The legislative arm of the Texas government has the sole mandate of formulating the Statutes of law in Texas. It is a process that takes several steps before the governor of the land signs a bill into law. The legislature consists of 181 members where 150 of them hail from the House of Representatives, while the rest come from the state senate. The legislature comes up with a meeting every odd year. It is a meeting that lasts for 140 days, but the governor can convene special meetings at any time. During the meeting, which also bears the name “regular session”, the members write new laws, and have a discussion on the problems that the country faces.
The first meeting of the regular session starts with the appointment of a speaker from among themselves. The speaker maintains order in the house, makes rulings on procedural matters and makes recognition of members during a debate. Similarly, the state senate members appoint a lieutenant governor in the first sitting. However, the governor is not supposed to be a member of the senate. Both the speaker and the lieutenant governor ask their respective members to come up with the rules of the house, after which the members begin tabling the bills.
Both the senator and the representative usually draw the content of their bills from the people’s concerns and issues. These people are the constituents that the leaders represent in the house. The idea undergoes a research, and becomes a written bill under the legal guidance of the Texas legislative council. The next step is to introduce the bill in the chambers so that all members can hear the contents of the bill.
The Committee Process
The bill is then taken through the committee process where the chairperson selects the bills that each committee will discuss. After consideration of a bill, the committee can opt to decline it or come up with a report about it. If the committee writes a report, the contents of the report include the vote of the members and other impact statements. The bill is then printed and taken forward for a full house consideration.
A bill goes through a second reading when it is presented before a full house. At this stage, it is only read at a caption level, and members can provide their amendments, which are subject to the approval of other members. A bill that satisfies the members gets a pass through an electronic vote. Notably, a bill that passes the third reading stands as passed. Bills that require an amendment are usually taken back for adjustments, and then presented to the governor.
The final stage of the bill is the governor’s approval. The governor usually has 10 days to approve, veto, or stay silent. The silence of the governor qualifies a bill to become a law. A vetoed bill goes back to the members, who can vote to override the veto.