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Current Articles & Research Resources, April 1

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

  • Review provisional 2020 mortality data for the U.S. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 31, 2021)
  • Consider how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected plastic bag bans in the U.S. (Stateliness, March 30, 2021)
  • Find education and academic resources for online learning. (LLRX.com, March 31, 2021)
  • Read about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the workload of mothers. (Brookings Institution, March 30, 2021)

 

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.

New & Noteworthy Books and Reports: March 2021

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the titles from our March 2021 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. Let the Lord Sort Them: The Rise and Fall of the Death Penalty
By Maurice Chammah
Recounts the history of the death penalty in America through court cases and state laws from the Supreme Court decision in Furman v. Georgia in 1972 to the present, with a special focus on Texas. Uses personal stories of lawyers, victims, corrections workers, and the convicted to illustrate the complexities of death penalty cases and highlight larger trends within criminal justice in Texas and the United States.
Crown, 2021, 354 pages
364.6609764 C448L 2021

 

 

2. Making Government Work: A Conservative Agenda for the States
By Tan Parker, ed.
Presents a collection of essays from a conservative policy perspective on federalism, pro-growth tax reform for the states, health care innovation, religious liberty, the Electoral College, labor unions, energy policy, crime, public universities, veterans, infrastructure, abortion, and the Second Amendment. Includes a chapter on the Texas Model by former Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Regnery Publishing, 2020, 466 pages
353.9 P228M 2020

 

 

3. Reading, Writing, and Revolution: Escuelitas and the Emergence of a Mexican American Identity in Texas
By Phillis M. Barragan Goetz
Traces the origins and eventual decline of grassroots escuelitas, or "little schools," community-based Spanish-speaking schools that helped shape the early Mexican Texan experience. Merges U.S. and Mexican history by analyzing oral histories, archives, and genealogical materials of individuals who were involved in creating escuelitas and those who attended them. Details the ways in which escuelitas founders and teachers addressed key needs in their communities and how they ultimately challenged the hegemonic U.S. public school curriculum by empowering children through language and identity.
University of Texas Press, 2020, 236 pages
371.829 G555R 2020

 

 

4. Sutherland Springs: God, Guns, and Hope in a Texas Town
By Joe Holley
Explores how the people of the Sutherland Springs community are rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of the worst mass shooting in a church setting in U.S. history, an event in which 26 people died. Features interviews with survivors and with victims' families while examining the topic of guns and gun violence.
Hatchette Books, 2020, 294 pages
364.152 H724S 2020

 

 

5. Texas Place Names
By Edward Callary
Recounts colorful stories about the people, places, and events that contributed to the naming of more than ten thousand Texas counties, cities, and towns – from Abbott (Hill County) to Zunkerville (Karnes County). Clarifies local pronunciation and includes the dates of creation and organization for each county. Mentions a number of places named for Texas legislators and their families, including Akin Grove, Cleveland, DeBerry, Emory, Hartley County, Hubbard, Kittrell, Maverick County, Millican, Rains County, and Rowlett.
University of Texas Press, 2020, 411 pages
976.4 C131T 2020

 

 

6. Texas Water Law: A Legal Research Guide
By Tobe Liebert
Provides guidance on researching Texas water law. Offers a short introduction on classifying surface water and groundwater and water use rights in Texas. Cites the statutory basis, duties, and regulations related to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). Includes sections on relevant secondary sources and major state legislation and a glossary.
William S. Hein & Co., Inc., 2020, 47 pages
346.04691 L716W 2020

 

Texas Legislative Guides: 87th Regular Session

This post includes a list of guides published by Texas legislative agencies to assist you in following the legislative process. These guides will help you track and read a bill, understand the terminology used in the Texas Legislature, learn about issues facing the Legislature, and much more.

 

The Legislative Process in Texas, prepared by the Texas Legislative Council (2021).
Summarizes how legislation moves from introduced bill to signed law.

Reading Statutes and Bills, prepared by the Texas Legislative Council.
Presents a basic overview of Texas statutes and bills, as well as tips for reading and understanding them. (Now an online source; previously was available as a PDF.)

Texas Legislative Glossary, prepared by the Texas Legislative Council.
Defines terms related to the legislative process in Texas. (Now an online source; previously was available as a PDF.)

Research Spotlight: Legislative Lexicon, prepared by the Senate Research Center (2021).
Provides definitions of words, terms, and phrases used in the Legislature.

Writing the State Budget: 87th Legislature, prepared by the House Research Organization (2021).
Outlines the budget writing process in Texas and defines key terms.

Budget 101: A Guide to the Budget Process in Texas, prepared by the Senate Research Center (2021).
Explains how the budget is developed in Texas; designed for new staff or those unfamiliar with the budget process.

Topics for the 87th Legislature, prepared by the House Research Organization (2021).
Highlights many of the issues the 87th Legislature may consider during its 2021 regular session.

Guide to 2021 Redistricting, prepared by the Texas Legislative Council (2020).
Provides an introduction to issues and constraints affecting statewide redistricting following the 2020 decennial census.

Current Articles & Research Resources, March 25

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

  • Read about ways Supreme Court justices' tenure may be modified. (Congressional Research Service, March 24, 2021)
  • Consider whether drone surveillance without a warrant could violate the Fourth Amendment. (Cato Institute, March 24, 2021)
  • Explore new features of Congress.gov. (Library of Congress, March 22, 2021)
  • Discover land-grant universities across the nation. (National Institute of Food and Agriculture, accessed March 25, 2021)

 

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.

Current Articles & Research Resources, March 18

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

  • Explore the economic impact of small airports all over Texas. (Texas Department of Transportation, ©2020)
  • Review minimum wage state by state. (Pew Research Center, March 12, 2021)
  • See governors' education proposals according to their State of the State addresses. (Education Commission of the States, 2021)
  • Read the 2020 Internet Crime Report. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, March 17, 2021)

 

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.

Bill Filing Deadline Statistics, 87th Legislature

Friday, March 12th marked the 60-day bill filing deadline for the 87th Regular Session. When the deadline had passed, a total of 6,919 bills and joint resolutions had been filed. How does this compare to previous sessions?

 

Bills and Joint Resolutions 86th Regular Session
(Nov. 12, 2018 — March 8, 2019)
87th Regular Session
(Nov. 9, 2020 — March 12, 2021)
House filed 4,773 4,728
Senate filed 2,508 2,191
Total filed 7,281 6,919
House referred to committee 2,481 1,979
Senate referred to committee 1,380 1,001
Total referred to committee 3,861 2,980
House scheduled for hearing 230 100
Senate scheduled for hearing 79 17
Total scheduled for hearing 309 117
House reported out of committee 40 9
Senate reported out of committee 32 2
Total reported out of committee 72 11

Current Articles & Research Resources, March 11

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

  • Read about methods some states use to identify early signs of local economic distress. (Pew Research Center, March 4, 2021)
  • See recommendations for what to do once you have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 9, 2021)
  • Consider how absentee voting affected the 2020 election. (Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, March 2021)
  • Review examples of defensive gun use that suggest the benefits of fewer restrictions on gun ownership. (The Heritage Foundation, March 10, 2021)

 

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.

Current Articles & Research Resources, March 4

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

  • Review tips to help stop robocalls and robotexts. (Federal Communications Commission, March 2, 2021)
  • Explore state-by-state information related to vaccine distribution for people with disabilities. (Johns Hopkins University, accessed March 3, 2021)
  • Read about how census data delays could affect elections in 2022. (Politico, March 1, 2021)
  • Note that the USDA has issued a disaster designation for 23 counties in Texas related to the severe winter weather in February. (Office of the Texas Governor, March 3, 2021)

 

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.

Bills in the News: COVID-19

In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 87th legislative session, and related resources.

The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired legislation addressing how the state may respond to future pandemics, and, more broadly, to future disasters.

Legislation directly related to COVID-19 can be found under the subject COVID-19 via the Texas Legislature Online website.

Bill Search
Select Bill Search under the Search tab. Click on Select subject criteria to display a list of subjects that can be used in your search.

 

Scroll down the list and highlight COVID-19, then click the top arrow button to move the subject into the Selected: column. Use the arrow buttons to select and de-select subjects. Click OK. The Bill Search screen will reappear. Click Search in the top left corner to display a list of bills that include the selected subject.

 

 

To narrow a subject search, choose additional subjects …

 

 

and select the And radio button before clicking on Search.

 

 

Narrowing a subject search usually results in fewer bills that are more specific to the issues of interest.

 

 

While some legislation has been filed specifially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, additional legislation has also been filed to address how Texas responds to disasters in general, including disaster that occur when the Legislature is not in session. Use the broader subject term Disaster Preparedness & Relief to locate legislation related to disaster response and mitigation.

 

Tile image, "Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2," by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Cropped and resized from original.

New & Noteworthy Books and Reports: February 2021

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the titles from our January 2021 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. Chasing Success and Confronting Failure in American Schools
By Larry Cuban
Examines what constitutes educational success in the United States. Argues that American education historically, both in terms of academic achievement metrics and reform efforts, has not been "stable nor consistent." Considers multiple factors that complicate academic success such as politics and policies, social dynamics, school district leadership, and differences in communities.
Harvard Education Press, 2020, 260 pages
363.33 ES74F 2020

 

 

 

2. George T. Ruby: Champion of Equal Rights in Reconstruction Texas
By Carl H. Moneyhon
Profiles George T. Ruby, one of the most widely known of the first generation of Black politicians in Texas. Chronicles Ruby's emergence as a political leader, Radical Republican and delegate to the Constitution Convention of 1868, and his election to the Texas State Senate in 1869. Details his legislative priorities in the Texas Senate and his efforts to ensure the protection of basic civil rights of African Americans.
Center for Texas Studies and TCU Press, 2020, 413 pages
976.4 M742G 2020

 

 

 

3. The Governor and the Colonel: A Dual Biography of William P. Hobby and Oveta Culp Hobby
By Don Carleton
Chronicles the lives and careers of William P. Hobby and Oveta Culp Hobby. Details their political, journalistic, and public service careers, from William's duties as the 27th Governor of Texas and his success in creating a major media empire to Oveta's role in leading the Women's Army Corps and her subsequent rise on the national stage in a presidential cabinet position. Illustrates how the esteemed husband-and-wife "Hobby Team" had a distinct impact on Texan and American history in politics, journalism, war, and philanthropy across the twentieth century.
Briscoe Center for American History, 2020, 885 pages
976.4 C192G 2021

 

 

4. South to Freedom: Runaway Slaves to Mexico and the Road to the Civil War
By Alice L. Baumgartner
Examines how thousands from the South Central United States escaped slavery by crossing the southern border into Mexico after the country's abolition of the practice in 1837. Details how political relations between Mexico and the U.S., including Southerners' hopes of annexing Texas and invading Mexico, only fueled a sectional crisis in the United States. Highlights the experiences of individuals from the time, including enslaved persons seeking their freedom.
Basic Books, 2020, 365 pages
973.7115 B348S 2020

 

 

5. Governor's Budget, 2022-2023
By Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Presents Governor Greg Abbott's budget priorities for the fiscal 2022-2023 biennium, which include investment in healthcare, workforce development and unemployment, public safety, election security and education. Discusses the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and suggests specific areas where federal and state funding should be directed to strengthen pandemic relief.
Office of the Governor, 2021, 31 pages
L1800 B859 2022-23G

 

 

 

6. Sources of Revenue: A History of State Taxes and Fees in Texas, 1972-2020
By Texas Comptroller's Office
Reviews the history and current status of Texas revenue sources back to 1972 in a easy-to-navigate document. Includes an overview of major taxes, fees, and assessments by subject, along with helpful tables and indexes. Lists major revenue related bills by session. Provides a resource that allows policy makers and the general public access to an often complicated and difficult topic — taxes.
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Fiscal Management Division, 2021, 272 pages
C2600.8 SO85 2021

 

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