Annual versus Biennial Legislative Sessions
The Legislature of the State of Texas, operating under the biennial system, convenes its regular sessions. Texas is one of just four states whose legislatures meet every two years, refinement: “No regular session shall be of longer duration than one. The Regular & Special Legislative Sessions Education Legislation summarizes the education-related bills passed by the 85th Texas Legislature in
The maximum duration of a regular session is days. The governor is given authority under the state constitution to convene the legislature at other times during the biennium.
Such sessions are known as called or special sessions and are reserved for legislation that the governor deems critically important in the conduct of state affairs. Called sessions are limited to a period of 30 days, during which the legislature is permitted to pass laws only on subjects submitted by the governor in calling for the session.
How does the house differ from the senate?
There are members of the house of representatives as opposed to 31 members of the senate. According to the most recent census figures, the ideal house district population isas opposed to an ideal population offor each senate district. Senators serve four-year terms and represent a relatively large number of constituents, whereas house members serve two-year terms and represent a smaller number of constituents. House members are therefore able to remain more closely in tune to the needs and concerns of their constituents.
For this reason, the state constitution requires that all bills increasing taxes or raising revenue for use by the state originate in the house of representatives. How do I send an e-mail to my representative? Go to your representative's page and click on Send Email to bring up a response form.
STATE LEGISLATIVE SESSION CALENDAR
Here's an alphabetical list of members. Not all members use e-mail. How do I find a list of all members' phone numbers and addresses? Here is a list of House directories.
How do I find bills on a subject I'm interested in? Go to Bill Search and choose a recent legislative session to get a list of subjects. You can also search for bills by a representative's name, by committee, or by a word or phrase in the text of the bill. How do I find the status of a specific bill? If you know the bill number, you can go to Bill Information and select "Actions" to get a detailed history of all action taken on the bill.
How do I find out how my representative voted on a bill? The results of recorded votes are listed in the House Journal.
Annual versus Biennial Legislative Sessions
You need to know the date the vote was taken and the Record Vote number, which you can find in Bill Information. How do I find when committees are meeting and see their meeting agendas? From the menu on the left, click on Schedules and then select committee schedules. This will give you a list of all House committee meetings for the week ahead. To see the agenda for a specific meeting, click on the word "Notice" to see the public notice that was issued for the meeting. From that page, you can search for meetings by committee and date.Texas Senate District 25 Candidate Forum with Q&A
How do I find what bills are scheduled for debate in the House? The schedule of bills to be considered by the full House is called the House Calendar.
Annual versus Biennial Legislative Sessions Annual versus Biennial Legislative Sessions Legislatures continually look for ways to improve their effectiveness. One reform frequently debated is annual versus biennial sessions. In the early s, only 19 state legislatures met annually. The remaining 31 held biennial regular sessions. All but three Kentucky, Mississippi and Virginia held their biennial session in the odd-numbered year.
By the mids, the number of states meeting annually grew tremendously—up from 19 to However, several of these states used a "flexible" session format in which the total days of session time was divided between two years; these states included Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont. Today, 46 state legislatures meet annually.
Frequently Asked Questions
All of the biennial legislatures hold their regular sessions in the odd year. Oregon, Arkansas, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Washington were the last states to change from biennial to annual regular sessions; these states held their first annual sessions in,andrespectively.
There are several basic arguments used by the respective proponents of annual or biennial sessions. Listed below are the ones set out by political scientists, William Keefe and Morris Ogul.