Mon April 22, 2013
Agenda Texas: Looming Legislative Deadlines
Over 6,000 bills were filed in the 2013 legislative session. And historically speaking, only about 20 percent of them will be signed into law.
Many of those that don’t pass won’t even receive the dignified end of being voted down by lawmakers. Some will instead get trapped forever in the labyrinth of procedures and deadlines that mark the last month of the session.
"You know the legislative session is set up like a funnel, at the beginning you can consider everything. And they file about 6 or 7 thousand bills and say we want to do this and that and the other thing," Texas Tribune executive editor Ross Ramsey said.
"There's this calendar page that floats around the legislature. It's black on white prints and some of the dates on this have red squares around them and those are deadline days."
May 6th is the first of these deadlines. That's the final day a House committee can pass out a bill and send it on to the House floor. There are similar deadlines in the Senate. But that chamber tends to suspend any rules necessary to pass a bill.
"The way the Senate works it's rules they can suspend the laws of gravity if they want to," Ramsey said.
The deadlines are just the first of many procedural pitfalls that end a legislative session. Got a question about how the 140 days wrap up? Send it to us at AgendaTexas@kut.org. You can also follow us on Twitter: @AgendaTexas.