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Interim Hearings – Week of July 18, 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.

 

July 19, 2022
House Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism (Canyon) CANCELED
Charge #3: Review state efforts to preserve and develop Texas state parks and open spaces to ensure affordable public access to outdoor recreational and educational opportunities.

 

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July 20, 2022
House Committee on Defense & Veterans' Affairs
Charge: Examine programs and funding streams connected to services that improve mental health outcomes for servicemen and women suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Topic: Update on Military Equipment available to local governments through the Texas Law Enforcement Support Office.

 

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Interim Hearings – Week of July 11, 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.

 

July 11, 2022
House Investigative Committee on The Robb Elementary Shooting
The committee will meet to hear invited testimony from law enforcement authorities and other affected parties related to the facts and circumstances of the events relating to the violent acts, shootings, and murders at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Because of the quasi-judicial nature of the committee's investigation and pursuant to House Rule 4, Section 12, witnesses may be examined in executive session.

 

Senate Committee on Finance
Charge: Federal Funds: Report on the state use of federal COVID-19 relief funds provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, the American Rescue Plan Act, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Acts, and similar federal legislation. Examine local use of federal relief funding, including funding provided to school districts through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. Evaluate the overall fiscal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on state agencies, including costs incurred due to federal mandates. Identify barriers to the effective utilization of funds and make recommendations on the expenditure of unappropriated funds. In addition, evaluate and report on the spending by state agencies that have been utilizing "one-time" federal funding (temporary enhancements, e.g. FMAP and ESSER) sources, where federal funding will likely be significantly reduced in future biennia.

 

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July 12, 2022
House Committee on Appropriations
Update on the Texas Economy

Uvalde Response: Mental Health and School Safety

Interim Charge #3: Evaluate the history of appropriations and revenues for GR-D Accounts 5010 (Sexual Assault Fund) and 0469 (Crime Victims Compensation Fund).

Interim Charge #5: Review the information technology supporting the Texas Medicaid Program.

Interim Charge #7: Make funding recommendations for the phased installation of climate control equipment in state correctional facilities.

Interim Charge #8: Examine the long-term capital needs of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, including deferred maintenance and planned land acquisitions for new state park land.

Interim Charge #9: Monitor the use of appropriated funds by the Texas Water Development Board from the Flood Infrastructure Fund.

Update on Operation Lone Star

 

Senate Committee on Finance
Charge: Operation Lone Star: Monitor appropriations and spending supporting Operation Lone Star. Evaluate and report on the effectiveness of spending to secure the southern border. Identify and report on resources needed to ensure support for the State National Guard, as well as overall resources necessary for border security for future legislative consideration.

Charge: Bail Bond Reform: Monitor the implementation of recent bail bond reform legislation along with its economic impact on the judicial and correctional system. Assess any barriers to implementation, the law’s effect on pretrial release and jail populations, and ways to further promote public safety and efficiency.

 

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July 14, 2022
House Committee on Urban Affairs (Houston)
Charge #2: Evaluate the availability of workforce housing to support the dynamic economic growth of the state. Study the use of public-private partnerships and other tools to incentivize the development of housing that meets Texas’ expanding workforce demands. Develop and include measures to ensure accountability and transparency associated with these tools.

Charge #3: Review the Municipal Management District Legislative Template with respect to representation and accountability. Make recommendations for improving the template.

 

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July 17, 2022
House Investigative Committee on The Robb Elementary Shooting (Uvalde)
The committee will meet to consider a preliminary report.

 

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Current Articles & Research Resources, June 30, 2022

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

  • Read about stare decisis and the U.S. Supreme Court's role in legal precedent. (ABA Legal Fact Check, June 24, 2022)
  • Explore polarization in American politics. (University of Chicago Institute of Politics, accessed June 28, 2022)
  • Consider how journalists view their job and the press. (Pew Research Center, June 14, 2022)
  • Review an economic outlook for the U.S. (Congressional Research Service, June 28, 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.

New & Noteworthy Books and Reports: June 2022

The Library is continually adding new books to its collection. Below are the titles from our June 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. Gender and Elections: Shaping the Future of American Politics
By Susan J. Carroll, Richard L. Fox, and Kelly Dittmar, editors
Examines the role that gender and race played in the recent 2018 and 2020 elections. Reflects on how elections in the U.S. are acutely gendered, from perceptions of candidates to the disparity between the number of men versus women vying for political office.
Cambridge University Press, 2022, 337 pages
320.082 G285 2022

 

 

2. One Person, One Vote: A Surprising History of Gerrymandering in America
By Nick Seabrook
Provides historical examples of gerrymandering to illustrate how the practice has affected modern politics, including efforts by Patrick Henry, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, and former Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry, the namesake of the term. Highlights the Redistricting Majority Project (REDMAP), a Republican Party program dedicated to taking control of state legislatures after the 2010 census. Discusses the role of the judiciary in resolving disputes over redistricting. Recommends strategies states can use to reform the redistricting process.
Pantheon Books, 2022, 362 pages
328.3 SE438ON 2022

 

 

3. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission: Sunset Staff Report
By Sunset Advisory Commission
Reports on the functions and governance structure of the Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact. Identifies public distrust and confusion over TCEQ's decision making process. Recommends changes in monitoring, enforcement, and review processes, including reform of the Commission's practices for gathering public input and promoting transparency.
Sunset Advisory Commission, 2022, 94 pages
S1500.8 EN89 2022

 

 

4. Texas Juvenile Justice Department, Office of the Independent Ombudsman: Sunset Staff Report
By Sunset Advisory Commission
Reviews the functions and governance structure of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD). Focuses on TJJD's critical staffing issues, noting the employee turnover rates are the worst among large state agencies, and resolving this issue is necessary. Recommends changes to the board structure, while cautioning against a significant leadership shift, and requests a shortened six-year period until Sunset's next review of this agency.
Sunset Advisory Commission, 2022, 102 pages
S1500.8 J800 2022

 

 

5. Trigger Points: Inside the Mission to Stop Mass Shootings in America
By Mark Follman
Explores the field of behavioral threat assessment as a strategy for preventing mass shootings in the United States. Examines the method's origins, through it's use in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Secret Service investigations, to its expansion after attacks in schools. Shows how trained teams, with their focus on recognizing concerning behaviors, can be scaled-up to aid the entire nation. Discusses school shootings and provides accounts from perpetrators, survivors, and behavior and legal experts.
Dey Street Books, 2022, 286 pages
364.152 F668T 2022

 

 

6. Sexual Harassment and Misconduct: An Encyclopedia
By Gina Robertiello, editor
Presents a comprehensive overview about the scope, nature, and prevalence of sexual harassment and misconduct in the United States. Includes relevant laws, codes of conduct, and court decisions. Explains past and current events, claims, various reforms and responses, as well as scandals pertaining to issues of sexism and sexual harassment.
ABC-CLIO, 2021, 395 pages
305.420973 R642S 2021

 

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, June 23, 2022

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

  • Read about 988, the new hotline for mental health emergencies. (Smithsonian Magazine, June 13, 2022)
  • Review a study about how digital news is consumed across the world. (Reuters Institute, 2022)
  • Consider how vehicles with embedded connectivity affect privacy. (Popular Science, June 14, 2022)
  • Explore TxDOT's draft version of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan for the State of Texas. (Texas Department of Transportation, June 12, 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 June 27, 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 27, 2022
Senate Committee on Border Security
Topic: Review border security appropriations and their directed purposes. Invited testimony from the following:

  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Texas Division of Emergency Management
  • Texas Facilities Commission

Border Security: Appropriations and Reporting Requirements (Presented to House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee), Legislative Budget Board, May 2022

Senate Committee on Health & Human Services
Charge: Public Health Data: Review the processes for public health data collection and coordination by local and state entities as well as regional trauma centers. Identify any continuing barriers to the real-time dissemination of data concerning health care facility capacity-including data that can expedite timely care-and morbidity rates, as well as other information that can assist in public policy decisions.

Charge: Pandemic Response: Examine the impact of state and federal pandemic policies-including agency guidance, licensing and regulatory actions, and health care industry policies-on patient care and treatment delivery. Examine how regulatory guidance impacts the patient-doctor relationship. Recommend any changes needed to ensure Texas can develop its own data-driven guidance during public health emergencies.

 

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June 28, 2022
House Committee on Human Services
Charge: Examine the long-term services and support system of care in Texas. Study workforce challenges for both institutional and community services. Assess opportunities to improve patient safety at senior living facilities. Consider mechanisms to promote a stable, sustainable, and quality-based long-term care system to address current and future needs of the state.

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:

  • HB 3041, related to the implementation of the Family Preservation Services Pilot Program.

Charge: Monitor the current status of the state hospital system, including the forensic bed waitlist.

 

Senate Committee on Finance
Charge: Mental Health Delivery: Examine the state mental health service delivery system. Study the state's Comprehensive Plan for State-Funded Inpatient Mental Health Services and the Statewide Behavioral Health Strategic Plan and evaluate the existing state investments in mental health services and state hospital capacity. Review current forensic and civil mental health service waitlists, and recommend ways to improve coordination and outcomes to reduce waitlists. Explore and report on options for additional mental health service capacity, including building state hospitals in the Panhandle and Rio Grande Valley areas.

 

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June 29, 2022
House Investigative Committee on The Robb Elementary Shooting (Uvalde)
The committee will meet to hear invited testimony from law enforcement authorities and other affected parties related to the facts and circumstances of the events relating to the violent acts, shootings, and murders at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Because of the quasi-judicial nature of the committee's investigation and pursuant to House Rule 4, Section 12, witnesses will be examined in executive session.


Senate Committee on Business & Commerce
Charge: Broadband and Telecommunications: Study broadband and other telecommunications related issues impacting Texans, including:

  • Monitoring the implementation of House Bill 2911, 87th Legislature, relating to next generation 9-1-1 service and the establishment of a next generation 9-1-1 service fund.

Charge: Electricity: Study issues impacting the Texas electric grid, including weather preparedness and the natural gas supply chain. Evaluate potential benefits of real-time transparency of the intrastate gas market with respect to the functions of ERCOT and the Texas Energy Reliability Council.

 

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June 30, 2022
House Investigative Committee on The Robb Elementary Shooting (Uvalde)
The committee will meet to hear invited testimony from law enforcement authorities and other affected parties related to the facts and circumstances of the events relating to the violent acts, shootings, and murders at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Because of the quasi-judicial nature of the committee's investigation and pursuant to House Rule 4, Section 12, witnesses will be examined in executive session.

 

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Happy Juneteenth!

Juneteenth is a celebration of the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in Texas, and has been an official Texas holiday since 1979.

 

On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston to announce the end of slavery in Texas, almost two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

 

The Major General's announcement, General Order Number 3, reads as follows: "The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes, and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere."

 

Representative Al Edwards authored H.B. 1016, 66th R.S. (1979), declaring June 19th, Emancipation Day, an official Texas holiday. The Juneteenth historical marker (right) was installed in Galveston on June 21, 2014. In 2016, a monument dedicated to African Americans in Texas was unveiled on the Texas Capitol grounds (cover image).

 

Last year, Congress passed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act (Public Law 117–17), making June 19 a public holiday. It was signed by President Joe Biden on June 17, 2021.

 

On July 22, 2021, the Texas Senate passed SR 19, 87th 1st C.S., recognizing Opal Lee, "the grandmother of Juneteenth," on the designation of Juneteenth as a national holiday.

 

Learn more about Juneteenth and the holiday's Texas origins in the Handbook of Texas Online.

 

You can also find more information about Juneteenth from the following resources:

 

 

Current Articles & Research Resources, June 16, 2022

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

  • Review information related to school shootings by location. (Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS), accessed June 15, 2022)
  • Track air quality on Google Maps. (The Verge, June 9, 2022)
  • Explore statistics related to the Compassionate Use Program. (Texas Department of Public Safety, accessed June 15, 2022)
  • Read about how data brokers sell cell phone location data to the federal government. (Electronic Frontier Foundation, June 13, 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 June 20, 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 20, 2022
House Investigative Committee on The Robb Elementary Shooting (Uvalde)
The committee will meet to hear invited testimony from law enforcement authorities and other affected parties related to the facts and circumstances of the events relating to the violent acts, shootings, and murders at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Because of the quasi-judicial nature of the committee's investigation and pursuant to House Rule 4, Section 12, witnesses will be examined in executive session.

 

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June 21, 2022
House Committee on Defense & Veterans' Affairs CANCELED
Charge: Examine programs and funding streams connected to services that improve mental health outcomes for servicemen and women suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Topic: Update on Military Equipment available to local governments through the Texas Law Enforcement Support Office.

 

House Investigative Committee on The Robb Elementary Shooting (Uvalde)
The committee will meet to hear invited testimony from law enforcement authorities and other affected parties related to the facts and circumstances of the events relating to the violent acts, shootings, and murders at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Because of the quasi-judicial nature of the committee's investigation and pursuant to House Rule 4, Section 12, witnesses will be examined in executive session.

 

Senate Special Committee to Protect All Texans
The Committee will hear invited and public testimony on the following areas:

  • School Safety
  • Police Training
  • Social Media

Speaker Dade Phelan letter to Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick letter to Speaker Dade Phelan (Uvalde response, mental health, school safety), June 13, 2022

 

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June 22, 2022
House Committee on State Affairs
Charge: Update on the continued progress of the proposed changes to the ERCOT market design.

 

Senate Committee To Protect All Texans
The Committee will hear invited and public testimony on the following areas:

  • Mental Health
  • Firearm Safety

Speaker Dade Phelan letter to Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick letter to Speaker Dade Phelan (Uvalde response, mental health, school safety), June 13, 2022

 

Sunset Advisory Commission
Consideration and possible action on the recommendations for the following agencies:

Staff presentation and public testimony:

 

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June 23, 2022
House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety and House Select Committee on Youth Health & Safety
Charge #1: Study the implementation and impact of Senate Bill 11 (86th Legislature, Regular Session) and any other pertinent laws. Identify additional policies, protocols, and strategies that will help create a safer environment in schools and local communities.

Charge #2: Examine strategies to prevent acts of violence, including measures to enhance firearm safety in Texas.

Charge #3: Evaluate the preparedness of and coordination between state and local agencies, non governmental entities, and law enforcement for the prevention of and response to mass violence, including the content and efficacy of active shooter response training.

 

House Committee on State Affairs
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 2, relating to the governance of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the Office of Public Utility Counsel, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas

Charge: Examine the efforts of power generation facilities to weatherize their facilities.

Charge: Review the status of projects intended to reduce transmission congestion within the electrical grid.

 

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Current Articles & Research Resources, June 9, 2022

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

  • Consider how executive pay has climbed recently. (Institute for Policy Studies, June 2022)
  • Read about Americans' views on government. (Pew Research Center, June 6, 2022)
  • Review wildfire statistics. (Congressional Research Service, June 1, 2022)
  • Explore the U.S. Drought Monitor. (National Drought Mitigation Center, released June 9, 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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