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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview

Agency History — Texas House of Representatives

Agency History — House Video/Audio

Scope and Contents of the Records

Arrangement of the Records

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Description of Series

House of Representatives recordings, 1962, 1973, 1975-1979, 1981-1984,

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Legislature, House of Representatives:

An Inventory of House of Representatives Recordings at the Texas State Archives, 1962, 1973, 1975-1979, 1981-1984



Overview

Creator: Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives.
Title: House of Representatives recordings
Dates: 1962, 1973, 1975-1979, 1981-1984, (digital files created in 2019)
Abstract: The Texas House of Representatives is one arm of the Legislature of the State of Texas (the other being the Texas Senate), which the Texas Constitution (Article III, Section 1) vests with all legislative power of the state. House of Representatives recordings mainly contain floor debates and logbooks, with some committee proceedings included, dating 1962, 1973, 1975-1979, 1981-1984. They span the 57th Legislature, Interim Term, in 1962, as well as the 63rd Texas Legislature, 1st Called Session, through the 68th Legislature, 2nd Called Session, from 1973 to 1984. Digital copies of the audiotape recordings of these floor debates and committee proceedings, as well as PDF files of logbooks, created by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission with grant funding provided by the Library Services and Technology Act, Institute of Museum and Library Services, are part of the Texas Digital Archive.
TSLAC Control No.: TX006663
Quantity: 2.39 TB
Quantity: (394 files)
Language: These materials are in English.
Repository: Texas State Archives
Sponsor: This EAD finding aid was created in cooperation with Texas Archival Resources Online.

Agency History — Texas House of Representatives

The Texas House of Representatives is one arm of the Legislature of the State of Texas (the other being the Texas Senate), which the Texas Constitution (Article III, Section 1) vests with all legislative power of the state. The primary legislative power is enacting laws, and the most visible function of the legislature is to make public policy through drafting, considering, and passing bills and resolutions. Biennially, the House of Representatives elects a speaker from its membership to serve as its presiding officer. The House of Representatives consists of 150 representatives elected in even-numbered years for two-year terms. A representative must be at least 21 years old, a qualified voter, and a resident of Texas for at least two years and of the district represented for at least one year immediately preceding election.

In addition to legislative powers, the legislature exercises other types of authority. Constituent powers include the ability to alter the state constitution and the members' authority to exercise powers of attorney in behalf of their constituents. Directory and supervisory powers allow the legislature to regulate the state's administrative machinery, made up of boards, commissions, and departments that conduct the affairs of state. The legislature establishes and funds these bodies and defines their functions. Executive powers of each house include selection of legislative officers, employees, and chairs and members of committees. Investigative powers are exercised through the formation of standing, special, interim, and joint committees to study an issue. House committees are usually charged with a particular purpose by the speaker, although this may also be accomplished by a resolution adopted by the house. Each legislative house holds judicial powers over its members, including punishing or expelling members for cause.

The legislature meets in regular session on the second Tuesday in January of odd-numbered years and in special sessions when convened by the governor. The length of the regular session is limited to 140 days. Special sessions are limited to 30 days, but the number of special sessions that may be called is not limited. Only legislative matters submitted by the governor may be considered in special session. All legislative sessions, except for the senate's executive session, are open. Neither house may, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days or move to a place other than where the legislature is sitting. Two-thirds of each house constitutes a quorum, the number of members required to conduct business. If a quorum is not present, a smaller number may vote to adjourn and compel absent members to attend. The house is required to keep and publish a journal of its proceedings and to record the vote on any question on which three members who are present demand an actual count of yeas and nays.

The House of Representatives functions through committees set up under its own rules. The house maintains more standing committees than the senate. By custom the speaker appoints standing, special, and conference committees, although the house is free to designate its own method of selection. Under the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1961, the committee system was expanded, and provisions were made whereby standing, special, and general investigating committees created by each body could function whether or not the legislature was in session. As of 2017, the house has 38 standing committees: Agriculture and Livestock; Appropriations; Business and Industry; Calendars; Corrections; County Affairs; Criminal Jurisprudence; Culture, Recreation, and Tourism; Defense and Veterans' Affairs; Economic and Small Business Development; Elections; Energy Resources; Environmental Regulation; General Investigating and Ethics; Government Transparency and Operation; Higher Education; Homeland Security and Public Safety; House Administration; Human Services; Insurance; International Trade and Intergovernmental Affairs; Investments and Financial Services; Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence; Juvenile Justice and Family Issues; Land and Resource Management; Licensing and Administrative Procedures; Local and Consent Calendars; Natural Resources; Pensions; Public Education; Public Health; Redistricting; Rules and Resolutions; Special Purpose Districts; State Affairs; Transportation; Urban Affairs; and Ways and Means.

(Sources include: Guide to Texas State Agencies, 11th edition (2001); Legislative Reference Library of Texas, accessed September 22, 2020; and the records themselves.)

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Agency History — House Video/Audio

Audiotape recording of Texas House of Representatives floor debate and committee meetings began with the 63rd Legislature (1973) by Media Service in the House Service Division. Videotape recording of some committee meetings began with the 74th Legislatures (1995). Recording operations were moved to Reproduction and Media in the Financial Division in 1984, later moving to the Support Services Division in 1988. In 1994, the office became known as House Video/Audio within the Communications Division and by 1997 was part of House Business Operations. Video and audio-only recording changed to digital format by the early 2000s.

(Sources include: Capitol Complex Telephone Directory, 1973-1994. General Services Commission, Austin, Texas.)

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Scope and Contents of the Records

The Texas House of Representatives is one arm of the Legislature of the State of Texas (the other being the Texas Senate), which the Texas Constitution (Article III, Section 1) vests with all legislative power of the state. Records are digital copies of the audiotape recordings and logbooks of House of Representative floor debates, with some committee proceedings included, spanning the 57th Legislature, Interim Term, and the 63rd Texas Legislature, 1st Called Session, through the 68th Legislature, 2nd Called Session, dating 1962, 1973, 1975-1979, 1981-1984. The logbooks document topics discussed by the House of Representatives corresponding with timestamps on the original audiotape recordings. These timestamps do not translate to the digitized recordings but do provide a list of subjects discussed on each tape. Items in the inventory below are recordings unless noted as logbooks.

Speakers of the house represented in the materials are James Arthur "Jimmy" Turman (57th Legislature, 1961), Price Daniel Jr. (63rd Legislature, 1973-1975), Bill Wayne Clayton (64th-67th Legislature, 1975-1983), and Gibson "Gib" D. Lewis (68th Legislature, 1983-1985). Recordings of the 57th Legislature (1962) consist of a meeting of the House Committee to Study Salt Water Pollution to the Soil and Surface Waters of Texas. This committee studied soil and surface water to determine if existing laws were adequate to control and prevent salt water pollution from man-made causes. The committee also studied funding, accountability, and enforcement tactics to address salt water pollution.

Freshman constituted a majority of the representatives for the 63rd Legislature, elected in the wake of the Sharpstown banking and stock fraud scandal and the resignation of Speaker of the House Gus F. Mutscher, after his conviction on bribery charges. Recordings for the 1st Called Session of that legislature (1973) consist of floor debate and document the charge given to authorize setting speed laws on all Texas highways at a rate consistent with national and state interests related to energy conservation, as well as discuss the Special Joint Committee on Constitutional Implementation leading up to the Constitutional Convention of 1974.

Recordings of the 64th Legislature (1975-1976) feature the organization of the House Committee on Constitutional Revision and the approval of a new constitution in the form of eight amendments (all defeated in a special election public vote); creation of the Public Utility Commission; creation of the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation through the merger of the Texas Highway Department and Texas Mass Transportation Commission; enactment of laws concerning voter registration, environmental concerns over strip-mining, medical malpractice insurance rates, and public school financing; authorization to establish health maintenance organizations; reform of the state's laws for sexual offenses; and reapportionment legislation regarding counties. Recordings consist of floor debate as well as meetings of the House Committee on Financial Institutions, Subcommittee on Bank Holding Companies, and the House Special Committee on Alternatives to Public School Financing.

Recordings of the 65th Legislature (1977-1978) feature a session-long effort to reach agreement on public school finance; enactment of teacher retirement and medical malpractice insurance legislation; changing the method of state executions from the electric chair to lethal injections; enactment of an "emergency" highway appropriation bill and the Texas Energy Development Act of 1977; the creation of a 14-member commission to revise the Texas Election Code; and the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments. Speaker Clayton also served as vice-chairman of the Joint Advisory Committee on Governmental Operations (the "Hobby-Clayton Commission"). As a result of one of the recommendations made by that interim body, which was created by the 64th Legislature in 1975, the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission was created by the Texas Sunset Act (Senate Bill 54, 65th Legislature, Regular Session) in 1977. Recordings consist of floor debate as well as meetings of the House Committee on Public Education; the House Select Committee on Child Pornography, Its Related Causes and Control; and a meeting regarding amending the state constitution.

Recordings of the 66th Legislature (1979) document the implementation of the Tax Relief Amendment approved by voters in November 1978; crafting 12 joint resolutions proposing constitutional amendments to be presented to voters; and enactment of changes to probate law and public retirement systems. The 66th Legislature experienced an episode known as the "flight of the Killer Bees," in which twelve Democratic state senators broke quorum and went to Ardmore, Oklahoma, for several days, evading searches by the Texas Rangers and others, to prevent a vote on a presidential primary bill. Recordings consist of floor debate.

Recordings of the 67th Legislature (1981-1982) document the charges to repeal the state property tax, resolve funding for state-supported senior college and universities, revise the property tax code, create a water trust fund, and consider the Medical Practice Act. Recordings also document state congressional redistricting due to the arrival of U.S. Census Bureau data; enactment of the General Appropriations Act; raising interest rates on loans and credit extensions; crafting seven joint resolutions proposing constitutional amendments; enactment of legislation requiring mandatory automobile liability insurance; authorizing substitutions of generic drugs for drugs specifically prescribed; providing assistance for veterans exposed to chemical defoliants and herbicides like Agent Orange; and instituting anti-crime legislation regarding wiretapping, drug trafficking, drug sales to minors, drug paraphernalia, and aggravated rape. Recordings consist of floor debate as well as meetings of the House Committee on Regions, Compacts, and Districts; the House Special Committee to Study the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Subcommittee on Citizen Complaints Regarding Operation Procedures; and the House State Affairs Subcommittee on Animal Abuse.

Recordings of the 68th Legislature (1983-1984) document the charges to consider the state's brucellosis program, to continue the Texas Employment Commission, to make appropriations for Texas Southern University and the State Ethics Advisory Commission, to reform and fund education, and to increase highway funding with a tax bill. Recordings also document the enactment of legislation regarding payment of claims and judgments against the state; requiring smoke alarms in hotel sleeping quarters; amending the constitution to allow research, education, and promotion of food and fiber production by agricultural product producers; and prohibiting certain discriminatory practices and the denial of human rights. During the 68th legislative session, a water resources package containing several constitutional amendments passed the Texas Senate but stalled in the House. The legislature then decided to hold interim hearings on the matter and appointed the Joint Committee on Water Resources. On February 6, 1983, an electrical fire at the Capitol caused significant structural damage to the nearly century-old building. After this incident, the 68th Legislature created the State Preservation Board (68th Legislature, Regular Session) in 1983 with the passage of Senate Bill 147. The 68th Legislature also passed the Ross Perot-led education reform bill of 1984 (House Bill 72), which brought the most sweeping public education reforms in Texas history. Recordings consist of floor debate.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.

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Arrangement of the Records

These digital audio recordings and PDF files of logbooks are arranged in chronological order by legislative session.

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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None.

Restrictions on Use

Commercial use of legislatively produced audio or visual material is limited (Texas Government Code, Section 306.006).

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Technical Requirements

None.

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Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Corporate Names:
Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Committee on Financial Institutions.
Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Committee on Public Education.
Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Committee on Regions, Compacts, and Districts.
Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Committee to Study Salt Water Pollution to the Soil and Surface Waters of Texas.
Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Special Committee to Study the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.
Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Select Committee on Child Pornography, Its Related Causes and Control.
Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Special Committee on Alternatives to Public School Financing.
Subjects (Organizations):
Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Committee on Constitutional Amendments.
Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Committee on Constitutional Revision.
Texas. Legislature. Joint Committee on Water Resources.
Texas. Legislature. Special Joint Committee on Constitutional Implementation.
Texas. Sunset Advisory Commission.
Subjects:
Constitutional conventions--Texas.
Curriculum evaluation.
Education--Texas--Finance.
Education and state--Texas.
Legislation--Texas.
Sunset reviews of government programs--Texas.
Texas--Constitution.
Document Types:
Digital file formats.
Sound recordings.
Functions:
Documenting legislative activities.
Documenting legislative bodies.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Texas House of Representatives recordings. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession number: 2020/057

These digital audio recordings and PDF files of logbooks were created by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in 2019 and accessioned for control on June 11, 2020. They are digital copies of the original audiotape recordings and logbooks that were transferred to the Texas Legislative Reference Library by the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission on December 6, 2019.

Processing Information

Processed by Tiffany Criswell, August 2019

DACS compliance and other revisions to description and encoding by Tiffany Criswell, August 2020

Restrictions on use updated by Tiffany Criswell, September 2020

Location of Originals

The original open reel audiotapes and logbooks (accession 2007/010) from the 63rd through 68th Legislature were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas House of Representatives on September 14, 2006. It is unknown when the original open reel audiotapes from the 57th Legislature were transferred; they were accessioned for control on June 7, 2019 (accession 2019/122).

The audiotapes and logbooks were later transferred to the Texas Legislative Reference Library by the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission on December 6, 2019. Legal and physical custody of the original audiotapes and logbooks now resides with the Legislative Reference Library. Access to the original audiotapes and logbooks must be requested through the Legislative Reference Library.

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Other Finding Aids

The digital audio recordings and logbooks described in this finding aid are part of the Texas Digital Archive, available online at https://tsl.access.preservica.com/tda/legislature/house-of-representatives/#recordings.

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Detailed Description of the Records

House of Representatives recordings, 1962, 1973, 1975-1979, 1981-1984,
2.39 TB
(394 files)

57th Legislature, Interim Term, 1962
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2007/010 House Committee to Study Salt Water Pollution to the Soil and Surface Waters of Texas, 1962
[3 files]
63rd Legislature, 1st Called Session, 1973
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2007/010 House floor debate, 1973 December 18-20
[1 file]
64th Legislature, Regular Session, 1975
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2007/010 House floor debate, 1975 January 14-June 2
[64 files]
House floor debate logbooks, 1975 January 14-June 2
[3 files]
64th Legislature, Interim Term, 1975-1976
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2007/010 House floor debate logbook, 1975 August 4-5
[1 file]
House Committee on Financial Institutions, Subcommittee on Bank Holding Companies public hearings, 1975 October 31 and November 7
[2 files]
[The hearings were held at the Karcher Auditorium in Dallas (October) and the San Antonio Commissioner's Court (November).]
House Special Committee on Alternatives to Public School Financing public hearings, 1976 March 18 and April 23
[2 files]
[The hearings were held at the Dallas Independent School District Building (March) and Angelo State University in San Angelo (April).]
65th Legislature, Regular Session, 1977
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2007/010 House floor debate, 1977 January 11-May 30
[58 files]
House floor debate logbooks, 1977 January 11-May 21
[5 files]
65th Legislature, Interim Term, 1977-1978
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2007/010 House Committee on Public Education meeting, 1977 July 7-8
[1 file]
[The tape label describes the committee as the "Special Committee on Alternatives to Property Tax."]
House Select Committee on Child Pornography, Its Related Causes and Control public hearing, 1978 April 9
[2 files]
[The hearings were held in Fort Worth and include testimony from various child abuse and protective services employees as well as Morton A. Hill, who speaks about the Hill-Link Minority Report.]
65th Legislature, 1st Called Session, 1977
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2007/010 House Committee on Public Education meeting, 1977 July 11-15
[4 files]
House floor debate, 1977 July 11-probably July 21
[6 files]
House floor debate logbook, 1977 July 11-21
[1 file]
65th Legislature, 2nd Called Session, 1978
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2007/010 House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, 1978
[1 file]
House floor debate, 1978 July 10-August 8
[10 files]
House floor debate logbook, 1978 July 10-August 8
[1 file]
66th Legislature, Regular Session, 1979
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2007/010 House floor debate, 1979 January 9-May 28
[62 files]
House floor debate logbooks, 1979 January 9-May 24
[6 files]
Untitled, about 1979
[1 file]
[This recording includes a statement by Representative Ben Z. Grant about the Ku Klux Klan's presence in Marshall, Texas. The rest of the recording consists of floor debate regarding beer sales. Speakers include Representatives Wayne Peveto, Bob Leonard Jr., and Bennie Bock II.]
67th Legislature, Regular Session, 1981
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2007/010 House floor debate, 1981 January 13-June 1
[55 files]
House Committee on Regions, Compacts, and Districts meeting, 1981 March 30-June 1 and about April
[8 files]
House floor debate logbooks, 1981 January 13-June 1
[9 files]
67th Legislature, 1st Called Session, 1981
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2007/010 House floor debate, 1981 July 13-August 11
[9 files]
House Committee on Regions, Compacts and Districts meeting, 1981 July 16, 21-22, 24, and 27, and August 5 and 7
[5 files]
House floor debate logbook, 1981 July 13-August 11
[1 file]
House Committee on Regions, Compacts and Districts meeting logbook, 1981 July 21-August 7
[1 file]
67th Legislature, 2nd Called Session, 1982
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2007/010 House floor debate, 1982 May 24-28
[3 files]
House floor debate logbook, 1982 May 24-28
[1 file]
[This logbook contains an insert that lists dates for 67th Legislature House Committee on Regions, Compacts, and Districts recordings, but it is not clear which audiotapes are being described.]
67th Legislature, Interim Term, 1982
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2007/010 House Committee on Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Subcommittee on Citizen Complaints Regarding Operation Procedures public hearing, 1982 March 23
[1 file]
[The hearing was held at the Fort Bend County Courthouse in Richmond.]
Joint Committee on Beach Development, public hearing, 1982 July 9
[1 file]
[The hearing was held in Port Aransas. This tape was in poor condition when digitized. The digital copy is faint and difficult to hear.]
House Committee on Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Subcommittee on Citizen Complaints Regarding Operation Procedures public hearing, 1982 July 12
[1 file]
[The hearing was held at the Corpus Christi City Hall city council chambers.]
House State Affairs Subcommittee on Animal Abuse, public hearing, 1982 August 11
[1 file]
[The hearing includes testimony regarding cockfighting and dog fights.]
67th Legislature, 3rd Called Session, 1982
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2007/010 House floor debate, 1982 probably September 7-9
[1 file]
House floor debate logbook, 1982 September 7
[1 file]
68th Legislature, Regular Session, 1983
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2007/010 House floor debate, 1983 January 11-May 27
[43 files]
House floor debate logbooks, 1983 January 11-May 27
[7 files]
68th Legislature, 1st Called Session, 1983
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2007/010 House floor debate, 1983 June 23-25
[2 files]
House floor debate logbook, 1983 June
[1 file]
68th Legislature, 2nd Called Session, 1984
Texas-Digital-Archive
E2007/010 House floor debate, 1984 June 4-July 3
[8 files]
House floor debate logbook, 1984 June 4
[1 file]

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