You are here

Texas Legislature

Basics

The Texas Legislature meets every other year for 140 days. Each session convenes on the second Tuesday in January during odd-numbered years. The Legislature is bicameral and consists of 150 Representatives and 31 Senators.  The lieutenant governor, elected statewide separately from the governor, presides over the Senate, while the Speaker of the House is elected from that body by its members. Both have wide latitude in...

Read More

The Texas Legislature meets every other year for 140 days. Each session convenes on the second Tuesday in January during odd-numbered years. The Legislature is bicameral and consists of 150 Representatives and 31 Senators.  The lieutenant governor, elected statewide separately from the governor, presides over the Senate, while the Speaker of the House is elected from that body by its members. Both have wide latitude in choosing committee membership in their respective houses and have a large impact on lawmaking in the state.

The decisions that these elected officials make over the 140 day-session affect the more than 26 million people living in Texas in very real ways. The duties of the legislature include consideration of proposed laws and resolutions, consideration of proposed constitutional amendments for submission to the voters, and appropriation of all funds for the operation of state government.

At the beginning of each legislative session, we should ask ourselves important questions like:  Which programs will be adequately funded, and which will experience budget cuts? Will we help more Texans access affordable health insurance? Will we take steps to protect borrowers from excessive fees of the payday loan industry? The legislative process determines which bills become the laws that govern our state and sets the state budget, which outlines how the state funds all other bills passed each session. This means that we, as people who aim to better Texas communities and achieve just policies, should endeavor to be civically engaged individuals and communities and adept in understanding and navigating the state legislature and lawmaking process.

Note: this story originally appeared in the Austin American-Statesman Opinion section, May 22, 2016.


In launching the Senate Finance Committee’s discussion of state spending limits this week, Sen. Jane Nelson said “the goal of spending limits is quite simple, but the calculations and application are much more complex.”

See more posts about: 
Learn
Event Date: 
Sunday, January 24, 2016 - 8:45am

Come to Texas' premiere faith-based public policy conference! Since 1988, Texas United Methodist Women have been meeting annually to learn and lobby. UMW Legislative Event 2016 is January 24-26...don't miss it!

 

See more posts about: 
EngageFaith in Democracy

Financial Security

 

Alternative Lending — statewide regulation: While the bills differ, and Texas Impact was neutral on some, these bills included HB 1020 by Rep. Giddings; HB 2166 by Rep. Flynn; HB 2808 by Rep. James White; HB 3047 by Rep. Craddick; HB 3811 and HB 3812 by Rep. Senfronia Thompson; HB 3824 by Rep. Capriglione; SB 91 and SB 92 by Sen. Ellis; SB 121 by Sen. West; and SB 1323 by Sen. Menendez.  All failed to pass.

 

See more posts about: 
AdvocateLegislative Agenda