Legislative Recaps of the 85th Legislature (2017)

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.

Some legislative summaries may be 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.

Previous Session Recaps

2015 2013

Association of Texas Professional Educators

The ATPE put together this wrap-up of the 85th Regular Session that focuses on bills related to education and educators.

Austin American-Statesman

The Austin American-Statesman's website provides this "complete guide to the legislative session" with a roundup of articles dealing with both the Regular Session and the 1st Called Session (the special session).

Center for Public Policy Priorities

The Center for Public Policy Priorities, an independent policy institute, provides this wrap-up of the 85th Regular Session. Their wrap-up is also available as a PDF.

Dallas Morning News

The Dallas Morning News' website provides this interactive look at the 85th Legislature by rounding up various articles about the 85th Legislature. They provide broad categories that focus on particular issues like "Border & Immigration" and "Special Session."

Grits for Breakfast

This blog focuses on criminal justice issues in Texas. This post in particular is the transcript of a podcast where the speakers discusses criminal justice reform legislation from the 85th Texas Legislature.

Houston Chronicle

The Houston Chronicle provides this summary of the 85th Regular Session and looks at a few key pieces of legislation that passed.

Independent Insurance Agents of Texas

The Independent Insurance Agents of Texas website has this roundup of bills that would affect the insurance industry.

Legislative Reference Library — Effective Dates for Bills

The Legislative Reference Library provides this listing of the various effective dates for bills passed by the 85th Legislature.

Rio Grande Guardian

The Rio Grande Guardian published a state senator's overview of the 85th Regular Session that focuses on bills that affect the Rio Grande Valley.

Texas A&M Transportation Institute

The Transportation Policy Research Center provides this comprehensive list of bills that relate to transportation. They categorize the list of bills by topics — e.g., finance, ridesharing, right-of-way, eminent domain, traffic safety.

Texas Association of Counties

The Texas Association of Counties highlights some of the county-related bills that passed during the 85th Regular Session.

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 Bar Journal

The September 2017 edition of the Texas Bar Journal is the "Legislative Update Issue" where each of the bar's sections provides a legislative update. The Texas Bar Journal archives are available freely online.

Texas Comptroller

The Texas Comptroller provides a list of changes made to Article IX of the General Appropriations Act as well as a summary of major bills that affect multiple state agencies.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice [PDF]

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) provides this summary of summary of legislation from the Regular Session that affects TDCJ or the criminal justice process.

Texas Department of Information Resources

The Texas Department of Information Resources provides this roundup of bills related to technology.

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) provides a list of bills relating to TDLR and its programs.

Texas District & County Attorneys Association

The TDCAA provided regular, weekly legislative updates throughout the Regular and 1st Called Sessions. They focus on criminal justice legislation that would affect the work of a prosecutor.

Texas Homeowners Association Law

This HOA law website provides a 2017 legislative update for bills related to homeowners' associations (also known as property owners' associations).

Texas Impact

Texas Impact, a "statewide religious grassroots network," provides this wrap-up of the 85th Legislature.

Texas Judicial Council

The Texas Judicial Council provides a legislative update for the 85th Regular Session that covers legislation that affects the courts.

Texas Library Association [PDF]

The Texas Library Association provides this recap of the 85th Regular Session with a focus on bills related to libraries.

Texas Medical Association

The Texas Medical Association provides this wrap-up of the 85th Regular Session with a focus on bills related to medicine and the medical professions.

Texas Real Estate Commission

The Texas Real Estate Commission provides this roundup of bills that were passed by the 85th Legislature and that "have direct effect on license holders."

Texas State Rifle Association

The Texas State Rifle Association, a political action committee (PAC) that focuses on Second Amendment issues, provides this roundup of legislation dealing with firearms.

Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune provides a look at what happened to major Texas bills in the 85th Regular Session.

Texas Workforce Commission

The Texas Workforce Commission's quarterly publication "Texas Business Today" [PDF] provides a summary of major employment-related bills from the 85th Regular Session. These include bills related to employee/family leave, human resources, pay/benefits/wages, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation, and workforce development. Another quarterly publication from TWC, the "Civil Rights Reporter" [PDF] provides a summary of bills from the 85th Regular Session related to equal employment.


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: 14 Sep 2017 4:02 PM