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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.

Resource Highlight: Governors’ Press Releases

Interested in the day-to-day activities of the Texas governor’s office? The LRL collects governors’ press releases in our print holdings. Starting with Governor W. Lee O’Daniel (1939–1941) and up to Governor Greg Abbott (2015–present), these records document governors' responses to legislation and significant events, appearances at important meetings, and more.

 

Contact the library at (512) 463-1252 for information about gubernatorial materials in our collection. (And check out our Texas Governors database for digital resources.)

Resource Highlight: Citation Manuals

Figuring out how to cite sources, especially legislation, often can be a challenge. The LRL has several guides that can help you properly form legal citations.

  • The Greenbook: Texas Rules of Form, 13th edition, by the Texas Law Review, provides guidelines and examples for citing Texas legal authorities. The book describes how to cite constitutional documents, statutes, municipal laws, revisor’s notes, agency materials, historical resources, and more. See our legal citations to legislation post for some Greenbook tips about citing session laws, unenacted bills, and concurrent and joint resolutions.
  • Note that a different citation method is available in the Texas Legislative Council Drafting Manual. (Available online and in print at the library)
  • Legal scholars and practitioners will know that The Greenbook is meant to be a supplement to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (20th edition 2015), which provides a more comprehensive view of legal citation and may answer questions not covered in The Greenbook. In cases where you are citing Texas authorities and The Greenbook conflicts with The Bluebook’s guidelines, you should use The Greenbook’s form. 

These manuals are available for checkout at the LRL.

 

Resource Highlight: Press Book of the Texas Senate

Who were the members of the Texas Capitol press corps in 2015? Who were the members in 1995? To find this information, look no further than the Press Book of the Texas Senate. Published each session since 1969, the Press Books identify members of the Texas Capitol press corps, and detail Senate policies and procedures related to the press. The 2015 volume as well as those from previous sessions are available for viewing at the Legislative Reference Library.