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Current Articles & Research Resources, April 28, 2022

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

  • Review fire potential in Texas in the immediate short term. (Texas A&M Forest Service, April 11, 2022)
  • Explore air quality in the U.S. (American Lung Association, ©2022)
  • Find out how to get copies of birth and death certificates, marriage applications, and divorce records. (Texas Department of State Health Services, updated February 4, 2022)
  • Read about safely keeping backyard poultry. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Page last reviewed: March 30, 2022)
  • Consider the backlog of pending cases in immigration courts. (Congressional Research Service, April 25, 2022)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and online 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 May 1, 2022

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.

 

May 3, 2022
House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety
Charge: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 87th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:

Charge: Study incidents of law enforcement injuries and fatalities to determine those situations that pose the greatest risk to law enforcement. Make recommendations on best practices for increasing and preserving the safety and security of law enforcement officers, including those undercover.

Charge: Compare Texas' incident crime reporting requirements with those of other states and determine whether a standardized reporting requirement should be implemented for Texas law enforcement. Study opportunities to modernize and improve local and statewide data collection and dissemination throughout the criminal justice system to promote transparency and ensure uniform data collection processes.

Topic: Invited testimony from the Texas Division of Emergency Management to gather information on severe weather response and recovery.

Charge: Monitor the emergency operations at the Texas-Mexico border, including whether existing emergency management resources are sufficient to address a non-natural emergency, including and especially one involving a large geographic area and multiple thousands of people.

Charge: Review the increase in law enforcement personnel along the Texas-Mexico border. Determine whether law enforcement has sufficient resources to address the current or any anticipated circumstances. Determine whether law enforcement needs specific or individualized training or education on matters involving border security, human trafficking or other scenarios where unaccompanied minors are involved.

Charge: Monitor the recent surge in border crossings and make recommendations for enhancing the safety and security of law enforcement, civilian populations on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border, and those entering the United States.

 

Senate Special Committee on Child Protective Services
Invited testimony only.

 

Senate Committee on Transportation
Charge: Safety: Study the contributing factors leading to fatal crashes and make recommendations to prevent and reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries.

Charge: Driver's License Efficiency: Study the Department of Public Safety's driver's license program operations and make recommendations to improve the efficiency of services while maintaining individual privacy and security for Texans.

Charge: Alternatively Fueled Vehicles: Review the Texas Department of Transportation's plan for federal funding related to alternatively fueled vehicle infrastructure development. Examine the increase of private and public owned alternatively fueled vehicles registered in the state and make recommendations for road user fee fairness between alternatively fueled vehicles and gasoline and diesel vehicles.

 

Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs
Charge: State Veteran Cemeteries: Evaluate the current oversight of the Texas State Veteran Cemeteries to ensure that these sacred and essential grounds are being maintained, repaired, and treated with respect. Ensure that the needs of our veterans are being met by reviewing the number, location, and funding of the cemeteries. Examine and make recommendations for the financing mechanism for the Texas State Veterans Cemeteries to ensure sustainability.

Charge: Veteran Benefits: Explore and report on options to remove barriers for companies offering veteran benefits and consider policies that could leverage additional public-private-partnerships. Identify opportunities to connect veterans to existing business resources and available state services. Recommend ways to increase matching federal funding for veteran benefits. Review current law for consistency in eligibility for state veteran benefits and recommend any necessary changes.

Charge: Veteran Mental Health: Review the currently accepted forms of treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and consider the creation of a program which would require completion of a multi-modality treatment plan including traditional talk therapy, limbic system therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and emotionally focused individual therapy (EFIT).

Charge: Veteran Mental Health: Identify the training and resources available to urban and rural first responders when assisting veterans experiencing a mental health crisis. Make recommendations for how to best support first responders in these crisis situations.

 

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May 4, 2022
House Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence
Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 87th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of all legislation.

 

Senate Committee on Finance
Charge: Inflation: Review and report on the effect inflation is having on the business community and state government, including state salaries, retiree benefits, the state economy, and cost of state services.

Charge: Inflation: Review and report on the impact of inflation on units of local governments' revenue collections and property taxpayers' tax bills, including the homestead exemption.

Charge: Russia Divestiture: Examine and report on options for state asset owners to divest their positions in companies that invest in the Russian Federation.

Charge: State Pension Reforms: Monitor the implementation of recent statewide pension reforms to the Employees Retirement System of Texas and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

 

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May 5, 2022
House Committee on Higher Education
Charge: Review progress toward the goals of the 60x30TX plan, including institutional strategies for responding to changing workforce needs and demands, including workforce education, industry certification, and degree programs to address health care shortages.

 

House Committee on Human Services
Charge: Monitor federal decisions that may impact the delivery and financial stability of the state's health programs, including: the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' rescission of its prior approval of the State's 1115 Waiver, the state and federal negotiations of the Medicaid directed payment programs (including hospital finance methods), federal changes to the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital Program and the exclusion of certain costs from the uncompensated care program authorized through the 1115 Waiver.

Charge: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 87th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of the Healthy Families, Healthy Texas initiative, including:

  • HB 133, relating to the provision of benefits under Medicaid and the Healthy Texas Women program; and·

  • Relevant provisions of HB 2658, relating to the administration and operation of the Medicaid managed care program, especially those provisions that relate to continuous eligibility for a child for Medicaid.

Charge: Monitor implementation of SB 1, Rider 30 (Health and Human Services Commission) and make recommendations for reducing the interest list for waiver services for individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and reducing associated staffing shortages.

 

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, April 21, 2022

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

  • Read about the most recent development in student loan forgiveness. (U.S. Department of Education, April 19, 2022)
  • Get help with surprise medical balance billing. (Texas Department of Insurance, updated January 6, 2022)
  • Explore climate and environmental hazards in your area. (AreaHub, accessed April 20, 2022)
  • Review policy issues related to digital wallets. (Congressional Research Service, April 18, 2022)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and online 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 April 25, 2022

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.

 

April 26, 2022
House Committee on Environmental Regulation
Charge: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 87th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:

Charge: Evaluate the allocation of TERP funds for effective air pollution reduction programs. Review which existing programs are over or undersubscribed and identify unrealized opportunities that would further program goals.

 

House Committee on Public Education
Charge #2: Examine the impact, including any financial impact, to the Texas public school system of an increase in the number of children crossing the Texas-Mexico border. Review the history, any applicable precedents, and the legal landscape regarding the education of migrant children in Texas's public schools.

Charge #11: Review the impact of investments of the Permanent School Fund by the State Board of Education in businesses and funds owned or controlled by the Russian government or Russian nationals, and determine the need for investment restrictions. Consider the impact of any proposed investment restrictions on fund performance.

 

House Committee on State Affairs
Charge: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 87th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:

  • HB 5, relating to the expansion of broadband services to rural areas

  • HB 1505, relating to attachments for broadband service on utility poles owned by an electric cooperative and establishing and funding a pole replacement program for deployment of certain broadband facilities

Charge: Study the status and adequacy of cyber security preparedness among state agencies and contractors. Make recommendations that enhance cyber security measures considering evolving threats to Texas' information technology infrastructure.

Charge: Review the impact of state government procurement of goods and services from businesses and other commercial entities owned or controlled by the Russian government or Russian nationals, and determine the need for restrictions on state government procurement. Consider the impact of any proposed procurement restrictions on state government efficiency and effectiveness and the state’s access to scientific and technological advances.

 

House Committee on Transportation
Charge: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 87th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:

Charge: Study current and future transportation needs and consider improvements to ensure that Texas is adequately planning for the state's population growth forecasts. Evaluate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on transportation projects and investment decisions.

Charge: Study the impact of the increasing sale and use of electric and alternatively fueled vehicles on revenue predictions for the state highway fund. Recommend a road use revenue equalization methodology to create fairness and parity between gasoline, electric and alternatively fueled vehicles.

Topic: Review the state's work in transportation safety.

 

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April 27, 2022
House Committee on Business & Industry
Charge: Review operational changes and strategies employed by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to improve outcomes related to Unemployment Benefit Services, including application and payment processes, customer services, and fraud deterrence.

Charge: Study the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on unemployment trends, hurdles to workforce reentry, and industry-specific disruptions.

 

House Committees on Defense & Veterans' Affairs and Homeland Security & Public Safety (Joint Hearing)
Charge: Monitor the activities of the Texas State Guard and the Texas National Guard participating in Operation Lone Star. Consider any legal or logistical support that can be provided to these organizations to increase operational efficiencies in conjunction with the Department of Public Safety. Review and assess the inventory of these agencies. Make appropriate recommendations.

 

 

New & Noteworthy Books and Reports: April 2022

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the titles from our April 2022 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 or contact the library at 512-463-1252.

 

1. The Mexican American Experience in Texas: Citizenship, Segregation, and the Struggle for Equality
By Martha Menchaca
Chronicles the long presence of Mexican Americans in Texas and their efforts to obtain social and economic equality, from the Spanish and Mexican periods to present day. Addresses property rights, citizenship, segregation, civil rights, and more, along with the Texas Legislature's role in these matters. Highlights the achievements of Mexican Americans, including their crucial part in challenging and disassembling exclusion laws in Texas.
University of Texas Press, 2022, 432 pages
976.4 M455M 2022

 

 

2. Smashing Statues: The Rise and Fall of America's Public Monuments
By Erin L. Thompson
Describes recent developments in the national debate on public monuments in the United States, including Confederate monuments. Discusses the aesthetic, legal, political, and social issues involved, and the complex motivations of participants in current controversies over public monuments.
W. W. Norton & Company, 2022, 264 pages
725.940973 T468S 2022

 

 

3. Texas Ethics Laws: An Annotated Guide to Lobby and Campaign Finance Laws in Texas
By Andrew Cates
Provides a guide to frequently cited laws and regulations relating to campaign financing, conflicts of interest, lobbying, and governmental ethics. Includes historical background through practice notes, case law, Attorney General and Ethics Commission opinions, as well as cross-references to the Texas Administrative Code.
Independently published, 2022, 502 pages
328.33 C283T 2022

 

 

4. How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America
By Clint Smith
Reflects on how the history of slavery is memorialized in the United States by visiting and collecting the stories about monuments and landmarks connected to those events. Explores the narratives and legacy of slavery through research, interviews, and the author's personal experience as a Black man. Includes a chapter on celebrations of Juneteenth in Galveston, the passage of HB 1016, 66th Legislature, R.S., making Juneteenth an official Texas state holiday, and a profile of former Representative Al Edwards Sr.
Little, Brown and Company, 2021, 336 pages
973.0496073 SM642H 2021

 

 

5. Identified with Texas: The Lives of Governor Elisha Marshall Pease and Lucadia Niles Pease
By Elizabeth Whitlow
Presents a dual biography of former Texas Governor Elisha Marshall Pease and his wife Lucadia Niles Pease. Explores their professional and personal lives from 1812-1905, including Pease's years in Texas’ first three Legislative sessions, his two terms as Governor, life in Austin during the Civil War, and his gubernatorial appointment during Reconstruction. Highlights Lucadia's independent travels and marriage to Pease, noting she considered herself a "women's rights woman" and supported her daughter's desire to attend college.
University of North Texas Press, 2022, 432 pages
976.4 W613ID 2021

 

 

6. Judging Inequality: State Supreme Courts and the Inequality Crisis
By James L. Gibson and Michael J. Nelson
Analyzes the levels of political, economic, and social inequality in the United States by documenting – in the State High Court Inequality Database – nearly 6,000 decisions made by 50 state supreme courts from 1990 to 2015. Focuses on the influential role of the state supreme courts in shaping inequalities on issues including educational equity and adequacy, LGBT rights, and workers' rights. Argues that state courts are playing an increasing role in U.S. politics and policy creation.
Russell Sage Foundation, 2021, 356 pages
342.73085 G448J 2021

 

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, April 14, 2022

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

  • Consider which news sources Americans trust. (YouGovAmerica, April 5, 2022)
  • Read about how wind energy was recently the second largest source of electricity production in the U.S. (U.S. Energy Information Administration, April 14, 2022)
  • Review recent travel-related face mask orders from the CDC. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, April 13, 2022)
  • Find out how to replace a Social Security card. (CNET, April 13, 2022)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and online 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 April 18, 2022

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.

 

April 20, 2022
House Committee on International Relations & Economic Development
Charge: Economic Development Incentives. Examine current economic development incentive programs and identify opportunities to enhance job creation in Texas. Make recommendations to promote transparency and enhance effectiveness of such programs.

 

Charge: Semiconductor Investment. Evaluate Texas' current efforts to attract semiconductor investment to the state. Identify potential strengths and vulnerabilities that could impact the success of Texas' semiconductor industry and the ability to create and maintain a reliable semiconductor supply chain.

 

Charge: Trade with Russia. Review the impact that trade with Russia has on the Texas economy, including Texas manufacturers. Consider the impact of Texas investment in businesses and funds owned or controlled by the Russian government or Russian nationals, and determine the need for investment restrictions. Consider the impacts of any proposed investment restrictions on access by Texas businesses and the Texas scientific and technological community to capital investment, global markets, and competitive knowledge.

 

Senate Committee on Local Government
Bond Elections: Review and report on voter participation and bond election result differences between November and May elections. Make recommendations for improved voter turnout, increased election efficiencies, and better accountability of local debt.

 

Ballot Language: Study the development of the language used for constitutional amendment and local ballot propositions. Recommend changes to make ballot propositions more easily understood by voters.

 

 

April 21, 2022
House Committee on Ways & Means
Charge: Actively oversee associated rulemaking and agency actions to ensure the intended legislative outcome of:

 

Charge: Study and consider methods of providing additional property tax relief, including the use of $3 billion in available American Rescue Plan Act funds that were held for future tax relief by the 87th Legislature, and other sources of revenue. Explore options to reduce business property tax burdens and options for limiting the growth of property tax bills.

 

Charge: Evaluate the impact of shifting to destination sourcing for local sales and use tax purposes, including the benefits of reduced taxpayer confusion. Monitor the implementation of the Comptroller's amendments to 34 Tx. Admin. Code §3.334, relating to local sales and use taxes, and the Comptroller's Sales Tax Rate Locator. Make recommendations for legislation to improve Texas' local sales and use tax sourcing.

 

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, April 7, 2022

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

  • Explore legislation related to cannabis by state. (National Conference of State Legislatures, March 21, 2022)
  • Check on flight delays at U.S. airports. (Federal Aviation Administration, accessed March 31, 2022)
  • Consider coastal carbon and its role in state environmental policy. (Pew Charitable Trusts, March 28, 2022)
  • Review ways to limit negative health and environmental effects in wildfire burn areas. (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, updated March 21, 2022)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and online 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 April 11, 2022

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.

 

April 12, 2022
House Interim Study Committee on Criminal Justice Reform
Charge: Criminal procedure and due process from initial detention through appeal, including prosecutorial discretion.

 

House Committee on Urban Affairs
Charge #4: Study the effects of local governance, planning, and administration on the current state of municipal water and wastewater infrastructure. Examine the measures municipally owned utilities have taken and the costs required to maintain and improve that infrastructure. Make recommendations for cost-effective solutions to ensure reliable infrastructure and uninterrupted municipal utility services, especially during a severe weather event.

 

Charge #5: Study municipal fees with respect to the function of the fee and the relationship of the fee to the cost of providing an associated municipal service. Make recommendations to address municipal fees that are disproportionate or unrelated to the cost of providing the associated service.

 

 

April 14, 2022
House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence
Charge: Study the accessibility to counsel in cases involving an indigent defendant and make recommendations to improve access to counsel in these cases. Evaluate methods to improve the effectiveness of court-appointed counsel, caseload processing, caseload distribution, and the state's compliance with applicable appointment of counsel requirements.

 

Interim Hearings – Week of April 4, 2022

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.

 

April 4, 2022
Senate Committee on Border Security
Topic: Review border security appropriations and their directed purposes. Invited testimony only from the following:

  • Office of the Governor
  • Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Texas Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board

Border Security Appropriations (Presented to Senate Committee on Border Security), Legislative Budget Board, March 8, 2022

 

April 5, 2022
Senate Committee on Border Security
Topic: Review border security appropriations and their directed purposes. Invited testimony only from the following:

  • Texas Military Department
  • Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Office of Court Administration
  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • Texas Commission on Jail Standards
  • Texas Commission on Law Enforcement
  • Department of State Health Services

Border Security Appropriations (Presented to Senate Committee on Border Security), Legislative Budget Board, March 8, 2022

 

April 7, 2022
House Select Committee on Youth Health & Safety
Charge: Study the allocation and use of state resources to preventative and rehabilitative services that address the primary challenges facing Texas youth placed in the juvenile justice system, including the redirection of those resources as necessary to ensure effectiveness and efficiency.

 

Charge: Study the programs, services, and governmental action focused on the rehabilitation of youthful offenders, including considerations related to developmental factors that impact a youth's entry into the justice system.