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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.

Bills in the News: Flooding Relief

In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 86th legislative session, and related resources.

 

Severe weather threatens Texas regularly, from hurricanes to thunderstorms and tornadoes. Flooding that results from these events leaves significant damage behind, evident once the waters recede. During this legislative session, bills related to both disaster preparedness and floods have been filed.   

 

To find these bills, use the Bill Search feature on the Texas Legislature Online to combine the subjects Disaster Preparedness & Relief (I0211) and FLOODS (S0327).

 

 

 

To find a broader list of bills related to disaster preparedness and relief, simply search with the subject Disaster Preparedness & Relief (I0211).

 

 

Bills in the News: Pharmacies and Prescription Drugs

In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 86th legislative session, and related resources.

 

Concerned about the rising costs of pharmaceuticals, the opioid epidemic, or whether pharmacists can object to filling certain prescriptions? There are a few different ways to find bills related to the topics and more about pharmacies, pharmacists, and the pharmaceutical industry.   

 

Pharmacies and pharmacists play a significant role in the lives of many Texans, from administering vaccinations to catching potential drug interactions. If a bill relates to pharmacies, pharmacists, and related licensing, it can be found under PHARMACIES & PHARMACISTS.

 

The definition of "pharmacy benefit manager" appears in Insurance Code § 4151.151. These managers fill the role of administrator of pharmacy benefits and are referenced throughout the statutes in relation to health and prescription drug benefits. Bills that relate to pharmacy benefit managers can be found via the subject PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGERS.

 

A broad range of more than 100 bills filed this legislative session relate to the subject MEDICINE & PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. Proposed legislation regarding compassionate use, prescriptive authority, prescription drug prices, restrictions on over-the-counter medications, and prescription opioids all falls within this subject.

 

To see a complete list of subject headings for the 86th Legislature, select "Reports" under the "Legislation" tab. Then select "S - Subject Headings" from the "Bills by Subject" drop-down menu.

 

Bills in the News: Teacher Retirement & Teacher Pay

In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 86th legislative session, and related resources.

 

Proposed legislation that would make changes to the Teacher Retirement System can be found under "Retirement Systems--Teachers (I0726)."

 

The Texas Classroom Teachers Association and the Texas Retired Teachers Association have resources available online about how pending legislation would affect the Teacher Retirement System. Both organizations have toll-free numbers:

Texas Classroom Teachers Association: 888-879-8282

Texas Retired Teachers Association: 800-880-1650

 

The Legislative Reference Library is unable to interpret, give legal advice, or calculate how legislation may affect individual retirement accounts.

 

Legislation related to teacher salaries can be found using a search of a combination of subjects:

 

 

 

To search these two subjects together, use the Texas Legislature Online Bill Search and click on "Select subject criteria."

 

When you type in the "Search" box, the alphabetical list will automatically scroll. Select the two subjects from the list and click on the right arrow button to move them into the "Selected:" pane.
 

After clicking "OK," you will return to the search screen. Make sure the "And" radio button is selected. Click the "Search" box located at the far top right of the screen to generate a list of bills related to teacher pay.
 

The list generated will have links to the bills and an option to export the results to PDF format.

 

Bills in the News: High-Speed Rail

In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 85th legislative session, and related resources.

 

Bill Search

 

 

Search with the subjects Transportation--Mass Transit (I0823) and Transportation--Railroads (I0821) to find bills related to high-speed rail. Be sure to click on the radio button next to "And" so that bills with both subjects assigned will be returned in your search.

 

Resources

News

 

 

Bills in the News: Sexual Assault on Campus

In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 85th legislative session, and related resources.

 

Bill Search

Search with the subjects Crimes--Against Persons--Sexual (I0171) AND Education--Higher--Institutions & Programs (I0223) to find bills related to sexual assault on college campuses. Be sure to click on the radio button next to "And" so that bills with both subjects assigned will be returned in your search.

 

Resources

 

News

 

Bills in the News: Transportation Network Companies

In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 85th legislative session, and related resources.

 

Bill search

 

Try using the subject VEHICLES FOR HIRE (S0795) to find bills related to transportation network companies.

 

 

Resources

News

 

Bills in the News: Red Light Cameras

Bills in the News
In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 84th legislative session, and related resources.
 
Bills in the News: Red Light Cameras
 
Bill search
 
Search for bills related to red light cameras on the Texas Legislature Online:
 
Try using the subject PHOTOGRAPHIC TRAFFIC SIGNALS (S0439) to find bills related to red light cameras.
 
 
Resources
 
Court Documents
  • In re Jody Weiderman; Emergency original petition for writ of mandamus (No. 15-0243; red-light cameras, City of Arlington), March 27, 2015
  • In re Jody Weiderman; Original emergency petition for writ of mandamus (No. 02-15-00101-CV; red-light cameras, City of Arlington), March 20, 2015
  • Jody Weiderman v. City of Arlington; Plaintiff's original petition and application for temporary restraining order (Cause No. 236-277052-15; red-light cameras), February 25, 2015
 
News
 
 
 
Blog tile image adapted from flickr user Foomandoonian. Some rights reserved.
 

Bills in the News: E-cigarettes and Vaping

Bills in the News
In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 84th legislative session, and related resources.
 
Bills in the News: E-cigarettes and Vaping
 
Bill search
 
Search for bills related to e-cigarettes and vaping on the Texas Legislature Online:
 
Try the phrase "vapor product" with the Word/Phrase radio button selected.
 

Much of the proposed legislation relating to e-cigarettes and vapor products, such as liquid substances containing nicotine, would amend current law related to cigarettes and other tobacco products. Try searching for bills with the subject "Tobacco Products."

Resources

Bills in the News: Open Carry

Bills in the News
In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 84th legislative session, and related resources.
 
Bills in the News: Open Carry
 
Bill search
 
Search for bills related to openly carrying handguns on the Texas Legislature Online:
 
Try the phrase "openly carry" with the Word/Phrase radio button selected.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Much of the proposed legislation relating to openly carrying handguns would amend current law related to the licensed, concealed carrying of handguns. Try searching for bills with the subject "CONCEALED HANDGUNS."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
To cast a wider net, search for bills using the subject "Weapons."
 
 
Resources
 
"Open carry bills on fast-track in Texas Senate," Texas Politics blog, The Houston Chronicle, February 2, 2015.
 
"A week after dismissing open carry’s chances, Lt. Gov. Patrick puts it on the front burner," Trail Blazers Blog, The Dallas Morning News, February 2, 2015.
 
"While Texas holds out, majority of U.S. allows open carry," The Houston Chronicle, January 29, 2015.
 
"Open Carry Survives Despite Its Supporters," Texas Tribune, January 28, 2015.
 
"Map: Where Is ‘Open Carry’ Legal?" The Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2014.
 
 
Related topics
 
"Growing Public Support for Gun Rights," Pew Research Center, December 10, 2014.
 
Guns on Campus: Overview, National Conference of State Legislatures, March 7, 2014.
 
 
 

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