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Constitutional Amendment on November 2014 Ballot

In the November 4, 2014, general election, Texas voters will be asked to approve or reject an amendment to the Texas Constitution to dedicate certain funds to transportation.

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Texas Budget Highlights: Fiscal 2014-15

This report highlights key provisions of SB 1 by Williams, the general appropriations act for fiscal 2014-15 and HB 1025 by Pitts, the supplemental appropriations act.

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Should Texas Expand Its DNA Arrestee Database?

As a growing number of states adopt or expand laws to collect DNA samples from those arrested for crimes, Texas lawmakers may consider proposals to do the same. Some of the laws adopted or considered in other states require or propose the collection of DNA from all those arrested for felonies, while others include those arrested for misdemeanors. Debate in Texas centers on how proposals to expand DNA collection might affect public safety, privacy, and resource allocation.

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Major Issues of the 83rd Legislature

During its 2013 regular session, the 83rd Texas Legislature enacted 1,437 bills and adopted 10 joint resolutions after considering more than 6,061 measures filed. It also enacted three bills during the first called session, two bills during the second called session, and one bill during the third called session.This report includes many of the highlights of the regular session and the three called sessions. It summarizes some proposals that were approved and some that were not. Also included are arguments offered for and against each measure as it was debated.

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Vetoes of Legislation: 83rd Legislature

Gov. Rick Perry vetoed 26 bills approved by the 83rd Legislature during the 2013 regular legislative session. This report includes a digest of each vetoed measure, the governor’s stated reason for the veto, and a response by the author or the sponsor of the bill.

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Constitutional Amendments Proposed for November 2013 Ballot

Texas voters have approved 474 amendments to the state Constitution since its adoption in 1876, according to the Legislative Reference Library. Nine more proposed amendments will be submitted for voter approval at the general election on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

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CSSB 1: The House Appropriations Committee’s Proposed Budget for Fiscal 2014-15

This report presents an overview of the proposed state budget and of each article of CSSB 1. It highlights significant budget issues, including different proposals for funding individual agencies and programs.

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Legislative Staff: 83rd Legislature

This directory contains contact information for the Capitol office staff of the 83rd Legislature, including the Texas House of Representatives, House committees, the Texas Senate, and Senate committees.

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House Committee Procedures:
83rd Legislature

Art. 3, sec. 37 of the Texas Constitution prohibits legislation from being considered unless it has been referred to and reported by a committee in both houses of the Legislature. This report reviews the rules and procedures used in the committees of the Texas House of Representatives.

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How a Bill Becomes Law:
83rd Legislature

The Texas Constitution and the rules of the House and the Senate govern the movement of bills through the Legislature. This report summarizes the key constitutional provisions and rules governing bills in the Legislature, with emphasis on the House Rules.

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Writing the State Budget:
83rd Legislature

Writing a two-year budget is one of the main tasks of the Texas Legislature. During the 2013 regular session, the 83rd Legislature will consider a budget for fiscal 2014-15, the two-year period (“biennium”) from September 1, 2013, through August 31, 2015.

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Fiscal 2014-15 state budget:
Restrictions on spending

Lawmakers must adhere to a number of restrictions when approving state spending. These include limits set forth by the Texas Constitution and in state statute and those associated with federal funds. This report provides a brief overview of some of the major restrictions that apply to legislative appropriations.

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Topics for the 83rd Legislature

The Texas Legislature will consider a wide variety of topics when it convenes in regular session on Jan. 8, 2013. Public education and health care are expected to top the agenda, with a variety of other important topics, such as tax policy, corrections management, and the financing of transportation and water planning projects, expected to feature prominently in discussions.

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Small craft producers seek alcohol regulation revisions

This report explains the three-tier system of alcohol distribution in Texas and reviews proposals to allow small producers of specialty beer and distilled spirits to operate under exceptions to the system.

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Interim News: May 7, 2012

As states seek to bolster revenue, many are considering ways to increase collections on taxes and fees they say already are owed. One focus is on collecting sales and use taxes on sales that take place outside the state for goods or services consumed within it. These remote sales, primarily those that take place over the Internet, are a major source of potential revenue.

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Interim News: April 4, 2012

Every four years, the state’s political parties determine procedures for allocating among U.S. presidential candidates the delegates Texas will send to national party nominating conventions. With the Texas primary elections postponed twice this year because of challenges to congressional and legislative redistricting plans, the political parties have had to reconcile their procedures with a shifting electoral schedule. While some parts of the delegate-selection process remain unchanged, other parts will be different this year to accommodate the abbreviated election schedule and changes in national party rules.

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Interim News: March 6, 2012

Some proposals to restrict illegal immigration in Texas would require employers in the state to participate in a federal program called E-Verify to determine whether new employees could legally work in the United States. During the 2011 regular session of the 82nd Legislature, several such bills were filed, but none was enacted.

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Texas cities move to ban texting while driving

This report reviews local efforts to ban texting while driving in Texas, research related to the effects of texting while driving, and the recent debate over implementing a ban statewide.

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Interim News: January 24, 2012

Federal approval of a five-year Medicaid waiver proposal from Texas has jumpstarted an overhaul of how much pharmacies are reimbursed for filling Medicaid prescriptions and how hospitals in the state are reimbursed for treating the uninsured.

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Interim News: December 15, 2011

The current drought in Texas is the most intense one-year drought since the state began keeping rainfall records in 1895 and ranks among the five worst droughts in the state overall. This issue of the Interim News reviews the drought, its effects, and how the state has responded.

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Texas Budget Highlights: Fiscal 2012-13

This report highlights key provisions of HB 1 by Pitts, the general appropriations act for fiscal 2012-13; HB 4 by Pitts, the supplemental appropriations act; and SB 2 by Ogden, first called session.

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Major Issues of the 82nd Legislature

During its 2011 regular session, the 82nd Texas Legislature enacted 1,379 bills and adopted 11 joint resolutions after considering more than 6,000 measures filed. It also enacted eight bills during the first called session. This report includes many of the highlights of the regular session and the first called session. It summarizes some proposals that were approved and some that were not. Also included are arguments offered for and against each measure as it was debated.

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Constitutional Amendments Proposed for 2011 Ballot

Texas voters have approved 467 amendments to the state Constitution since its adoption in 1876, according to the Legislative Reference Library. Ten more proposed amendments will be submitted for voter approval at the general election on Tuesday, November 8, 2011

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Vetoes of Legislation: 82nd Legislature

Gov. Rick Perry vetoed 24 bills approved by the 82nd Legislature during the 2011 regular legislative session. This report includes a digest of each vetoed measure, the governor’s stated reason for the veto, and a response by the author or the sponsor of the bill.

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Legislative Staff: 82nd Legislature

This directory contains contact information for the capitol office staff of the 82nd Legislature, including the Texas House of Representatives, House committees, the Texas Senate, and Senate committees.

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Sources of State Revenue in Texas

As the 82nd Legislature writes the state budget, it will have $177.8 billion in revenue available to spend for fiscal 2012-13, according to the comptroller’s January 2011 Biennial Revenue Estimate. This report examines the major sources of state tax revenue and surveys proposals to generate more.

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