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Current Articles & Research Resources, May 26, 2022

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

  • Explore statistics on fatal and nonfatal injury, violent death, and cost of injury. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, September 4, 2020)
  • Read about the progress of investigations related to the January 6, 2021, attack at the U.S. Capitol. (U.S. Department of Justice, May 12, 2022)
  • Review the Fortune 500 rankings for 2022. (Fortune, ©2022)
  • Consider the effects data brokers have on privacy. (Popular Science, May 25, 2022)

 

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.

Interim Hearings – Week of May 30, 2022

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

 

June 1, 2022
House Committee on Agriculture & Livestock
Charge 1: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 87th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:

  • HB 2089, relating to the detection and mitigation of plant pests and diseases;
  • SB 1, Rider 27 (Department of Agriculture), which relates to determining methods to increase the number of grocery stores in food deserts; and
  • SB 1, Rider 28 (Department of Agriculture), which relates to the Experimental Use Program for feral hog abatement.

Overview of the Herd Certification Program, a summary of the USDA report findings.

Charge 2: Study the access of the state’s agricultural industry to available capital through loans, grants, or other sources. Make recommendations to ensure the agricultural industry has sufficient access to available capital, as well as how the Texas Department of Agriculture can educate farmers, agricultural producers, and others about available sources of capital.

Charge 3: Study the impact on agricultural operations of governmental and regulatory requirements and practices including those that prevent or prohibit an activity that is a normally accepted agricultural practice, and make recommendations to facilitate and encourage agricultural production in the state.

 

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New & Noteworthy Books and Reports: May 2022

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the titles from our May 2022 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 or contact the library at 512-463-1252.

 

1. Essentials of Texas Water Resources
By Mary K. Sahs and Holly Heinrich, editors
Provides a comprehensive guide to the complex and evolving water policy issues in the state of Texas. Details the historical background of Texas water law and explores the topics of water rights, water supplies, surface water, groundwater, water planning, water management, and drinking water. Highlights selected issues in water resources law, including the Endangered Species Act, water project financing, flood management, and the water-energy nexus.
State Bar of Texas, 2022, Various paging
B600.8 ES74 2022


 

 

2. Megaregions and America's Future
By Robert D. Yaro, Ming Zhang, and Frederick R. Steiner
Defines a "megaregion" as several metropolitan areas networked by their shared economies, natural resource systems, infrastructure, history and culture. Identifies examples of such megaregions in the United States, including the Texas Triangle, Northeast Corridor, and Southern California. Presents research on megaregions and makes recommendations on how to govern economic, environmental, and infrastructural development at the megaregion scale.
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2022, 351 pages
307.1 Y28M 2022


 

 

3. Texas and Texans in World War II: 1941-1945
By Christopher B. Bean, editor
Presents a social history of life in Texas during World War II through an edited volume of ten essays written by historians. Highlights how different groups within the population — women, Tejanos, African Americans, and unionized workers — responded to the war and how key aspects of the Texas economy were affected, including the agriculture and petroleum industries. Argues Texas was largely a rural, agricultural state prior to the war and emerged on its way to urbanization and industrialization.
Texas A&M University Press, 2022, 357 pages
940.54 B367T 2022


 

 

4. Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, Texas Invasive Species Coordinating Committee: Sunset Staff Report.
By Sunset Advisory Commission
Reports on the functions and governance structure of the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board. Criticizes and recommends administrative changes to the board's dam structural repair program, which received an Economic Stabilization Fund appropriation after Hurricane Harvey in 2019. Recommends the continuation of the Texas Invasive Species Coordinating Committee.
Sunset Advisory Commission, 2022, 52 pages
Online at: https://www.sunset.texas.gov/reviews-and-reports/agencies/texas-state-soil-and-water-conservation-board
S1500.8 SO34IN 2022


 

 

5. Texas Water Development Board, State Water Implementation Fund for Texas Advisory Committee: Sunset Staff Report
By Sunset Advisory Commission
Describes the functions and governance structure of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). Recommends that TWDB streamline its current project review process and include the development and collection of performance metrics for use in project evaluation. Includes recommendations regarding outreach efforts and the elimination of unnecessary advisory committees.
Sunset Advisory Commission, 2022, 52 pages
Online at: https://www.sunset.texas.gov/reviews-and-reports/agencies/texas-water-development-board
S1500.8 W291IM 2022


 

 

6. Tragedy and Triumph on the Texas Plains: Curious Historic Chronicles from Murders to Movies
By Chuck Lanehart
Offers thirty-three essays exploring the social, cultural and political history of the Panhandle-South Plains region. Features iconic heroes of music, politics and sports, as well as less-familiar, overlooked but equally colorful characters. Includes chapters on Emma K. Boone, the first female Lubbock lawyer and descendant of Daniel Boone's brother, U.S. Representative George Mahon, musicians Roy Rogers and Woody Guthrie, and the Spanish Flu Pandemic.
The History Press, 2021, 143 pages
976.4 L24T 2021


 

 

7. Quest for Justice: Louis A. Bedford Jr. and the Struggle for Equal Rights in Texas
By Darwin Payne
Portrays the life of Louis A. Bedford Jr., a prominent African American attorney in Dallas. Details the legal and social obstacles Bedford encountered and challenged. Describes his struggle to establish himself in jurisprudence during the 1930's and 1940's, and his path to becoming the first African American appointed in 1966 as a municipal judge in Texas. Provides behind the scenes examination of the civil rights movement in Texas.
Southern Methodist University Press, 2009, 273 pages
347.73 P346Q 2009


 

 

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, May 19, 2022

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

  • Consider aspects of recent supply chain disruptions. (Congressional Research Service, May 13, 2022)
  • Review a statistical summary related to motor vehicle traffic fatalities and other crash statistics. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, May 2022)
  • Examine statistics related to firearms commerce in the U.S. (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Annual Statistical Update 2021)
  • Read about the connection between pollution and health outcomes. (The Lancet Planetary Health, May 17, 2022)
  • Explore an FAQ about boater education and boating safety. (Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, accessed May 18, 2022)

 

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.

Interim Hearings – Week of May 23, 2022

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

May 23, 2022
Senate Committee on Finance
Charge: Property Tax Relief: Examine and recommend ways to reduce Texans' property tax burden.  Review and report on proposals to use or dedicate state revenues in excess of the state spending limit to eliminate the school district maintenance and operations property tax.

Charge: Tax Exemptions: Examine Texans' current tax exemptions and report on whether adjustments are merited because of inflation or any other factors.

 

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May 24, 2022
House Committee on Public Education
Charge 1: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 87th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:

  • HB 1525 and HB 3 (86R), relating to public school finance and public education;
  • HB 4545, relating to assessment of public school students and providing accelerated instruction;
  • SB 1365, relating to public school organization, accountability, and fiscal management; and
  • SB 1716, relating to supplemental special education services and instructional materials for certain public school students.

Charge 2: Study the effects of COVID-19 on K–12 learning loss and best practices that exist to address learning loss. Monitor the implementation of state and local plans to address students' achievement gaps. Make recommendations for supporting the state and local efforts to increase academic development.

Charge 3: Examine the impact of COVID-19 on students' mental health, including the availability and workload of mental health professionals across the state and their role in the public school system. Make recommendations to reduce or eliminate existing barriers to providing mental health services in a traditional classroom setting or through teletherapy.

Charge 4: Examine the causes and contributors for chronic absenteeism in public schools and its impact on student outcomes. Consider techniques and approaches that have been utilized by public schools to identify students who are chronically absent and return these students to classrooms.

 

Senate Committee on Education
Charge: COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Educator Talent Pipeline: Examine the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the public school educator talent pipeline, staffing patterns and practices, and declining student enrollment and attendance. Review any policies and regulatory actions that prevent students from receiving instruction from a highly effective teacher. Monitor the impact of both the Teacher Incentive Allotment and non-administrator compensation increases directed under House Bill 3 (86th Legislature), as well as the teacher pay raises implemented in 2019. Explore innovative models to improve recruitment and make recommendations to maintain a strong educator workforce pipeline, while adapting resilient school strategies to meet emergent demands in public education.

Charge: Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Education passed by the 87th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:

  • House Bill 3 (86th Legislature), relating to public school finance and public education;
  • House Bill 1525 (87th Legislature), Relating to the public school finance system and public education; and
  • House Bill 4545 (87th Legislature), Relating to the assessment of public school students, the establishment of a strong foundations grant program, and providing accelerated instruction for students who fail to achieve satisfactory performance on certain assessment instruments.

Charge: Bond Efficiency: Conduct a comprehensive review of the school district bond issuance process. Specifically, review public notice and disclosure requirements, the bond election process, procurement requirements, and how unused bond proceeds may be utilized. Study the best practices implemented by school boards and make recommendations to improve bond issuance efficiencies.

Charge: Homestead Exemption: Study the use and effect of the optional homestead exemption available to independent school districts. Examine and report on costs to the state if school districts receive incentives to increase the optional percentage exemption.

 

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May 25, 2022
House Committee on Business & Industry
Charge: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 87th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:

  • SB 22, relating to certain claims for benefits, compensation, or assistance by certain public safety employees and survivors of certain public safety employees

Charge: Study workers’ compensation claims involving public safety employees described by SB 22. This study should include an analysis of medical costs, return-to-work outcomes, utilization of care, satisfaction with care, and health-related functional outcomes.

 

House Committee on Environmental Regulation
Charge: Evaluate the allocation of TERP funds for effective air pollution reduction programs. Review which existing programs are over or under-subscribed and identify unrealized opportunities that would further program goals.

Charge: Review recent passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Public Law No. 117-58), specifically funds that may bolster efforts to clean up polluted sites and plug wells and how federal funds can be used to complement state efforts on well plugging and pollution clean-up.

Charge: Monitor newly adopted and proposed federal regulations that could directly impact economic development, manufacturing, and industrial activities that fall within the jurisdiction of the committee, including regulations adopted or proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

Senate Committee on State Affairs
Charge: Human Trafficking: Examine opportunities and make recommendations to reduce the profitability of and demand for human trafficking in Texas. Determine ways to increase public awareness of the proliferation of human trafficking, as well as resources for victims and survivors. Monitor the implementation of House Bill 1540 (87th Legislature) and examine changes in arrest rates, judicial dispositions, and sentencing amongst offenders due to provisions of the legislation. Examine opportunities for attorneys to combat human trafficking in their local communities, including use of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, to generate revenue for local law enforcement officials combating human trafficking. Make any other recommendations to prevent human trafficking.

Charge: Investment Practices: Study the investment practices of financial services firms and how those practices affect the state's public pensions. Make recommendations to ensure the state's public pension funds are not being invested to further political or social causes.

Charge: Privacy and Transparency: Review the current state laws that protect and secure individuals' biometric identifiers. Explore ways to protect against the use of biometric identifiers for unintended purposes without an individual's consent and make recommendations to the Senate. Study websites that closely resemble government websites or fraudulently represent companies that they are not, including websites that use names of state agencies or licenses. Make recommendations to ensure that Texans are not mislead, taken advantage, or defrauded, especially when they try to seek assistance from a state website.

 

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May 26, 2022
House Select Committee on Youth Health & Safety
Charge: Improving the ability of federal, state, and local governmental entities to address the needs of Texas youth through, among other things, expanded coordination between all programs and systems that serve youth and their families, including child protective services, mental health services, educational institutions, and the juvenile court system;

Charge: The expansion of prevention efforts and the strengthening of service systems to permit the behavioral health challenges faced by Texas youth to addresses closer to their homes, including efforts and systems that permit youth to remain in their classrooms and stay out of institutionalized healthcare and juvenile justice systems.

 

Senate Committee on Criminal Justice (Houston)
Charge: Automobile Parts Theft (Including Catalytic Converters): Review the effect of House Bill 4110 (87th Legislature), relating to the registration of metal recycling, and related catalytic converter theft legislation passed by the 87th Legislature. Determine what actions are needed to aid law enforcement and stop catalytic converter theft and its related violence.

 

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Current Articles & Research Resources, May 12, 2022

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

  • Find electric vehicle charging stations. (Alternative Fuels Data Center, U.S. Department of Energy, accessed May 11, 2022)
  • Review recent county health rankings. (County Health Rankings & Roadmap, University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, April 2022)
  • Read about surveillance conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). (Georgetown Law, Center on Privacy and Technology, May 10, 2022)
  • See where tiny plastic beads called nurdles are washing ashore. (Nurdle Patrol, accessed May 11, 2022)

 

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.

Interim Hearings – Week of May 16, 2022

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

 

May 16, 2022
Senate Special Committee on Child Protective Services
Invited and written testimony only.

 

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May 17, 2022
House Committee on Insurance
Charge 1: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 87th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following

Charge 5: Study the impacts of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 decision in Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association and the federal No Surprises Act (2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Public Law No. 116-620) on the Texas insurance market.

 

Senate Committee on Finance CANCELED
Charge: Property Tax Relief: Examine and recommend ways to reduce Texans' property tax burden.  Review and report on proposals to use or dedicate state revenues in excess of the state spending limit to eliminate the school district maintenance and operations property tax.

Charge: Tax Exemptions: Examine Texans' current tax exemptions and report on whether adjustments are merited because of inflation or any other factors.

 

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May 18, 2022
House Committee on Insurance (continued from May 17)
If the committee does not complete its hearing of all invited testimony scheduled for its May 17th public hearing, it will reconvene after a recess to continue hearing invited testimony only on the posted interim charges.

 

Senate Committee on Business & Commerce
Charge: Supply Chain: Examine the causes and impacts of recent supply chain disruptions on the Texas economy and individual industries. Study the factors that weaken links in the supply chain and the extent the pandemic has exposed those vulnerabilities. Recommend actions to strengthen the supply chain in Texas and mitigate disruptions in the future.

Charge: Cybersecurity: Review current state and federal laws regarding cybersecurity protections and requirements for local governments, state agencies, and critical industries of our state. Make recommendations for legislation to improve resilience and protection against cybersecurity attacks and ensure the privacy protection of the citizens of Texas.

Charge: State Workforce: Study where state employees are located and the benefits and drawbacks of remote working. Evaluate the impact of the potential growth of remote work and proximity of employees to their place of employment on traffic studies over the next 10 years. Study and make recommendations for establishing uniform statewide standards for remote work. Study possible implications and standards for statewide recruitment and employment of remote state employees from all parts of the state.

 

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May 19, 2022
House Committee on International Relations & Economic Development
Charge: Agency Oversight: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 87th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:

Charge: Economic Recovery: Monitor the state’s economic recovery and identify obstacles impeding the state’s economic recovery. Examine the economic impact of inflation on both employers and employees. Examine global supply chain disruptions on state commerce and the flow of trade at Texas ports. Explore opportunities to attract businesses to Texas that have outsourced elements of their supply chain to foreign countries.

Charge: Workforce: Evaluate labor shortages and Texas’ unemployment numbers. Identify initiatives within the Texas Workforce Commission to expand job training and apprenticeship opportunities to help meet labor demands. Identify opportunities to increase outreach and information regarding career development.

 

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Current Articles & Research Resources, May 5, 2022

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

  • Review data and statistics from Child Protective Services. (Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, accessed May 3, 2022)
  • Consider guidance related to caring for patients with a post-COVID condition. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, updated March 21, 2022)
  • Explore reports and publications on economic development in Texas. (Texas Economic Development & Tourism, Office of the Texas Governor, ©2022)
  • Track road conditions in Texas via TxDOT's Intelligent Transportation Systems. (Texas Department of Transportation, accessed May 4, 2022)
  • Read about organic foods. (Mayo Clinic, April 22, 2022)

 

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.

Interim Hearings – Week of May 9, 2022

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

 

May 10, 2022
House Committee on House Committee on Licensing & Administrative Procedures
Charge 1: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 87th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all the associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of all legislation including the following:

Charge 3: Evaluate the qualifications for massage establishments, including gaps and loopholes in the application, monitoring, enforcement, and complaint processes that allow unlawful activity to occur. Consider the multidisciplinary and intergovernmental collaboration required to reduce illicit massage establishments and connect victims with services. Make recommendations to protect Texans against unlawful activity and victimization such as human trafficking.

 

Senate Committee on Higher Education
Charge: Workforce Education: Evaluate state efforts to support access to work-based learning and microcredential opportunities, including apprenticeships, industry-based certificates and certifications, as well as competency-based education. Assess the potential benefits of expanding access to work-based learning, apprenticeships, microcredentials, and industry-based certifications that are aligned to workforce needs and provide in-demand workforce skills and competencies. Evaluate existing resources and programs at institutions, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Texas Education Agency, and the Texas Workforce Commission to support these opportunities and ultimately reach Tri-Agency goals. Consider recommendations to standardize these programs in order increase postsecondary degree completions.

Charge: Enrollment Trends: Study the postsecondary enrollment trends across all sectors and levels of higher education in Texas, with a review on specific challenges to enrollment. Consider the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on direct high school-to-college enrollment, first-time college enrollment, transferability, and retention rates, as well as the overall impact on community college enrollment. Make recommendations on specific methods to address disparities and pandemic impacts relating to enrollment trends in order to achieve Texas' higher education goals in building a Talent Strong Texas.

Charge: Funding Permanent University Fund: Review the history and use of the Permanent University Fund for the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University, and explore the creation of a new legacy fund to address the needs of all other higher education institutions in Texas. Make recommendations on methods to streamline other existing research funds and finance research academic institutions in Texas.

Charge: Teaching and Health Care Workforce Participation: Review financial aid and scholarship opportunities in Texas related to teaching, health care, and law enforcement, and examine methods to increase participation in these and other high-demand fields. In particular, study the participation rates of the Math and Science Scholars Loan Repayment Program, the Peace Officer Loan Repayment Program, and the Nursing Corps Loan Repayment Program, and make recommendations on ways to increase participation rates in each area.

Charge: Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Higher Education passed by the 87th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:

 

Senate Committee on Water, Agriculture & Rural Affairs
Charge: Water Utility Infrastructure: Evaluate the state's water infrastructure. Study and make recommendations on options to upgrade and update water infrastructure to address deferred maintenance, disasters, and water loss.

Charge: Water Supply: Review and make recommendations to complete specific projects identified in the 2022 State Water Plan. In light of recent changes to the global economy, consider the current regulatory process regarding innovative technology solutions to water supply needs, such as marine desalination, and make recommendations for their improvement.

 

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May 11, 2022
House Committee on Elections
Charge: Study the effectiveness of new poll watcher training required by SB 1 (87S2).

Charge: Examine the reporting of election results following an election to determine the reasons for any delays and inaccuracies in the initial reporting of elections results. Make recommendations to ensure that election results are reported in a timely and accurate manner following the closing of the polls.

 

Senate Committee on Water, Agriculture & Rural Affairs
Charge: Rural Employment: Study and make recommendations on rural small business development and workforce needs. Consider and recommend innovative methods for business development in rural parts of the state.

Charge: Rural Immigration: Consider the Federal government's open border policies and practices of releasing illegal immigrants in rural areas of the state. Report on the impact to rural Texas, and their local ability to address social, health, and law enforcement needs.

Charge: Agricultural Theft: Study the impact of cattle theft on farming and ranching operations throughout Texas and recommend cost-effective measures to mitigate loss and increase security.

Charge: Agricultural Theft: Study the impact of cattle theft on farming and ranching operations throughout Texas and recommend cost-effective measures to mitigate loss and increase security.

 

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Current Articles & Research Resources, April 28, 2022

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

  • Review fire potential in Texas in the immediate short term. (Texas A&M Forest Service, April 11, 2022)
  • Explore air quality in the U.S. (American Lung Association, ©2022)
  • Find out how to get copies of birth and death certificates, marriage applications, and divorce records. (Texas Department of State Health Services, updated February 4, 2022)
  • Read about safely keeping backyard poultry. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Page last reviewed: March 30, 2022)
  • Consider the backlog of pending cases in immigration courts. (Congressional Research Service, April 25, 2022)

 

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.

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