LRL Home - Points of Interest - Legislation

Resource Highlight: 78th Legislature Committee Minutes

Committee minutes from the 78th Legislature have been scanned and are available in the LRL's committee minutes database


House and Senate committee minutes are a valuable resource for understanding the work that goes into crafting legislation. Scanned minutes may also include other committee documentation, including agendas, exhibits, hearing notices, press releases, rules, testimony, transcripts, and vote sheets.


Of particular interest as the Legislature prepares for the next round of redistricting is the 78th's Redistricting committee records (with Texas Legislative Council plans, maps, and court documents). More court documents that are not in the minutes can be found here:


Below are some other interesting items that can now be found in our database:



Corrections (H)  (with testimony 2/18/2003)

Licensing and Administrative Procedures (H)  (with a statement of intent for HB 2689 by Keffer, 4/3/2003)



Criminal Justice (S)  (transcript 1/4/2005, testimony 3/10/2004)



Long-Term Care, Legislative Oversight (J)  (testimony/exhibits both dates)
Nutrition and Health in Public Schools (J)  (testimony/exhibits both dates)
Public School Finance, Select (J)  (testimony/exhibits 9/10/2003, 3/4/2004)


The LRL database also allows users access to committee documents from House, Senate, and Joint committees, 63rd–77th Legislatures (1973–2001), as well as to search for minutes from the 78th–85th Legislatures that are available through Texas Legislature Online.

Constitutional Amendment Election, November 2019

On November 5, 2019, voters will have a chance to consider ten constitutional amendments proposed by the 86th Legislature. The proposed amendments cover a wide range of topics, including taxation, funding for various state agencies, a flood infrastructure fund, and more.


For background and analysis of the ballot propositions, see the House Research Organization's Constitutional Amendments Proposed for November 2019 Ballot, and the Texas Legislative Council's Analyses of Proposed Constitutional Amendments.


The Texas Constitution is one of the longest in the nation, at an estimated 86,936 words (The Book of the States, vol. 49). The Constitution is changed through amendments, which are proposed by the Texas Legislature and accepted or rejected by the voters. Since the current Texas Constitution was adopted in 1876, 498 amendments have been passed.  


Amendments Proposed for the November 5, 2019 ballot by the 86th Legislature

HJR 72 Prop. 1 The constitutional amendment permitting a person to hold more than one office as a municipal judge at the same time.  
SJR 79 Prop. 2 The constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board in an amount not to exceed $200 million to provide financial assistance for the development of certain projects in economically distressed areas.  
HJR 34 Prop. 3 The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for a temporary exemption from ad valorem taxation of a portion of the appraised value of certain property damaged by a disaster.  
HJR 38 Prop. 4 The constitutional amendment prohibiting the imposition of an individual income tax, including a tax on an individual’s share of partnership and unincorporated association income.  
SJR 24 Prop. 5 The constitutional amendment dedicating the revenue received from the existing state sales and use taxes that are imposed on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission to protect Texas’ natural areas, water quality, and history by acquiring, managing,and improving state and local parks and historic sites while not increasing the rate of the state sales and use taxes.  
HJR 12 Prop. 6 The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to increase by $3 billion the maximum bond amount authorized for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.  
HJR 151 Prop. 7 The constitutional amendment allowing increase distributions to the available school fund.  
HJR 4 Prop. 8 The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the flood infrastructure fund to assist in the financing of drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control projects.  
HJR 95 Prop. 9 The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation precious metal held in a precious metal depository located in this state.  
SJR 32 Prop. 10 The constitutional amendment to allow the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker in certain circumstances.  

Sunset Commission Self-Evaluation Reports, 2020-2021 Cycle

Self-evaluation reports for the 2020-2021 review cycle are now available on the Sunset Advisory Commission's website.


To better understand how the Sunset process works in Texas, see this diagram. The Sunset Commission’s last report of the 2018-2019 cycle, Final Results of Sunset Reviews, was published in June 2019. A comprehensive listing of all of the entities reviewed by the Sunset Commission is available here.



Cover image by Flickr user Nathan Eaton Jr.


Legislative Wrap-ups, 86th Legislature

Following each legislative session in Texas, organizations, state agencies, and other entities publish "wrap-ups" summarizing new laws and key legislative developments in areas ranging from education to real estate to water conservation. Wrap-ups can range from a simple list of bills to a detailed report that includes background information and expert analysis.


The LRL tracks legislative wrap-ups, as we find them to be an excellent research tool and summary of the topics covered during a particular session. Listed below is a short selection. To find one on a topic that interests you, check the websites of organizations or state agencies that focus on the issue, or contact the library for assistance.


State Agencies


Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC)


Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)



Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities


Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ)


Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR)


Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR)


Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)


Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)
Summary of Higher Education Legislation - 86th Texas Legislature


Texas Judicial Council
Texas Judiciary Legislative Update


Associations and Organizations

American Planning Association


National Association of Social Workers (Texas Chapter)


State Bar of Texas


Texas Association of Business (TAB)


Texas Association of School Boards (TASB)


Texas Homeowners Association Law


Texas Land Title Association (TLTA)


Texas Municipal League (TML)


Texas NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws)


Texas Nurse Practitioners (TNP)


Texas Water Conservation Association
86th Texas Legislature Wrap-Up

Bills Effective, September 1, 2019

On September 1, 2019, 820 bills passed during the 86th Legislature will take effect. In addition, provisions of 25 bills passed during the 86th Legislature will become effective.


Sections of bills passed during the 85th Legislature84th Legislature, and 83rd Legislature also will take effect on September 1.


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

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.

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.


Locating Bill Effective Dates on TLO

The library reviews the text of all bills that become law to determine their effective dates and enters the information into Texas Legislature Online (TLO). To find the effective date of a bill, look up the bill in TLO and check the "Last action" field in the history window. In some cases, different sections of a bill may have different effective dates, in which case additional remarks will be given to provide the information.


For House and Senate bills from the 86th Regular Session (2019), the two largest groupings are:

  • Effective immediately: 473
  • Effective on 9/1/19: 820

The library compiles a more detailed list of bills and their effective dates following each regular and called session. The list is made available on the library's website once it is complete.

Bill Statistics after Signing/Veto Period, 86th Legislature

Sunday, June 16 was the last day the Governor could sign, veto, or allow to become law without his signature bills presented to him less than 10 days (not counting Sundays) prior to final adjournment of the 86th Regular Session.


The following bill statistics were calculated on June 17 at 1 p.m.

  • To see how these statistics have changed since last week, please view our blog post from June 12 and June 10.
  • To learn about session law chapter numbers and copies of signed bills, please view our blog post from June 5.


House and Senate Bills
Filed 7,324
Sent to the Governor 1,429
Signed by the Governor 1,229
Vetoed by the Governor 56
Filed without the Governor's signature 144
House and Senate Joint Resolutions
Filed 217
Filed with the Secretary of State 10
House and Senate Concurrent Resolutions
Filed 254
Filed with the Secretary of State 29
Sent to the Governor 96
Signed by the Governor 94
Vetoed by the Governor 2
Filed without the Governor's signature 0


Previous Entries / More Entries