Jan 10, 2023 - Politics

How to keep up with the Texas Legislature

Illustration of a notification on the Texas State Capitol building.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

With thousands of bills making their way through the Capitol, it can be tough to keep up.

We’ve rounded up the best ways to keep track of your government.

The big picture: Lawmakers meet every other year for 140 days.

  • The only bill they have to pass, per the Texas Constitution, is a budget. But, there's plenty more the legislators will want to get done.

In other words: Things move fast, especially as the deadline approaches, and most bills don’t stand a chance.

By the numbers: Republicans hold a firm grip on both chambers and statewide offices.

  • The 150-member House is made up of 86 Republicans and 64 Democrats, while Republicans in the 31-member Senate outnumber Democrats 19 to 12.
  • Last regular session, lawmakers filed nearly 10,000 bills but less than 40%, or 3,803, made it to the governor’s desk.
  • Not to mention, Gov. Greg Abbott loves a veto. The governor vetoed 21 bills in 2021, 58 in 2019 and 51 in 2017.

How to watch: You can watch the House, Senate and committee hearings online at capitol.texas.gov.

  • Plus, you can create an account on the same website to track specific bills or receive email alerts for committee hearings, floor calendars and more.

Pro tip: Find frequent updates on Twitter at the #txlege hashtag.


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