LRL Home - Points of Interest - Legislative process

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 Intent in the Minutes

Many LRL researchers are interested in legislative intent—understanding why a bill becomes law, and who proposes ideas or reforms. However, "intent" is not always explicitly spelled out.


In more recent years, legislative intent often can be found in bill analyses within the bill files. It sometimes is recorded in the text of the bill or in the house or senate journals.


As we work on digitizing past committee minutes, we have also found some instances where legislative intent was added to the record in committee hearings.

Both of these intent documents are noted as reports in the committee minutes database records for their respective committees and sessions. You also can access them via the bills' records in the Legislative Archive System.


Conducting legislative research involves consulting a wide range of documents and close attention to detail. But checking everything is worth it—you never know which resource will provide the information you need!

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.

Resource Highlight: Legislative Committee Minutes Online

The following legislative committee minutes in the LRL collection are scanned and available on our Committee minutes and related documents page:


House: 42nd – 77th

Senate: 27th – 77th

Interim: 38th – 77th


We most recently added interim minutes from the 62nd Legislature (1971-1972). As always, some committees are unique (see the interim committees on vegetable marketing and imported fire ant infestation), and others address major issues like school finance and coastal resources that the Legislature continues to work on today.


Minutes and other committee records from the 77th Legislature (2001) onward are available via Texas Legislature Online.

Resource Highlight: Spotlight on the 86th Legislature

Now that session is over, do you need to find statistics on bills passed, dates that bills take effect, constitutional amendments up for election, and more? Use the links below to find information for the 86th Legislature:

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


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