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Current Articles & Research Resources, March 4

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community.

  • Review tips to help stop robocalls and robotexts. (Federal Communications Commission, March 2, 2021)
  • Explore state-by-state information related to vaccine distribution for people with disabilities. (Johns Hopkins University, accessed March 3, 2021)
  • Read about how census data delays could affect elections in 2022. (Politico, March 1, 2021)
  • Note that the USDA has issued a disaster designation for 23 counties in Texas related to the severe winter weather in February. (Office of the Texas Governor, March 3, 2021)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and online sources to compile a weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. View this week's Current Articles.

 

Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles by using our online form or by calling 512-463-1252.

Bills in the News: COVID-19

In this occasional post, we feature topics receiving widespread media coverage, tips for finding bills filed during the 87th legislative session, and related resources.

The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired legislation addressing how the state may respond to future pandemics, and, more broadly, to future disasters.

Legislation directly related to COVID-19 can be found under the subject COVID-19 via the Texas Legislature Online website.

Bill Search
Select Bill Search under the Search tab. Click on Select subject criteria to display a list of subjects that can be used in your search.

 

Scroll down the list and highlight COVID-19, then click the top arrow button to move the subject into the Selected: column. Use the arrow buttons to select and de-select subjects. Click OK. The Bill Search screen will reappear. Click Search in the top left corner to display a list of bills that include the selected subject.

 

 

To narrow a subject search, choose additional subjects …

 

 

and select the And radio button before clicking on Search.

 

 

Narrowing a subject search usually results in fewer bills that are more specific to the issues of interest.

 

 

While some legislation has been filed specifially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, additional legislation has also been filed to address how Texas responds to disasters in general, including disaster that occur when the Legislature is not in session. Use the broader subject term Disaster Preparedness & Relief to locate legislation related to disaster response and mitigation.

 

Tile image, "Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2," by NIAID is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Cropped and resized from original.

New & Noteworthy Books and Reports: February 2021

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the titles from our January 2021 New & Noteworthy list.

Check out and delivery of New & Noteworthy titles is available to legislative staff in Capitol and District offices. To arrange check out and delivery of any of these items, you can submit an online request through the New & Noteworthy page on our website, contact the library at 512-463-1252, or use our PDF request form.

 

1. Chasing Success and Confronting Failure in American Schools
By Larry Cuban
Examines what constitutes educational success in the United States. Argues that American education historically, both in terms of academic achievement metrics and reform efforts, has not been "stable nor consistent." Considers multiple factors that complicate academic success such as politics and policies, social dynamics, school district leadership, and differences in communities.
Harvard Education Press, 2020, 260 pages
363.33 ES74F 2020

 

 

 

2. George T. Ruby: Champion of Equal Rights in Reconstruction Texas
By Carl H. Moneyhon
Profiles George T. Ruby, one of the most widely known of the first generation of Black politicians in Texas. Chronicles Ruby's emergence as a political leader, Radical Republican and delegate to the Constitution Convention of 1868, and his election to the Texas State Senate in 1869. Details his legislative priorities in the Texas Senate and his efforts to ensure the protection of basic civil rights of African Americans.
Center for Texas Studies and TCU Press, 2020, 413 pages
976.4 M742G 2020

 

 

 

3. The Governor and the Colonel: A Dual Biography of William P. Hobby and Oveta Culp Hobby
By Don Carleton
Chronicles the lives and careers of William P. Hobby and Oveta Culp Hobby. Details their political, journalistic, and public service careers, from William's duties as the 27th Governor of Texas and his success in creating a major media empire to Oveta's role in leading the Women's Army Corps and her subsequent rise on the national stage in a presidential cabinet position. Illustrates how the esteemed husband-and-wife "Hobby Team" had a distinct impact on Texan and American history in politics, journalism, war, and philanthropy across the twentieth century.
Briscoe Center for American History, 2020, 885 pages
976.4 C192G 2021

 

 

4. South to Freedom: Runaway Slaves to Mexico and the Road to the Civil War
By Alice L. Baumgartner
Examines how thousands from the South Central United States escaped slavery by crossing the southern border into Mexico after the country's abolition of the practice in 1837. Details how political relations between Mexico and the U.S., including Southerners' hopes of annexing Texas and invading Mexico, only fueled a sectional crisis in the United States. Highlights the experiences of individuals from the time, including enslaved persons seeking their freedom.
Basic Books, 2020, 365 pages
973.7115 B348S 2020

 

 

5. Governor's Budget, 2022-2023
By Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Presents Governor Greg Abbott's budget priorities for the fiscal 2022-2023 biennium, which include investment in healthcare, workforce development and unemployment, public safety, election security and education. Discusses the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and suggests specific areas where federal and state funding should be directed to strengthen pandemic relief.
Office of the Governor, 2021, 31 pages
L1800 B859 2022-23G

 

 

 

6. Sources of Revenue: A History of State Taxes and Fees in Texas, 1972-2020
By Texas Comptroller's Office
Reviews the history and current status of Texas revenue sources back to 1972 in a easy-to-navigate document. Includes an overview of major taxes, fees, and assessments by subject, along with helpful tables and indexes. Lists major revenue related bills by session. Provides a resource that allows policy makers and the general public access to an often complicated and difficult topic — taxes.
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Fiscal Management Division, 2021, 272 pages
C2600.8 SO85 2021

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, February 25

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community.

  • Review The Legislative Process in Texas. (Texas Legislative Council, February 2021)
  • Explore flood risk by street address or zip code. (First Street Foundation, accessed February 24, 2021)
  • Read about how more women are holding seats in state legislatures. (Stateline, February 24, 2021)
  • Consider a state-by-state guide on when and where to get a COVID-19 vaccination. (The Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2021)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and online sources to compile a weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. View this week's Current Articles.

 

Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles by using our online form or by calling 512-463-1252.

Electric Power Outages and Extreme Weather Events, Legislative Committee Hearings, February 25 and March 4

Today's Committee Meetings on the LRL website is a calendar of legislative committee hearings with links to agendas. Below are resources related to upcoming hearings.

 

February 25
House Committees on Energy Resources and State Affairs (Joint Hearing)
The Committees on State Affairs and Energy Resources will hold a joint public hearing to consider the factors that led to statewide electrical blackouts during the recent unprecedented weather event; the response by industry, suppliers, and grid operators; and changes necessary to avoid future power interruptions.

The committee will hear invited testimony only on:
- Statewide electrical blackouts-contributing factors and response

 

Senate Committee on Business & Commerce
Purpose: The purpose of this hearing is to examine extreme weather condition preparedness and circumstances that led to the power outages as directed by Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). The committee will also review generator preparedness and performance, utility outage practices, natural gas supply, and the reliability of renewable generation, as well as overall ERCOT system resilience.

 

March 4
Senate Committee on Jurisprudence   CANCELED
Purpose: The purpose of this hearing is to examine the legal responsibilities that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) owe to the people of Texas. The committee will review the legal framework for governance and oversight of these two entities, their relationship to one another under the law, potential legal liabilities, and the legal limits on increases to consumer electricity rates during an emergency.

The committee will also examine price gouging under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act and receive an update from the judiciary on how the judicial system is managing its operations during the ongoing statewide emergency.

 

Reports:

Articles:

Legislative Reports
Search interim committee studies on various topics. Search by charge keyword or by the following subjects:

  • Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)
  • Electricity transmission and distribution
  • Electricity supplies
  • Natural gas
  • Public Utility Commission of Texas
  • Railroad Commission of Texas

Legislative Archive System
Search past legislation across sessions by subject from 1939-2019 in the Advanced Search:

  • General Subject Index:
    • Business & Commerce--Trade Practices
    • Disaster Preparedness & Relief
    • Energy--Alternative Fuels
    • Energy--Conservation
    • Energy--Fuel Storage
    • Energy--General
    • Oil & Gas
    • Utilities--Electric
    • Utilities--Natural Gas
  • Governmental Agencies:
    • ELECTRIC RELIABILITY COUNCIL OF TEXAS  (for bills from the 76th Legislature)
    • ELECTRIC RELIABILITY COUNCIL OF TEXAS (ERCOT)  (for bills from the 79th-86th Legislatures)
    • PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION
    • RAILROAD COMMISSION

 

The tile image, "electricity pylon" by fsse8info, is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. / Resized from original.

Current Articles & Research Resources, February 18

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community.

  • Locate the nearest warming center in your area. (Texas Department of Emergency Management, accessed February 17, 2021)
  • Consider the long-term effects on the food supply chain in Texas from unprecedented winter storms. (Texas Department of Agriculture, February 16, 2021)
  • Find information about the end of the driver's license expiration waiver. (Texas Department of Public Safety, February 12, 2021)
  • Review winter storm resources and outages. (Public Utility Commission of Texas, ©2021)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and online sources to compile a weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. View this week's Current Articles.

 

Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles by using our online form or by calling 512-463-1252.

Current Articles & Research Resources, February 11

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community.

  • Be prepared for wintry weather. (Consumer Reports, September 4, 2020)
  • Consider the Federal Aviation Administration's authority to require face masks on commercial flights. (Congressional Research Service, February 8, 2021)
  • Read about how hospital price transparency could affect medical debt litigation. (Health Affairs blog, February 11, 2021)
  • Explore states' policies related to barriers to employment after criminal conviction. (Council of State Governments, ©2021)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and online sources to compile a weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. View this week's Current Articles.

 

Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles by using our online form or by calling 512-463-1252.

Current Articles & Research Resources, February 4

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community.

  • Explore state policies and actions related to natural disasters of 2019 and 2020. (National Conference of State Legislatures, January 19, 2021)
  • Review sherrifs' and constables' fees by county in Texas. (Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, accessed February 2, 2021)
  • Track information related to COVID-19 vaccine administration and distribution at state, national, and global levels. (Bloomberg, accessed February 3, 2021)
  • See which notable works from 1925 enter the public domain in the United States. (Library of Congress, January 29, 2021)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and online sources to compile a weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. View this week's Current Articles.

 

Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles by using our online form or by calling 512-463-1252.

Current Articles & Research Resources, January 28

In this weekly post, we feature helpful research tools and recent articles of interest to the legislative community.

  • See which states' populations grew or declined based on new census estimates. (Stateline, January 21, 2021)
  • Review issues Congress may be considering related to content and misinformation on social media platforms. (Congressional Research Service, January 27, 2021)
  • Consider state approaches related to telework for people with disabilities. (Council of State Governments, 2020)
  • Explore the newly updated drought.gov. (National Integrated Drought Information System, January 12, 2021)

 

Librarians review and select articles from more than 1,000 print and online sources to compile a weekly annotated list of Current Articles of interest to the legislative community. View this week's Current Articles.

 

Members of the Texas legislative community may request articles by using our online form or by calling 512-463-1252.

 

New & Noteworthy Books and Reports: January 2021

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the titles from our January 2021 New & Noteworthy list.

Check out and delivery of New & Noteworthy titles is available to legislative staff in Capitol and District offices. To arrange check out and delivery of any of these items, you can submit an online request through the New & Noteworthy page on our website, contact the library at 512-463-1252, or use our PDF request form.

 

1. Essentials of Texas Firearms Law
By Massad F. Ayoob
Reviews the use of firearms and the constitutionally protected rights of gun owners in Texas. Details both federal and Texas firearms laws, licensing practices, federal court cases revolving around the Second Amendment, civil liability, and places where firearms are prohibited.
State Bar of Texas, 2020, 333 pages
363.33 ES74F 2020

 

 

 

2. Gerrymandering Texas
By Steve Bickerstaff
Recounts the history of redistricting and gerrymandering in the state of Texas, with emphasis on the role legislative apportionment played in political and demographic power shifts across the state. Comments on key redistricting cases at the state and federal level, with some personal notes on cases worked by Steve Bickerstaff during his long career in Texas politics. Makes recommendations for redistricting Texas in 2021 and for the reduction of gerrymandering practices. Includes an extensive bibliography of Texas redistricting cases broken down by decade.
Texas Tech University Press, 2020, 247 pages
328.73073 B472G 2020

 

 

 

3. The Merit Myth: How Our Colleges Favor the Rich and Divide America
By Anthony P. Carnevale
Argues there are extreme inequities in American higher education and that the policies of elite colleges are contributing to the educational divide among students. Addresses bias in testing and admissions, merit-based aid, affirmative action, and how colleges are evaluated. Proposes an assortment of measures to make higher education more fair and provide academic opportunity for all students, including guaranteeing a public K-14 education.
The New Press, 2020, 302 pages
378.1 C217M 2020

 

 

4. The Starting Line: Latina/o Children, Texas schools, and National Debates on Early Education
By Robert Crosnoe
Studies a large urban school district in Texas to determine how early education programs result in varying degrees of success and failure for children from socially and economically disadvantaged environments. Focuses on the complex connections between classrooms, schools, families, and communities. Examines programs specifically serving Latinas and Latinos to discuss the broader topics of income inequality, academic opportunity, and the changing demographics of the United States.
University of Texas Press, 2020, 167 pages
371.829 C884S 2020

 

 

5. The Sum of the People: How the Census Has Shaped Nations, from the Ancient World to the Modern Age
By Andrew Whitby
Recounts the history of census taking, with an emphasis on how the collection of quantitative population data has changed the relationship between individuals and the state. Includes chapters on the misuse of population records by the Nazi regime, the connection of censuses to population control strategies, and problems caused by undercounting. Concludes with a discussion of the controversy surrounding the "citizenship question" on the 2020 U.S. census.
Basic Books, 2020, 356 pages
310.9 W581S 2020

 

 

 

6. Texas vs. California: A History of Their Struggle for the Future of America
By Kenneth P. Miller
Examines the rivalry between Texas and California as "the leaders of Red and Blue America," both populous and economically powerful states with oil wealth and large Latino populations. Describes how each state constructed opposing, comprehensive policy models, one progressive and the other conservative, through a focus on five areas – tax, labor, energy and environment, poverty, and social issues. Includes a brief preface on the effect of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the two states.
Oxford University Press, 2020, 372 pages
306.20973 M615T 2020

 

 

7. The Trillion Dollar Revolution: How the Affordable Care Act Transformed Politics, Law, and Health Care in America
By Ezekiel J. Emanuel
Compiles the opinions of academics, policy-makers, and doctors on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ten years after its passage. Includes essays by Democrats and Republicans, as well as legal, financial, and health policy experts. Examines how the ACA has affected the three-trillion-dollar health care sector and the economy, its interaction with the courts, and its influence on American politics. Looks ahead to how the ACA may continue to impact health care reform, including the right to care and drug pricing regulation.
Public Affairs, 2020, 449 pages
368.382 EM11T 2020

 

 

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