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The Texas Legislature. Geographic Districts There are 150 seats in the Texas House of Representatives with a discrete district for each. There are 31.

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Presentation on theme: "The Texas Legislature. Geographic Districts There are 150 seats in the Texas House of Representatives with a discrete district for each. There are 31."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Texas Legislature

2 Geographic Districts There are 150 seats in the Texas House of Representatives with a discrete district for each. There are 31 single member districts in the state senate. Each house and senate seat must contain equal populations within their respective houses. Both houses of the legislature are redistricted every ten years based on census data and politics.

3 Qualifications for Membership Formal Texas Senate A U. S. citizen A registered voter At least 26 years of age Have lived in Texas for five years and the district for one year. Texas House A U.S. citizen At least 21 years of age Have lived in Texas for two years and the district for one year

4 Qualifications for Membership Informal Informal Qualifications –Conservative –Anglo –Protestants –Male –Business/Attorney

5 Sessions and Salaries Biennial Session –Legislature meets on the second Tuesday in odd-numbered years. Meets for 140 days Special Sessions –Governor may call a thirty day special session.

6 Sessions and Salaries 7,200 annual salary $125 per diem for regular and special sessions Travel Allowance Legislators usually have other jobs.

7 The Presiding Officers Lieutenant Governor –Elected statewide –Four year term –Presiding officer of the Senate Speaker of the House –Elected by a majority vote of the house membership –Election occurs on the first day of the session

8 The Legislative Committees Standing committees Subcommittees Ad Hoc Committees Conference Committees Interim Committees

9 The Legislative Staff House members receive $7,500 monthly for office expenses Senate members receive $22,000 for office expenses Legislative staff members lack expertise when compared to the lobby staff. House Research Organization Legislative Council

10 Legislative Process Procedural Powers of the Presiding Officers Appoint committee chairs Assigns bills to committee Schedules legislation for floor action Recognize members on the floor for amendments and points of order Interpret the procedural rules when needed Appoint the chairs and members of the conference committees

11 Legislative Process Institutional Powers of the Presiding Officers Appoint the members and serve as chair(lieutenant governor) and vice-chair(speaker) of the –Legislative Budget Board, and the –Legislative Council. –Legislative Audit Committee. Serve on and appoint the members of the Sunset Advisory Commission

12 Legislative Process Procedural Tools of Leadership Committee Membership –The presiding officers exercise influence by appointing committee membership. Selection of Committee Chairs –The presiding officers appoint the committee chairs. Committee Jurisdiction –The presiding officers assign bills to committees.

13 Presiding Officers May Oppose A Bill –A bill may be a threat to the officers backers and financial supporters. –The backers of a bill may have been uncooperative thus the officers may punish them. –The bills opponents may have more bargaining power. –The bills backers may feel the passage of the bill might financially cripple a favorite program.

14 Committee Powers and Functions –Committees are little legislatures. –Committees are extensions of the presiding officers. In committee the bills may be –rewritten –pigeonholed –Edited –tagging Division of Labor –Bills are marked up in each committee.

15 Pigeonhole –Committees may also chose not to consider a bill. Discharge petition Tagging Bureaucratic Oversight –Committees may also hold hearing to see that bureaucrats are carrying out public policy. –Several factors make bureaucratic oversight difficult: short legislative session movement of members from one committee to another short term for legislators when compared to top administrators.

16 The Calendar –Scheduling a bill is crucial to passage and success. House Calendars –The speaker of the house does not have direct control over the calendar, but does control committee membership. The Senate Calendar –The senate calendar is used only in theory. –Most bills are considered by a suspension of the rules. –The lieutenant governor must recognize a senator to make this motion –The presiding officer or eleven senators could prevent any bill from becoming law.

17 The Floor of the House –As bills reach the House floor, a loudspeaker system allows votes for or against. Floor leaders: representatives who are trying to get a bill passed. The Floor of the Senate –The Senate floor is similar to the house with one exception, the filibuster. –Senate rules allow a senator to speak unlimitedly to try to prevent a vote on a bill. –The presiding officer controls those who speak.

18 The Conference Committee Resolves difference between both houses A temporary committee Five members from each house Members appointed by the presiding officer

19 How a Bill Becomes Law –Introduction to the Senate –First Reading and Assignment to committee –Second and Third Readings: Senate Committee Action –Senate Calendar –Senate Floor

20 –Introduction to the House –First Reading and Assignment to Committee –Committee action –Committee on House calendars –Second and Third Readings: House Floor Action Conference Committee Floor Action The Governor

21 Nonprocedural Tools of Leadership Tools The Legislative Budget Board: Members and presiding officers influence the budgeting process. The Legislative Council: The presiding officers appoint committee membership which oversees bill drafting and research. The Legislative Audit Committee: The presiding officers, members of this committee, audit agency expenditures. The Sunset Advisory Commission: This commission with the presiding officers as members reviews state agencies.

22 Restraints on the Powers of the Presiding Officers Personality –leadership style The Team –legislator coalitions The Lobby and Bureaucracy –coalition of presiding officers, bureaucrats and lobby insures success The Governor –the threat to veto and line-item veto give power The Political Climate –scandal may limit the power of the presiding officers. Political or Economic Ambition –political credits, interest group support, and presiding officers role may serve as a stepping stone to other offices.

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