
  • "Some wonder if electric microgrids could light the way in California." By Sophie Quinton. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), November 6, 2019, pp. 1-6.
    Reports the threat of future blackouts could put California at the forefront of a national push toward localizing the energy grid. Considers whether distributed energy systems can eliminate the need for risky, long-distance transmission lines.
  • "Texas takes big steps to address card skimming." By Celeste Embrey. Texas Banking, November 2019, pp. 27, 30.
    Discusses HB2945, 86th Legislature, by Representative Mary Ann Perez, which addressed credit card skimming at gas pumps and created a Payment Card Fusion Center in Tyler as a single contact point for all credit card payment fraud, including ATMs.
  • "The unrelenting cycle of ATM skimming." By Randy Phillips. Texas Banking, November 2019, pp. 12-15.
    Offers insight from a financial security consultant concerning automated teller machine [ATM] skimmers. Discusses physical attacks on ATMs, including "eavesdropping" or "wiretapping," and security measures for banks to mitigate attacks.
  • "Weather whiplash." By Megan Kimble. Texas Observer, Nov/Dec 2019, pp. 10-11.
    Interviews Katherine Hayhoe, a Texas Tech University professor and atmospheric scientist, on how climate change is affecting 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.

Resource Highlight: 78th Legislature Committee Minutes

Committee minutes from the 78th Legislature have been scanned and are available in the LRL's committee minutes database


House and Senate committee minutes are a valuable resource for understanding the work that goes into crafting legislation. Scanned minutes may also include other committee documentation, including agendas, exhibits, hearing notices, press releases, rules, testimony, transcripts, and vote sheets.


Of particular interest as the Legislature prepares for the next round of redistricting is the 78th's Redistricting committee records (with Texas Legislative Council plans, maps, and court documents). More court documents that are not in the minutes can be found here:


Below are some other interesting items that can now be found in our database:



Corrections (H)  (with testimony 2/18/2003)

Licensing and Administrative Procedures (H)  (with a statement of intent for HB 2689 by Keffer, 4/3/2003)



Criminal Justice (S)  (transcript 1/4/2005, testimony 3/10/2004)



Long-Term Care, Legislative Oversight (J)  (testimony/exhibits both dates)
Nutrition and Health in Public Schools (J)  (testimony/exhibits both dates)
Public School Finance, Select (J)  (testimony/exhibits 9/10/2003, 3/4/2004)


The LRL database also allows users access to committee documents from House, Senate, and Joint committees, 63rd–77th Legislatures (1973–2001), as well as to search for minutes from the 78th–85th Legislatures that are available through Texas Legislature Online.

Current Articles & Research Resources, November 7

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

  • Review the results of the recent election in Texas. (Texas Secretary of State, accessed November 6, 2019)
  • Track e-cigarette regulation by state. (Public Health Law Center, ©2019)
  • Read the most recent State of Texas Annual Cash Report. (November 4, 2019)
  • Consider how rural hospitals are in danger of closing. (Southern Office of the Council of State Governments, November 2019)

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

  • "Applying the research and evaluation provisions of the Family First Prevention Services Act." By Amy McKlindon. Child Trends, October 24, 2019, pp. 1-11.
    Highlights the child welfare provisions in the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 (H.R. 1892, 115th Congress, Title VII). Discusses next steps for state agencies and legislators in implementation, including funding for evidence-based prevention services to prevent foster care entry, support for kinship caregivers, and criteria for appropriate use of residential treatment.
  • "How states' rights became a liberal environmentalist cause." By Amanda Paulson and Martin Kuz. Christian Science Monitor, October 28, 2019, pp. 18-19.
    Highlights the federal revocation of California's waiver to set state emissions standards. Explains it in terms of the ongoing tension among federalism, states' rights, and specific conservative or liberal policy viewpoints.
  • "An overlooked crisis." By Charles F. McElwee. City Journal (Manhattan Institute), October 23, 2019, pp. 1-3.
    Discusses the effects of declining volunteerism, particularly the shortages in volunteer fire departments and rural EMS agencies. Points out Pennsylvania's legislative initiatives to boost volunteer numbers could serve as a model for other states.
  • "Sandra Bland Act: Prisoner safety measures address at-risk inmates." County Progress, November 2019, p. 18.
    Examines Texas Commission on Jail Standards [TCJS] and county compliance with the Sandra Bland Act. Outlines the new rules and procedures the TCJS adopted that counties must implement by September 1, 2020.
  • "Field of dreams." CQ Weekly, October 15, 2019, pp. 12-19.
    Focuses on the excitement being generated by the fledgling hemp industry, along with growing pains and regulatory uncertainties. Profiles hemp farmers and hemp production in Kentucky, a leading state in the industry.
  • "Impeachment: Trying times." Economist, October 26th-November 1st, 2019, pp. 21-22.
    Discusses impeachment procedures and what a United States Senate trial of President Donald Trump might look like.
  • "Evolving public views on the likelihood of violence from people with mental illness: Stigma and consequences." By Bernice A. Pescosolido, Bianca Manago, and John Monahan. Health Affairs, October 2019, pp. 1735-1743.
    Inspects trends in public perceptions regarding mental illness, potential violence, and coerced treatment. Reports that despite scientific evidence to the contrary, public and political rhetoric persist in convincing people of significant links between mental illness and crime.
  • "The kids are online — and alright." By Camille Crittenden. Issues in Science and Technology, Fall 2019, pp. 43-47.
    Outlines unexpected benefits of access to broadband internet for teens, including a correlation with reduced rates of teen pregnancy and STDs; improved mental health; aiding those at economic risk with job skills and employment opportunities; and civic engagement. Discusses efforts to expand access to broadband, continued disparities in service, and partnerships that should be explored to make access and service equitable.
  • "Credits & incentives update: Texas renews and refines various incentive programs." By Tam Vo and David Bell. Journal of State Taxation, Fall 2019, pp. 19-21.
    Highlights appropriations in the 86th Legislature for economic development incentives, including the Texas Enterprise Fund, Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, Governor's University Research Initiative, tourism promotion, and the Defense Economic Assistance Grant Program. Discusses new transparency requirements of HB3143, 86th Legislature, relating to the Property Redevelopment and Tax Abatement Act.
  • "A shale-gas revolution, if we can keep it." By Mario Loyola. National Review, October 28, 2019, pp. 34-35.
    Argues that fracking has reduced carbon emissions more than climate policies have by producing more plentiful natural gas, which has displaced coal in electric generation. Discusses the political and regulatory obstacles encountered in building pipelines and liquefied natural gas export facilities needed to transport natural gas to markets.
  • "More frac jobs, less crime." By Steven Poruban. Oil and Gas Journal, October 7, 2019, p. 14.
    Summarizes The Impact of Economic Opportunity on Criminal Behavior: Evidence from the Fracking Boom, a recent study from the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University.
  • "Promoting maternal health in rural and underserved areas." By Darcy Nikol Bryan. Policy Brief (Mercatus Center, George Mason University), October 23, 2019, pp. 1-8.
    Recommends reconsideration of state-level public policies that have exacerbated or initiated barriers to quality and access in rural healthcare, such as scope of practice restrictions, state medical licensing requirements, and limits to telemedicine implementation.
  • "Balancing act: Natural gas and electrification." By Alice Clamp. Public Power, September/October 2019, pp. 26-31.
    Highlights how two utilities, including Texas-based CPS Energy, are addressing ways to adapt to changes, such as increasing electrification. Refers to a report, New Sources of Utility Growth: Electrification Opportunities and Challenges.
  • "The Texas Forensic Science Commission: Oversight and the road map to admissibility of forensic evidence in Texas." By Lynn Garcia and Leigh Savage. Texas Bar Journal, November 2019, pp. 794-796.
    Describes how the Texas Forensic Science Commission's activities affect the admissibility of certain forensic evidence and the efforts underway to continue the integrity and reliability of forensic science in Texas courts.
  • "The Texas Junk Science Writ: A look six years in." By Kirk Cooper. Texas Bar Journal, November 2019, pp. 798-799.
    Discusses the history and applicability of Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 11.073, known as the Junk Science Writ, which allows prisoners to challenge potential wrongful convictions on the basis of new or changed scientific evidence.
  • "Inside the 86th legislative session." By Susan Wright. Texas Builder, September/October 2019, pp. 28-35.
    Summarizes the 86th Legislature from the perspective of the Texas residential construction and development industry, including the Texas Association of Builders' "major legislative accomplishments" on building permits, land development, and the agriculture roll-back tax, as well as broader issues of school finance, property taxes, flood planning, and disaster management.
  • "Critical condition." By Christopher Collins and Sophie Novack. Texas Observer, Nov/Dec 2019, pp. 12-30.
    Presents a series of articles about the lack of health care in rural communities in Texas and the negative impact on Texans. Addresses hospital closures in East Texas and doctor shortages in the Panhandle.

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 November 11

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.


November 12

House Committee on Human Services

Topic: Processes and policies established by the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) for receiving, investigating and adjudicating reports of child abuse, neglect and exploitation and oversight of those processes to ensure the highest quality outcome to the child

Topic: Efforts by the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to implement Community-Based Care (CBC) for children in the state's conservatorship and the coordination of CBC with implementation of federal funding under the Family First Preservation Services Act

Topic: Update regarding the latest changes to funding within programs under the Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program-Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver

Legislative Families: Parents and Children

Leading by example is not just for parents teaching their children to have good manners and be good sports—some children are inspired by their parents' leadership and follow their footsteps into legislative careers. Between 1846 and 2019, more than 100 parent-children sets have served in the Texas Legislature.*

As with the legislative siblings, some parents/children's service overlapped:

  • Oscar Dudley Baker and Oscar Lindsey Baker ^

    • O.D. served in the House, 1921–1925 (37th–38th)
    • Oscar served in the House, 1923–1927 (38th–39th)
  • Spearman Holland and James K. Holland
    • Spearman served in the House, 1846–1847 (1st), 1857–1859 (7th), and 1861–1863 (9th), and in the Senate, 1863–1866 (10th)
    • James served in the House, 1849–1851 (3rd), and 1863 (9th), and in the Senate, 1853–1855 (5th)
  • Eddie Lucio, Jr. and Eddie Lucio III
    • Eddie, Jr. served in the House, 1987–1991 (70th–71st), and serves in the Senate, 1991–present (72nd–86th)
    • Eddie III serves in the House, 2007–present (80th–86th)
  • William Rowland Newton and George Mayo Newton In HCR 20, 46R, W.R.'s memorial resolution, he and George were recognized as "the only combination of a son and father team in each branch of the Legislature at the same time, from the same district, in the history of the Legislature."
    • W.R. served in the Senate, 1937–1938 (45th)
    • George served in the House, 1935–1939 (44th–45th)
  • George Butler Terrell and J. Turney Terrell
    • George served in the House, 1899–1903 (26th–27th), 1907–1913 (30th–32nd), 1917–1920 (35th–36th), and 1931–1933 (42nd)
    • J. Turney served in the House, 1930–1933 (41st–42nd)

Most parents and children served in different years:

*This blog post is the third in a series, with previous posts on legislative spouses and legislative siblings, and a post to come on other family connections. We've attempted to identify all of the legislative parents/children, but let us know if you think we missed some! This information is provided as a public service by the Legislative Reference Library. The Legislative Reference Library makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy and makes no warranty in regard to its use. Users assume all risk of reliance on the information included on this site.


^Many of the fathers and sons were "Senior" and "Junior," or at least shared the same first name. If we did not find indication of nicknames, we used "FirstName, Sr./Jr." on the second reference. In cases where we believe legislators had a preference for a nickname or abbreviated name, we used that name on the second reference.