Author:
Annette Howard
Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Reading
Level:
Community College / Lower Division
Tags:
  • Legislature
  • Sessions
  • Texas
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Graphics/Photos, Text/HTML

    Chapter 7.2: Legislative Sessions

    Chapter 7.2:  Legislative Sessions

    Overview

    This section describes Texas' legislative sessions.

    Learning Objectives

    By the end of this section, students will be able to:

    • Understand the cycle and length of Regular legislative sessions

    • Understand the nature of Special Sessions

    Learning Objectives

    By the end of this section, you will be able to:

    • Understand the cycle and length of Regular legislative sessions
    • Understand the nature of Special Sessions

    Regular Sessions

    This step describes Regular Sessions.

    REGULAR SESSIONS

    A legislative session is the period of time in which a legislature is convened for purpose of lawmaking, This section describes the legislative sessions used by the Texas Legislature.

    Texas Legislature uses biennial sessions which means they meet every two years on odd numbered years, for 140 days.

    The Texas Legislature meets in regular session on the second Tuesday in January of each odd-numbered year. The Texas Constitution limits the regular session to 140 calendar days.

    Special Sessions

    This step describes Special Sessions

    SPECIAL SESSIONS

    Only the Governor may call the Legislature into special sessions, unlike other states where the legislature may call itself into session. The governor may call as many sessions as he or she desires. For example, Governor Rick Perry called three consecutive sessions to address the 2003 Texas congressional redistricting. The Texas Constitution limits the duration of each special session to 30 days; lawmakers may consider only those issues designated by the governor in his “call,” or proclamation convening the special session (though other issues may be added by the Governor during a session).

    Reading Review Questions

    1. What is a “legislative session”? Describe the constitutional details of a Texas regular legislative session.

    2. Who may call a special session in Texas? How does this compare to many other states?

    3. What are the restrictions (or lack of restrictions) placed on the power to call special sessions?