Ch 7 GOVT 2306.003
Popular in State and Local Government
Popular in Political Science
POLS 1101 096
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airspeed va irg f e gr rye 13quot a v 39 j J rquot f engwk v s3 i z 4 N5 s m 3 it 39x 5 u 5 7 Wt E ii39iE iEM ssassniiene Wi i g g After the 83rd legislative session ended Governor Rick Perry called a special 30day session The last item on the session s agenda was a bill to regulate abor tion procedures providers and facilities Senate Bill 5 The bill was complex subjecting abortion pro viders in Texas to a number of new regulations The most notable and significant change was a ban on the abortion of fetuses older than 20 weeks Supporters of the bill argued that such abortions should be banned because there was evidence that fetuses of that gestational stage are capable of feeling pain This restriction would not apply in cases in which the fetus was severely deformed or in which the life of the mother was in danger However in the latter scenario the performing physician would be required to try to save the fetus s life The bill also required abortion facilities to meet the same safety and quality standards as ambulatory surgical centers clinics that specialize exclusively in outpatient surgical pro cedures Opponents of the bill argued that this would force 3 of the state s 42 abortion clinics to either close or relocate1 A Senate amendment to the bill required that abortion inducing drugs be prescribed only by physicians Finally all physicians who perform abortions had to have admitting privileges at a hospital less than 30 miles away from the abortion facility Filibusters in the Texas Senate are very different from those in the US Senate They are based on Senate Rules 401 and 403 which allow a senator to speak on a bill for as long as the senator desires without interruption This privilege is subject to several limitations The senator must remain standing at his or her desk for the entire time and cannot lean on anything sit in a chair or take any breaks The speaker must also ensure all of his or her comments are germane to the bill Senate rules enable other senators to call the speaker on a point of order if these rules are not followed After a point of order is raised the president of the Senate may sustain or overrule the point of order This ruling can be chal lenged from the floor resulting in a vote that either supports or rejects the ruling on the point of order If the filibustering senator is successfully called on three points of order a simple majority of the Senate may vote to prevent the senator from continuing with his or her remarks2 The overall effect of these rules is to make Texas senatorial filibusters endurance contests for individual senators3 On Tuesday June 25 2013 the last day of the special legislative session the main item on the agenda was Senate Biil 5 At 1118 AM Senator Wendy Davis of Fort Worth took the floor intending to filibuster until the session ended at midnight She held the floor until 1007 PMquot1 She was called on three points of order First her remarks on Planned Parenthood s budget were deemed not to be J 199 germane5 Second having another senator help her with her back brace violated the spirit of the rule against leaning or sitting6 This particular point of order was decided by a 17to 11 vote7 Third her discussion of a Texas law requiring women to have a sonogram before receiving an abortion was not germane At this point the Senate voted 19 to 10 to finally end the filibuster9 After Davis was forced to surrender the floor other Democratic senators be gan raising points of order and parliamentary inquiries in an attempt to run out the last two hours of the session At 1145 PM Senator Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio made a motion to adjourn that was not recognized by the presiding senator Van de Putte followed up with a question At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues in the room l0 The Senate gallery which was packed with opponents of the bill erupted with applause and cheers The noise drowned out the proceedings on the floor and prevented Republicans from calling a vote until 1202 AM after the special session had officially ended11 The bill received 18 yeas and 11 nays12 At first it was announced that the bill had passed The Senate went so far as to change the date of the final vote from June 26 to June 25 on its automated bill tracking website At 300 AM however the lieutenant governor conceded that the vote had begun too late and that the bill had failed Yet his closing comment See you sooh reflected the nearcertainty that the bill would pass in the next special session13 Senate Bill 5 and Wendy Davis s filibuster reveal a number of important points about Texas politics and the rules and strategies seen in the Texas legislature Prolife legislation is important to the Republican Party base as prochoice poli cies are important for the Democratic Party base but such social legislation was not the mainstay of the legislative agenda in the regular legislative session A hard push for such legislation in the regular session would have tied up other bills that had priority for the Republican majority Instead such controversial social legislation was saved for the special session after almost all of the legis lative agenda had been handled in the regular session There was an advantage in bringing up such legislation in a special session For one thing in a special session the legislative agenda is not overwhelmed by bills A special session is limited to the issues for which the special session is called Additionally it is easier for bills to pass in a special session where the regular session require ment of a twothirds vote for Senate consideration of a bill does not apply The disadvantage of such legislation being considered in a special session is that a sessionis limited to 30 days and a well timed filibuster such as used by Sena tor Wendy Davis can block a bill where the vote comes near the end of the ses sion That use of the filibuster to block a bill however can be overcome if the governor immediately calls still another 30 day special session with the blocked bill as a key agenda item in the session The battle over the bill also shows the importance of symbolic politics Politi cians sometimes battle over issues important to key constituencies to build and maintain support from those constituencies but don t expect to make lasting changes That is Senator Davis s filibuster may well have stopped passage of CHAPTER 7 THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE the bill in the special session but it was clear that the bill would pass in the next special session immediately after the first And given federal court deci srons on the issue of abortion it is likely that parts of the abortion bill are un constitutional One thing became clear however social issues provoke intense partisan battles the old friendly and congenial Texas legislature no longer exrsts The new Texas legislature is increasingly moving in the bitter partisan direction of the US Congress Sea was Newquot Mar1 Vii2m za AX w 4 n 4 if quot397 1 1 4 f f it i xvii my airVa ie 594t i7 39V397r quotquotr quotquot5 x i i 34quot i M v w I a v v 39 g 452153 f e i f x i c 371 v gt Attic f J39 a i r Jerri i is fquotJWfigt fogw d ii i first W lt quotit quot y i i2 i rm xgar ix x ii a y 6quot u rlt f 4 quotV VA quot395 9 quot agar xi as M r quot 3 6 cp if f 1 I 9 hi 49 335 Hanna 9 it2 a 39 i n 39 quot2 a i 39 saxyquot If 3 L I M 3 j v j ii 0r3i3 yr y 5 2 v 2 g uz ie fiig39i39 v v a Weary arrz Registryxm gwr mewirisweerife 559 i s i 6 ake 3 4 24 fo a 3 w I if 33 5 i it riftquot gm rm yi r i 39 quot39 33 33 in r 4 J ru u gt 1 f i J quot A 39 4 s i sass r ii erasesrai 39 iiir is i air rear r rite I gt 39 Xvi9x quotr 1333quot gig up it fare thy53 x r figi si I We r5 z 7 i gt n a e39 2 d W a xm ir f at i quot 3 rt x a lt r a g fc v fg 39 ii m 39 6 39 gquot i 4 i quotwagequot Mai r i crtfW Ho wl39 c beg39pg k gf gj39 Iquot l r655 r 39ria39TzoZ x0 quot 393 I 1quot f I 55 55354 34 9 C39yri ir39 Karatea sitar 592 quot its Kiquot bailiff M 7 75 lt 394 e as 9 393 v xgm Ki W15 9 z I M i 214512 iiix 5 3 2 wavy WM 25quot quot333 42quot if 5 4 g q g fmgquot i if ye 63534 39 i 4 a 4 33 ira Wits4itew5 r 39r ts t 1 firquot 539 i quot39 a o ireh x i 2 2 f 394 VI quotZ r i Iquot a a l er i 1 ur a Miri ra 5 1 quot r 3quot 8 40 455243 as gt r W55 rat0255i 4 9 59 quot 9 wquot A 94 A4 39 imi i yr irf i V quot1 2 21 a r 39 39 i39fs39 x r 939 39 5 l39 39 f r3 quot2 1 ii i A 39r If 4 39 3 1 2 z I quot I 4 y I w a n m H ahivy 65 4 Before becoming law in Texas a bill must pass in both houses of the legislature In 2013 the legislature passed a law forbidding guns on college campuses unless speci cally authorized lay the campus Senate The Texas legislature s 150 House members and 31 senators meet in regu lar session for 140 days every oddnumbered year Senatorsserve fouryear terms and House members serve for two years Each represents a Singlemember district Each member of the Texas House represents approximately 168000 people Each senator represents over 811000 constituents A state senator now represents more people than does a member of the US House of Representatives Elections alre held in November of evennumbered years and senators and House members ta lte 39 anua of oddnumbered years I I Of Efclllrleralisffi creates interesting dynamics in a legislature For one thing it means that before a law is passed it will be voted on by two deliberative bod ies representing different constituencies In 2009 for example the Tejal Sednate passed legislation to allow college students and faculty With conceale gun licenses to carry their rearms on campus That legislation however was k1 e the Texas House of Representatives14 In 2011 the Texas Senate again passed a hr with an amendment allowing guns on campus In the Texas House the bill lied support from a majority of members However the bill failed in the House e cause of a successful parliamentary objection that the gun amendment was not ger mane to the bill it amended which dealt with scholarships15 In 2013 the National Rifle Association backed bill allowing guns on campus passed the House but the bill died in the Texas Senate when it failed to get the twothirds vote nieded in the Senate for the bill to be brought to the floor for discussion and a vote If a bill cannot be killed in one house it can be killed or modi ed in the other body One effect of bicameralism in Texas is that the author of a bill 111 one house that has been amended in the other body has the option of accepting or rejecting the amendment 1f the author accepts the ameridgnent the bill moves forward if the 39 amendment the bill is kil e aUtgilaf lr ief liss eallows a member of one legislative body to retaliate against a member of either body for not cooperating on desired legislation A local and consent calendar in the House is usually reserved for uncontroversral bills or bills limited to a localized problem In order for a bill to be passed from that calendar it has to pass without the objection of any member of the House That requirement provides a perfect opportunity for members to retaliate against other members for perceived slightsI7 Membership The constitutional requirements for becoming a member of the Texas legislature are minimal A senator must be a US citizen a quali ed voter and a resident of the state for at least ve years and of the district for at least one year Additionally the senator must be at least 26 years of age Members of the House must be at leastdZil US citizens quali ed voters and residents of the state for two years and iflthe 1 trict for one year These requirements are in keeping With the political p rosofpi y of those who wrote the Constitution of 1876 They believed holding public o ce required little or no formal training and should be open to most Citizens d d In Texas the typical legislator is white male Protestant college educate an af uent and has a professional or business occupation These characteristics do not mean that others cannot be elected to the state legislature but they do indicate that individuals with most of these informal characteristics have a distinct advand tage Members of the legislature must have jobs that allow them the flixibility to campaign for of ce and to work in the legislature for 140 days every ott r yeaglas well as in special legislative sessions and meetings of committees when e egis a CHAPTER 7 THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE and those laws provide protection for minority political districts ture is not in session Thus about onethird of the members of the legislature are attorneys The legal profession is one of the few careers that pays well and offers the exibility a legislator needs Lawyers who serve in the legislature may even gain increased legal business either from interests with legislative concerns or because of the enhanced visibility of a lawyerlegislator18 Republicans control both houses of the Texas legislature In the 2015 legislative session there were 11 Democrats and 20 Republicans in the Texas Senate and there were 52 Democrats and 98 Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives Legislators in Texas cannot expect to live on their legislative salaries In keeping with the Texas constitutional tradition of a lowcost parttime legislature Texas representatives receive a salary of only 7200 a year Legislators also receive a pay ment of 150 a day when the legislature is in session When the legislature is not in session legislators may claim up to 12 days per month of per diem pay if they are in Austin on of cial business or 16 days if they are committee chairs The legisla tors themselves determine what quali es as of cial business It is common to pay expenses from Of ceholder expense accounts and to pocket the per diem so that it becomes a salary supplement Legislative retirement pensions are very generous The pension is tied to district judges salaries which are 125000 a year That salary is multiplied by the years of service of the legislator times 23 percent A legislator who has served 10 years thus would qualify for a pension of 28750 per year A legislator serving 20 years would qualify for a pension of 57500 per year Lawmakers are eligible for pe part of the Voting Rights Act may lead to reduced legal protection for minority districts Thus more minority of ceholders have been elected and as the Hispanic population in Texas increases additional Latino legislators will be elected Women have also had an increased role in politics especially since the 19703 and as a re sult it is likely that additional women will be elected to legislative of ce Sessions of the Legislature Not all state legislatures meet for the same time periods Some state legislatures meet ev Texas hTeXas Texa s i ery year like the US Congress Texas s legis g Pop Senate lature generally meets every other year unless 39 i 4 I l 39 the governor calls it to meet between regular regular session the 140day sessions period occurring only in odd numbered years during which the Texas legislature meets to consider and pass bills Female 53 Male 50 Ragnar sessions rl he Texas Constitution speci es that regular sessions of the Texas legislature be mama occurring every two years held for 140 days in oddnumbered years The biennial legislative sessions have 4 their origin in the nineteenthcentury idea that legislative service is a parttime job g g 339 39 and a belief that short biennial sessions would limit the power of the legislature i 6 Tean T xasjf J a i l 5 v p a 4 o E fa I For a few years legislators were encouraged to end their work early by being paid g p 4 p p y House Senate in for only 120 days of service I 4 v 139 ea n i i z 395 39139 39 l l we innit Eggj iwi Thousands of bills and resolutions are introduced into the legislature during leg 53 0 I a A 536 Black J 4 12 a regular session and the l40 day limitation places a considerable restriction on msb ic 34 f r U J the legislature s ability to deal with this workload In the 2013 regular legislative r v Asian session for example 5868 bills were introduced and 1437 passed If resolutions 4 3 j r39 ass as 39 m Q 9 f 0 0 O see 39 I 4 are included as well as bills 10630 were introduced and 5909 were passed The X z I J governor vetoed 26 of the bills passed by the legislatmre23 Hundreds of bills pass in V 7 39 quot 39 the last hours of a legislative session most with little or no debate More die in the W end ofsession crush of business because there isn t time to consider them 1 3 E i i is Texas Texas House eneeiai sessions 39t o if the legislature does not complete its agenda before the end of the legislative session or if problems arise between regular sessions the governor may call a special session a legislative special session Special sessions last no more than 30 days but there is no limit SeSSiOfi Called by the governor to the number of special sessions a governor can call and the governor sets their p that addresses an agenda Set agenda Texas has averaged one special session a year since 1876 although years 39 4 3 j gigf gg by him 0quot her and that lasts no may go by with no special session Whereas in some years there may be three or I 6 longer than 30 clays four sessrons The ability to call and set the agenda of a special session provides the governor with control over which issues are discussed and What bills are passed In many instances the governor the Speaker of the Texas House the lieutenant governor and various committee chairs will meet to decide What will be done to solve the problem at hand Once the leaders address the issue and develop solutions the governor calls the special session Health care Once the session begins the governor can open it to different issues At times i the governor bargains for a legislator s vote in return for adding to the special 0 w0 V so o 9 a v 4 Va n a 999 av a tag v L Edueation CES For Texas House numbers salealatecl by author based on data from the Dire etory 0E p 4 flexes Tribune wwwlexaairiburieorgdirectory State denjio graphic data calorilatecl from the J S Census C H A PTE R 7 T H E TEXA S LEG I S LAT U R E p p U A Balloon Community Survey wvrymensusgov accessed 51414 a 439 39 39 I 4 session agenda an issue of importance to that legislator In 2003 Governor Perry called three special sessions of the legislature to address congressional redistricting In 2004 a fourth special session was called to address school nance In 2005 in addition to the regular session two special sessions addressed school nance There was also a special session in 2006 2009 and 2011As discussed earlier in 2013 two special sessions were called the second because legislation that restricted abor tion in Texas was not passed in the rst largely because of SenatOr Wendy Davis s filibuster Between legislative sessions members serve on interim committees that may p g require a few days of their time each month Legislators are also frequently called g g 1 4 439 7 i j t i on to present programs to schools colleges and civic clubs They supervise the staff l camorma of their district of ces and address the needs of their constituents Special sessions Female 21l Female interim committee meetings speeches and constituent services require long hours e g 5 fig a with little remuneration Many members devote more than 40 hours a week to 1 legislative business in addition to maintaining their f1 lltime jobs When Texas was a rural predominantly agricultural state biennial sessions worked well however Texas has moved beyond this description In the twenty rst century Texas is a modern state with more than 80 percent of its popula tion living in metropolitan areas Population growth continues at a rapid rate The state s gross domestic product exceeds that of many nations Parttime legislators serving biennial I40day sessions may not work well anymore in allowing the state to respond quickly and effectively to problems that arise n D 3 9 D v V a a 9 9 20 39 39 33 Ri gg qgig 3 5 V was at Q h r mug quot5933 ma 22813 o 2313930 v4 Iquot quot15 natalr ml quotN t 1 S We w v w It u w n W W a o va n 39 an 3 a mg mg ma a M2 quot39quotmd W moo v723 Lacarr 5 2354s 43 a x 539s was SE quotat 9 on 0 JG gas 39 an Q 42 0 quot t 52 m o I Jigs a ago xiii Ho m 3 5 quot33V 0 a gang mgrlg a 0 o 9 o a t e quoto in o Lego A w 32 9 quotw 39 5 e was mega I we means we 0 3amp0 e W quot43 330 9quot o are mew we 0 0 gs V H quotn quot1 9 3223 name an age e 93 w 5 T HM n see we 23930 quotgee a a mac mac a O 22 We mg 3 15 ats 3 JG no we may sec 1 9 W9 1 w 2 male WrwjKXmTKMJIWQQgXLQ t K 5 I J t men 3 eggs 3 2333 0 was gage my mac ma sea area wastage 12 593 V r do AMN 233 ma a ue ago 520 mugs who 3233 s 1 3539 a 2 3 no as am 31 W n n F Wag w 3 I w E i az 139 y E 23 333 C ak 1 meg nee meet an WE t s a mils mo 3 2 L e E 93 m 3 m 3539 g m T 0 Let no Powers of the Legislature se edaead lease The Texas legislature sets public policy by 4 Q 9 9 a assin billsandresolutions butitalsosu er 39 eee neeeeeea p g 1 p 4 African American 9 African American 1100 African American 169 At 39 0 1 vises the state bureaucracy through the bud C Ame f ca 16 pan ununwummnmn erruuwmh w Africanasieribaa as diploma H39s amiss l o 39 v n I u w l gt i I I quot gt9 Bachelor39s degree Bachelors degree Bachelor s degree Bacelor s degree m ra l quot 39 i l p I gg 39 i H r v 4 H at at J m I Le lslative Powers 4 g I Graduate degree 452 31 Graduate degree 58 Graduate degree 1 05 getary process and the Sunset Act an act that l 4 1 g provides for the review and when deemed I I appropriate the termination of state agencies lm l g This supervision is achieved using legislative and nonlegislative powers Legislative 4 E powers consist of passing bills and resolutions Nonlegislative powers are those l2 3 39 functions falling outside the lawmaking function re figEa Education level Bills Revenue bills must begin in the House of Representatives All other bills may bill a proposed law that has been start in either the House or the Senate For decades a bili would be introduced in Sponsored by a member 01 the either the House or the Senate and work its way through the legislative process legiSIature and Smeitted to the in that chamber A bill introduced in the Senate would be passed by the Senate Clem Of the House or senate prior to going to the House Today it is customary for a bill to be introduced in the House and the same bill a companion bill to be introduced in the Senate at the tags residents arm h th 1063 big a b affecting only units same time This simultaneous consideration of bills saves time in the legislature OW does Texas Emmi to grnsigf e ii lithe 39eg3 al e elthel z oflocal government such as 8 There are three classi cations of bills in the Texas legislature 1 local hills mori es and educational attainment on e Iepresematlon Of Womenquot 7 l l 0 city county or special district 2 special bills and general bills Local bills affect only units of local government f I 39 f x f 4 special bin a bill that gives an such as a city a county special districts or more than one city in a county A local individuaI or corporation a special bill for example might allow a county to create a sports authority or to establish exemption from state law a community college Speeial bills give individuals or corporations an exemption he Texas legislature is predominately white and male even though the static i 0 opulation has beeomegmore diverse Even though women are nearly half of the opuiation around the country most legisiatures are still predominantly male he Latino and black populations in Texas combine to 39form neariy half0f thefquot CHAPTER 391quot THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE a ux L 3 h 39g v39f39 ia sarisarr a g 33 3 G iA 39mggy or 3 r 39 3gt from state law A special bill could grant compensation to an individual wrongly convicted and sentenced to prison General hiiis apply to all people andor property in the state General bills de ne criminal behavior establish standards for divorce child custody or bankruptcy and address other matters affecting people and prop I erty throughout the state There is great variation among legislators in terms of I I the number of bills introduced In the 2013 regular session of the legislature for example Senator John Carona introduced 132 bills whereas Senator Sylvia Garcia I introduced 8 Representative Linda HarperBrown introduced 95 bills and Repre 2 sentative Craig Goldman introduced 92quot quot RSV x K AV 3V wake x vs lt 4 s general bill a bill that applies to all people andor property in the I state 39 409 l Zr vs lash in The Texas legislature is a part time citizen legislature It meets only once every two years for 140 days Members of the Texas House are elected for twoyear terms and are paid 7200 per year They receive a per diem allowance for expenses while they are in session Members of the Texas Senate are elected for four year terms and receive the same pay Texas39s leg islators generally have other forms of employment as not many people can live on 7200 per year if problems demanding attention arise outside of the regular session then the governor can call a special session to deal with a specific issue It is interesting to contrast the Texas legislature with a professional legisla ture such as New York s The New York legislature is considered professional Resolutions There are three types of resolutions in the Texas legislature 1 con current resolutions 2 joint resolutions and 3 simple resolutions Concurrent resolutions must pass both the House and Senate and they require the governor s signature These resolutions involve issues of interest to both chambers They may request information from a state agency or call on Congress for some action Sen ate Concurrent Resolution 6 might for example call on Congress to propose an amendment requiring a balanced federal budget Joint resolutions require passage in both the House and Senate but do not require the governor s signature The most common use of joint resolutions is to propose amendments to the Texas Constitution or to ratify amendments to the U S Consti tution Resolutions that propose amendments to the Texas Constitution require a twothirds vote of the membership of both houses of the state legislature Rati ca tion of amendments to the U S Constitution requires a majority vote in both the Texas House and Senate Simple resolutions concern only the Texas House or the Senate and they do not resolution an expression of opinion on an issue by a legislative body was 1 c eth concurrent resolution a resolution of interest to both chambers of the legislature and which must pass both the House and Senate and generally be signed by the governor joint resolution a resolution commonly a proposed amendment to the Texas Constitution or ratification of an amendment to the US Constitution that must pass both 140 days at a time every two years All of these factors result in a less produc Iegislatures Legislators are not any less prone to corruption under the Wm mma Av Mug wm w v amaNWO l l m Hyeavnt un because legislators are committed to being fulltime representatives they meet yearround and members are paid 79500 per year The US Con gress is more similar to the New York legislature and can be considered a professional legislature because mem bers of Congress serve year round As a candidate for president in 2011 and 2012 former governor Rick Perry campaigned on adapting the Texas model 39to the US Congress Perry argued that the Founders intended a quotcitizenquot Congress similar to the one in Texas with members serving for only a few terms and retaining their regular employment in the private sector This vision also fits with the principle of limited government the principle that Congress or the legislature really should have a small role and the more they are in session the more tempta tions they have to engage in corrupt practices and to pass laws restricting liberties Opponents argue that the Texas model is not one that should be adopted for the US Congress or other Texas model Under either model lob byists attempt to influence policy mak ers and the fact that legislators have private sectorjobs does not minimize this possibility Meeting once every two years reduces the time to deliberate and make sensible policies In Texas critics argue that the legislative ses sion is rushed and legislators rely too heavily on staff who work yearround and are more familiar with the ins and outs of policy making The rush of completing the legislation necessary to govern the state often leaves important issues unresolved leading to the need for more special sessions Members who are not independently wealthy are unable to legislate effectively because they cannotjust leave thelrjobs for 3 gr 39 39 a flew f pa a tive legislature Your vision of the proper role of government will likely affect where you come down on this issue Liberals who prefer an active government would probably prefer a fulltime legisla ture which actively addresses social problems Conservatives who are not supporters of government activity in the economy are more likely to sup port a minimal role for legislators so that citizens are free to make their own choices without governmental interference Why should citizens care about this issue The political process matters and how legislative institutions are designed makes a difference in terms of policy outcomes N 39 S 4 v 0 require the governor s signature They are used to adopt rules to request opinions from the attorney general to appoint employees to of ce in the House or Sen ate or to honor outstanding achievements by Texas residents For example Senate Resolution SR 27 could recognize the achievements of a Nobel Prize winner or the San Jacinto College baseball program for accomplishments in the National Junior College Athletic Association Resolutions of honor or recognition are acted on without debate and without requiring members to read the resolution Such resolutions are mostly symbolic acts that are designed to promote goodwill with voters However at times these simple symbolic acts can go terribly wrong A Fort Worth doctor was twice hon ored by the Texas House of Representatives as the doctor of the day It was then reported to the embarrassment of the House and the legislators who introduced him to the House that the doctor was a registered sex offender who had electoral power the legislature39s mandated role in counting returns in the elections for governor and lieutenant governor investigative power the power exercised by the House the Senate or both chambers jointly to investigate problems facing the state directive and supervisory power the legislature s power over the executive branch for example the legislature determines the size of appropriations for state agencres judicial power the power of the House to impeach and of the Senate to convict members of the executive and judicial branches of state government impeachment according to the Texas Constitution the formal charge by the House of Representatives that leads to a trial in the Senate and possibly to the removal of a state of cial writing a letter of recommendation for a constituent or giving a speech to a c1v1c group in the legislator s district Eastoral powers of the legislature consist of formally counting returns in the elections for governor and lieutenant governor This 18 accomplished during a joint session of the legislature when it is organized for the regular sessmn h S investigative powers can be exercised by the House of Representatives by t 1 en ate or jointly by both bodies The legislature can undertake to investigate proheesmA facing the state the integrity of a state agency or almost anythipg e se it the special investigative committee is established by a simple reso utilon crei ng d committee establishing the jurisdiction of the committee and exp ainitrig Se ripe for the investigation If the special committee is formed in the House He pea er appoints the members of the committee The lieutenant governor appomts menr bers for special committees in the Senate The Speaker and the lieutenant govern intments if it is a 39oint investigation Siagfreagzir and supervisory graders enable the legislature to have considerable Control over the executive branch of government The legislature determines the Size oJf the appropriation each agency has to spend for the next two yea1 siThcei appout t 3 money an agency has determines how well it can carry out its go 5 an o C v A review of each agency of state government takes place every 12 years f h Judicial powers include the ability of the House to impeach members p p e executive and judicial branches of state government On39lmpeachment a trio ta ecs1 place in the Senate A majority vbte of the House is required to bring chargeafapl a twothirds vote of senators attending is necessary to convrct an individual odt e impeachment charges Unlike the US Constitution the Texas constitlptgond pes not explicitly de ne what constitutes an impeachable offense TiliESSGWi e e er mined by the House and Senate in the impeachment process itse C M th Each body can compel attendance at regular and speCial sesswnsh ore din once Texas Rangers have handcuffed absent members and brought t Berndtio eE legislature On rare occasions a chamber will punish nonmembercs1 gar ot srgpe proceedings by imprisoning them for up to 48 hours The House an ena e ju g the quali cations of members and can expel a member for cause How a Bill Becomes a Law in Texas Anyone can write a bill but only members of the legislature can introduce a bill Bills may be written by members of the execuw tive branch by lobbyists by constituents or by local governmental entities Legislators may also write bills often with the help of a legislative staff expert in di lafting leIgis ation There are of course innumerable 39 and intro ucin a i I I rea eisehieiflfsnmgust start in the IIouse of Representatives cher bills can start in either the House or Senate Figure 71 shows the ow of a bill from the time it is introduced in the Texas House of Representatives to final passage and submisjion to the governor A bill introduced in the Senate would follow the same proce ure in reverse Examining this figure suggests that the process of how a bill begomes law is long detailed and cumbersome However when the process is distille to its CHAPTER 7 THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE basic parts there are only six steps in how a bill becomes law For a bill that starts in the House these steps are 1 introduction 2 referral 3 consideration by stand Eng committee and 4 floor action Steps 1 through 4 are repeated in the Senate Step 5 is action by a conference committee and approval by both houses and nally 6 is action by the governor introduction in the House A legislator introduces a bill by placing copies of the bill with the clerk of the House In the Senate the secretary of the Senate receives the bill The clerk or secretary numbers the bill and enrolls it by recording its number title caption and sponsor in a ledger Similar information is entered into a computer Rules of the legislature require that the bill be read on three separate occasions After enrollment the bill is read for the rst time by its number title and caption Referral After undergoing rst reading the bill is assigned to a standing committee by the Speaker In the Senate the lieutenant governor assigns it to a committee Since committees in the Texas legislature have overlapping jurisdictions the Speaker and lieutenant governor can assign a bill to a friendly committee or an unfriendly one The committee to which a bill is assigned can determine whether the bill survives or dies in committee ornrnttee notion Every bill introduced in the Texas legislature is assigned to a standing committee and the vast majority of bills die in committee The chair of the committee kills most by pigeonholing Pigeonhoiirig means that the committee chair sets the bill aside and never brings it before the committee Standing committees are considered the workhorses of the legislature see Table 71 If the bill does not die it most likely is amended Few bills leave the committee in the same form as they arrived Parts of several bills can also be com bined to form a single bill Changes are made to make the bill more acceptable to the entire legislature or to meet the political desires of the leadership or members of the committee Hearings can take place to allow eXperts and the public to edu cate committee members on the good and bad points of the bill In the Senate all bills reported by the committee must have a public hearing Finer action In the House bills referred by a standing committee go next to the Calendars Committee which after consulting the Speaker schedules bills for debate The Speaker determines the length of debate in the House Customarily each mem ber is allowed 10 minutes of debate Early in the session when the agenda is not Crowded debate may last longer Later in the session when there is a crush of legislative business debate will be more limited Some bills Will be voted on without debate however important or controversial bills are usually allocated adequate time introduction the rst step in the legislative prooess during which a member of the legislature gets an idea for a biil and files a copy of it with the clerk of the House or secretary of the Senate referral the second step in the legislative process during which a bill is assigned to the appropriate standing committee by the Speaker for House bills or the lieutenant governor for Senate bills consideration by standing I L213an I 3 House W Seztnaaew uVth 3 Chance in bus failure afh ating 153 name iggdvgn 39 quot I 9 C224 I 3391 22 4 x quotquotquotux gv w 316 may c311 writze n n I m s ii jr iryir bt f ffri jmbetship r quk uwquot The Timmy 159 mmniwn Samar has 93 me1111 9rs2 Maid Iz39zanzu aia iy for 34K i 1r23 8111 If 39 39 I Mk m mug Isa Hm ppzm39 3d 101192 liiiii and 011335 ttiktg I an 39ho lslltrig o for CHAPTER 7 THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE 439 39 an 39Po z b39q lacczad imymxi 34 I 5 i Mimi s 152 Ehutmi 1 939 V Mago rity irate bf ommit t 39 membership required I Majority ifbte needed to set for ouse oor a 3 1th t o 1 far are 1 e to 2392 m it t at aims sz0fo it their r ispmrtive Imn jmrm 21316 but Ems Timmy The governor may yam a bill Legislature may Wettide by 213 vote and 352 123te 211x135 pass Imfmsa has MII gt an ii mamiirmmi differences or gain a majority in either HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW IN TEXAS 2153 fairceNzquotJgav quot gases I III 3939393939 II IS v g zggs mar E i I I II II C I I I I 39 quot 39 39 39 quotquot quot39w 39tquotquotquot j l v39c if ii i 39 are vW r I 3 i 61 if 9 II I I I I I Igg w arfa r39s quot39 g gim 39mx if v n y r f 1 A 3 I u quotat y I I rays 1 rarity a i a l I III I as e win Wquot we r ii s i ii i no I j 39 39 5 I luggage itifeseeaieeaaa I SENATE STANDlNG COMMITTEES Finance Natural ReSoUrces39 I 39 Administration I III I z Nomina ions Agriculture Rural Affairs amp Homeland Government Organization Security f 53 3 3 3 3239 3939quot 3 339 quot nment Business amp Commerce Health amp Human ServiceszIIr I Open Gover IIII 39 airSI Criminal Justice Higher Education I II I I State Aff I ation E onomi c Development Intergovernmental Relations Translflort I I I I I C 139 Veterans Affairs 8 Military Installations Education I lurisprudence HOUSE STANDING COMMETTEESEIZII I I I 39 39 I 2 39 ourceSI39I Ii 39 39 Agriculture amp Livestock quotGeneral investigating amp Ethics Natural Res II I II I A ropriations GovernmentEfficiency and Reform I Pensions I39I no I III I 39 C dars Homeland Sie39c39iirity amp Public Safety III39 I Public HealthIIII II aen RedistrictingIII ngI 11 39 Corrections HouseAdministration g39 I f I I I II I I II County Affairs Human Services Rules 84 Resoluti Special Purpose Districts 39 Criminal Jurisprudence Insurance International Trade 8 Intergovernmental State Affairs Recreation amp Tourism CUltUre I I I I 9 Defense amp Veterans39 Affairs I investments FlhanCial Services Technology 39 quot 39 n Economic 8 Small Business 39 Judiciary 8 Chill Jurisprudence Transportatio Development II I I II II Land amp Resource Management Urban Affairs Elections E g Resources Licensing 8i Administrative Procedures Ways amp Means ner y I 39 I 39 39 39 dars Environmental Regulation Local amp Consent Caien filibuster a tactic used by members of the Senate to prevent action on legislation they oppose by continuously holding the floor and speaking until the majority backs down Once given the floor senators have unlimited time to speak as long as they follow Senate rules and it requires a vote of threefifths of the Senate to end a filibuster Debate in the Senate is unlimited which means it is possible for 3 signator filibuster A libuster occurs when a senator talks for a lengthy perio Crglmear an effort to kill a bill or to obtain amendments or other compromises It egeffefI certain rules that apply to the libuster in the Texas SenIateIthacii are qui pb lster ent from those in the US Senate There is no eating orIdrinking hurincg ak 1 3131 Senators must stand at their desks and may not lean Sit or us t sir erI 0111 on in any way Remarks must be con ned to the issue under cons1 eration ina y II must speak in an audible voice CHAPTER 7 THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE a In the past 72 years there have been more than 100 libusters The longest libuster was in 1977 by Senator Bill Meier who spoke for 43 hours Given the time constraints under which the Texas legislature operates even the threat of a libuster may be suf cient to kill or force changes in a bill Another tactic used in both the House and the Senate to prevent or delay pas sage of a bill is called chubbing Here one or more members debate bills at length to slow down the legislative process Like the libuster this is a particularly effec tive tactic as the legislative session draws to a close Sponsors of a bill are expected to gather suf cient votes to pass the bill In fact before the Calendars Committee schedules the bill for floor debate sponsors often assure the committee that they have enough votes to pass the bill The Texas Senate has a rule that bills generally shall be considered according to the regular order of business This means that bills and resolutions are considered on second reading and listed in the order in which the committee report was re ceived by the secretary of the Senate Bills and resolutions are considered on the third reading in the order in which they were passed on the second reading In order to conduct business especially when dealing with legislation that is controversial this regular order blocks consideration of legislation because it can be considered only if the Senate suspends this rule requiring consideration in order A twothirds vote is required to suspend the rules Thus for all practical purposes legislation in the Senate must have twothirds support to pass rather than a simple majority In the 2011 legislative session the highly partisan issue of requiring an identi cation document to vote was excluded from the twothirds rule which made it possible for Senate Republicans to pass the legislation Conference Committee Bills must pass the House and Senate in exactly the same form If the bill is dif ferent in any way it is sent to a conference committee Conference committees have 10 members 5 members from the House appointed by the Speaker and 5 members from the Senate appointed by the lieutenant governor Senate rules require that 2 members of the standing committee that considered the bill must be appointed Unless speci cally instructed the conference com mittee cannot change parts of the bill that are the same Changes are made and compromises reached only on parts of the bill that differ Once a compromise is reached the report of the conference committee goes to the House and Senate It can be debated in each chamber but the report can not be changed It must be either accepted or rejected as is If either chamber fails to approve the report of the conference committee the bill is dead Although it is possible for the conference committee to try a second time to reach a compromise it is unusual for conference committees to do so 39 If the report is accepted in both chambers of the legislature a nal copy of the bill is prepared The Speaker of the House the clerk of the House the president of the Senate lieutenant gover nor and the secretary of the Senate sign the bill Signatures of the Speaker and lieutenant governor are required byArticle 3 Sec tion 38 of the Texas Constitution The next stop is the governor s desk w4 n he vvn rmquot 1 vv Before a low is passed in Texas it is voted on by the two chambers of the legislature rhe the overnor I 39 r veto according to the Texas It is the governor s respon51b1hty to Sign or veto legislation During The rst W Constitution the governor39s power 130 days of a regular session the governor has 10 days from the time a bill arrives W 39 the governor neither Signs nor z 3 h 13 2 324 lt J 5 n z gbdgfaig l 22991 8239403l 2l36 E i x on his or her desk to Sign or veto the legislation If w without the governor39s signature In to turn down legislation can be 739 rmmWWFJCVva mv 39 Eviarfjhde by a mot itg39rdstwte Of vetoes the bill in the 10 days it becomes la I 0 e ouse an ena e the last 10 days of a session the governor has 20 days from the time the bill arrives YEAR GOVERNOR I 39 r I I on his or her desk to sign or veto the legislation Again if the governor does neither TOTAL VETQES39 L it becomes law without the governor s signature Unlike the US president who 2013 Perry 261 V quot i may sometimes kill a bill without signing it through what is called a pocket vetoquot 2011 Perry j the Texas governor does not have this power 2009 25 i 39 The governor s veto can be overridden by a two thirds vote of both the House Perry 2 I 2 f 38 I and Senate Anytime the governor Vetoes a bill he or she attaches a message ex 2007 perry 1 I 39 plaining why it was vetoed It is then returned to the chamber that originated the 2005 i 39 i postuadjournment veto a bill If the presiding officer elects to allow a vote to override the veto a vote is Perry j i 5 veto of a bill that occurs after scheduled Only two vetoes have been overridden in more than 70 years 2003 Perry i 39 the legiSIatUre adjOwns thus Many bills arrive on the governor s desk in the last few days of a session Almost 39 2001 Pew 39 39 quot 39 I i r r prev ainllnglhe leg39slature from all important or controversial bills reach the governor in the waning moments of 199 y 82 l overr39dmg 39t a session If the governor wants to veto a bill that comes to him or her from day 9 BUS 33 tinnitem veto the power of 131 to day 140 the governor simply waits until the legislature adjourns to exer 1997 Bush the executive to veto specific cise the veto The governor s veto cannot be overridden because the legislature 1995 3 PYOVISlOHS lines Of 8 has adjourned Vetoing legislation after legislative adjournment is called a post Bush 25 appropriations blquot passed by adjournment veto or a strong veto since the legislature has no opportunity to over 1993 Richards 26 rovides the governor with an excellent 1991 Richards 36 adjournment veto p the legISIBtUre turn the veto The post r can threaten a vet bargaining tool since the governo Record number of vetoes by a Texas governor SOURCES Texas Legislature quotLe 39 39 Islatlve St quot Statist1cs 8 atIS UCS JUly 10 2013 Leglslative Reference Library of Texas quotan 0 unless changes are made in Former governor Rick Perry 3 bill speaks to the Texas legislature The governor also has a tineitem veto that allows him or her to sign a bill and the bill Except for the items The governor can in uence draw lines through speci c items deleting them from leted the bill becomes law In Texas the linevitem veto legislation through the veto or that the governor has de theImc item veto The threat 1 1 h b 1311 G P d h Ofa Wm can be Powerful as app res on y to t e state 5 0mm us appropriations 1 overnor erry use t e legislative visits Like lobbyists for corporations and interest h legislators often 0 take the line item veto in 2009 to reduce the state budget by 972 million in general representatives use their skills to encourage assa e fb l 1groupsI t e governor s gowmorrs preferencesimo account revenue and 2889 million from all funding sources27 In 2013 Governor Perry I to kill bins the governor Opposm Howeverpth g 0 S t 3 gOVfEmOT faVOfS and exercised his lineitem veto on several appropriations such as a 100000 appro The Texas Constitution forbids use of tax 3011 3 E lgerblem Emil this practice th 0 1n Hence t e egis ature and e governor 3 staff is of course pald through tax dollars The governor s represern and ovoid a veto Governor Perry set a record for the number of vetoes in one year 82 in 2001 priation for the William P Hobby Jr School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston and a 1500000 appropriation for the Department of MexicaneAmerican Studies at the University of Texas at Austin Table 72 provides the total number of vetoes by Texas governors since 1991 tativ 39 39 39 39 39 the lees Timid thg ban by claiming they are simply providing needed information to g s a pm ne should not underestimate the informal power that th nor has to mfluence legislation e gover n 39 I if hich the Governor influences Legislation Message power is the governor s ability to communicate with thequot legislature Early in each session the governor delivers a State of the State message that is similar to the president s State of the Union message in this address the governor puts forth a visionquot for Texas and what legislation will accomplish that vision If the governor chooses to submit an executive budget a letter stating why this budget should be adOpted accompanies it Periodically the governor will visit With legislators to gain their vote on a bill A personal visit can be persuasive but increasingly it is members of the governor s paid staff who are sent on these Additional Players in the Legislative Process Other Ways in W In addition to the legislators and the gover nor there are others involved in the lawmak 391ng process during both regular and special sessions One of cial the comptroller of public accounts has direct involvement in the legislative process while other players are involved indirectly ADDITIONAL PLAYERS IN THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS 216 CHAPTER 7 THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE The media can in uence the legislative agenda through the stories that they cover Accordingly legislators try to attract media attention that will support their positions Here Speaker Joe Straus speaks at a press conference The Comptroller of Panic accounts The comptroller of public accounts issues revenue esti mates to inform the legislature of the amount of money it can spend in the next two years Texas s operating budgets must balance The Texas Constitution forbids borrowing money to conduct the daily operations of government The estimate provided by the comptrol ler sets the limit on state spending If the legislature wants to spend more than the comptroller estimates it must enhance revenue that is increase taxes and fees The comptroller s estimates can be political in na ture The comptroller can provide a low revenue es timate and tell the legislature that the estimate Wlll remain low until it passes bills the comptroller wants On passage of those bills the comptroller can revise the estimate to increase the spending limit and allow the legislature to complete its business the Media Media can determine issues of importance by the selection of stories they pvezjef the media cover more stories on crime crime and criminal Justice issuefs wrd 1181 toward the top of the legislature s agenda A media focus on corporate r31 mancg homeowners insurance rates alcoholrelated traf cdeaths or poor dpe 01231163 by Texas public school students will increase legislative attention to rage n aid The media inform the public about the issues the legislatureis consr eri ogf the about the job the legislature is doing during the session Medl coverag on in legislature provides the public with needed information on w at dishgod gOfkjn Austin Stories portraying the legislature as modern ef CIEI lli an I anw aboug provide the public with a positive image of legislature wh ereazis istoriVide a legislators sleeping at their desks or killing legislation on tec nic 1 ies p negative image The ourts Federal and state courts in uence the legislative ag e da In recentfyealsa tile cogi e scrutiny has included the prison system the state s treatmelpt o 1321 s 1ft CO mental hospitals the funding of public education and etiua t3 1 1 1111 are and leges and universities in South Texas The ability to rule acts 0 e egls r issues actions of state agencies unconstitutional gives courts Signi canft 501 ovis have the legislature addresses To a remarkable degree state and 6 ET thcilih 16 isquot issued decisions that have forced the Texas 1831513ture to aid m are d a e cint lature would have pTEfede to aVOid laIgely because aCtICln requdre Z39SIgTed to expenditure of money For example many recent legislative action irec ward criminal justice and public education are responses to Court m mgS39 tobhysts During a regular session roughly 1800 individuals register as lobbyists and attempt to influence the legislature A lobbyist s responsibility is to convmce legislators to 218 CHAPTER 7 THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE support the interest the lobbyist represents Lobbyists want legisla tors votes on bills At the least they desire access to legislators The Public Individuals can in uence legislators Legislators are evaluated at each election if the people believe their elected of cials are repre senting them well legislators are reelected A legislator who fails to live up to expectations might not be reelected The public can serve as lobbyists Letters email or telephone calls urging representatives or senators to vote a certain way con stitute a lobbying effort Members of the public can also write legislation but must convince at least one legislator to sponsor it and introduce it for consideration by the legislature Y siege I 333 Power and Partisansiiip in the Legislature Among the most powerful political gures in Texas are the leaders of the House and Sen ate They play a key role in structuring the committees of the legislature setting the ing bills Leadership The Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives and the lieutenant governor are two of the most powerful political gures in the state Republican representa tive Joe Straus of San Antonio is currently the Speaker of the House In Novem ber 2014 Dan Patrick was elected lieutenant governor and will lead the Senate The Texas House and Senate endow both of cials with considerable control over the legislative process It is fair to say that either of them can usually kill legislation they oppose and often they have the power to pass legislation they support Members of the House elect the Speaker at the beginning of the regular ses sion Additionally at the start of each regular session members of the House adopt rules that give the Speaker institutional powers suf cient to control the work of the House Speakers usually are the dominant gures in the Texas House and wield vast power One of the most interesting developments in modern times in the Texas legis lature was the turmoil surrounding the ZOOZHOS speakership of Republican Tom Craddick Craddick rst challenged the Democratic Speaker Pete Laney and ultimately displaced Laney when the Republicans gained control of the House Craddick worked to redistrict Texas congressional districts so as to increase sub stantially the number of Republicans in the Texas congressional delegation As Speaker Craddick was accused of micromanaging the House of taking discretion away from committee chairs and of insisting that members support his views on key issues even when contrary to the desires of their constituents Republicans also state s political agenda and passing or defeat 39 quot hr The public and int rest groups may also influence the legislature Daring a special session in which the legislature dealt with tax redaction these Houstonarea realtors and others demonstrated in favor of property tax relief Speaker the chief presiding officer of the House of Representatives the Speaker is the most important party and House leader and can influence the legislative agenda th her the House is one of the as powerful people in Texas politics In 2009 Tom Craddiclz left was replaced as Speaker by Joe Straits right lost seats in the Texas House between 2004 and 2006 a loss blamed in part on Craddick s leadership The result was an open rebellion against Craddick who was able to retain his position in the 2007 session only by resorting to a questionable ar liamentary maneuver he refused to recognize a motion to vacate the chair which would have caused a vote on his fate as Speaker28 It is doubtful that such dissensmn over a Speaker had occurred since Ira Evans was removed as Speaker in 187129 in 2009 Craddick lost his speakership to Joe Straus a Republican from San Antonio who was elected Speaker by a coalition of antiCraddick Republicans and Demo crats Straus faced opposition in every legislative session from conservatives who saw him as too moderate and as too favorable to Democrats but Straus was able to retain his position as Speaker The lieutenant governor is elected statewide to a fouryear term 113 or her major responsibility is to serve as president of the Senate and to presrde over the Senate Unlike the Speaker the lieutenant governor is not a member of the Senate simply its presiding of cer who may vote only to break a tie 39 At the start of each regular session senators adopt rules that the Senate Will follow for the next two years Article 22 of the Senate Rules requires a vote of twothirds of the members present to suspend any rule of the Senate unless the rules specify a different majority The rules also establish the of ce of president pro tempore of the Senate who is a member elected by the Senate to perform the du ties of lieutenant governor in the absence or disability of the lieutenant governor These rules also give the lieutenant governor enormous control of the work of the Senate Among these powers granted to the lieutenant governor under the rules are the power to decide all questions of order on the Senate oor subject to appeal from members 220 CHAPTER 7 THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE the power to recognize members on the floor I the power to break a tie on a particular vote the power to refer bills to committees the power to appoint members to standing committees subcommittees special committees and conference committees entreiieng Power enureee or the Leadershipie Power The operation of the Texas legislature is signi cantly different from that of the US Congress In the US Congress the leader of the president s party in the House and the Senate is the president s spokesperson in that house of Congress Additionally the level of partisanship is high Committee appointments are made in such a way that the majority party controls every committee and chairs of those committees are always members of the majority party Each house of Congress has majority party leadership and minority party leadership Such divisions do not exist in the Texas legislature No member of the Texas legislature is formally known as the governor s spokesperson Because the governor has no leader in the legislature the membership does not owe allegiance to party leaders in the legislature and leadership and power have become centralized in the Speaker and lieutenant governor The Speaker and lieutenant governor can make appointments with limited regard for party af lia tion thus ensuring that members will be loyal to them rather than to the party The Texas legislature is not organized along party lines the way the U S Congress is Committee assignments and committee chairmanship appointments cross party lines so that in the Texas House for example where the majority party is now Re publican a Democrat may chair an important committee and successfully sponsor important legislation The bipartisan appointment of committee chairs however may be a declining tradition Certain factors may undermine the state legislature39s tradition of nonpartisan politics Most of the powers of the Speaker and of the lieutenant governor are granted by the rules that each Chamber s membership votes on at the beginning of the legislative session The powers of the Speaker and of the lieutenant governor could potentially be greatly reduced if the members of the legislature so chose One could for example imagine a future Republican Senate that would reduce the powers of the lieutenant governor over the Texas Senate if a Democrat were elected lieutenant governor Of course one of the rst rules that would have to change is the requirement of a twoathirds vote for a bill in the Senate to be voted on out of order Indeed the twothirds rule in the state Senate encourages some degree of bipartisanship because Republicans do not quite control twothirds of the Senate and so need Democratic votes The twothirds rule came under attack in the 2009 special session of the leg islature and it continued to be criticized in 2011 and 2013 mainly because the requirement of such a large sup ermaj ority makes it dif cult to pass bills that arouse partisan tensions Democrats support the rule because with it Democratic support is needed to pass any bill in the Senate Some Republicans wanted to abandon the rule in order to allow their majority to pass legislation without Democratic support Others want to weaken the reQuirement of a supermajority by having a three fths rule instead of a twothirds rule Still other Republicans are inclined to support the long precedent of a twothirds requirement At least for the time POWER AND PARTISANSHIP IN THE LEGISLATURE 221 being the twothirds rule remains However it can be easily changed at some 39 I b majority vote30 omt as the rules of the Senate are passed y I C p The Republican congressional redistricting bill 1n 2003 led to abandonment of the twothirds rule for that bill so that redistricting that was bene cral to Re publicans could be passed That bill would have been impossible to pass Without recognition the power to control floor debate by recognizing who can speak before the House and Senate changes in the rules that allowed passage by majority vote In the 2009 spelgi l if sion of the legislature the Texas Senate was able to pass a highly parltlisan 1thirds required voters to show identi cation This occured solely because t e twoS 1 t rule is not used in special sessions31 It was not unt1l201 1 when thel39iaas eria e again abandoned the twothirds rule that the voter identi cationbil ecamef agar The restrictions on abortion that were passed in the second specral 333ng 1 e legislature were passed becaus it was a special sessmn 1n which the two 1r 3 r e ate is not use 1n till 3 aTSeJSc1 Senate becomes more partisan it seems likely that there Vtilgc e increased use of special rule changes to allow for the passage of contio ersia 1 s alowering of the twothirds supermajority requirement for passmg a 1 or a com plete abandonment of the two thirds rule in favor of majority rule f b The structure of the TeXas legislature and the lack of formal lines o gu erga torial authority in the legislature are very important In centralizlng power1 1nh e hands of the Speaker and the lieutenant governor However these of cra 8 avg other important sources of power as well One of those powers pgwe esrp cially important in the Texas HGuse is the power of recogni tlon e cpl earea allowing unlimited debate decreases the lieutenant governor powir in 113 nd In the House the Speaker controls legislative debateincludmg wkio spears ab how long debate will last On occasion the Speaker ignores or 1Cs hp31 merrih seeking recognition to speak This is a signal to other members 0 e on d this individual has fallen from the Speaker s good graces That ability toupi at choose among those desiring to speak on the House floor however a ows e Speaker to structure the debate and to affect the outcome of legis ation 1311 As mentioned earlier the Senate has a rule that for votes to be taken on 1 s the bills must be taken in order or for a bill to be taken out of order there must be a twothirds vote Given the vast powers of the lieutenant governor onhisscpesf that are important to him he can usually control the votes of at leasthonet hir o the membership Thus if a bill is opposed by the lieutenant governor e or s e can frequently prevent it from being taken out of order for considerationi1 1 t One of the most important sources of power for the Speaker and e reuti znan governor is the committee assignment power The committees on wh1ch legis ators serve are important to individual members and to thepres1ding of tfrFor Inlet bers assignments to powerful committees increasectheir prestige in e tag a Committee assignment also affects how well constltuents are represegte 331g ing members to standing commi itees is one of the most important uties o e 39 vernor and the S ea er lieliflijdaSpfker and the lieutinant governor have major roles in apppmtiig 1the membership of committees appointing chairs of committees and setting e eg islative agenda Party affiliation and seniority are of only moderate importanc 1 committee assignments The most important factor in committee a331gnmen s is the members relationships with the presiding officer In order to maintain control over the legislature the Speaker and lieutenant governor use theirdcorimittee 2 39 signment powers to appoint members who are loyal to them an w o supgees their legislative agendas When chairs and vice chairs of impqmintscorgi and are appointed usually only the most loyal friends and allies o t e pe CHAPTER 7 THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE Dem Rep Dem Rep Dem Rep Standing committees 14 2O 11 25 13 24 Select committees 1 5 0 1 3 Joint committee O 1 039 39 1 Percentage of Democrats in House 49 33 37 NOTE We are indebted to Sachi Dave for her work on this table SOURCE Legislative Reference Library and Texas Tribune lieutenant governor are chosen In 2013 6 of the 18 standing committee chairs in the Senate were Democrats Thirteen of the 38 standing committee chairs in the House were Democrats Speaker Straus has stated that one issue important to him when appointing chairs and members of committees is to ensure that the committees re ect the geographic and demographic diversity of Texas 32 At the beginning of every legislative session members of the House are asked to sub mit a list of committees on which they would like to serve The Speaker then assigns committee memberships with consideration given to the House members seniority their leadership skills and their interest in particular issues Chairs and other leadership positions are often given to more senior members with leader ship skills and interests in the areas over which their committee has jurisdiction33 Straus a Republican was initially elected Speaker with Democratic votes in a suc cessful challenge to the then Republican Speaker Tom Craddjck s leadership As Table 73 shows since being elected Speaker Straus has named Democrats to the chairs of standing committees of the House roughly in prep ortion to their numbers in the House Of course some committees are more important than others but in a purely partisan legislative body no Democrats would be appointed chair of a com mittee by a Republican Speaker During his tenure as Republican lieutenant governor David Dewhurst was in a far different position from Speaker Straus Straus was elected from a House dis trict like all other members and then was elected to the Speaker s of ce by the membership of the House Dewhurst was elected to preside over the Texas Sen ate in a statewide election Nevertheless like Straus as Tables 73 and 74 show Dewhurst maintained a practice of appointing Democrats to chair standing com mittees roughly in proportion to the number of Democrats in the Texas Senate Not only do the Speaker and the lieutenant governor have vast committee as signment powers but committees in the Texas legislature also have overlapping jurisdictionAlthough each bill must be assigned to a committee it can be assigned to more than one committee Since the Speaker and the lieutenant governor as sign bills to committees in their reSpective chambers they use the bill assignment power to in uence the fate of the bill They can for example assign bills they oppose to committees they believe hostile to the bill and those they support to committees they believe will favor the bill 39 POWER AND PARTESANSHIP IN THE LEGISLATURE 23923 quot1v 39 2 39 a m r91 45x Dem Rep Dem Rep Dem Rep Standing committees 5 10 11 20 6 12 7 12 Select committees O 3 5 10 0 2 1 1 Percentage of Democrats in Senate 39 39 35 NOTE We are indebted to Sachl Dave for her work on this table As a result of the death of a Democratic senator there were only 30 senators during this session SOURCE Legislative Reference Library and TexasiTribune Since bills must pass the House and Senate in exactly the same form the Speaker and the lieutenant governor can exercise still another important in uence on policy through their power to appoint conference committees As we have seen if any differences exist in a bill passed by both the House and the Senate the bill goes to a conference committee that works out the differences in the House and Senate versions By appointing the conference committee members the Speaker and lieutenant governor can affect the language and even the fate of the bill Partisan tieting n the Texas tegisiatare Between 1876 and 1980 the Democratic Party controlled both houses of the Texas legislature The last 20 years of the twentieth century saw the growth of the Re publican Party in both the House and the Senate culminating in the Republican seizure of power in both houses in 2004 As conservative Republicans replaced conservative Democrats particularly from rural and suburban districts more tradi tional ideological splits appeared along partisan lines When Representative Straus initially gained the speakership in 2011 with liberal Democratic and moderate Republican votes some observers felt that the partisan rhetoric might be muted As more conservative Republicans were elected in his second term and moderate Republicans were either retired or defeated partisan ideological fault lines ap peared with a vengeance Ideological differences between Democrats and Republi cans now play a major role in legislative politics Political journalist Paul Burlca has tives have increased dramatically score of Republicans in the Texas House in 1973 was 044 The average score for CHAPTER 7 THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE written Over the past 40 years the ideological differences between the members of the Democratic and Republican delegations in the Texas House of Representa It is possible to show that increasing gulf between Democrats and Republicans 39 by using rollcall votes cast by members of the Texas House over time If one cat egorizes the votes along the dimension of liberalismconservatism such that a score of 100 is extreme liberal and a score of 100 is extreme conservative the average Democrats was 001 In 2009 the average Republican score was 067 a signi cant More conservative i 08 07 06 0 5 04 03 02 m IDEOLOGY scone O 02 O4 1 978 1 983 1 993 2003 More liberal movement toward increased conservatism In contrast the Democrats in the Texas 21111 pregame increasmgly liberal In 2009 the Democratic score was 034 see Another indication of the partisan gap between Democrats and Republicans in the Texas House is that in 1973 37 percent of Democratic House members were more conservative than the most liberal Republican in the House In 1995 onl 4 percent of Democratic House members were more conservative than the most liberal Republican Since 1999 there has been no Democrat in the House who has been more conservative than the most liberal Republican In a recent study of the 2013 Texas House political scientist Mark Jones found that every Democrat was more liberal than any Republican3S Jones found the same pattern in the Texas Sen ate3quot The ideological gap that exists between Democrats and Republicans makes it harder for common ground across party lines to be identi ed and to produce a policy consensus In that sense the Texas legislature is becoming39more like the U S Congress As sociologist Paul Starr has pointed out regarding the U S Congress Traditionally political parties in the United States have been broad coalitions that overlapped each other ideologically The Republicans had included liberals and the Democrats had included conservatives But by 2009 the ideological alignment of the parties was nearly complete The growing ideological divergence between the two parties made cooperation between them more dif cult That pattern Starr saw in the US Congress is now seen in the Texas legislature With it we are seein h 8 t 6 end 0f the cooperation between Dem licans in Austin ocrats and REPUb39 K POWER AND PARTISANSHiP IN THE LEGFSLATURE redistricting the process of redrawing election districts and redistributing legislative representatives in the Texas House Texas Senate and US House this usually happens every 10 years to reflect shifts in population or in response to legal challenges in existing districts singlemember district a district in which one official is elected rather than multiple officials oneperson onevote principle the principle that all districts should have roughly equal populations In 2006 the US Supreme Court upheld most of the new boundaries drawn in the Republicans controversial redistricting but found that some of the redrawn districts failed to protect minority voting rights Here Governor Perry displays the new redistricting map The new map drawn by Republicans after the 2010 census again went to federal courts Redistricting new Redstrietng Wortts One of the most controversial and partisan issues is redistricting the redrawing of dis trict lines for the Texas House the Texas Senate and the US House of Representatives which must be done at least every 10 years after the federal census D I There are 150 Texas House districts and 31 Texas Senate districts One senator or one member of the House represents each district This is called representation by single member districts h 1 Although redistricting can be more frequent at least after each census t e eg islature draws new boundaries for each Texas House and Senate district Newly drawn districts for the Texas House and Senate must contain an almost equal num bhr of people in order to ensure equal representation That requirement guarantees that each person s vote counts the same whether the vote is cast in Houston Big Lake El Paso Presidio Brovvnsville or Commerce For much of the rst half of the twentieth century Texas and other states failed to draw new boundaries and even after US Supreme Court decisions Texas did not do so willingly Not until the U S Supreme Court s decisions in Baker u Carr 1962 and Reynolds 12 Sims 1964 compelling the legislature to dr3a8w new disc1 tricts were boundaries drawn that represented the population fairly These an1 subsequent decisions meant that Texas had to draw legislative districts of rough y equal populations a concept known as the oneperson onevote principle Congressional redistricting is also a responsibility of the legislature Once the US Congress apportions itself the Texas legislature diVides Texas into the appropriate number of congressional districts According to the 1964 Supreme Court case lVesberry u Sanders each state s US House districts must be equal in population39 Depending on how the districts are drawn the representation of the two political parties in the US House of Representatives can be Signi cantly changed Indeed reapportionment can so change the diviSion of the parties that control of the US House of Representatives can be affected Thus maneuvering over redistricting is highly partisan r u39nu n 39 39 J v c 4 agatsrxut xc rm mainline fa m CHAPTER 7 THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE If the legislature fails to redistrict at the rst regular session after the census the task falls to the Legislative Redistricting Board LRB The LRB has ve ex of cio members the lieutenant governor the Speaker of the House the attorney general the commissioner of the General Land Of ce and the comptroller of public accounts When the legislature adjourns without redistricting the LRB convenes The LRB must meet within 90 days of legislative adjournment and complete its resp on sibilities within another 60 days Even here the in uence of the Speaker and the lieutenant governor is clearly visible Texas redistricting plans must comply with the federal Voting Rights Act al though the U S Supreme Court has recently weakened that law A federal court can temporarily redraw district lines if a redistricting violates this law by disadvan taging minority voters Partisan differences in the state legislature resulted in the failure to pass a re districting plan in 2001 during its regular session transferring the responsibility to the Republicandominated LRB On a split vote the board developed redistrict ing plans that appeared to favor the Republican Party The board s decision in turn was appealed to the federal courts A threejudge panel composed of two Democrats and one Republican approved the lines drawn for the state senate not ing that the U S Justice Department had determined that the plan did not violate the Voting Rights Act However the court modi ed the board s plan for the House arguing that the Department of Justice had rejected the plan because it was seen as diluting Hispanic voting strength in three areas of the state The court felt that its role in the entire redistricting process was constrained In their decision the judges commented that federal courts have a limited role in considering challenges to precleared legislatively adopted redistricting plans The nal plan approved by the court appeared to be a great victory for the Republican Party Twentyseven incumbent Democrats found themselves placed in districts with other Democratic incumbents Foor Democrats who chaired key committees announced that they would not seek reelecti39on Many observers felt that redistricting would make the Republicans the majority party in the House and would maintain their majority status in the Senate And many doubted that the Speaker of the House Democrat Pete Laney would be able to mobilize the votes needed for reelection to the speakership in the next session After the 2002 elec tions these observers were proven correct Power and Partisanehip in the Redistricting nettle Republican control of the Texas House and Senate in 2002 heralded more than simply a shift in party control of the legislature With Republican control came a signi cant decline in the harmonious bipartisan spirit that had largely governed the Texas legislature The Republican leadership especially House Speaker Torn Craddick chose to govern in a more partisan fashion Additionally a number of Democrats in the House who saw their power slipping away chose a rebellious course They worked to make Craddick s Speakership a dif cult one obstructing Republican legislative efforts as much as possible This new partisan tension in the Texas legislature rose to a fever pitch in 2003 when Republicans with the support of the Republican majority leader Torn De Lay sought to alter the Texas congressional districts for partisan advantage The Re publican goal was to increase Republican representation in the Texas congressional delegation andin so doing help ensure a continuing Republican majority in the REDISTRICTING 227 I outdated 2000 census The Court did find that there had been a reduction in the Although the Texas legis More p p a 3 strength of minority voters However the extremely partisan gerrymander and the is not as usccp blc 1 0 Partisan a 9 p 4 39 4 39 middecennial redistricting using the 2000 census were upheld For the most part squabbling as the p g Republicans were successful in reshaping the partisan composition of the Texas fd delgubllgjfdo occur For p I 39 1 a 39 p I quot delegation to the US House of Representatives However the 2006 election led to gmmp le in this phow Tbs in I p Democratic control of the US House and to a Texas congressional delegation with House Democrats celebrate their 4 4 4 p return to Texas in M ay 2 003 vastly weakened power because of the loss of key Democrats in the redistricting46 p I p The 2010 census led to another round of redistricting for the Texas legislature after Spendingfow days 5 l 4 1 and the US House of Representatives The overwhelmingly Republican legisla Ardmote Oklahoma took 4 39 3 i ture designed a redistricting plan strongly favorable to Republicans but the plan GQP PVQ W Congr mwm 39 39 3 39 ran afoul of a federal court which held that minority voting rights were violated redzsmctmgp 6m s 2 I quot 39 The court ordered a redistricting plan that was more favorable to Democrats 51 a 5 all Redistricting has seemingly become a perpetual issue before the Texas legislature quotM In 2013 the Texas legislature again voted on redistricting for the Texas House f R resentatives The Republican effort was unconventional in that it the Texas Senate and Texas s U S congressional districts The legislature basically M39S39 Howie 0 ep 1 th t 39 t was the second redistricting after the 2000 census accepted the districting done by the federal courts prior to the 2012 elections al occurred 1n Hildcyc e a 18 1 1 once after each decennial census although there Q though there are legal challenges to the Texas House and the congressional district as a rule iredmtlmtmg filigftgg he the case I lines on the grounds that insuf cient recognition of minority interests was given in is DX ZEat qu gn 53115115 the Texas legislature could not agree on redistricting 39 developing the 2012 districts47 and a federal court devised a plan The 2000 congressional redistricting gave the Democrats an advantage With control of the state legislature however Repubh39 cans argued that the existing Redistricting plan was unsatisfactory because it re 39 lt39 Thinking Grltlica y abOut ected a Democratic majority that no longer existed Republicans wanted a plan the Texas Leglsiature 39 39 r 342 in 2000 Democrats won that more clearly re ecteiRRepufiilizgnZOEId13Teen though Republicans won The Texas legislature has undergone great changes and continues to do 80 Per congressmna salts in t tepand Democrats T CEiVed only 40 Percent 113 2002 haps the most signi cant change has been the increasing partisanship The Texas 59 percent Of VOtelS 1 e S a 6 0f the StateWide VOte but they won 17 seats to 15 legiShture is 1653 Partisan than the US Congress but the Texas party divide was Democrats goton y I perfellnce 1996 Republicans had never received less than especially notable under Speaker Tom Graddick during the redistricting battles for the Rely11311153115 f1 1 51 t and Democrats never won more than 44 percent and during the battles over a voter identi cation 13W in 2009 and 2011 Strauss 55 percent oft estatew1 VO He in the Texas congressional delegation With the bipartisan election as Speaker in 2009 was indicative of a desire to calm down Yet Republlca lls Welre ll ggilt e ublicans got 58 percent of the statewide vote some of the partisanship in the House that had risen during the Craddick years Tea new redistgitzztling P 311 of Cohgreis from Texas Democrats got 41 percent of the party supporters sud as newly elected lieutenant governor Patrick however may and el dte t Elailited 11 members of Congress from Texas43 be moving the legislature back into a more partisan direction statew1 e vo e I a redistricting plan was not enacted without politi The twothirds rule in the Texas Senate is under attack That rule requires con The R pubhcan coiir tel39sisirrld of 2003 51 Democrats from the state legislature siderable consensus to pass legislation from that body If the twoithifds rule is ca tugmml hogevg red ineArdmOfe Oklahoma Where the Texas State POIiCe did reduced to a three fths rule or even majority rule there will be renewed partisan wall 0t39ltrailjdicgtlon to bring them back to the state capitol The result was that a ship and rancor in the Texas Senate not ave 311 b h d to ass the plan The Democratic legislators did not The Texas leglslature seems in some ways like an archaic institu on Unless quorum COUId39HOt Tread ictinp was taken Off the agenda A 3136313 1633513t3ve there are special sessions it meets once every two Years and is a Parttime body reuer to Ausulncllmu drel 8 Ch regiStriCtlng but the bill did Qt PaSS In 3 Second with very limited compensation for its members The structure of the legislature 3851le was 22113312 ZdTEediStrlaing 1110f the 12 Democratic members 0f the 39 however has survived since the 1876 Constitution and there seems little likeli 88133 S eesdll Albuqierque in order to prevent a Senate vote Finally 3 third spe hood that the structure will soon change I 1 ion roduced a plan that passed both houses of the legislature ESPQClallY notable regarding the leglslature 15 the vast power h ld by the C13 sess p 1 b th 2004 redistricting was that seven incumbent congresl 39 Speaker and the lieutenant governor The 1876 Constitution showed its distrust I Most notab e a out t e eted for defeat A lawsuit that challenged the redis of a powerful governor and the result is that in Texas the governor must share po sgmzld Democrats wede tllrtg 39t diluted minority votes stressed that the Democrats litical in uence with two other major powers in Texas governmenththe Speaker t cnng on the gme la 1 Su ort The lawguit also pOthEd out that these and the lieutenant governor over whom the governor exerts no formal control had been electe End rn orgtgen pgred so that they had to run against another I Still the revolt against Speaker Craddick does remind us that it is perilous for the leven Demoqhtsdl 61 ern a Indie Republican district 395 A case before the US Speaker to try t0 exert so much pointer that he becomes subject to rebuke from a lsncumbemczllma challedhglexde the extremely partisan gerrymandering of the Texas f constituency whose views he ultimately must 1e ectthe Views of a majority of rdlilsfifiqciing its reduction of the strength of minority voters and its use of the now the members of the Texas House 39 THINKING CRITICALLY ABOUT THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE 229 CHAPTER 7 THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE V I I
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