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85th Texas Legislative Session

“The Texas Legislature will consider a variety of issues when it convenes in regular session on January 10, 2017. Among other prominent issues, lawmakers are expected to consider proposals to reduce property taxes, revise criminal offenses and penalties, reform Child Protective Services and the foster care system, address abortion issues, expand school choice, revise public school testing and accountability programs, address college affordability, review voter identification requirements, address water needs, and revise regulations and fees for those carrying handguns. This report highlights many, although by no means all, of the issues the 85th Legislature may consider during its 2017 regular session. A total of 24 agencies are under review this session by the Sunset Advisory Commission in areas that include the Employees Retirement System, the Railroad Commission, the Department of Transportation, four river authorities, and boards that govern physicians, nurses, and other health professionals.” —Topics for the 85th Legislature, House Research Organization, Focus Report no. 85-1, December 20, 2016.

Index:  Bills  |  Budget and AppropriationsExecutive Branch  |  GovernorHouseHouse CommitteesHouse Committee Interim Charges & ReportsJoint Committees  |  Legislation  |  Legislative Branch  |  Lieutenant GovernorSenate  |  Senate Committee Interim ReportsSenate Standing Committees

Texas Legislature Online

  • The Texas Legislature Online web site is a good, all-purpose site to use for access to legislative activity.
  • Access House and Senate calendars, information on committees, and their meetings.
  • Search and track bills and legislation (71st Regular Session (1991) to the present).
  • Use it to find out who represents you in the Texas Legislature or to find out more about the legislative process in Texas.
  • Use “My TLO” to create a list of bills to watch, to provide alerts on changes to specified bills, to save searches, and to set up mobile services and RSS feeds.


Helpful publications:

  • Topics for the 85th Legislature (House Research Organization. Focus report no. 85-1, December 20, 2016) [PDF, 16 pp.]
    • “This report highlights many, although by no means all, of the issues that the 85th Legislature may consider during its 2017 regular session. The House Research Organization has addressed a number of these topics in Focus Reports and Interim News articles issued since the end of the regular session of the 74th Legislature in 2015.”
  • Issues Facing the 85th Texas Legislature (January 2007) (Senate Research Center) [PDF, 104 pp.]
  • Guide to Texas Legislative Information (Revised) (March 2015) (Texas Legislative Council) [PDF, 73 pp.]
    • “The purpose of this publication is to help legislators, other state officials and employees, and interested citizens in researching the work of past legislatures and in tracking the progress of pending legislative measures during a session.”—Introduction, P. 1.
  • How a Bill Becomes Law: 84th Legislature (House Research Organization. Focus report no. 84-2, February 26, 2015) [PDF, 18 pp.]
  • How to Follow a Bill Using TLO (from Texas Legislature Online)
  • Legislative Lexicon (January 2017) (Senate Research Center) [PDF, 28 pp.]
    • The legislature, like most organizations, has a specialized vocabulary which may prove to be confusing to those unfamiliar with the legislative process. The ability to understand and clearly communicate within the halls of the Capitol, its chambers, and its committee rooms can be crucial in determining a participant’s success in the legislative realm. The Senate Research Center offers this Legislative Lexicon to provide users with clear definitions of many of the words, terms, and phrases used in the legislature.
  • Texas Legislative Council Drafting Manual (January 2017) (via Texas Legislative Council) [PDF, 307 pp.]
    • This manual explains how legislative drafting is done by the staff of the Texas Legislative Council. Although it is primarily intended for use by the council staff for training and as a reference guide, other participants in the legislative process, including legislators and legislative staff members, may find it helpful in analyzing legislative documents.

Bill Tracking and Analysis

Budget and Appropriations

Helpful Publications:

Appropriations Bill(s)

Executive Branch

Legislative Branch

Helpful Publications

Texas House of Representatives

Helpful Publications and Research

  • Daily House Journals
    • PDF and HTML versions of the daily proceedings in the House
    • Provided as an informational service only until the official permanent journal is published
  • How a Bill Becomes Law: 84th Legislature (House Research Organization. Focus report no. 84-2, February 26, 2015) [PDF, 18 pp.]
  • Bill Analyses (via House Research Organization)
    • Bill analyses prepared by the HRO reflect the version of the bill as it was reported by House committee and first considered by the House of Representatives. It does not reflect any subsequent changes or amendments made on the House floor or in the Senate.
  • Floor Report by Date (via House Research Organization)
    • Floor Reports are collections of bill analyses for bills scheduled on the daily House calendar for floor debate on a particular legislative day.
  • House Research Organization [Click on All Publications, then the series, to retrieve the separate reports]
    • “Focus Reports” provide a thorough examination of particular issues, such as tort reform or electric utility deregulation. The Major Issues report summarizes significant legislation considered during each legislative session.
    • “Interim News” reports provide a brief review of topics of current interest and summaries of interim committee hearings.
    • “Constitutional Amendment” analyses provide a summary and arguments for and against ballot propositions submitted for voter approval.
    • “State Finance Reports” review the budget process and analyze the appropriations bill, focusing on policy issues related to various agency spending proposals.

Texas Senate

Helpful Publications and Research


Committee Information

 Senate Standing Committees (85th Legislature) (via Senate web site)

 Senate Committee Interim Reports (84th Legislature)

Joint Committees

Joint Committees (85th Legislature)

Joint Committees Interim Reports (84th Legislature)

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Currently maintained by Kimberly Wirth, Coordinator of Information Literacy/Research Librarian. Originally compiled: Janetta Paschal, Government Documents/Reference Librarian