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Resource Highlight: Spotlight on the 86th Legislature

Now that session is over, do you need to find statistics on bills passed, dates that bills take effect, constitutional amendments up for election, and more? Use the links below to find information for the 86th Legislature:

New & Noteworthy Books and Reports: July 2019

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the seven titles from our July 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. How We Did It .... 2016-2019
By Joe K. Longley
Documents Joe K. Longley's service as president of the State Bar of Texas, 2017-2018, and his successful efforts to improve the State Bar, illustrated by campaign materials, election results, interviews, and president's columns. Details Longley's contributions to the Texas Legislature, including his involvement in drafting significant legislation relating to the Insurance, Finance, and Property Codes and as the principal drafter of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act (DTPA), which is documented in the Joe K. Longley-Philip K. Maxwell Deceptive Trade Practices Act Collection: Legislative Archive 1973-2001 and the Mark L. Kincaid Papers, 1995-2015 at the Legislative Reference Library of Texas.
Joe K. Longley, 2019. 65 pages.
Online at:
B600.8 L862 2019



2. In the Weeds: Demonization, Legalization, and the Evolution of U.S. Marijuana Policy
By Clayton J. Mosher and Scott Akins
Explores the path marijuana has taken on its road to legalization. Addresses the exaggerated arguments and critiques against legalized cannabis. Examines the current and possible future policies on marijuana as both a recreational and medicinal drug.
Temple University Press, 2019. 294 pages.
345.73 M853IN 2019



3. Speech Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet
By David Kaye
Examines how dominant American companies Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Twitter moderate content on their digital platforms. Considers who should be in charge of making the rules and policing online speech – whether governments should regulate the internet or let the market self-regulate. Offers recommendations to help governments and companies ensure that online speech benefits from democratic accountability, promotes and protects freedom of expression, privacy of communications, rights of association and assembly, and other values of free societies.
Columbia Global Reports, 2019. 142 pages.
384.334 K182S 2019



4. Amazing Texas Girls: True Stories from Lone Star History
By Mary Dodson Wade
Provides biographical sketches on fifteen women who spent most or all of their childhoods in Texas, then went on to shape the state's history. Ranges from pre-statehood to the present day and represents women across cultural, economic, and educational backgrounds.
Lone Star Books, 2018. 247 pages.



5. Slavery and Freedom in Texas: Stories from the Courtroom, 1821-1871
By Jason A. Gillmer
Profiles five court cases related to slavery in 19th century Texas. Examines lawsuits involving restitution for the death of a slave by an overseer, a woman set free by her owner's will, attempts to free a woman who "passed" as white, the efforts of a family of free people of color to maintain their land, and the rights of heirs born to an enslaved woman. Details the lives of the individuals affected by each case within the context of Texas' unique history as a frontier slave state. Discusses differing attitudes toward the issues brought forward by the cases, including: interracial marriage, property rights, ownership rights, inheritance, manumission, and social class.
The University of Georgia Press, 2017. 245 pages.
342.764087 G416S 2017



6. Final Results of Sunset Reviews, 2018-2019
By Sunset Advisory Commission
Summarizes the actions taken by the 86th Legislature on the 32 entities that were under review by the Sunset Commission. Highlights major changes to the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission (TABC), Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and licensing and regulation. Provides the Sunset bill number, fiscal impact, and final action taken on each of the entities reviewed.
Sunset Advisory Commission, 2019. 66 pages.
Online at:
S1500.8 AN79 2019



7. Biennial Report, Texas Ethics Commission, 2017-2018
By Texas Ethics Commission
Addresses Ethics Advisory Opinions issued, sworn complaints processed, civil penalties imposed, and statutory changes recommended in 2017-2018.
Texas Ethics Commission, 2018. 47 pages.
Online at:
E2500.3 B477 2017-2018

Current Articles & Research Resources, July 25

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

  • Review the ballot language in the upcoming constitutional amendment election in November. (Texas Secretary of State, accessed July 24, 2019)
  • Explore how demand response works to meet energy needs of consumers. (National Conference of State Legislatures, July 2019)
  • Consider how third-party debt collections affect consumers' credit. (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, July 2019)
  • Examine the circumstances under which a debtor may discharge a student loan under federal bankruptcy laws. (Congressional Research Service, July 18, 2019)

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

  • "Measles as metaphor." By Peter Beinart. Atlantic Monthly, August 2019, pp. 13-16.
    Suggests declining vaccination rates reflect a population that lacks awareness of lessons of the past, has overconfidence in its own "amateur knowledge," and shows little trust in government and other institutions. Offers solutions to reverse the trend.
  • "Suburb weighs how to slow apartment construction." By Daniel Salazar. Austin Business Journal, July 19, 2019, p. 8.
    Reports that Leander City Council's proposal to restrict the use of certain building materials on new multifamily projects could violate HB2439, 86th Legislature, relating to overly restrictive building regulations.
  • "How Texas flushed out plumbers." By David Wethe. Bloomberg Businessweek, July 15, 2019, pp. 37-39.
    Discusses Governor Greg Abbott's emergency executive order relating to continuing the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners. Explains how the agency's Sunset legislation, SB621, failed to pass the 86th Legislature.
  • "Trying to change Congress, starting with the lowest rung: Interns." By Jessica Mendoza. Christian Science Monitor, July 22, 2019, pp. 6-7.
    Highlights the College to Congress program, a nonprofit that helps low-income students obtain internships in Congress. Explains the program seeks bipartisan participation.
  • "Way ahead of you, Congress." By Jacob Fischler. CQ Weekly, July 15, 2019, pp. 31-33.
    Looks at what state legislatures are doing to address climate change. Focuses on states led by Democrats who campaigned on climate policy in the 2018 elections.
  • "The world economy: A strangely elastic expansion." Economist, July 13th-19th, 2019, pp. 21-23.
    Comments on America's economic expansion, which at the end of July will have matched the record for the longest unbroken period of rising GDP set in the 1990s. Considers factors that could trigger a recession.
  • "The U.S. Supreme Court and schools: 2018-19." By Mark Walsh. Education Week, July 17, 2019, pp. 19-20.
    Summarizes recent United States Supreme Court rulings relevant to K-12 education, including the census citizenship question, age discrimination, religion in a public square, and federal administrative power. Identifies several high profile education-related cases that will be heard during the Court's 2020 term.
  • "State efforts to lower health care prices paid by private insurers." By Aditi P. Sen, Amber Willink, and Gerard F. Anderson. JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), July 16, 2019, pp. 201-202.
    Outlines three approaches states are taking to lower health care prices paid by private insurers: targeted price regulation, promoting competition, and investing in alternative payment models.
  • "Energy efficiency in cannabis cultivation: A growing concern." By John Hargrove. Public Utilities Fortnightly, July 2019, pp. 147, 149.
    Features a brief discussion about the energy-related challenges of harvesting cannabis.
  • "Voting by phone is easy. But is it secure?" By Matt Vasilogambros. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), July 18, 2019, pp. 1-6.
    Discusses the conflict between accessibility and security in phone-based voting systems.
  • "Forgotten in the fields." By Dana Ullman. Texas Observer, July/August 2019, pp. 20-25.
    Describes forced agricultural labor of farmworkers in Texas, who increasingly come to the state on H-2A guest worker visas, and the difficulty in prosecuting labor trafficking cases. Cites a 2016 study by The University of Texas at Austin, which estimated there are 234,000 labor trafficking victims in Texas with $600 million in annual wages stolen.

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.

Current Articles & Research Resources, July 18

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

  • Review remote sales tax collection by state. (National Conference of State Legislatures, July 1, 2019)
  • See how probation and parole affect prison populations. (Council of State Governments, ©2019)
  • Consider how a change in the federal minimum wage would affect employment. (Congressional Budget Office, July 8, 2019)
  • Read about possible reforms to federal asylum laws. (Texas Public Policy Foundation, July 10, 2019)

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

  • "Education isn't enough." By Nick Hanauer. Atlantic Monthly, July 2019, pp. 19-22.
    Argues educational inequality is a symptom of the real problem, which is economic inequality. Suggests the most important predictor of a child's educational success is household income and a secure middle-class life.
  • "More states take a gamble on sports betting. Will it pay off?" By Jacob Turcotte. Christian Science Monitor, June 24, 2019, p. 15.
    Identifies the status of sports gambling in the various states and defines the pros and cons of sports gambling expansion.
  • "Americans United endorses bill to end discrimination in foster care programs." Church & State, July/August 2019, pp. 16-17.
    Highlights the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, proposed federal legislation that seeks to end discrimination in foster care, adoption, and child welfare.
  • "Police officers and social media: Slur and protect." Economist, July 6th-12th, 2019, pp. 22, 24.
    Considers how law enforcement agencies should discipline police and border patrol officers who make racist and misogynistic posts on their social media accounts. Questions whether the posts are protected speech.
  • "State legislators tackle broad basket of issues on parents' checklist." By Marva Hinton. Education Week, June 19, 2019, pp. 15, 17.
    Looks at recent state legislation on school safety, charter schools, and student data privacy. Mentions HB1387, 86th Legislature, that removes caps on the number of school marshals per school campus.
  • "Equity crowdfunding in Texas: A funding tool for small business." By Jackie Benton. Fiscal Notes, June/July 2019, pp. 7-10.
    Examines state equity crowdfunding rules and requirements in Texas and the benefits for small businesses. Notes the Texas crowdfunding program has raised $2.5 million in capital for small businesses since 2015.
  • "Abbott signs bill to combat patient confusion." By Elizabeth Byrne. Fort Worth Business Press, June 24-30, 2019, pp. 18-19.
    Discusses HB2041, 86th Legislature, that requires freestanding emergency rooms to disclose the in-network health insurance plans they accept and fees that may be charged. Quotes bill author Representative Tom Oliverson.
  • "Lancaster library to be named for educator Reby Cary." By Rick Mauch. Fort Worth Business Press, July 1-7, 2019, p. 10.
    Reports that Fort Worth's first children- and teen-focused public library will be named the Reby Cary Youth Library, honoring the late educator and former state representative.
  • "The 86th Texas Legislature gavels out: Texas hospitals achieve notable policy wins to protect access to care." By Aisha Ainsworth. Internet Resource, May/June 2019, pp. 1-2.
    Recaps the 86th Texas Legislature, emphasizing bills that affect Texas hospitals.
  • "Protecting the accuracy of the 2020 census." By Constance F. Citro. Issues in Science and Technology, Summer 2019, pp. 37-43.
    Provides a brief history of early population census taking in the United States and lists key issues with the modern census from 1970 through 2010. Discusses the challenges to conducting an accurate census in 2020, including an undercount due to government mistrust, computing systems vulnerabilities, funding shortfalls, and data protection.
  • "Texas law and the restatement of the law of liability insurance: An initial comparison of blackletter principles." By Cyrus W. Haralson and Christina A. Culver. Journal of Texas Insurance Law, Spring 2019, pp. 3-29 (Note Length).
    Compares and contrasts Texas law on liability insurance with the recent final draft of the American Law Institute's Restatement of the Law of Liability Insurance.
  • "Criminal justice reform is having a (long overdue) moment." By C.J. Ciaramella. Reason, August/September 2019, pp. 26-29.
    Reviews a variety of federal, state, and local bipartisan efforts to reform the criminal justice system.
  • "Recalibrating local politics to increase the supply of housing; Comment." By Chris Elmendorf and William A. Fischel. Regulation (CATO Institute), Summer 2019, pp. 38-45.
    Argues state planning mandates and development-rights auctions can bolster pro-housing factions in local governments.
  • "Businesses scramble to prep for city's sick leave law." By Tony Quesada. San Antonio Business Journal, July 5, 2019, p. 3.
    Comments on the San Antonio city ordinance that will require employers to allow employees to accrue sick leave beginning August 1, 2019.
  • "Texas facing historically tight labor markets, constraining growth." By Christopher Slijk. Southwest Economy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Second Quarter 2018, pp. 3-6.
    Analyzes recent trends in labor force migration and unemployment that have led to a tight labor market, constraining economic growth and limiting business expansion.
  • "New attack on race-based admissions at UT Austin seeks to succeed where 'Fisher' failed." By Angela Morris. Texas Lawyer, July/August 2019, p. 4.
    Discusses the new legal strategy at play in a new lawsuit challenging the University of Texas at Austin's race-based admission policies.

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.

Bill Effective Dates, 86th Legislature

The Library has created its bill effective dates page for the 86th Legislature. Legislators passed 474 bills that are now in effect. (473 bills and provisions within 15 bills took effect immediately; one bill took effect on June 4.)


The remainder of the 1,373 total bills signed by the governor or filed without the governor's signature will take effect over the next five years, between August 26, 2019, and January 1, 2024. Peruse our page to find detailed information about what takes effect when.


To keep up with new laws throughout the year, check the Library's list of bill effective dates.

Current Articles & Research Resources, July 11

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

  • Follow updates and implementation of HB3, 86th Legislature. (Texas Education Agency, updated July 3, 2019)
  • Consider whether facial recognition technology needs federal regulation. (The Atlantic, June 28, 2019)
  • Protect your car from theft. (Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, ©2019)
  • Keep your pets safe during an emergency or disaster. (U.S. Food & Drug Administration, June 28, 2019)

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

  • "Bad medicine." By Liz Hayes. Church & State, July/August 2019, pp. 9-11.
    Comments on the denial of care rule, proposed by the United States Department of Health & Human Services [HHS], to protect individuals and health care entities from discrimination on the basis of their exercise of conscience in HHS-funded programs.
  • "Just business: Few fireworks during session as lawmakers make deals on top priorities." Classroom Teacher (Texas Classroom Teachers Association), Spring 2019, pp. 10-17.
    Summarizes key public education issues and bills in the 86th Legislature, including school finance reform, teacher salaries and retirement, school discipline, school safety and mental health, and other bills affecting public schools.
  • "Virtually defenseless: The national security establishment is woefully unprepared for the new era of cyber-warfare." By John M. Donnelly and Gopal Ratnam. CQ Researcher, June 24, 2019, pp. 15-21.
    Examines the new "information warfare," increasing cybersecurity concerns, and military preparation for cyberattacks.
  • "We love foreign workers." By Shawn Zeller. CQ Weekly, June 17, 2019, pp. 18-23.
    Discusses why businesses lean toward hiring seasonal foreign workers over Americans. Addresses problems with labor regulations relating to recruiting and wage fraud.
  • "Texafornia dreaming; California & Texas: A tale of two states." Economist, June 22nd - June 28th, 2019, pp. 7, 3-14.
    Presents a special report on California and Texas. Claims America' future will be written in the two mega-states.
  • "Transport: Flying start." Economist, June 15th-21st, 2019, pp. 55-56.
    Reports drone deliveries are advancing in health care, which could save hospitals millions in lab and pharmacy costs.
  • "State legislators revamp funding in Texas, Nevada." By Daarel Burnette II. Education Week, June 19, 2019, p. 16.
    Summarizes school finance reforms in Texas and Nevada in this year's legislative sessions. Mentions the increase in the Texas education budget to $11.6 billion, an increase in teacher salaries, and full day pre-Kindergarten for eligible 4-year-olds.
  • "Motor fuels taxes in a changing Texas transportation scene: Should Texas rethink the way it funds roads?" By Shannon Halbrook and Jess Donald. Fiscal Notes, June/July 2019, pp. 1, 3-6.
    Describes future trends of motor fuels tax revenue in Texas, providing for the construction and maintenance of state highways, roads, and bridges since 1923. Considers the role of alternative-fuel vehicles, rising highway costs, and the tax structures in other states with variable-rate gas taxes.
  • "Texas distillers thrive, but hoped for more from state." By Marice Richter. Fort Worth Business Press, June 24-30, 2019, pp. 6, 21.
    Looks at the 86th Legislature from the perspective of craft distillers, and discusses legislation passed to allow "sampling of product" for distillers and "beer-to-go" for craft breweries.
  • "Newspaper-man." By Jay Nordlinger. National Review, June 24, 2019, pp. 18-19.
    Considers the value of small-town newspapers and their editors in a profile of Mike Brown, editor of the Rockdale Reporter serving Rockdale, Texas.
  • "Bad economic justifications for minimum wage hikes." By Ryan Bourne. Policy Brief (CATO Institute), June 20, 2019, pp. 1-8.
    Explains why the metrics used to advocate minimum wage hikes are not sensible benchmarks by which to set minimum wage rates, and could instead produce damaging labor market outcomes.
  • "The confession." By Douglas Starr. Science, June 14, 2019, pp. 1022-1026.
    Looks at how and why police interrogations can result in false confessions.
  • "When was the Republic of Texas no more? Revisiting the annexation of Texas." By Keith J. Volanto and Gene B. Preuss. Southwestern Historical Quarterly, July 2019, pp. 30-59 (Note Length).
    Examines the timeline of annexation of the Republic of Texas to the United States through a review of the contemporary congressional and legal proceedings. Argues the "annexation ceremony" on February 19, 1846, at a two-room dogtrot cabin in Austin, is a "historical myth," demonstrating that the actual transfer of sovereignty was on December 29, 1845, when the United States government formally annexed Texas.
  • "Oregon walkout reflects a growing trend. Here's why lawmakers leave." By Matt Vasilogambros. Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts), June 27, 2019, pp. 1-5.
    Considers the history of legislative walkouts. Points out possible political fallout and financial repercussions for lawmakers who use this tactic.
  • "Mobilizing against measles." By Sean Price. Texas Medicine, July 2019, pp. 22-29.
    Explores the current measles surge, legislative action to address the problem, and advocacy against such action. Identifies a range of pro- and anti-vaccine bills that were considered in the 86th Legislature.
  • "Who cares." By Grace Gedye. Washington Monthly, July/August 2019, pp. 15-18.
    Suggests long-term care is a political issue. Explains how individual caregivers make daily sacrifices to care for their older and ailing family members.

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 – Weeks of July 8 and 15

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.


July 12

Topic: Issues related to the increase in asylum-seeking migrant families at the Texas-Mexico border


July 18

House Committee on General Investigating

Topic: Committee business

The committee may enter into an executive session to consider any matter authorized to be considered in an executive session under Subchapter B, Chapter 301, Government Code, the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Housekeeping Resolution, and the committee’s rules.


Research Minute: Finding Past Bill Statistics

Interested to know how the numbers for the 86th Legislature, Regular Session, compare to past Legislatures? Our bill statistics page goes all the way back to the 16th Legislature (1879)!



End-of-Session Comparison, 86th Legislature

Interested in how the final results of the 86th Legislature's regular session compares to the past few sessions? See the charts below to compare and contrast.


To see past bill statistics and other session information, see previous blog posts on the legislative process.