Effective Advocacy in the 86th Texas Legislature

Our friends at ACLU of Texas have produced an excellent guide: “How You Can Influence This Texas Legislative Session”. The key steps they recommend:

  1. Find out who represents you, and how to contact them
  2. Learn the schedule
  3. Know the process

See their guide for more information, but a few highlights for steps 2 and 3 can be found in the slides below.

The Texas State Legislature - meets for 140 days every two years. Next session begins on January 8, 2019. This means we have lmited time to urge elected officials to advocate for what we care about. Texas State Legislature: The Basics. Governor Abbott, Two houses - the House of Representatives and the Senate. Bills must pass through both houses to become law. Senate: Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. House: Speaker race, committees.
Slides from ACLU of Texas. Used by permission.
The Texas State Legislature: Timeline. Session starts: January 8, 2019. Session ends: May 27, 2019. Important dates: November 12, 2018: prefiling begins. March 8, 2019: Deadline for the unrestricted filing of bills and joint resolutions other than local bills, emergency appropriations, and emergency matters submitted by the governor. The Texas State Legislature: The Process. Bill is introduced in the House. Bill is referred to a Committee by Speaker. Bill either dies in Committee or is passed. If passed, bill scheduled for a Floor Vote by the Calendars Committee. Floor Debate and Vote. If passed by a majority vote, Bill is sent to the Senate. Bill is introduced to the Senate. Bill is referred to a Senate Committee. Bill either dies in Committee or is passed. If passed Senators must agree by a 2/3 vote to send bill to the floor for a debate. Floor Debate and Vote. If passed by a majority vote, Bill is sent to the House. All bills must pass through both Housee and Senate to become law. If passed through BOTH houses, the Bill can be signed into law or vetoed by the Governor. A veto can be overridden by a 2/3 vote in House and Senate.
Slides from ACLU of Texas. Used by permission.

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