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Current Articles & Research Resources, October 22

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

  • Find early voting, absentee voting, and vote-by-mail facts and statistics by state. (Associated Press, ©2020)
  • View tax-related disaster relief for those affected by the recent hurricanes and tropical storm. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, accessed October 21, 2020)
  • Read policy recommendations related to COVID-19 vaccine distribution. (Texas Medical Association, October 21, 2020)
  • Consider tips about pedestrian safety for pedestrians and drivers. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, October 2020)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and onlines sources to compile a weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. View this week's Current Articles.

 

Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles by using our online form or by calling 512-463-1252.

Interim Reports

We've received interim reports to the 87th Legislature from the following committees:

Our Legislative Reports database will be updated as we receive additional reports. The database can be accessed on our website under Committees | Legislative reports.

 

Please note, reports within our database are listed by the Legislature that ordered a study rather than the Legislature that received the report. To search for reports ordered by the 86th Legislature and received by the 87th Legislature, select "86th - 2019" from the Legislature drop down menu in the Search for reports section of the page and click on Search.

 

 

Looking for a report from an earlier session? The LRL's Legislative Reports database also contains interim committee charges, interim committee reports, and other substantive legislative studies published in the House and Senate Journals back to 1846.

 

You can search for reports by Legislature, subject, and/or the name of the committee. You may also do a key word search within the report title and the charge text.

 

Senate Committee Resources: Redistricting

 

The Senate Select Committee on Redistricting is gathering information under Section 301.014 of the Texas Government Code. The committee has established a public input portal on its website: https://senate.Texas.gov/redistrictingcomment/.

 

This tool allows the public to submit written comments and attachments for the committee to review and consider regarding the upcoming redistricting process. Submissions received will be transmitted to members of the committee and any other senator who requests to review them.

 

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, October 15

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

  • Find out what heavy metals and "forever" chemicals might be in bottled water, by brand. (Consumer Reports, September 24, 2020)
  • Review a report card of governors' fiscal policies. (Cato Institute, October 5, 2020)
  • Explore a new online collection of ratified Indian Treaties from the National Archives. (National Archives and Records Administration, October 13, 2020)
  • Read about why the U.S. Supreme Court has nine justices. (History.com, September 24, 2020)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and onlines sources to compile a weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. View this week's Current Articles.

 

Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles by using our online form or by calling 512-463-1252.

 

How a Bill Becomes a Law

The Texas Constitution and the Rules of the House and Senate set the procedure that a bill must follow in order to be passed into law. Here are the basic steps in the legislative process:

  • Bill filing/introduction
  • First reading and referral to committee
  • Committee consideration
  • Floor consideration on second and third reading
  • Engrossment
  • Consideration in opposite chamber
  • Concurrence in opposite chamber's amendments, or conference committee report
  • Sent to Governor
  • Governor signs bill or takes no action
  • Bill becomes law on effective date

Bills that do not pass or are vetoed by the Governor must be reintroduced the next session; the bill number does not carry over.

 

Several key publications describing the Texas legislative process are available on the Legislative Reference Library website under General Information | Texas legislative agencies & process, including:

 

Bill process flowcharts for the House and Senate. Online versions are available through the Texas Legislative Council.

 

 

 

 

 

The Legislative Process in Texas, by the Texas Legislative Council (November 2018), details each step in the legislative process, from how a bill originates to the filing and publication of laws.

Citizen Handbook: How the Texas Legislature Works, published by the Secretary of the Senate (February 2019), includes a short history of the Texas Capitol, an overview of the Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives, legislative advocacy tips, and basic steps in the legislative process.

The Legislative Lexicon, by the Senate Research Center (January 2019), explains the vocabulary of the legislature from A-Z, such as the difference between an engrossed and enrolled bill.

How a Bill Becomes Law: 86th Legislature, by the House Research Organization (February 28, 2019), provides an overview of the legislative process with a focus on House rules.

 

 

 

 

House Committee Resources: Mass Violence & Community Safety, Public Health

House Committee Resources: Mass Violence & Community Safety, Public Health

The committees have requested written submissions on the following topics. Below are resources related to those topics.

 

 

Duties:

Duty (1): examine options for strengthening enforcement measures for current laws that prevent the transfer of firearms to felons and other persons prohibited by current law from possessing firearms; 

 

Duty (2): examine impediments and challenges to the timely reporting of relevant criminal history information and other threat indicators to state and federal databases;

 

Duty (3): examine the role of digital media and technology in threat detection, assessment, reporting, and prevention, including the collaboration between digital media and law enforcement;

 

Duty (3) Designated Party:

  • Ron Barnes, Head of State Legislative Affairs, Google

 

Duty (4): evaluate the ongoing and long-term workforce needs of the state related to cybersecurity, mental health, law enforcement, and related professionals; and

 

Duty (5): evaluate current protocols and extreme risk indicators used to identify potential threats and consider options for improving the dissemination of information between federal, state, and local entities and timely and appropriate intervention of mental health professionals.

 

 

House Committee on Public Health 

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:

 

Related to Women/Maternal/Infant Health

  • HB 253, which requires the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to develop and implement a five-year strategic plan to address postpartum depression. Monitor the development of the strategic plan to ensure it provides strategies to improve access to postpartum depression screening, referral, treatment, and support services.

  • SB 436, which requires the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), in conjunction with the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force, to develop and implement statewide initiatives to improve maternal and newborn health for women with opioid use disorder. Examine the process by which DSHS and the Task Force develop and implement the initiatives, and, if applicable, monitor the development of the optional pilot program authorized by the legislation.
  • SB 748, which creates a newborn screening preservation account and requires the development of a program to provide prenatal and postpartum care through telehealth or telemedicine in certain counties, a high risk maternal care coordination services pilot program, and a pregnancy medical home pilot program. Monitor the rulemaking process at HHSC and conduct oversight of the creation of the newborn screening preservation account and the maternal health programs. Identify any challenges that arise in funding the account or implementing the programs. Ensure the required agencies are providing adequate data collection on maternal mortality rates, maternity care, and postpartum depression in the state.
  • SB 749, which relates to designating levels of neonatal and maternal care for hospitals and establishes an appeal process, waiver agreement, and telemedicine exceptions. Monitor HHSC's rulemaking process.
  • SB 750, which directs HHSC to evaluate and develop a limited postpartum care package for new mothers enrolled in the Healthy Texas Women (HTW) program and to develop strategies to ensure continuity of care for new mothers who transition from Medicaid for Pregnant Women into HTW. Monitor HHSC's rulemaking process and the evaluation and development of the postpartum care package in HTW.
  • SB 2132, which requires additional information to be provided to new mothers enrolled in HTW. Monitor HHSC's rulemaking process.

 

Related to Controlled Substances/Opioids

 

Related to Rural Health

  • HB 3934, which provides rural hospitals with the authority to establish a health care collaborative.
  • SB 170, which relates to the reimbursement of rural hospitals under Medicaid. Monitor the reimbursement methodology developed by HHSC.
  • SB 633, which provides the authority to assemble local mental health authorities (LMHA) in rural areas into groups in order to ensure access to mental health services in those areas. Conduct oversight of the process of grouping individual LMHAs and the development of a plan for each group to increase capacity and access.
  • SB 1621, which creates a rural hospital strategic plan.

 

Related to General Monitoring

  • HB 871, which authorizes certain rural hospitals to satisfy trauma facility designation requirements through the use of telemedicine. Monitor HHSC's rulemaking process.

  • HB 1501, which creates the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council. Monitor the transfer of the regulation of psychologists, marriage and family therapists, professional counselors, and social workers to the new council.
  • HB 1504, which continues the Texas Medical Board until September 1, 2031. Review and identify any challenges related to the processing of complaints, including due process concerns and the independence of the Board. Make recommendations for additional modifications to address these challenges.
    • Texas Medical Board (Sunset Review Documents for 2018-2019 Review Cycle, 86th Legislative Session). Texas Sunset Advisory Commission
  • HB 3148, which establishes provisions related to the administration and oversight of investigational adult stem cell treatments. Monitor the creation of the investigational stem cell registry.
  • HB 3703, which expands eligibility for low-THC cannabis prescriptions. Monitor HHSC's rulemaking process.
  • HB 4455, which authorizes a health professional to provide a mental health service via telemedicine or telehealth services to a patient located outside of Texas.
  • SB 21, which raises the age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21.
  • SB 670, which relates to ensuring reimbursement of telemedicine and telehealth services and expanding which facilities may receive reimbursement for those services.

 

Related to Behavioral Health

  • HB 18, which enhances school safety and mental health resources for students and school personnel and works to reduce the stigma around mental health conditions. Monitor the process by which state agencies coordinate to implement the legislation and their compliance with various requirements, including providing required guidelines and resources to schools.
  • HB 19, which places non-physician mental health professionals at education service centers to provide resources for educators and administrators in school districts and charter schools. 
  • HB 906, which creates the Collaborative Task Force on Public School Mental Health Services.
  • SB 11, which creates the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium to facilitate access to mental health care services through telehealth and expands the mental health workforce through training and funding opportunities. Monitor the creation of the consortium and agencies' rulemaking processes. Review how school districts are spending their school safety allotment.

 

o   Senate Bill 11 Data Requirement and Safe and Supportive Schools Program (SSSP) (Correspondence to the Administrator Addressed), Texas Education Agency, September 17, 2020

o   Senate Bill 11 (SB 11) and Other School Safety-Related Legislation (Correspondence to the Administrator Addressed), Texas Education Agency, February 27, 2020

o   School Safety After Senate Bill 11, Texas Association of School Boards, updated October 2019

o   Implementation Plan for the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium (TCMHCC), As Required by Rider 58 of the Appropriation to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (House Bill 1, 86th Legislature, Regular Session, 2019), The University of Texas System, November 2019

o   Improving School Safety in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott, August 27, 2019

o   Texas 86th Legislative Session: Summary of Mental Health and Substance Use-Related Legislation, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, The University of Texas at Austin, September 3, 2019

o   HB 906 Mental Health Task Force, Texas Education Agency

o   School Safety, Texas Education Agency

o   Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, The University of Texas System

 

House Committee on Public Health 

 

House Committee on Public Health 

Charge 3: Review behavioral health capacity in the state, with a focus on suicide prevention efforts and the provision of behavioral health care services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Review suicide prevention programs and initiatives across state agencies, evaluate their effectiveness, and identify opportunities for greater coordination. Identify gaps in the continuum of care for individuals with disabilities and challenges for those providing care to them. Additionally, identify any existing administrative and licensing barriers that negatively affect overall behavioral health capacity in the state.

 

House Committee on Public Health

Charge 4: 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. 

 

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, October 8

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

  • Read about the current recession's impact on American workers. (Economic Policy Institute, September 25, 2020)
  • Review the ways COVID-19 spreads. (Centers for Disesase Control and Prevention, updated October 5, 2020)
  • Consider how the totality of the circumstances in police shootings affect the outcomes. (Human Events, accessed September 25, 2020)
  • Read about U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett's past jurisprudence. (Congressional Research Service, October 6, 2020)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and onlines sources to compile a weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. View this week's Current Articles.

 

Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles by using our online form or by calling 512-463-1252.

Interim Hearings – Week of October 12

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.

 

 

October 12

Senate Committee on Higher Education  

Charge: Adult Learner Students: Examine existing innovative programs in higher education institutions that assist non-traditional students in completing a degree or credential, including first-time adult learners, re-enrolling students, first generation students, working adults, and at-risk students. Provide recommendations on methods the state can use to partner with higher education institutions to expand successful programs throughout the state.

 

Charge: Data Transparency: Explore methods to improve data sharing and transparency among state agencies, school districts and charter schools, and higher education institutions. Consider best practices to increase the ability of high schools and higher education institutions to support student post-secondary access and degree completion and how to provide policymakers with data on each. Recommend methods of integrating existing data systems at the K-12 and higher education levels to provide real-time support and direction for students.

 

Charge: Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Higher Education 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:

 

October 14

Senate Committee on Education  

Charge: Teacher Workforce: Examine best practice models to recruit, prepare, and retain highly effective teachers. In particular, focus on methods to train and prepare educators for teaching through virtual, in-person, or a blend of methods.

 

Charge: Adult Education: Identify and evaluate current innovative programs that assist non-traditional students (first-time adult learners, re-enrolling students, working adults, and educationally disadvantaged students) in completing a high school diploma, GED, post-secondary degree, or workforce credential, including a review of adult education charter schools and their performance framework. Make recommendations to help successful expansion with partnered business and education entities.

Dates of Interest for the 87th Regular Session

What are the key deadlines for the 87th Regular Session? Official deadlines will be set when the House and Senate adopt rules after session begins, but until then, related provisions in the Texas Constitution and Statutes and the Texas Legislative Council Drafting Manual perpetual calendar (shown below) can be useful.

 

November 3, 2020: General election for federal, state, and county officers (Texas Election Code, Section 41.001(a)(3))

 

November 9, 2020: Bill prefiling begins (House Rule 8, Section 7 and Senate Rule 7.04(a))

 

January 12, 2021: 87th Legislature convenes at noon (Texas Constitution, Article III, Section 5(a); Texas Government Code, Section 301.001)

 

March 12, 2021: 60-day bill filing deadline (Texas Constitution, Article III, Section 5(b))

 

May 31, 2021: Adjournment sine die (Texas Constitution, Article III, Section 24(b))

 

June 20, 2021: Post-session 20-day deadline for Governor to sign or veto (Texas Constitution, Article IV, Section 14)

 

August 30, 2021: Effective date (91st day after adjournment) (Texas Constitution, Article III, Section 39)

 

 

  Table can be viewed in the Texas Legislative Council Drafting Manual.

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, October 1

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

  • Explore how the electoral college process will progress for the 2020 presidential election. (Congressional Research Service, September 3, 2020)
  • Read about older women's retirement security. (U.S. Governmental Accountability Office, September 24, 2020)
  • Check park status before visiting one of Texas' state parks. (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, accessed September 30, 2020)
  • Learn about the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 for agricultural producers. (U.S. Department of Agriculture, September 17, 2020)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and onlines sources to compile a weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. View this week's Current Articles.

 

Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles by using our online form or by calling 512-463-1252.