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Study how the legislature can encourage the development of a comprehensive
plan for coordinating and integrating networking and resource
sharing for all types of libraries.
Texas has vast information resources in its 500 public libraries,
200 academic libraries in colleges and universities, and 6,000
school libraries. Texas librarians have a vision for the future:
a "virtual" library that will vastly expand all of the
information, collections, and human resources of every library
in the state. Although it is technically feasible to network
Texas libraries and, in effect, give equitable access to information
to every citizen, it will not be an easy or a quick thing to do.
The number of libraries in the state and the variety of governing
and funding agencies supporting them make the establishment of
a truly comprehensive system of library resource sharing a daunting
task. Texas libraries, under the oversight of three separate
state agencies, have made great strides towards the improvement
of networking and resource sharing through three separate programs:
TexShare, Texas State Electronic Library, and Texas Library Connection.
Review the standards governing eligibility for burial in the Texas
The Texas State Cemetery was established in 1851 with the death
of Texas patriot Edward Burleson. Burleson's stature as a founding
father and military hero prompted a joint committee of the legislature
to acquire an 18-acre tract for a state cemetery. For much of
its history, the cemetery was not guided by specific laws concerning
burial eligibility. Graves often were indicated with temporary
markers; some were not marked until a number of years after interment.
Over the years, criteria for eligibility for burial in the cemetery
gradually evolved. The 74th Legislature amended the criteria
for burial eligibility, narrowing some categories and broadening
Study a simplified procedure for listing on the State Register
of Historic Places; assess whether simpler procedures are desirable.
An important function of the Texas Historical Commission is to
help protect and preserve the state's historic structures and
archeological sites. To encourage preservation, the agency grants
special designations to properties of historic significance.
These designations generally place restrictions on significant
changes to the property and can also be used to qualify property
owners for local property tax exemptions and federal income tax
The agency currently uses four types of designations for historic
properties in the state: State Archeological Landmarks, State
Historical Markers, National Register of Historic Places, and
Historic County Courthouses.
Study the feasibility of constructing and operating a motion picture
backlot or soundstage facility in Texas.
Compared with some other states, notably Florida and North Carolina,
Texas is critically short of state-of-the-art soundstages. At
times, Texas loses business to other states because soundstage
needs cannot be met within the relatively short time frame required
by film makers. Because the shooting of feature films and television
movies is seasonal, a certain amount of excess soundstage capacity
is required to meet production requirements during peak periods.
By one estimate, Texas needs another three soundstages totaling
50,000 square feet just to keep up with the anticipated growth
of demand over the next few years.
Another inhibitor to expansion of filmmaking in Texas is the absence
of a backlot. Texas has plains, mountains, beaches, small towns,
swamps, and modern cities. But Texas does not have a subway station,
a New Orleans French Quarter street, a row of Brooklyn brownstones,
or a London mews. Construction of a backlot would cost between
$7 and $10 million.