The Texas Legislature GOVT 2306
The Texas Legislature GOVT 2306 GOVT 2306.003
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POLS 1101 096
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jenifer Nguyen on Thursday January 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GOVT 2306.003 at University of Texas at Dallas taught by Brian Bearry in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 22 views. For similar materials see State and Local Government in Political Science at University of Texas at Dallas.
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Date Created: 01/28/16
Chapter 7: The Texas Legislature STRUCTURE OF TX LEGISLATURE o Bicameralism: there are two chambers in the legislature Before a law is passed both chambers must vote on it With two perspectives, compromise leads to effective policies o TX Senate 31 members representing 811,000 constituents for 4 year terms Qualifications U.S. citizen / qualified voter Resident of TX for 5 years and resident of district for 1 year At least 26 years old o TX House 150 members representing 168,000 constituents for 2 year terms Qualifications U.S. citizen / qualified voter Resident of TX for 2 years and resident of district for 1 year At least 21 years old o Qualifications reflect the ability to hold office with little training, opening positions up for citizens to participate in government. o Salaries $7,200 a year $150 every day that legislature is in session Per diem: daily payment to public official engaged in state business Set by Ethics Commission every regular session Claim 12 days a month if in Austin for business Claim 16 days a month if in committee Pensions for retirement $125,000 (district judge salary) x years of service x 2.3% SESIONS OF LEGISLATURE o Regular sessions: TX legislature meets to consider and pass bills Occurs on odd number years (biennial) for 140 days Limits power and ability to consider bills in the workload o Special session: called by governor if regular session isn’t complete or if problem arises TX averages 1 special session per year since 1876 Lasts about 30 days o What do state officials do between sessions? Service in interim committees Present programs to schools, colleges, civil clubs Supervise staff of district office Address needs of constituents POWERS OF LEGISLATURE o Legislative Powers Bills: proposed law sponsored by members of legislature. Anyone can propose the law. Local bill: affects units of local government (city, county, district) Special bill: gives persons and institutions exemption from state law General bill: applies to all people and property of state Resolutions: expression of opinion on issue by legislature Concurrent resolution: shows interest by both chambers and the governor Joint resolution: proposal and ratification of amendment by both chambers generally Simple resolution: only concerns TX House and Senate (appointment and recognition) o Nonlegislative Powers Serve constituents Electoral power: count returns of governor and lieutenant governor in elections Investigative powers: investigate problems facing the state through specially investigative committee Directive/supervisory powers: powers over the execute branch to keep in check Impeachment: the ability for house to impeach and senate to convict members of government HOW BILL BECOMES LAW 1. Introduction (revenue bills can ONLY be introduced in the Texas House of Representatives) 2. Referral to committees (1st reading) 3. Consideration by standing committee/subcommittees (hearing) 4. Calendars Committee (House) - reported our (2nd reading) 5. Floor Action - debate 6. Changes addressed and voted on (3rd reading) 7. Conference Committee: (A bill must have identical meaning before it can pass) 8. Governor action COMMITTESS o Standing: permanent committee with specific subject matter jurisdiction o Ad hoc: temporary committee formed for a specific purpose o Conference: bill negotiation; in order for bill to become a law it must pass both chambers with the same language
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