Capitol Research Services of Texas > Frequently Asked Questions

When do I need Legislative Intent Research?
But can't we do the research In-House?
How can Capitol Research Services assist me?
What are your Qualifications?
How do I retain your services?

When do I need Legislative Intent Research?

If neither the plain meaning nor case law are sufficient to construe the statute that governs your case, you may need to determine the legislative intent behind by the statute. Additionally, your opponent may have cited the legislative history and you need an effective rebuttal.

Capitol Research Services provides effective solutions to your legislative questions.

But Can't we do the Research In-House?

The Texas Legislature does not publish histories of the legislation that it enacts, but it does retain various records from which the history can be compiled.

You could send your assistant to Austin to do the job, or you may even be tempted to use your valuable time and do it yourself.

Although researching some statutes is simple and straightforward, oftentimes the Legislature works in mysterious ways. The zigzigs of the legislative process will often throw an inexperienced researcher. Consider the following situations that the unwary often miss:

  • An amendment is added to your bill with only a brief mention of its purpose, when actually the "amendment" was previously another bill that had recieved substantial public hearings.
  • A provision in a bill received no discussion in the bill's public hearings and floor debates when actually the bill was a "sunset" bill and the provision was a recommendaton of the Sunset Commission that was substantially documented in their report. Similiarly, the provision may have been discussed in a interim committee report.
  • A bill seemed to pass with almost no discussion when actually the bill had been introduced in several previous sessions and had received substantial testimony and debate during those sessions. As a result of those previous negotiations, during the current session the bill was an "agreed to" bill.

Such bills are very difficult to be researched by the layperson -- an expert is needed. Additionally, if you need the legislative history immediately, you need a firm ready to hit the ground running so that you can make your deadline.

Whether the legislation is simple or complex, Capitol Research Services can do the work effectively, saving you time and money. We make sure that you find the answer to your legislative questions.

How can Capitol Research Services assist me?

Capitol Research Services reports include an abstract and a detailed background section.

The abstract gives you an overview of the history and points out where the answer to your question is found.

The Background Section lays out the details of each stage of the bill's development, answering questions such as why your bill was introduced, who drafted it, what amendments were added and by whom, what testimony was given during public hearings, what debate occurred on the House and Senate floor, and who said what about the text of the statute that you need interpreted. The Background is comprehensive and tells you the whole legislative history. It is particularly helpful when your opponent is offering selected legislative documents as evidence of intent, so that you can judge if your opponent's evidence has been taken out of context or has been misconstrued. Our comprehensive reports are also useful when your opponent is offering expert testimony so that you may determine whether that testimony is supported by specific documents in the history and not just their own speculations or slanted reading of the documents.

We place our report in a binder and attach an appendix of copies of all bill versions, amendments, bill analyses, interim studies and other documents pertinent to its history as tabbed exhibits.

We can also obtain certified copies of documents and provide affidavits as necessary.

What are your qualifications?

Les Breeding is the owner of Capitol Research Services and is its research consultant.

Breeding has had several roles in the Legislature including five years as Legislative Director for a Member of the Texas House of Representatives.

Breeding is legislative professional whose responsibilities include drafting bills and amendments; researching policy options; negotiating legislation with corporate, governmental, and consumer interest groups; coordinating legislative development with legislative, state agency, and committee staff; and supervising legislative and administrative staff. Breeding has walked the back halls, found ways to revive bills that had been stalled by opponents, passed bills as an amendments to another legislator's bill, killed bills, and gotten amendments tacked on at the last minute. He knows the tricks of the trade necessary to get legislation passed.

Breeding also has almost twenty years of experience as a legislative research consultant where he has researched hundreds of bills. He founded Capitol Research Services in 1997, a full-service legislative intent research firm. He can ensure that you get the full story of how your bill was passed, the impetus behind it, and the specific meanings attached to its wording.

How do I retain your services?

Your phone call or e-mail will get us started on your case. Just let us know the statute in question and the issue that needs clarification. Our services are reasonably priced and prompt and your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Simply contact us to discuss your case. Our initial consultation is free and without obligation. We always give you a hard estimate of costs before we begin your project. We can get started on your case immediately.

When you need legislative research, Capitol Research Services is here to serve you immediately!