LRL Home - Points of Interest - Legislation

Constitutional Amendment Election, November 2015

On November 3, 2015, voters will have a chance to consider seven constitutional amendments proposed by the 84th Legislature. The proposed amendments cover a wide range of topics, including property taxes, transportation, state official residency requirements, and more.
 
For background and analysis of the ballot propositions, see the House Research Organization's Constitutional Amendments Proposed for Nov. 2015 Ballot, and the Texas Legislative Council's Analyses of Proposed Constitutional Amendments.
 
The Texas Constitution is one of the longest in the nation and it's still growing. The Constitution is changed through amendments, which are proposed by the Texas Legislature and accepted or rejected by the voters.
 
Since the current Texas Constitution was adopted in 1876, over 480 amendments have been accepted.  
 
Constitutional Amendments Proposed for the November 3, 2015 ballot
84th R.S.
Prop. 1
The constitutional amendment increasing the amount of the residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation for public school purposes from $15,000 to $25,000, providing for a reduction of the limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for those purposes on the homestead of an elderly or disabled person to reflect the increased exemption amount, authorizing the legislature to prohibit a political subdivision that has adopted an optional residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation from reducing the amount of or repealing the exemption, and prohibiting the enactment of a law that imposes a transfer tax on a transaction that conveys fee simple title to real property.
84th R.S.
Prop. 2
The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran who died before the law authorizing a residence homestead exemption for such a veteran took effect.
84th R.S.
Prop. 3
The constitutional amendment repealing the requirement that state officers elected by voters statewide reside in the state capital.
84th R.S.
Prop. 4
The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to permit professional sports team charitable foundations to conduct charitable raffles.
84th R.S.
Prop. 5
The constitutional amendment to authorize counties with a population of 7,500 or less to perform private road construction and maintenance.
84th R.S.
Prop. 6
The constitutional amendment recognizing the right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife subject to laws that promote wildlife conservation
84th R.S.
Prop. 7
The constitutional amendment dedicating certain sales and use tax revenue and motor vehicle sales, use, and rental tax revenue to the state highway fund to provide funding for nontolled roads and the reduction of certain transportation-related debt.
 

 

New Report: Sunset Commission Final Results, 2014-15

The Sunset Commission’s last report of the 2014–2015 cycle, Final Results of Sunset Reviews, is now available on the Sunset Advisory Commission's website
 
"This comprehensive report briefly summarizes the final results of each Sunset review, including both legislative actions and nonstatutory management directives. Despite the failure of four bills, the 84th Legislature adopted 72 percent of the Commission’s 185 recommendations through Sunset legislation or other related legislation. The legislation is estimated to have a positive fiscal impact of some $38 million."
- Ken Levine, Director of the Sunset Advisory Commission
 
A diagram of how the Sunset process works is available via the Sunset Advisory Commission's website.  
 
 
 
 
 
Cover image by Pixabay user gsbarber.
 

Signed Copies of Bills from the 84th R.S.

Signed copies of bills from the 84th and 83rd Legislatures, with session law chapter numbers, are made available online on the Secretary of State's Bills and Resolutions page.
 
You can determine whether a bill sent to the Governor was signed or filed without signature by checking the bill in the Texas Legislature Online. If the bill passed but was filed without signature, you will see the action "Filed without the Governor's signature."
 
Signed copies from the 78th - 83rd Legislatures are available online at the University of North Texas Laws and Resolutions Archive.
 
For questions about bill/chapter numbers for bills from the 84th R.S., please contact the Secretary of State's office at (512) 463-5561.
 

Bill Effective Dates, 84th Legislature

On September 1, 2015 provisions of 704 bills passed during the regular session of the 84th Legislature will take effect.
 
Additionally, sections of bills passed during the 83rd Legislature and 82nd 1st C.S. in 2011 will take effect on September 1.
 
To keep up with new laws throughout the year, check the Library's list of bill effective dates.
 

Bill Effective Dates

The library reviews the text of all bills that become law to determine their effective dates, and enters the information into the Texas Legislature Online (TLO). To find the effective date of a bill, lookup the bill in TLO and check the "Last action" field in the history window. In some cases, different sections of a bill may have different effective dates, in which case additional remarks will be given to provide the information.
 
For House and Senate bills from the 84th Regular Session (2015), the two largest groupings are:
  • Effective immediately: 500
  • Effective on 9/1/15: 678
There are also 4 bills from the 83rd Regular Session (2013) that become effective 9/1/2015.
 
The library compiles a more detailed list of bills and their effective dates following each regular and called session. The list is made available on the library's website once it is complete.

Bill Statistics for the 84th R.S.

June 21 was the last day the Governor could sign, veto, or allow to become law without his signature bills presented to him less than 10 days (not counting Sundays) prior to final adjournment of the 84th Regular Session.
 
The following bill statistics were calculated on June 23 at 11:15 a.m.
  • To see how these statistics have changed since last week, please view our blog post from June 17
  • To learn about session law chapter numbers and copies of signed bills, please view our blog post from June 10.
 
House and Senate Bills
Filed 6,276
Sent to the Governor 1,323
Signed by the Governor 1,117
Signed by the Governor w/line-item veto 2
Vetoed by the Governor 41
Filed without the Governor's signature 163
House and Senate Joint Resolutions
Filed 200
Filed with the Secretary of State 7
House and Senate Concurrent Resolutions
Filed 174
Filed with the Secretary of State 15
Sent to the Governor 85
Signed by the Governor 84
Vetoed by the Governor 1
 

Bill Statistics, June 17th

June 21 is the last day the Governor can sign, veto, or allow to become law without his signature bills presented to him less than 10 days (not counting Sundays) prior to final adjournment of the 84th Regular Session.
 
The following bill statistics were calculated on June 17 at 9:15 a.m. To see how these statistics have changed since last week, and to learn about session law chapter numbers and copies of signed bills, please view our blog post from June 10.
 
House and Senate Bills
Filed 6,276
Sent to the Governor 1,323
Signed by the Governor 587
Vetoed by the Governor 4
Filed without the Governor's signature 60
House and Senate Joint Resolutions
Filed 200
Filed with the Secretary of State 7
House and Senate Concurrent Resolutions
Filed 174
Filed with the Secretary of State 15
Sent to the Governor 85
Signed by the Governor 46
Vetoed by the Governor 1
 

Bill Statistics & Upcoming Deadlines

As the 84th Legislature draws to a close, a series of end-of-session deadlines begins to take effect. Below is a list of deadlines that occur next week:
 
  • Wednesday, May 20: Deadline for house to distribute last House Local and Consent Calendar with local house bills.
  • Friday, May 22: Last day for house to consider local house bills on second and third reading. First day senate can consider bills and resolutions the first day they are posted on the Senate Intent Calendar.
  • Saturday, May 23: Last day for house committees to report senate bills and senate joint resolutions.
  • Sunday, May 24: Deadline for house to distribute last House Daily Calendar with senate bills and senate joint resolutions.
House and Senate calendars are available on the Texas Legislature Online, and Senate agendas are available in hard copy from the library (Rm. 2N.3). 
 
Bill statistics for the period of Nov. 10, 2014 - May 14, 2015 (as of 2:45pm) are below.
 
  House Bills (HB) & Joint Resolutions (HJR) Senate Bills (SB) & Joint Resolutions (SJR)
Filed  4,340 2,136
Reported out of committee 1,953 845
Passed by chamber of origin 1,032 702
Referred to committee in opposite chamber 824 643
Reported out of committee in opposite chamber 246 309
Passed opposite chamber 55 113
Sent to the Governor 35 94
Signed by the Governor 1 6
 

Bill Statistics & Upcoming Deadlines

As the 84th Legislature draws to a close, a series of end-of-session deadlines begin to take effect. Below is a list of deadlines that occur next week:
  • Monday, May 11: Last day for house committees to report house bills and house joint resolutions.
  • Tuesday, May 12: Deadline for house to distribute last House Daily Calendar with house bills and joint resolutions.
  • Wednesday, May 13: Deadline for house to distribute last House Local and Consent Calendar with consent house bills.
  • Thursday, May 14: Last day for house to consider house bills and joint resolutions on second reading on House Daily or Supplemental Calendar.
  • Friday, May 15: Last day for house to consider consent house bills on second and third reading and all third reading house bills or joint resolutions on House Supplemental Calendar.
House and Senate calendars are available on the Texas Legislature Online, and Senate agendas are available in hard copy from the library (Rm. 2N.3). 
 
Bill statistics for the period of Nov. 10, 2014 - May 6, 2015 are below.
 
  House Bills (HB) & Joint Resolutions (HJR) Senate Bills (SB) & Joint Resolutions (SJR)
Filed  4,339 2,135
Reported out of committee 1,818 809
Passed by chamber of origin 686 599
Referred to committee in opposite chamber 502 564
Reported out of committee in opposite chamber 52 140
Passed opposite chamber 6 54
Sent to the Governor 2 29
Signed by the Governor 0 4
 

Bill Statistics, April 30th

As we enter the last month of the 84th Regular Session, we'll be frequently updating our blog with bill statistics. Below are statistics as of today at 2:50 p.m.

Two bills have passed both chambers and have been signed by the Governor. They are:

SB 219: Relating to the provision of health and human services in this state, including the powers and duties of the Health and Human Services Commission and other state agencies, and the licensing of certain health professionals; clarifying certain statutory provisions; authorizing the imposition of fees.

SB 293: Relating to a clarification of the law governing eligibility of certain events for funding under the Major Events trust fund.


 
  House Bills (HB) & Joint Resolutions (HJR) Senate Bills (SB) & Joint Resolutions (SJR)
Filed  4,336 2,130
Reported out of committee 1,546 748
Passed by chamber of origin 470 530
Referred to committee in opposite chamber 107 147
Reported out of committee in opposite chamber 11 50
Passed opposite chamber 1 27
Signed by the Governor 0 2
 

Previous Entries / More Entries