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Bills Effective, September 1–December 31, 2018

On September 1, 2018, 10 bills or sections thereof that were passed by the 85th Legislature will take effect. SB 550, 84R also will take effect on September 1.


In addition, sections of SB 1329 and HB 2950, 85th Legislature, will take effect on October 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018, respectively.


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

Resource Highlight: State Budget Timeline

The LRL's state budget timeline has been updated to reflect the budget process for the 2020–2021 biennium. Currently, state agencies are in the process of developing strategic plans and Legislative Appropriation Requests (LARs). The LARs documents will be available in the Legislative Budget Board's database here.


You can click through the timeline to see what is scheduled to happen in each date range. The LRL will add links to budget bills and related documents as they are released.


Past budget timelines are available in PDF form just below the timeline, as well as a variety of other budget resources. Be sure to check back for updates as budget planning progresses for the upcoming biennium.

Dates of Interest for the 86th Regular Session

What are the key deadlines for the 86th Regular Session? Official deadlines will be set when the House and Senate adopt their rules, but until then, the Texas Legislative Council Drafting Manual provides a perpetual calendar (shown below) that can be useful. According to the Manual:


1st day of session: January 8, 2019


60-day bill filing deadline: March 8, 2019


Adjournment sine die: May 27, 2019


Post-session 20-day deadline for governor to sign or veto: June 16, 2019


Effective date (91st day after adjournment): August 26, 2019


  Table can be viewed in the Texas Legislative Council Drafting Manual


Other upcoming dates of interest include:


July–August 2018: State agencies develop strategic plans and associated Legislative Appropriations Requests (LARs). These are submitted to the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) and the Governor's Office of Budget, Planning, and Policy (GOBPP). View LAR submissions.


September–December 2018: Legislative Budget Board and the GOBPP hold hearings on each state agency’s strategic plan and LAR and prepare separate budget recommendations to be presented to the 86th Legislature (Texas Government Code §§ 322.007401.043–401.0445). See more budget deadlines in our timeline.


November 6, 2018: General election for federal, state, and county officers (Section 1, Article XVII, Texas ConstitutionTexas Election Code § 41.001).


November 12, 2018: Bill prefiling begins (House Rule 8, Sec. 7 and Senate Rule 7.04(a)).

New Exhibit: Texas Law & Order...And The Compilers Behind It

It's easy to take for granted the work of compiling the law. Once the session is over and the governor signs the bills, everything is done, right? Far from it. Preparing volumes that update the law requires time and careful consideration. In this display we took a look at some of the important resources for studying Texas legislative history and the people who laid the foundations for the structure of our laws.


Drawing from our "Who Is..." blog series, the exhibit profiles the lives and work of George W. PaschalJohn SaylesH.P.N. Gammel, and Joseph W. Vernon, all of whose contributions we see reflected in our contemporary Texas legislative publications. Learn who hung up the laws to dry after the Capitol fire, who represented the Cherokee Nation in several important cases, who helped establish the law department at Baylor University, and who never resided in Texas but has his name on our law publications today. (And if you can't make it in person, click on the collages below to learn more about Texas' law compilers.)



Resource Highlight: House Standing Committee Minutes Before 1973

House and Senate committee minutes are a valuable resource for understanding the work that goes into crafting legislation. House standing committee minutes in the Legislative Reference Library collection from before 1973 have been scanned and are available in the LRL's committee minutes database


Scanned minutes, particularly from earlier sessions, may also include other committee documentation, including agendas, exhibits, hearing notices, press releases, rules, testimony, transcripts, and vote sheets. For example:

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.


The digitization of the Senate standing committee minutes prior to 1973 is in process.


Image: On April 9, 1969, several leaders from the Baylor College of Medicine, including Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, testified before the House and Senate's respective State Affairs committees, offering possible solutions for the state's physician shortage.

TxLege Terms: Concurrent/Joint/Simple Resolutions

In this occasional series, we explain terms used in the Texas legislative environment.


Texas legislators can introduce three types of resolutions*: 


Concurrent Resolution—A type of legislative measure that requires adoption by both chambers of the legislature and generally requires action by the governor. A concurrent resolution is used to convey the sentiment of the legislature and may offer a commendation, a memorial, a statement of congratulations, a welcome, or a request for action by another governmental entity. Concurrent resolutions are also used to memorialize (petition) the U.S. Congress, express the views of the legislature, designate official state symbols, and adopt official date or place designations. Additionally, concurrent resolutions are used for administrative matters that require the approval of both chambers, such as providing for adjournment or a joint session, but these types of concurrent resolutions do not require action by the governor.


Joint Resolution—A type of legislative measure that requires adoption by both chambers of the legislature but does not require action by the governor. A joint resolution is used to propose amendments to the Texas Constitution, ratify amendments to the U.S. Constitution, or request a constitutional convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Before becoming effective, the provisions of joint resolutions proposing amendments to the Texas Constitution must be approved by the voters of Texas.


Simple Resolution—The type of legislative measure that is considered only within the chamber in which it is filed. A simple resolution can offer a commendation, a memorial, a statement of congratulations, a welcome, or the views of that chamber. This type of measure is also used to name a mascot, memorialize (petition) the U.S. Congress, adopt or change rules of procedure, initiate a study by a single chamber, and request action by another governmental entity.


Resolutions in the 85th Legislature
Concurrent Resolutions, 85R
Concurrent Resolutions, 85(1)
Joint Resolutions, 85R
Joint Resolutions, 85(1)
Simple Resolutions, 85R
Simple Resolutions, 85(1)


*Definitions taken from the Texas Legislative Glossary, published by the Texas Legislative Council for the 85th Legislature.

Research Minute: Election-Related Reports

It's primary election day! Texas Election Code § 41.007 sets the general primary election date as "the first Tuesday in March in each even-numbered year," which makes Texas the first state to hold its primary this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.


To learn more about topics the legislature has discussed pertaining to elections over the years, you can use our Legislative Reports page, enter "election" in the subject field, then click "search." Then, you can drill down to more specific topic(s) and click "view reports" to explore committee member lists, reports, minutes, and related documents.

For information about voting today, visit the Secretary of State's website.


Cover image by Flickr user Jon Wiley.

63rd–77th Legislatures Committee Minutes Available Online

Committee minutes of the 77th Legislature (House, Senate, and Joint, 2001–2002) have been scanned and are available in the LRL's committee minutes database. Our database now contains scanned minutes for the 63rd–77th Legislatures (1973–2001).

In addition to the information typically included in minutes, a variety of interesting supplemental resources, reports, maps, and transcripts are available. (Some of these PDFs include bookmarks to enhance navigation.) For example:

The LRL database also allows users to search for committee documents from the 78th–85th Legislatures that are available through Texas Legislature Online.

The committee minutes database will continue to grow as we scan older minutes before 1973 in our collection.

Images, left to right: 

The Joint Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Uninsured held meetings in various Texas cities, such as this one in Harlingen, as they examined the problem of Texans who lack health insurance.

If you’re interested in contested elections, you can use the committee search ( to find election committee records. Election contests usually fall to a select/special committee, like the Special House Committee on Privileges and Elections, 66th R.S., that reviewed the contest between Kae Patrick and Donald Cartwright for the election of a representative from District 57H.

Constitutional Amendment Election, November 2017

On November 7, 2017, voters will have a chance to consider seven constitutional amendments proposed by the 85th Legislature. The proposed amendments cover a wide range of topics, including property taxes, raffles, home equity loan provisions, and more.


For background and analysis of the ballot propositions, see the House Research Organization's Constitutional Amendments Proposed for November 2017 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, 491 amendments have been passed.  


Amendments Proposed for the November 7, 2017 ballot by the 85th Legislature

HJR 21 Prop. 1 The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization for less than the market value of the residence homestead and harmonizing certain related provisions of the Texas Constitution.  
SJR 60 Prop. 2 The constitutional amendment to establish a lower amount for expenses that can be charged to a borrower and removing certain financing expense limitations for a home equity loan, establishing certain authorized lenders to make a home equity loan, changing certain options for the refinancing of home equity loans, changing the threshold for an advance of a home equity line of credit, and allowing home equity loans on agricultural homesteads.  
SJR 34 Prop. 3 The constitutional amendment limiting the service of certain officeholders appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate after the expiration of the person’s term of office.  
SJR 6 Prop. 4 The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to require a court to provide notice to the attorney general of a challenge to the constitutionality of a state statute and authorizing the legislature to prescribe a waiting period before the court may enter a judgment holding the statute unconstitutional.  
HJR 100 Prop. 5 The constitutional amendment on professional sports team charitable foundations conducting charitable raffles.  
SJR 1 Prop. 6 The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a first responder who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.  
HJR 37 Prop. 7 The constitutional amendment relating to legislative authority to permit credit unions and other financial institutions to award prizes by lot to promote savings.  

Sunset Commission Report, 2016-2017

The Sunset Commission’s last report of the 2016-2017 cycle, Final Results of Sunset Reviews, is now available on the Sunset Advisory Commission's website


A diagram of how the Sunset process works is available via the Sunset Advisory Commission's websiteClick here to see a list of the agencies under review for the 2018-2019 cycle. 



Cover image by Flickr user Nathan Eaton Jr.

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