The research division provides professional, nonpartisan research, drafting, mapping, and redistricting services for the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, legislators, and all legislative committees. Specific services include congratulatory, memorial, and policy resolution and certificate of recognition drafting; bill analysis and bill version side-by-side comparison drafting; policy issue research; statistical research; data gathering and preparation; map production and geographic analysis; publication preparation; website creation and maintenance; and redistricting information and support.
The administration section is responsible for strategic operations and planning and the direction of the division.
During a legislative session, the staff of this section review bill analyses drafted by the bill analysis section, draft side-by-side comparisons of the senate, house, and conference committee versions of bills and joint resolutions, and handle research requests.
The section produces several presession and postsession publications, including Guide to Texas Legislative Information; Reading Statutes and Bills; the Summary of Enactments; New, Renamed, and Abolished State Governmental Entities; and Analyses of Proposed Constitutional Amendments.
In support of interim activities, the section responds to legislator and committee requests for research, including background information for interim charges; legislative history research; surveys of Texas' and other states' practices, laws, and legislation; and syntheses of academic, government, or other research.
During a legislative session, the staff of this section draft, on request, analyses of bills and joint resolutions placed on the agenda for a house committee hearing and bills and joint resolutions reported out of committee. The section also assists in preparing side-by-side comparisons of the senate, house, and conference committee versions of bills and joint resolutions.
Mapping staff produce paper and electronic maps clearly delineating district boundaries. Maps of the state, districts, or other geographic areas illustrating data related to education, criminal justice, socioeconomic issues, and other topics of interest to the legislature also can be created.
Staff in the section maintain websites relating to legislative districts (Who Represents Me, DistrictViewer, and RedAppl) and work throughout each decade to update redistricting technology and geographic, election, and population databases to be ready to support all legislative and court redistricting activities.
In response to requests from legislators and committees, the staff of this section compile and analyze data, prepare statistical estimates and projections from data, evaluate methodologies of and conclusions in statistical studies conducted by others, advise on the use and interpretation of statistics or on how to formulate a design to answer a research question, and conduct statistical surveys and analyze results.
During a legislative session, the staff of the section also assist in handling policy issue research requests and in preparing side-by-side comparisons of the senate, house, and conference committee versions of bills and joint resolutions.
Since 2001, the council's statistical research staff have been providing assistance to state agencies in designing or conducting statistical studies and surveys mandated by the legislature. This assistance helps to ensure that the legislature gets the information it needs and reduces the need for agencies to hire outside consultants.
The staff of this section draft congratulatory, memorial, and policy resolutions as well as certificates of recognition. The section also produces or coordinates the production of a number of research division and council publications, including the Texas Legislative Manual and the Procedures Manual for Joint Committees. Two historical publications—Presiding Officers of the Texas Legislature and The Texas Capitol: A History of the Lone Star Statehouse—are products of this section. Section staff also work with members of the web technology section to update and maintain the Guide to Texas Legislative Council Services website.
The staff of this section design and maintain certain websites, including the TLC's Internet site; the Capweb home page; the Guide to Texas Legislative Council Services; Texas Redistricting; and Resources, Maps, and Data.