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Issue Studies

The study of governmental issues is one of the basic functions of the League of Women Voters. Study is undertaken at all three levels: national, state, and local, and leads to both education and advocacy, two of the basic missions of the organization. The League's process for study has acquired a solid reputation for its in-depth and unbiased exploration of an issue submitted to its grassroots membership for informed discussion.

During this exploration, members draw on balanced, pro/con materials, develop their own resources, turn to technical experts and public officials for information, and reach out to the community through public meetings, surveys, and media coverage. This is all part of the study and consensus process upon which League position is based.

Once a position is reached, the League uses its grassroots strength to influence the shape of public policy. Work is focused on priority issues every year, in order to channel the League's citizen power for the greatest effect.

Studies are conducted and funded by the League of Women Voters of Texas Education Fund, the 501(c)3 organization.

2014-2016 Study

Payday and Title Loans in Texas

Focus: Explore the current regulations on payday and auto-title lenders in Texas and the accessibility and impact of these loans in the community.

Scope: Define a payday loan, an auto-title loan, and the typical borrower. Research the history of the payday/auto-title industry in Texas over the past decade and describe the impact of regulations on the industry. Determine the current demand for loans in Texas and the economic impact of these loans on communities. Determine the typical interest rate charged and the usual length of time that it takes to pay loans.

Some additional issues to consider:

Explanation: This study was recommended by LWV Collin County and two other Leagues. In recent years several organizations have advocated the Texas Legislature for new regulations to protect hard-working families from getting trapped in a revolving door of debt brought on by payday and auto-title loans. Payday and auto-title loans are widespread in Texas, and it is an issue that all Leagues need to understand so we can act with one voice as we advocate on state laws pertaining to this issue.

 

2012-2014 Study

Human Trafficking in Texas

Focus: Study the issue of human trafficking in Texas to understand state and local policies as well as the publicís role in abating human trafficking.

Scope:

Explanation: This study was recommended by the LWV-Houston Area and six other Leagues. In 2011, LWV-Houston Area completed a study on human trafficking, defined as exploiting persons through force, fraud, or coercion, for the purposes of sex, labor or other involuntary acts. Other local Leagues are also studying this issue. Texas is a part of a national and international problem, and it is an issue that all Leagues need to understand so we can act with one voice as we advocate on state laws pertaining to this issue.

Study Committee: Penny Milbouer (Houston Area), Co-Chair; Ann Herbage (Houston Area),Co-Chair; Meg Scott Johnson (Kerrville Area), Peggy Downing (Tyler/Smith County), Janice Schieffer (LWV-TX Program VP, ex-officio).

Timeline:

Publications:

Additional Resources:


2010-2011 Study

Texas Water Resources as a Commodity

Focus: An update of our Water position to consider the competition for water in Texas, including governmental policy, public interest rights, and water resource protection concerns.

Scope:

Study Committee: Mina Johnson (Amarillo), Chair, Miriam Foshay (Dallas), Deanna Frisk (Comal Area), Karen Haschke (Austin Area), Sandra Heatherley (Corpus Christi), Tonya Kleuskens (Amarillo), Mary Vogelson (Dallas)

Timeline:

2010-2011: Research by the committee. Local Leagues may hold Regional Water Forums to educate members and the public about their areaís water resource issues.

Summer 2011: Facts and Issues published and consensus questions approved by LWV-TX.

Fall 2011: Local Leagues reach consensus and report to LWV-TX Board.

Winter 2012: Position statement announced and adopted at Convention 2012.


2008-2009 Study

Voting Procedures to Increase Voter Participation

This study resulted in member consensus for an addition to our Election Laws and Voting Procedures position statement, to include the support of

2006-2007 Study

Mandated Testing in the Public Schools of Texas

2005 Studies

Recent studies:

Copies of these studies and brochures are available upon request.