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Resource Highlight: Index to Sections Affected

Do you need to track bills by code or find out how a particular bill would change the statutes? Check out the LRL's Index to Sections Affected (ISAf). Librarians already have indexed more than 2,300 bills this session, and they are continually entering data for the 86th Legislature as bills are received throughout the day.

 

Search features include:

  • Search by the Code/Statute—e.g., Government Code, Ch. 824 (right)
  • Search by Bill—find all the code sections affected by a bill (especially helpful when looking at a Sunset bill or a large omnibus bill)
  • Limit search results by bill type (House or Senate, bill or resolution) and/or version (introduced, house and senate committee reports, engrossed, enrolled, vetoed, or any)
  • Link to the current statutes in your search results

ISAf additionally is helpful to determine the status of the law after a session has concluded and before the online statutes have been updated.

 

Also, you can subscribe to ISAf to receive updates in an RSS feed. 

 

Research Minute: Committee Resources

With Senate and House committees appointed and meetings underway, do you need to know more about a certain committee? The Library has many helpful resources in the Committees section of our website. You can...

 

 

Resource Highlight: End of Session Deadlines Calendar, 86th Legislature

The end of session deadlines calendar for the 86th Regular Session is now available. The calendar is a practical summary of deadlines for action under House and Senate rules, and is not intended as an interpretation. You can view end-of-session deadline calendars and dates of interest for previous sessions on the library website: Session deadline calendars

Resource Highlight: State Budget Timeline

Check out the LRL's state budget timeline as you follow the budget process for the 2020–2021 biennium. The Senate and House's preliminary funding recommendations will be posted when both bills are filed, as will the governor's budget recommendations.

 

You can click through the timeline to see what is scheduled to happen in each date range. The LRL will add links to 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.

 

Resource Highlight: First Days of Session Business

On the first day of session next week, Tuesday, January 8, the House of Representatives will elect a new Speaker of the House, and the Senate will elect a new Senate President Pro Tem, per Texas Constitution, Article 3, Section 9. Access past Senate President Pro Tem information and Speaker election documents on our website to learn more about historic leaders within the Texas Senate and House.

 

The two chambers typically adopt their rules from the previous session for the first day, and then adopt updated rules in the following days. Visit our House & Senate Rules and Precedents page to see historic rules of the Texas Legislature.

 

A list of the members-elect for the 86th Legislature is available here.

Resource Highlight: Senate Standing Committee Minutes Before 1973

House and Senate committee minutes are a valuable resource for understanding the work that goes into crafting legislation. Senate 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. Some interesting examples include:

Other interesting items include the minutes of the 60th Legislature's Senate Public Health Committee, which include a notebook containing bills with analysis and comment, and the legal paperwork surrounding the Committee of the Whole Senate (76th) – Election of Lieutenant Governor, convened to select the lieutenant governor when Rick Perry vacated the seat to become governor.

 

Note that some of the investigation committees' transcripts are best accessed using the committee search function.

 

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.

 

Visit our blog post about House standing committee minutes prior to 1973 to learn more about those resources.

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.

Resource Highlight: 12th–15th Legislature Enrolled Bills Now Available

Basic bill information for enrolled bills from the 12th–15th Legislatures (1870–1876) is now available in the Legislative Archive System (LAS). This includes bill numbers, captions, chapters numbers, and session law scans. We've also added the joint and concurrent resolutions that were published in the General and Special Session Laws to LAS from these sessions.

Enrolled bills from the 12th–15th Legislatures are accessible through both the direct search and the advanced search. When using the advanced search, select "View All" for the bill status.
 

Please note that enrolled bills from the following two sessions are only accessible through the direct search in LAS:

  • 12th Adjourned Session (Sept. 22, 1871–Dec. 2, 1871)
  • 14th 2nd Regular Session (Jan. 22, 1875–March 15, 1875)

For related information about these and other sessions, don't forget to check the session snapshot and the scanned House and Senate Journals.

Since LAS is a work in progress, complete information is not available for all bills and all sessions. Visit LAS' status page for more details about this ongoing project. For assistance using LAS, please contact the library.

 

 

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.

Resource Highlight: Parliamentary Manuals

Want to improve your knowledge of parliamentary procedures before the 86th Legislature begins? The LRL has a resource guide for you! You can download Resources in Parliamentary Procedure as a PDF, peruse it on our website, or check out a physical copy.

 

Of course, studying Texas parliamentary procedure starts with the House and Senate Rules. When House and Senate rules are silent, the Legislature relies on resources such as Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure and the practice of the United States Congress as reflected in published precedents such as Hinds’ Precedents and Cannon’s Precedents (see House Rule 14, Section 1, and Senate Rule 20.01).  Additional reference materials available in the LRL include the Texas Legislative Manual, historic Texas legislative procedure and rules materials, other congressional guides and precedents, constitutional reference materials, Hugh Brady's editions on Texas house and senate practices, and more. When available, the guide links to digitized resources.

 

Images, left to right: The Texas Legislative Manual; Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and Rules of the House of Representatives; Texas House Rules; Senate Manual; and [Texas] Senate Rules are significant resources for understanding parliamentary procedure in Texas.

 

Senate Parliamentarian Noel Brown and House Parliamentarian Collier Read Granberry review a legislative manual for the 50th Legislature (1947). Collier Read Granberry Papers, Box 3Y92, The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

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