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The Legislative Branch. Chapter 4. Texas Legislature - Elections. Apportionment and Redistricting Apportionment: basis for representation. Texas Senate was “qualified electors;” House was “population.” Limits and “rotten boroughs”

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texas legislature elections
Texas Legislature - Elections
  • Apportionment and Redistricting
    • Apportionment: basis for representation. Texas Senate was “qualified electors;” House was “population.” Limits and “rotten boroughs”
    • Districting: drawing the boundaries for districts: House, Senate, U.S. House of Representatives. Districts must be compact, contiguous, approximately equal in population. Ideal size: Senate=672,639; House=139,012.
texas legislature elections3
Texas Legislature - Elections
  • Redistricting Process (TX House and Senate)
    • Legislature passes redistricting bill.
    • Governor may veto.
    • If legislature cannot pass a redistricting bill, the governor vetoes the bill, or a court rules the bill unconstitutional, then a Legislative Redistricting Board (Lt. Gov., Speaker, AG, Comptroller, Land Commissioner) draws the districts.
    • Gerrymandering
      • Packing
      • Cracking
texas legislature elections4
Texas Legislature - Elections
  • Redistricting Process (US House)
    • Legislature passes redistricting bill.
    • Governor may veto.
    • If legislature cannot pass a redistricting bill, the governor vetoes the bill, or a court rules the bill unconstitutional, then a U.S. District Court must draw the district boundaries.
    • 2003 Redistricting
      • 2002 Elections
      • 2003 Regular Session
      • 2003 Special Sessions
texas legislature elections5
Texas Legislature - Elections
  • Reelection rates and turnover
    • Texas House: 1998=16%; 2000=7%; 2002=23%; 2004=11%; 2006=18%; 2008=13%
    • Texas Senate: 1998=6%; 2000=3%; 2002=23%; 2004=6%; 2006=16%; 2008=13%
    • Tenure, 2009: House= 8 years; Senate=14 years
    • Term Limits?
texas legislature structure
Texas Legislature - Structure
  • Bicameral
  • Biennial meetings, Odd years
  • House Members – 150 House, 31 Senate
  • Tenure – 2 years House, 4 years Senate
  • Compensation – salary ($7,200) and per diem ($168 in 2009)
  • Residence – House – 2 years state, 1 year district
  • Residence – Senate – 5 years state, 1 year district
  • Age – House – 21, Senate - 26
texas legislature characteristics of members
Texas Legislature – Characteristics of Members
  • Occupation, education, and religion
    • Businesspersons and lawyers
    • Majority have advanced degrees
    • Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, and Episcopalians
  • Gender, race, and age
    • 43 Women (6 Senate; 37 House)
    • 38 Hispanics (6 Senate; 32 House)
    • 16 African Americans (2 Senate; 14 House)
    • 2 Asian American (House)
    • Average age: 51 House; 54 Senate
texas legislature characteristics of members8
Texas Legislature – Characteristics of Members
  • Political Party
    • Historically, Democrats had majorities
    • 2009, House: 76 Republicans, 74 Democrats

Senate: 19 Republicans, 12 Democrats

  • Ideology--2007
    • 70 Conservatives: 68 Republicans, 2 Democrats
    • 36 Liberals: 33 Democrats, 3 Republicans
    • 38 Populists: 33 Democrats, 5 Republican
    • 4 Libertarians: All Republicans
texas legislature organization
Texas Legislature - Organization
  • Leadership
    • Senate – Lieutenant Governor
    • House – Speaker
  • Committees
    • Types of Committees
      • Standing
      • Special
      • Interim
      • Joint
        • Conference
    • Composition
slide12
House Committees – 81st Legislature 34 Standing Committees 28 Substantive 6 Procedural 18 Republican Chairs 16 Democratic Chairs
slide13
Senate Committees – 81st Legislature18 Standing Committees16 Substantive2 Procedural12 Republican Chairs 6 Democratic Chairs
powers speaker of the house
Powers – Speaker of the House
  • In the leadership system
    • Appoints chairs and vice chairs of substantive committees
    • Appoints housekeeping and leadership committees
    • Appoints speaker pro tempore
powers speaker of the house15
Powers – Speaker of the House
  • In the committee system
    • Appoints half of substantive committee members
    • Appoints all members of the Appropriations Committee
    • Appoints select, conference, and interim committee members
    • Determines jurisdiction of committees through control over House Rules
powers speaker of the house16
Powers – Speaker of the House
  • In the staff system
    • Appoints officers, employees, and personnel
    • Appoints members of the Legislative Budget Board (Speaker, Appropriations Chair, Ways and Means Chair, 2 others) and Legislative Council (House Administration Chair, 5 others).
    • Appoints members of the Sunset Advisory Commission (5 House members and 1 public member).
powers speaker of the house17
Powers – Speaker of the House
  • In the system of rules and procedures
    • Writes the rules for the House
    • Applies, enforces, and interprets the rules
    • Refers bills to committees
    • Presides over activities in the House
    • Schedules bills for floor debate (Calendars Committee)
opposition in the house
Opposition in the House
  • House Study Group (1975)
    • Opposition to Speaker Clayton
    • Morphed into House Research Organization
  • Texas Conservative Coalition (1985)
    • http://www.txcc.org/
    • Formed in opposition to legislation
    • Created research institute
  • Legislative Study Group (1994)
    • http://www.texaslsg.org/
    • Moderate and progressive members
think tanks
Think Tanks
  • Texas Public Policy Foundation
    • http://www.texaspolicy.com
    • Conservative group
    • Publications, Forums, etc.
  • Center for Public Policy Priorities
    • http://www.cppp.org
    • Progressive group
    • Publications, Forums, etc.
legislative process introduction
Legislative Process - Introduction
  • One primary author, cosponsors allowed – written permission
  • Filing dates – no limit during first 60 days, 4/5s required after
  • Copies – 13 required
  • “preferred bills” – one per member – priority on calendar
  • First reading and assignment to committee – read on 3 days – 4/5 to suspend – Speaker assigns
legislative process committee
Legislative Process - Committee
  • No bill can become law unless referred to and reported on by committee
  • Committee hearings – can consider legislation in public hearings, formal meetings, and work sessions. Meetings open to the public. Votes in open meetings.
  • Before committee consideration – analysis of bill, fiscal note, and impact statement – criminal justice, equalized education funding, water development, tax equity, actuarial
  • Anyone can testify before a committee
legislative process committee22
Legislative Process - Committee
  • Committee Actions
    • Amend bill
    • Substitute bill
    • Kill bill – chair determines when and if bill gets a hearing. Two-thirds vote to remove bill. Minority report possible.
  • Subcommittee
    • Referred by committee chair
    • Members chosen by chair
legislative process committee report
Legislative Process – Committee Report
  • Recorded vote adopting report
  • Recommendation of assignment to a calendar
  • Amendments and recommendation
  • Effect of bill on existing law
  • Analysis and synopsis of bill
  • Summary of committee hearing
legislative process calendar committee
Legislative Process – Calendar Committee
  • Assignment – 7 days – placed on one of House calendars
  • Placement – daily calendar – only bills debated on the floor. Cannot require placement by the committee – 36 hours before second reading
legislative process floor
Legislative Process – Floor
  • Order of business
  • Registration of members – 2/3 quorum
  • Daily order of business
    • Call to order
    • Registration of members
    • Consideration of calendars – Emergency, Major State, Constitutional Amendments, General State, Local, Consent, Resolutions
legislative process floor26
Legislative Process – Floor
  • Daily order of Business (Continued)
    • Second reading – amendments possible. Sponsor opens and closes debate (20 minutes). Others get 10 minutes. Limit by previous question or motion to limit amendments. Voting by voice or roll call.
    • Third reading – separate legislative day. Four-fifths to suspend rule. Amendments require 2/3 vote.
legislative process senate
Legislative Process – Senate
  • Calendaring Function – “blocker” bill
  • Intent Calendar – president of the Senate
  • Two-thirds vote – 21 senators – to suspend rules and consider bill
  • Debates – no limit
  • Filibuster
legislative process conference committee
Legislative Process – Conference Committee
  • Five representatives
  • Five senators
  • Vote by chamber
  • Majority of each chamber required
  • Returns to chambers
  • Only consider differences
legislative process gubernatorial actions
Legislative Process – Gubernatorial actions
  • Ten days to sign or veto bill if legislature is in session.
  • Bills effective 90 days after end of session unless: later day set or emergency declared and 2/3 vote in both chambers (earlier date set)
budgeting process steps
Budgeting Process - Steps
  • Budget Preparation
    • Governor’s Budget Office
    • Legislative Budget Board (LBB)
  • Constitutional Limitations
    • Balanced budget
    • Limit on spending growth
    • Comptroller’s estimate
    • Comptroller’s certification
budgeting process steps31
Budgeting Process - Steps
  • Budget Adoption
    • Committee Hearings
      • House Appropriations
      • Senate Finance
    • House and Senate Action
    • Conference Committee
  • Budget Execution
    • Governor and LBB must agree on movement of funds
influences on legislative behavior
Influences on Legislative Behavior
  • Legislative staff
    • Individual legislators
    • Committees
    • Institutional
      • Legislative Council
      • Legislative Budget Board
      • Senate Research Center
influences on legislative behavior33
Influences on Legislative Behavior
  • Relations with the governor
    • Call special sessions
    • Determine agenda items for special session
    • Veto bill
  • Relations with lobbyists
    • Provide information
    • Protect interests of groups represented
join the debate redistricting
Join the Debate: Redistricting
  • Arguments for Nonpartisan Redistricting
    • Parties should not be able to increase their influence
    • Legislatures will not be fair in redistricting
    • Independent committee more likely to be fair
  • Arguments against Nonpartisan Redistricting
    • Truly independent or nonpartisan redistricting committee is impossible
    • Plan consequences are observable
    • Redistricting is a political process
legislative branch and democracy
Legislative Branch and Democracy
  • Powers of legislative leaders
  • Legislative procedures
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