During the "interim" when the Lege isn't in session, HRO produces more in-depth reports on subjects predicted to spark significant legislation. Three such reports released this year by HRO address issues routinely covered on Grits for Breakfast that will be hotly debated during the 80th Texas Legislature:
Everyone interested in these topics as the Texas Lege approaches should consider these "must reads." After enduring a pitifully ill-informed debate on the subject of red light cameras at the Austin City Council, I wish I'd noticed the red light camera report sooner. Austin city councilmembers disputed as "not substantive" safety issues prominently raised both in the HRO report and in past legislative hearings on the topic. (Of course, councilmembers had already made up their minds before the issue was debated publicly - they all had dollar signs in their eyes.)
I should offer special kudos to Kellie Dworaczyk who authored the immigration and sex offender reports - her work over the years, to my mind, has contributed more to the understanding of complicated criminal justice issues in Texas than any newspaper reporter I can name. Dworaczyk has been doing this quite a while now; she routinely takes on the most difficult, hot-button issues and handles them with aplomb.
Actually, I admire the work of the folks at the House Research Organization more than I can tell you: It's nearly always of very high quality, even bill analyses produced at the height of session when everybody's under a trememdous time crunch. Even more impressive: They seldom fail to tell legislators the most important parts of the story - the parts they DON'T want to hear. How many government agencies can you say that about?