Library Spotlight

The library's blog featuring legal resources, news, and updates on Texas law.


SLL will reopen its doors to the public on Tuesday, June 1st

May 17, 2021

News


We are happy to announce that the State Law Library will reopen its physical location to the public beginning on June 1st, 2021! After months of closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and damage from the February storm, we're excited to assist your legal research needs in person again. Please read through our library's reopening policies for information on how we can best assist you during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Chat Pilot Program Ends on May 28th

May 17, 2021

News


Our chat pilot program comes to a close this month. After Friday, May 28th, our chat reference service will no longer be available, although you can still reach us via phone or by email as always. We'd like to thank our friends at the Harris County Robert W. Hainsworth Law Library for their dedication and teamwork while assisting with our chat program, and we look forward to debuting a new system answering questions via text messages in the near future. Keep an eye out for that announcement soon!

Happy Law Day from SLL!

April 30, 2021

Feature


Law Day is celebrated each year on May 1st and honors the rule of law and the American legal system. This year's theme is "Advancing the Rule of Law, Now!" Read on to see how we're celebrating Law Day.

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Updates to the Texas Rent Relief Program Go Into Effect Today

April 21, 2021

News


The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has made some changes to the Texas Rent Relief Program in order to make the application and payout process easier. These changes go into effect on April 21st, 2021. Read on for a look at these new changes, and visit our Rent and Legal Assistance page on the COVID-19 & Texas Law guide for more information. 

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CDC Order Extended Through June 30th, 2021

March 29, 2021

News


Happy Freedom of Information Day from SLL!

March 16, 2021

Feature


Today, March 16th, is Freedom of Information Day! Do you know how to make a public records request? Read on for more information on Texas and federal laws that help protect the public's access to government information. 

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Last Day for Filed Bills in 87th Legislative Session

March 12, 2021

Feature


It's the 60th day of the 87th Texas legislative session, which means that with the exception of local bills, emergency appropriations, and emergency matters submitted by the governor, today, March 12th, 2021, is the final day for bills to be filed.

Find a list of bills filed today on Texas Legislature Online, or browse bills filed in both the Texas House and Senate

Texas' Mask Mandate Ends Today. What Does This Mean For Texans?

March 10, 2021

Feature


Since early July of 2020, Texans have been required to wear a face mask in most public places due to an executive order issued by Texas Governor Greg Abbott [PDF]. That order has been rescinded, and a new executive order that ends the mask requirement in Texas (with some exceptions, of course) goes into effect today, March 10th, 2021. Here are a few takeaways from the new order.

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Weather Emergencies Guide — Winter Storm 2021 Resources

February 23, 2021

Feature


Texans faced power and water outages, soaring utility bills, and damages to homes and businesses as a result of February's winter storm. We've compiled a list of resources from the state, local and federal response along with information about utility bills, property damage, and insurance claims.

See the Winter Storm 2021 page on the Weather Emergencies guide for more info.

New Texas Rent Relief Program Begins Monday, Feb. 15th at 8 a.m.

February 10, 2021

News


Tracking the 87th Texas Legislative Session

February 1, 2021

Feature


The Texas Legislature's 87th Regular Session is underway! The session began on January 12th, 2021, and will run through May 31st, 2021. Read on for information on keeping up with the latest from the 87th session.

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CDC Eviction Order Extended Through March 31st, 2021

January 25, 2021

News


2020 at the State Law Library: Year in Review

December 31, 2020

Feature


It's doubtful that anyone will remember 2020 fondly. The COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented disruptions across all spheres of life, and we're still grappling with the effects as we head into 2021. At the State Law Library, we spent the better part of a year focusing our efforts on connecting Texans with legal information and resources to help navigate the pandemic's impact, and we pledge to do the same in 2021. Here is a rundown of the SLL's projects and efforts in 2020. 

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Bill of Rights Day

December 15, 2020

Feature


Today, December 15th is Bill of Rights Day! The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution comprise the Bill of Rights, which set out the foundational civil rights and liberties guaranteed to all Americans. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 15th to be Bill of Rights Day in 1941 in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Bill of Rights' ratification.

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Texas Legal History: Lethal Injection

December 11, 2020

Feature


This week marks 38 years since the first use of lethal injection in the United States. On December 7th, 1982, the State of Texas executed Charlie Brooks by lethal injection, becoming the first U.S. state to execute an offender with this method. Read on for a brief overview of the history of lethal injection in Texas.

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How do I report a business for violating the mask ordinance?

December 9, 2020

Feature


We've had a lot of questions about where to report a business or organization for violating mask/face covering orders recently. The best way to report these violations would be to contact your local law enforcement agency (typically a county sheriff's office, city police department, or similar local agency). For more details, please see our legal FAQ on this subject as well as the Mask Laws page of our COVID-19 and Texas Law research guide.

Complimentary Access to Lexis Advance

December 1, 2020

Feature


Take advantage of temporary remote access to Lexis Advance! Procedures have changed, so please review and let us know if you have questions.

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Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions from CDC Order

November 17, 2020

Feature


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an agency order at the beginning of September that halts residential evictions for tenants in certain situations through the end of December 2020. We've provided an overview of this order on the Eviction page of our COVID-19 research guide, including information on who it protects and how it can be used to stop an eviction along with forms and other resources.

Can I be fired for voting for a particular candidate? Am I entitled to paid time off to vote on Election Day?

November 3, 2020

Feature


Today is Election Day! Many Texans who have not participated in early voting will head to the polls today to cast their ballot in federal, state, and local elections. Let's take a look at several Texas statutes that protect employees' right to vote.

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Complimentary Access to Lexis Advance

November 2, 2020

News


Take advantage of temporary remote access to Lexis Advance! Procedures for accessing Lexis Advance have changed, so please review these changes and let us know if you have any questions.

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Happy Halloween from SLL!

October 27, 2020

Feature


Happy Halloween! Legal research doesn't have to be scary — unless you're pulling up one of the Halloween-themed law review articles we've listed below! All of the articles listed can be accessed through HeinOnline, an incredibly thorough collection of legal periodicals that is part of the State Law Library's Digital Collection.

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National Estate Planning Awareness Week: Powers of Attorney

October 23, 2020

Feature


Our last Spotlight post for National Estate Planning Awareness Week will take a brief look at powers of attorney. In general, a power of attorney is a document that allows a person to make decisions or take actions on another person's behalf. Read on for more information and resources at the SLL on this topic.

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National Estate Planning Awareness Week: Living Wills

October 22, 2020

Feature


Earlier this week, we discussed library resources for creating a simple will. In the second post for our series on National Estate Planning Awareness Week, we’ll look at resources that will help you understand and create a directive to physicians, which is commonly referred to as a “living will”. A living will is a legal document that outlines a person’s wishes for medical care.

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National Estate Planning Awareness Week: Creating a Will

October 19, 2020

Feature


October 19th through the 25th is National Estate Planning Awareness Week! Do you have a plan in place to take care of your estate and your loved ones at the end of your life? If not, the library has a lot of resources that can help you create a will, learn how guardianship works, create powers of attorney, and research other aspects of estate planning. Today we will look at several resources for creating a simple will.

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Annotating the News: The Amy Coney Barrett SCOTUS Hearings

October 15, 2020

Feature


Today is the final day of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings in the United States Senate for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, and much of the hearings have touched on Barrett's judicial opinions on the U.S. Court of the 7th Circuit as well as her academic writing in law journals. Read on to find out how to access many of these opinions and articles through the State Law Library.

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