Legislative Recaps of the 83rd Regular Session (2013)

The Texas Legislature meets regularly every 2 years (on odd-numbered years). At the end of a regular legislative session, hundreds of passed bills are sent to the governor for approval. Due to the very large number of bills and the wide variety of topics they cover, it can be difficult to get an understanding of all the new laws that were passed.

To help the public become aware of new laws, many organizations provide summaries of new legislation. Below we highlight some of the legislative summaries published by news organizations, state agencies, professional organizations, and independent writers.

Many of the legislative summaries below are written before the governor's veto period ends. Depending on when the governor receives a bill, he or she has between 10 and 20 days to veto legislation passed by the Legislature. Please keep this in mind when reading any legislative summary. We recommended consulting the governor's veto statements to ensure a bill was not vetoed.

Austin American-Statesman (For Subscribers Only)

This Austin-based newspaper divides the new legislation into categories such as "Health Care," "Education," "Criminal Justice," "Immigration," and it also lists notable bills that did not pass.

Austin Chronicle

This Austin-based alternative newsweekly looks at legislation from the 83rd session related to the budget, water infrastructure, education, transportation, the environment, and LGBT issues.

Center for Public Policy Priorities — Better Texas Blog

The CPPP — an independent policy institute — provides legislative wrap-ups on specific topics such as health insurance reform; payday lending reform; tax reform; mental health; and education and literacy.

Grits for Breakfast

This blog, which focuses on the Texas criminal justice system, takes a close look at the new laws that affect the criminal justice system. Topics include the Michael Morton Act, junk science reform, prison closures, law enforcement officer pay raises, and reentry.

Houston Chronicle

This is the first in a two-part series that looks at new legislation passed by the Legislature. It categorizes new laws into the following topics: criminal justice, education, health, transportation, water, parks, public employee pensions, transparency, tax loopholes, and workplace smoking. See part 2 of their roundup here.

Legislative Reference Library — Session Summaries

The LRL provides links to summaries and highlights put out by state agencies such as the House Research Organization, the Senate Research Center, the Texas Legislative Council, and the Comptroller of Public Accounts.

New York Times

In conjunction with the Texas Tribune, the New York Times published an in-depth look at the 83rd Regular Session. Topics include the budget bargaining process, the influence of special interests, and political rivalries.

Texas Bar Association [PDF]

The September 2013 issue of the "Texas Bar Journal" contains a brief overview of the 2013 legislative session. It covers major legislation that was passed, unfinished work for the upcoming 2015 session, as well as a listing of "new laws that affect the real world."

Texas Bar Association CLEs

The Texas Bar Association puts out continuing legal education materials for members of the Bar. After each legislative session, the Bar updates their CLE materials with subject-specific recaps. See the library's listing of CLE materials for subject-specific titles.

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

The TCJC published post-session wrap-ups that look at new laws that affect the criminal justice system. You may also want to look at their public policy center as it includes other legislative analyses, such as pre-session recommendations and legislative policy guides.

Texas District and County Attorneys Association

The TDCAA provides some statistical information about the newly passed criminal justice bills.

Texas Homeowners Association Law

Texas HOA Law is the website of Gregory S. Cagle, a Texas attorney who publishes The Essential Legal Guide for Texas Homeowners Associations and Homeowners. On this page, he provides a summary of the new laws affecting homeowners' associations. See this brief summary of the 2013 reforms [PDF].

Texas Impact

Texas Impact, a "statewide religious grassroots network," provides a listing of passed bills that the organization considers to be a part of their "legislative agenda." Their topics include payday lending, food, health care, public education, faith-based issues, criminal justice, energy, water, immigration, and the budget.

Texas Library Association

The TLA provides a summary of new legislation that affects libraries across the state. It also takes a look at the state budget and how it affects school and public libraries.

Texas Medical Association

The TMA provides a recap of the legislation that affects the health care and medical industries. Some of the topics they discuss include graduate medical education reform, insurance markets, "red tape," Medicaid fraud, immunizations, women's health, mental health, and the Texas Medical Board.

Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune breaks down new legislation into the following topics: the budget, transportation, public and higher education, energy, ethics, criminal justice, health care, immigration, social services, guns, and drones. In addition to their legislative summary, the offer an interactive look at how the 1,436 bills sent to the governor have fared. They also pull together all of their articles related to the 83rd Legislature in their Tribpedia: 83rd Legislative Session feature.

Disclaimer: The sites listed above are hosted by third-party organizations and are intended as an informational source for the public; the library does not endorse any political messages these sources may contain. Please see our third-party linking policy for more information.

page last updated: 2 Oct 2013 11:57 AM