THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE
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THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE. by Loren Miller. Points to Ponder. In 1965, a member of the Texas House submitted a resolution commending Albert DeSalvo for his efforts in population control. No one checked to see who Mr. DeSalvo was. It passed.

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By loren miller

THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE

by Loren Miller


Points to ponder

Points to Ponder . . . .

  • In 1965, a member of the Texas House submitted a resolution commending Albert DeSalvo for his efforts in population control. No one checked to see who Mr. DeSalvo was. It passed.

    • The next day, the New York Times informed the world that the Texas Legislature had just commended the “Boston Strangler.”

  • In 1969, a newly elected member of the Texas House was in Austin for new member orientation. That night he went out on 6th street, got drunk and when a bouncer tried to escort him out of the establishment, he pulled a gun and informed the patrons that “I’m a member of the legislature, and you can’t do this to me.”

    • This also made the New York Times.


Points to ponder1

Points to Ponder . . . .

  • In 1963, a bill that would have fined a Texan $50 for flying the United Nations flag failed after an amendment jacked up the penalty to death. Treason is treason!!

  • In 1981, there was HB 3333. If it had flown it would have created a Board of T-Shirt Design Examiners.

  • In 1983, there was HB 38-24-36 (yes, you got it right) to create a Board of Ecdysiast Examiners. (Ecdysiasts are strippers).


Points to ponder2

Points to Ponder . . . .

  • In 1981, Rep. Mike Martin hired his cousin to give him a shotgun wound – heroic, not fatal – so that he could boast that he’d been attacked by a satanic cult alarmed by his conservatism.

  • In 1983, Rep. Jimmy Mankins proposed a law to relieve Texas prisons. He hope to parole volunteer Texas convicts and buy them a one-way bus ticket to Washington, D.C., after they promised never to return to Texas. He gave Cuba’s Fidel Castro credit for the idea.

  • Up until 1900, lawmakers carried concealed guns to work.


Points to ponder3

Points to Ponder . . . .

Rep. “Mad Dog” Mengden (from Houston) began a speech about sex education thusly: “This is the way I see the problem, if there is a problem, which I deny.”

This year his legislative program includes prison reform—he wants female convicts to be more ladylike.


Points to ponder4

Points to Ponder . . . .

On environmental legislation, Rep. Billy Williamson (whose district included an asbestos plant) stated: “I think we are all willing to have alittle bit of crud in our lungs and a full stomach rather than a whole lot of clean are and nothing to eat. And I don’t want a bunch of environmentalists and Communists telling me what’s good for me and my family.”


Points to ponder5

Points to Ponder . . . .

  • In 1971, Rep. Jim Kaster introduced a bill requiring felons to submit twenty-four hour notice of what crimes they planned to commit and where.

  • Curtis Graves introduced a bill commonly referred to as “Curtis’ Clean Crapper Bill” as an effort to have minimum standards of cleanliness for public johns in the state.


Points to ponder6

Points to Ponder . . . .

  • In the early 90’s, a member of the legislature introduced a resolution to create a committee to recommend to the next session of the legislature the “official color of the official state condom.” It passed.

  • In the mid 90’s, during a debate on an open container law, a member of the legislature stated that “Bubba, after a hard day’s work at the factory or on the farm, deserves to swig a few on the way home.”

  • “If you took all the fools out of the Legislature, it wouldn’t be a representative body anymore.”

    Carl Parker

    former State Senator


Points to ponder7

Points to Ponder . . . .

  • In early 1997, Senator Drew Nixon (R-Carthage) was arrested in South Austin with an unlicensed handgun in his automobile after he was taped and filmed bargaining for sex from an undercover policewoman. He pled guilty to a Class B misdemeanor and served a 6-month sentence on weekends while continuing in office.

    • His election campaign focused on “family values.”

  • In 1999, a 20-year-old Brazosport College student working for Senator J.E. Brown (R-Lake Jackson) complained that he had fondled and attempted to kiss her while giving her a golf lesson in his law office. Although Brown publicly gave his former employee a letter of apology, he continued in office.


Points to ponder8

Points to Ponder . . . .

  • An abortion bill was being debated in the 2013 legislative session. An amendment was offered to exempt victims of rape or incest from the 20th week requirement. Representative Jodi Laubenberg (R., Plano) spoke against the exemption stating that rape kits used in hospitals can prevent unwanted pregnancies.

    • Rape kits are used to collect evidence in a sexual assault


It s not just legislators

It’s Not Just Legislators . . . .

  • The Round Rock Leader ran a reader poll asking, “If the election was today, would you vote for Obama or Romney?” but offered responses of only “yes” and “no.” “No” won with 56 percent.

  • Lubbock County judge Tom Head claimed on a local news program that a proposed tax increase would be needed to put down civil unrest and defend the county from invading United Nations forces should President Obama be reelected.


By loren miller

Bring in the Clowns . . . .


Texas legislature over time

Texas Legislature Over Time

House

Senate


The rise of the republicans 1970 2000

The Rise of the Republicans1970-2000

Texas Democrats are more conservative than Democratic.

Democratic presidential candidates have been viewed by many Texans as being “too liberal.”

Bedroom communities of major Texas cities have attracted white collar industries whose workers tend to be Republican.

Blacks and Hispanics, who tend to be Democrats, do not turn out to vote to the same extent as Anglos.

Impact of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


Rise of the republican south republican seats

Rise of the Republican South% Republican Seats


The fall of the republicans 2020

The Fall of the Republicans??2020+

The labor force today is 64 percent Anglo and 22 percent Hispanic. By 2030 it will be 45 percent Hispanic and 37 percent Anglo.

The average household income for 2000 was $45,736. In 2030 it will be $42,620.

In the past, Republicans have based winning at least 2/3’s of the Anglo vote, 1/3 of the Hispanic vote, and 1/10 of the Black vote

With the rapid growth of the Hispanic population, Texas may become a competitive two-party state.


By loren miller

Mitt Romney’s Stance on Hispanic Issues:

He vowed to veto the DREAM Act which would

make non-citizens who serve in the military

eligible for citizenship.

He favored a system of self-deportation, a policy

that involves making economic conditions so

difficult for undocumented workers that they choose

to leave the country. If they want to return, they

would then get in the “back of the line.”


By loren miller

Arizona Immigration Law:

Requires that state law enforcement officials attempt

to determine an individual’s immigration status during a

“lawful stop, detention, or arrest” or during a “lawful contact”

not specific to any activity.

Sotomayor Vote

Latino Vote:

44% for Bush (2004)

31% for McCain (2008)

27% for Romney (2012)


The fall of the republicans 20201

The Fall of the Republicans??2020+

%

Texas


Problems for the democrats in texas latino voter turnout

Problems for the Democrats in TexasLatino Voter Turnout

Bureau of the Census, 2011


The fall of the republicans 20202

The Fall of the Republicans??2020+

Non-Hispanic, White

Hispanic

Asian

Other

Black

2000

2020

2050

National Totals


By loren miller

“The future of Texas is tied to its minority populations. How well they do is how well Texas will do.”

Steve Murdock, demographer,

Texas A&M University


Method of election

METHOD OF ELECTION

The Texas Legislature is a bicameral body:

-- 31 members of the Texas Senate

-- 150 members of the Texas House

-- all are elected from single-member districts


Reapportionment used to redistribute the 435 seats in the u s house

Reapportionment(Used to redistribute the 435 seats in the U.S. House)

  • Done by the Bureau of the Census every ten years

  • A mathematical process (as opposed to a political process)

  • Texas uses the census figures to divide the state into the appropriate number of districts (31 and 150)


Texas 2010

Texas: 2010

  • The Population of Texas 25,500,000

  • 25,500,000

  • 150

  • 25,500,000

  • 31

170,000

823,000


Redistricting

Redistricting

The people do not select their representatives; the representatives select their people.


Redistricting1

Redistricting

  • Done by each state legislature usually every ten years, but legally this can be done more often than every ten years (LULAC v. Perry, 2006)

  • A political process


Battles of the 1960s

Battles of the 1960s

  • State legislatures, dominated by rural interests, but whose states were predominantly urban, were challenged in a series of Supreme Court cases beginning in 1960.


Supreme court requirements

Supreme Court Requirements

  • Within each state, the population of each district should be as equal as possible [(Baker v. Carr, 1960) Silent Gerrymander]

  • The districts must be contiguous

  • Districts must not be drawn to discriminate against minorities


One person one vote

One Person, One Vote

  • Baker v. Carr (1960) – lower house, state legislature

  • Wesberry v. Sanders (1964) – U.S. House of Representatives

  • Reynolds v. Sims (1964) – upper house, state legislature


Avery v midland co 1968

Avery v. Midland Co. (1968)

City of

Midland

98% of

County’s

Population


Texas 1971 u s house of representatives

Texas 1971U.S. House of Representatives

FortWorth

Dallas


Voting rights act of 1965

Voting Rights Act of 1965

  • Districts can not be drawn to discriminate on the basis of race or color

  • It’s very difficult to prove discriminatory intent or purpose (Voting Rights Act of 1965). In 1982 Congress outlawed any arrangement that had the effect of weakening minority voting power (intended or not).


Voting rights act of 19651

Voting Rights Act of 1965

  • Areas with a history of discrimination, such as Texas, had to submit redistricting plans to the U.S. Department of Justice for approval before they can go into effect.

  • This is no longer the case as the Supreme Court ruled that “preclearance” is no longer required.Shelby County v. Holder (2013)


Creating minority districts

Creating Minority Districts

  • Increasing representation to one group almost always means decreasing the political influence of another.

  • Blacks v. Hispanics in almost any large urban area

  • Districts can be created to protect incumbents

    • Davis v. Bandemer, 1986


Gerry mander

Gerry-mander

Named after Elbridge Gerry, one of our founding fathers.


Gerrymander

Gerrymander

  • A term used to describe a district that has been drawn in an unusual shape for political reasons

  • “Gerrymander” has a negative connotation

  • One person’s “gerrymander” is another’s “creatively drawn” district


Gerrymander1

Gerrymander

  • The key concept to grasp is that there are no neutral lines for legislative districts.

  • “Gerrymandering is somewhat like pornography—you know it when you see it, but it’s awful difficult to define.“

Rep. AbnerMikva

Colbert Report, Gerrymandering


Types of gerrymander

Types of Gerrymander

  • Cracking

  • Packing

  • Pairing


Gerrymander type i

Cracking

Gerrymander: Type I

State

City

50%


Gerrymander type i1

Cracking

Gerrymander: Type I

State

Black


Gerrymander type ii

Packing

What would you consider to be a comfortable margin of victory for “your side”?

Then your goal in drawing districts is to create as many districts as possible with this comfortable victory margin for “your side.”

Gerrymander: Type II


Gerrymander type ii1

District 1

Democrat 42% Republican 58%

District 2

Democrat 73% Republican 27%

Gerrymander: Type II

Who Drew These Districts??

Democrats or Republicans


Gerrymander type ii2

Gerrymander: Type II

  • In 1992, of Texas’ 30 representatives, there were 18 Democrats and 12 Republicans.

  • The average margin of victory for the 18 Democrats was 58%.

  • The average margin of victory for the 12 Republicans was 76%.

  • Then federal judges ordered the redrawing of several districts.


Gerrymander type ii3

Gerrymander: Type II

  • In 1996, of Texas’ 30 representatives, there were 17 Democrats and 13 Republicans.

  • The average margin of victory for the 17 Democrats was 59%.

  • The average margin of victory for the 13 Republicans was 66%.


Gerrymander type iii

Pairing

District 1

Gerrymander: Type III

District 2

Liberal Democrat

Conservative Democrat


Gerrymander type iii1

Pairing

New District 1

Gerrymander: Type III

New District 2

Liberal Democrat

Conservative Democrat


Gerrymander type iii2

Pairing

District 1

Gerrymander: Type III

District 2

Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat


Gerrymander type iii3

Pairing

New District 1

Gerrymander: Type III

New District 2

Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat


By loren miller

Ohio

Ohio lost two House seats so Republicans paired two Democrats who live over 120 miles apart


Maryland

Maryland

Create a majority Democratic district that encompasses the major media markets in the state so that the representative becomes well known enough to run for the Senate.


By loren miller

Ohio

Cracking Franklin County (Urban/Liberal) to create a majority Republican district


North carolina

North Carolina

College towns (Democratic) are packed.


Illinois

Illinois

Packing to create a majority Hispanic district and also save two Black representatives


By loren miller

Utah

Cracking Salt Lake City to create a majority Republican district


Michigan

Michigan

Republicans packed as many minorities and Democratic voters into this downtown Detroit district


Texas

Texas

Cracking of Travis County into Five Districts


Gerrymandering in action

Gerrymandering in Action

Mostly

Republican

Voters

Mostly

Democratic

Voters


Gerrymandering in action1

Gerrymandering in Action

Republican Plan

2 Democrats

1 Republican

Mostly

Democratic

Voters

Mostly

Republican

Voters


Gerrymandering in action2

Gerrymandering in Action

Democratic Plan

3 Democrats

0 Republicans

Mostly

Democratic

Voters

Mostly

Republican

Voters


Gerrymandering in action3

Gerrymandering in Action

D DDDDD

D DDDDD

A AAAAA

A AAAAA

R RRRRR

R RRRRR

R RRRRR


Gerrymandering in action4

Gerrymandering in Action

Democratic Plan

3 Democratic

0 Republican

D DDDDD

D DDDDD

A AAAAA

A AAAAA

R RRRRR

R RRRRR

R RRRRR


Gerrymandering in action5

Gerrymandering in Action

Republican Plan

1 Democratic

2 Republican

D DDDDD

D DDDDD

A AAAAA

A AAAAA

R RRRRR

R RRRRR

R RRRRR


The texas redistricting controversy 2001 2006

The Texas Redistricting Controversy 2001-2006

  • The Texas Legislature was unable to reach agreement in 2001.

  • A panel of three federal judges (two Republicans and one Democrat) drew the map and the map was upheld in court.

  • Election Results:

    • 17 Democrats and 15 Republicans

      • 5 Districts that were drawn to elect a Republican, instead elected a Democrat


The texas redistricting controversy 2001 20061

The Texas Redistricting Controversy 2001-2006

  • Republicans: “Texas is a Republican state; “We deserve more seats in Congress.”

  • Republicans hold every statewide office and a majority in each house of the Texas Legislature.

  • Democrats hold a 17-15 edge in Texas’ congressional delegation


The texas redistricting controversy 2001 20062

The Texas Redistricting Controversy 2001-2006

  • U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Lane, argues that the congressional districts are unfairly draw to favor longtime (read Democratic) incumbents.


The texas redistricting controversy 2001 20063

The Texas Redistricting Controversy 2001-2006

  • In the regular legislative session, House Democrats bolted to Oklahoma to deny a quorum.

  • Governor Perry calls a special session and Senate Democrats bolt to New Mexico to deny a quorum.


The texas redistricting controversy 2001 20064

The Texas Redistricting Controversy 2001-2006

  • Governor Perry calls for a second special session.

  • One Democrat breaks rank which assures a quorum.


The texas redistricting controversy

The Texas Redistricting Controversy


The texas redistricting controversy 2011 version

The Texas Redistricting Controversy 2011 Version


If you ve got the votes

If You’ve Got the Votes . . . .


How successful were the republicans

How Successful were the Republicans?

  • Six Democratic incumbents were targeted for defeat and five were defeated for re-election.

  • The average winning margin for Republicans was 66%; the average winning margin for Democrats was 71%.


Lulac v perry 2006

LULAC v. Perry, 2006

The 23rd District violates the Voting Rights Act because it discriminated against Hispanics.


The texas redistricting controversy 2011 2012

The Texas Redistricting Controversy 2011-2012

  • Texas gained four seats after the 2010 census.

  • Most of this population growth had been among the state’s minority populations.

    • Hispanics accounted for 65 percent of the population growth

    • Hispanics, Blacks and Asians accounted for 90 percent of the growth


The texas redistricting controversy 2011 20121

The Texas Redistricting Controversy 2011-2012

  • The Republican controlled state legislature drew maps that protected Republicans.

  • This was challenged in court and a three judge panel found evidence of discrimination in violation of the Voting Rights Act and redrew several districts to benefit minorities.


The texas redistricting controversy 2011 20122

The Texas Redistricting Controversy 2011-2012

  • Republicans challenged this in court stating that the redistricting was done to “advantage Republicans, not to disadvantage minorities.”

  • In 2012 Republican congressional candidates captured 59 percent of the vote but captured 67 percent of the house seats.

  • This fight is not over!


Legal qualifications

Legal Qualifications

  • Texas House

    • at least 21 years of age

    • a U.S. citizen

    • a registered voter

    • have lived in the state for 2 years and in the district for 1 year

  • Texas Senate

    • at least 26 years of age

    • a U.S. citizen

    • a registered voter

    • Have lived in the state for 5 years and in the district for 1 year


Practical qualifications

Practical Qualifications

  • “Birthright Characteristics”

    • includes race, ethnicity, religion, and national background

      • Legislators tend to represent their district

  • Informal Qualifications

    • includes income, education, occupation, and gender

      • Legislators tend not to represent their district


Texas legislature over time1

Texas Legislature Over Time

House

Senate


By loren miller

“Along with bar rooms and bordellos, there has not been a more male-dominated institution . . . than the Texas legislature. These three worlds have a lot in common, such as liquor, tobacco, money, fist fights, and, of course, politics. They are also arenas of male dominion and social bonding.”

Nancy Baker Jones, historian


Good old boys

Good Old Boys . . . .

  • In a debate about a park in West Texas, Representative Mike Hamilton (R, Mauriceville) interrupted Marisa Marquez and stated:

    • “Young lady, would you please tell us why your mountains are better than any of our mountains, and are they man-made or are they real mountains?”

      • 2011


Texas legislature over time2

Texas Legislature Over Time

House

Senate


Limited session

LIMITED SESSION

“They really meant two days every 140 years!”

Early January

Early June

Introduction of Bills (1 – 60)

140 Day Session

Odd Numbered Years (only 4 states have biennial sessions)


Limited session1

LIMITED SESSION

If a disputed bill passes at all,

when will it pass?

Role of Lobbyists

Early January

Early June

Filing Deadline is 90 days

80% of the votes come in the last two weeks

140 Day Session

Odd Numbered Years

Voting


Limited session2

LIMITED SESSION

Rep. Bob Bullock described the thoughtful process by which he came to vote Yea or Nay on many a bill.

“I’d be settin’ there of a mornin’, hung over as hell, probably been to some lobby party the night before, and a friend would stop by my desk and ask, ‘Ya heard about of’ Joe’s bill?”

“I never wanted to let on that I knew no more about ol’ Joe’s bill than I do about quantum physics, so I’d nod, lookin’ as wise as a treefuol of owls, and he’d say, ‘Bad bill, bad bill.’ and I’d nod some more.

“Two minutes later, some freshman’d come by and ask me what I thought of ol’ Joe’s bill. I’d say ‘Bad bill, bad bill.’ And the two of us would vote against it without ever knowin’ what was in it.”


By loren miller

If you ask the question, “Whose bill is it?” what you mean is, which lobby wrote it. If you want to know which legislator is sponsoring the bill, you ask, “Who’s carrying the bill?

Shows the influence of Lobbyists


By loren miller

Who Gives and Who Receives?

(millions)

2009


By loren miller

“If you meet only occasionally, get paid little, and have weak staffs, you are at the disposal of the lobby because you have to go to them for information.”

Cal Jillson,

political scientist


Speaker of the house

Speaker of the House

  • The Speaker is elected by a majority vote of the members of the House

    • generally we know months before the session begins as to who will become speaker (chits)

    • for many years the election was on a bipartisan basis

  • Appoints the chairs of all committees and one half of the members of the committees

  • Appoint all house members of conference committees

  • Recognize (or not) members who wish to speak on the floor

  • Break a tie vote


Speaker of the house1

Speaker of the House

  • The Speaker’s role has changed over the years.

  • Through the 1940s, Speakers served a single two-year term and then retired or sought higher office.

  • From 1951 to 1975, most Speakers served one of two terms, but no more than two.

  • Since 1975, Speakers have served multiple terms.

    • The position has changed from a rotating, largely honorary position charged mainly with presiding over House debates to an office in which individual Speakers have wielded tremendous power and even control state policy.


Lieutenant governor

Lieutenant Governor

  • Elected by the voters of the state and serves a four year term

  • Powers are assigned by the rules of the senate which are adopted at the start of the session

    • appoints all chairs of all committees

    • selects all of the members of all substantive committees

    • appoints senate members of conference committees

    • recognize (or not) members who wish to speak on the floor

    • break a tie vote

Note: while the powers of the Lieutenant Governor are similar to those of the Speaker, they can be modified which means that the Lieutenant Governor must appease powerful senators


The team

The Team

  • Supporters and close associates of the presiding officers are commonly known as “the team.”

  • Legislators who support the winning candidate for Speaker, particularly if they signed on early and worked to build support, are usually rewarded with important committee assignments.

  • Historically, “the team” has not been a strictly partisan group. Loyalty to the presiding officer is more important than your particular political party.


Lawmaking

Lawmaking

  • The first step in the process is the drafting of a bill. Who drafts most bills?

    • Lobbyists

    • Executive Branch (Governor’s Office)

    • Members

    • Constituents

The Legislative Process


Lawmaking1

Lawmaking

  • The Texas Constitution requires three readings of a bill on the floor of each house.

  • The first reading occurs when the bill is introduced when the clerk reads the bills caption, a short summary and the committee to which it is assigned.


Lawmaking2

Lawmaking

  • The bill is introduced, numbered, printed and then sent to a committee by the Speaker

    • the committee assignment may determine whether the bill is passed or killed

    • there are approximately 40 standing committees in the Texas House

    • the committee chair determines whether the bill will be discussed or not

      • if discussed, then the committee may amend the bill and will either issue a favorable or an unfavorable report


Lawmaking3

Lawmaking

Committee Stage

Bill From

House Floor

Business and

Economic Development

Appropriations

28 Members

General Government

Criminal Justice

Health and Human Services

Education


Getting bills to the floor

GETTING BILLS TO THE FLOOR

  • Local and Consent Calendar

    • legislation impacting only a limited number of jurisdictions, consent bills and non-controversial resolutions.

  • House Calendar Committee

    • controlled by the speaker

    • this is how the speaker controls the flow of legislation


House calendar committee

House Calendar Committee

  • The Calendar Committee has 30 days after receiving a bill to vote on placing the bill on the calendar for floor consideration.

    • After this period any member can place a bill on a calendar by a majority vote (rarely done)

The Calendar Committee


House action

House Action

  • When the bill comes up for consideration on the floor, it is given the second reading (usually just the caption).

  • After the debate and amendment, a vote is taken for tentative approval. If passed, then the bill is given its third reading.


Lawmaking4

Lawmaking

Committees to Floor

Corrections

Agriculture

Higher

Education

Energy

Resources

Calendars

Controlled by the Speaker

House Floor

To The Senate


Informal rules

Informal Rules

  • Don’t:

    • conceal the real purpose of a bill

    • deal in personalities in floor debate

    • be a thorn in the side of the majority by refusing unanimous consent

    • speak on issues you know nothing about

    • seek publicity from the press to look good to the people back home

    • talk to the press about decisions reached in private


Lawmaking5

Lawmaking

  • The bill is referred to a committee by the Lieutenant Governor

    • the committee assignment may determine whether the bill is passed or killed

    • there are approximately 20 standing committees in the Texas Senate

    • the committee chair determines whether the bill will be discussed or not

      • if discussed, then the committee may amend the bill and will either issue a favorable or an unfavorable report


Getting bills to the floor1

GETTING BILLS TO THE FLOOR

  • Senate, Suspension of the Rules

    • A dummy bill (not intended for floor action) is introduced and numbered

    • To bypass the dummy bill, requires a 2/3’s vote to be considered on the floor

      • A vote to suspend the rules

      • Once the rules have been suspended, Senators may talk as long as they want to (filibuster)

        • Bill Meier (1977) – 43 hours (state and national record)


Getting bills to the floor2

GETTING BILLS TO THE FLOOR

“The two-thirds rule protects the conservatives from wacky liberal bills, and it protects the liberals from wacky conservative bills.”

“It imposes adult behavior on people who might be otherwise inclined.”

Jeff Wentworth, State Senator R., San Antonio

Kel Seliger, State Senator, R., Amarillo


How do you vote

How Do You Vote?

  • Delegate

    • a representative who votes the way their constituents would vote regardless of their own personal opinions

  • Trustee

    • a representative who listens to constituents opinions and then uses their best judgment in making a final decision


Lawmaking6

Lawmaking

Conference Committee

House Bill

Senate Bill

Conference

Committee


Lawmaking7

Lawmaking

A New Bill

Conference

Committee

Governor

Report

(New Bill)

House

Senate

No Amendments


Bills and resolutions

Bills and Resolutions

  • Bills:

    • Special: makes an exception to laws for the benefit of a specific individual, class or corporation

    • General: apply to all people or property in all parts of Texas

    • Local: affects a single unit of local government

  • Simple Resolution: (H.R. or S.R.)

    • Involves one chamber and is not sent to the governor

    • Requires a simple majority vote of members present

    • Affect only the chamber that is voting on the resolution

    • Includes rules for the house, invitations extended to non-members to speak, etc.


Bills and resolutions1

Bills and Resolutions

  • Concurrent Resolution: (H.C.R or S.C.R.)

    • Adopted by a simple majority in each house and sent to the governor for signature or veto

    • Demand information from a government agency, establish a joint study committee, or grant permission to sue the state

  • Joint Resolution: (H.J.R. or S.J.R.)

    • Requires approval by both houses but no action by the governor

    • Used to propose constitutional amendments


Where does texas rank

Where Does Texas Rank??


Where does texas rank1

Where Does Texas Rank??


Where does texas rank2

Where Does Texas Rank??


Where does texas rank3

Where Does Texas Rank??


Texas major state and local taxes as a percentage of household income

TEXAS MAJOR STATE AND LOCAL TAXES AS A PERCENTAGE OF HOUSEHOLD INCOME

Texas State Comptroller, 2007


A state income tax

A State Income Tax?

  • Texas is one of only seven states that does not have a state income tax.

  • Because Texas relies very heavily on the sales tax and the property tax for revenue, during periods of economic recession state revenues take a tumble.

    • This is when some politicians talk (very softly) about a state income tax


Who would run

Who Would Run??

  • Someone who is independently wealthy

    • per diem pushes the compensation to approximately $30,000/yr

  • Someone who is self-employed

  • Someone who would benefit from added name recognition

    • such as a lawyer or a realtor

  • Someone who wants to use this office as a stepping-stone to another office

  • Someone who wants to become a lobbyist


Legislative salaries in the ten most populous states

Legislative Salaries in the Ten Most Populous States

2012


Legislatures staffed with professionals full time well staffed well paid

Legislatures Staffed with Professionals(full-time, well-staffed, well-paid)


Turnover 1971 2012

TURNOVER (1971-2012)

Texas House ranged from 7% to 51%

(29% in 2012)

Texas Senate ranged from 3% to 45%

(16% in 2012)

Compare to Congress


Average years of experience

AVERAGE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

2013

HOUSE12

SENATE14

With high turnover the new members are learning the rules and finding their way. The allows the few “old timers” to control the legislative process.


By loren miller

“For state government to work, three people have to work together, and they have to work well together—the governor, the lieutenant governor and the speaker.”

Pete Gallego, state representative, D., Alpine

Power of Lt. Governor


By loren miller

“A speaker who uses the office fully can virtually determine what does and what does not become law in Texas.”

Ben Barnes, former speaker of the Texas House


By loren miller

“No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.”

Texas proverb


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