The Legislature of Texas
This refers to the Texas state legislature one of the 52 states of the United States of America. It is generally a bicameral house that comprises of a 31 member senate as a well as a house of representatives comprising of 150 members who gather at Capitol in Austin. This is a very powerful arm of Texas government since it not only controls the activities of the government of Texas and the connections it has with the lieutenant governor of Texas constitutionally but also because of the plural executive nature of the state of Texas. “Since the entry of Texas into the USA union in the year 1845, the legislature of Texas has remained the constitutional successor of the republic of Texas republic and held its first regular session between the 16th day of February to the 13th day of May 1846”, (The Legislature p 2).
For one to qualify for election into the legislature of Texas, one has to meet the qualifications set by the constitution of Texas for members of either house. For one to qualify to be a senator, he or she has to be 26 and above years of age and have been a Texas citizen five years before elections are conducted. One also has to have been a resident of the district that one intends to vie at least one year before elections are conducted. A senator serves a term of four years whereby a half of the senate is after every two years in a year that is even. On the other hand, for one to qualify to the House of Representatives, he or she has to be of 21 and above years old and have been a Texas citizen two years before conduction of elections. One also needs to have been a resident of the district that one intends to contest a year before the conduction of elections. Each representative serves for a maximum of two two-year terms in which elections are carried out in even-numbered years.
Functions of the Legislature of Texas
Within the legislative arm of the state government, the legislature comprises of five support agencies namely the Texas legislative Budget Board, Texas legislative council, Texas legislative reference library, Texas state auditor and the Texas sunset advisory commission. The Texas legislature is a very crucial arm of the state government as it performs Among the major functions of the Texas legislature such as passing laws, carrying out constitutional amendments by a two third majority vote in the two chambers, perform electoral functions, carry out the investigations into various issues affecting the state, may impeachment functions as well as the supervisory and the directory functions through the legislative support agencies such as the sunset commission and the legislative audit committee.
The legislature of Texas meets on the second Tuesday of every year that is odd-numbered as the constitution of Texas has set a limit of 140 calendar days between the sessions. The lieutenant governor presides the senate and is elected away from the governor throughout the state. In the House of Representatives the speaker is elected among the members of the house. The two houses have a great role in the law making process in the state and both houses have a wide choice in picking committee membership in the two houses.
It is only the governor of the state of Texas who has the powers to call a special sessions of the legislature and can call as many as possible though the constitution of Texas limits the duration for the special sessions to 3o days (Ford & Cronican, P5). For any bill that is passed by the Texas legislature, it takes 90 days after its passage to start operations unless in instances whereby two thirds of each of the two houses votes for the bill to start operations immediately after being passed in the legislature. Both members of the two parties serve in the leadership positions of the houses as the legislature is organized in a non-partisan basis despite members being elected on partisan basis.
It is also important to note that the legislators in the Texas legislature are entitled to a monthly remuneration of $600 and a pier Diem of $190 for every legislative session including any special session. They also receive a pension after one has served for eight years when one attains sixty years of age. Currently Texas is represented in the Congress by Senator John Cornyn and Senator Ted Cruz.
Laws Passed by the … Legislature of the State of Texas. Austin, Tex: Ford & Cronican, 1846. Print.
Members of the Texas Legislature, 1846-1980. The Legislature, 1981.