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When tracking Texas legislation, there are certain dates and deadlines to note as they serve as reminders of when to be on alert for news:
Bill prefiling: Prefiling legislation begins the first Monday after a November election in even-numbered years, which is when news coverage starts in earnest for an upcoming legislative session.
Start of session: the legislature convenes its regular sessions at noon on the second Tuesday in January of odd-numbered years.
60 day bill filing deadline: unrestricted introduction of bills is permitted during the first 60 calendar days of each regular session.
Memorial Day: the maximum duration of a regular session is 140 days, meaning it usually ends around Memorial Day weekend.
Governor's actions on legislation: if a bill is sent to the Governor within 10 days of final adjournment, the Governor has until 20 days after final adjournment to sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without a signature. (Before session ends, the Governor typically has 10 days to sign or the bill becomes law automatically.)
Effective date: when a new law becomes effective varies, but it is usually the beginning of the fiscal year (Sept. 1). Legislation may be drafted to include a specific alternative date; common alternatives are bills that become effective immediately or at the beginning of a calendar year (Jan. 1).
Can search by bill number. If bill number is unknown, various options: 1) "Sections Affected" to search by current statutory citation; 2) "Bill Search" to search by subject, author, committee, or action; 3) "Text Search" to search by simple keyword or terms and connectors. MyTLO also allows user to set up account to track legislation multiple ways, including email alerts for individual bills.
A floor report is a collection of bill analyses for bills scheduled on the House daily calendar for floor debate on a particular legislative day. The HRO is a nonpartisan independent department of the Texas House of Representatives. It provides impartial information on legislation and issues before the Texas Legislature.
Following each legislative session in Texas, organizations, state agencies, and other entities publish "wrap-ups" summarizing new laws and key legislative developments on various issues. Wrap-ups can range from a simple list of bills to a detailed report that includes background information and expert analyses. LRL started compiling wrap-ups with 82nd Legislature in 2011. Check blog for links to individual sessions.