Lobbying: any attempt by individuals or private interest groups to influence the decisions of government. You are required to register as a lobbyist if you 1) make a total expenditure of an amount determined by commission rule but not less than $200 in a calendar quarter; or 2) receives, or is entitled to receive under an agreement under which the person is retained or employed, compensation or reimbursement. For the full definition see Tex. Gov’t Code Ann. § 305.003.
Regular session: When a state’s legislative members meet for a period of time regularly scheduled by a state’s constitution, a statute, or by the legislature where they write and pass bills.
Senate: the upper house of the TX Lege. There are 31 members representing single-member districts. There are no term limits, and each term is four years long. John Whitmire is the longest-serving Senator; he was elected in 1983 when he was 34 years old!
Senate Bills (SB): A Senate bill is a piece of proposed legislation that either originated or was modified in the Texas Senate. In order to become law, a Senate bill must win majority approval in both the Senate and the House of Representatives and then be approved by the presiding officers and sent to the Governor. Upon receiving a bill, the Governor has 10 days in which to sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without a signature.
Advocacy: While all lobbying is advocacy, not all advocacy is lobbying. Advocacy is any action that speaks in favor of, recommends, argues for a cause, supports or defends, or pleads on behalf of others.
Allies: A group of more than two organizations, governments, corporations or individuals that have a common advocacy or organizing goal.
Bill: a type of legislative measure that requires passage by both chambers of the legislature and action by the governor in order to become effective. A bill is the primary means used to create and change the laws of the state.
Constituents: The members served by an organization and/or those who will be impacted by a particular advocacy or other organizing outcome.
Electeds/Elected Officials: someone who holds an office in a government and has the right to exercise power. In TX our State elected officials are members of the House of Representatives and Senate.
House of Representatives: the lower house of the TX Legislature. It consists of 150 members who are elected from single-member districts for two-year terms. There are no term limits and each term is two years; the most senior member, Tom Craddick was elected in 1968 when he was 25 years old!
House Bills (HB): A House bill is a piece of proposed legislation that either originated or was modified in the Texas House of Representatives. In order to become law, a House bill must win majority approval in both the Senate and the House of Representatives and then be approved by the Governor.
Sine die: Final adjournment of a legislative session (typically followed by a huge party!).
Special session: A special meeting of the legislature called by the governor or by the legislature over a specific subject matter.
#txlege: hashtag used for TX Legislature. pronounced “Texas ledge” or “The ledge”
(Chapter 3 The Texas Legislature Vocabulary Flashcards (for terms below)
Committees: Generally, a group of legislators appointed by the presiding officer of the house or the senate to which proposed legislation is referred or a specific task is assigned.
Standing committees: committees of the house and senate that consider legislation during sessions
Conference committees: joint committees of the house and senate that work out differences in bills passed in each chamber
Interim committees: temporary committees of the legislature that study issues between regular sessions and make recommendations on legislation
Calendars committee: standing committee of the house that decides which bills will be considered for floor debate and to which committee they will be assigned
Biennial session: legislature meets every two years
Bicameral: legislative body that consists of two houses
Reapportionment: refers to the process of allocating representatives to districts
Redistricting: the drawing of district boundaries
Calendars: procedures in the house used to consider different kinds of bills; major bills and minor bills are considered under different procedures
(Texas Legislative Glossary (for terms below)
Appropriation: An authorization by the legislature for the expenditure of money for a public purpose. In most instances, money cannot be withdrawn from the state treasury except through a specific appropriation made in the General Appropriations Act or a supplemental appropriations bill
Filibuster: The prolonged discussion of a bill or resolution to delay legislative action. Filibusters are permitted in the senate but not in the house.
Lieutenant Governor: The presiding officer of the Texas Senate, otherwise known as the president of the senate. A member of the executive branch, the lieutenant governor is elected statewide to a four-year term.
Recess: temporary suspension of a meeting. Recesses are called for short breaks (e.g., for lunch or dinner) or occasionally at the close of a daily session to allow the legislative day to continue into the next calendar day.
Sponsor: The legislator who guides a bill or resolution introduced and passed in the opposite chamber through the legislative process in that legislator’s chamber
Omnibus Bill: A bill relating to a broad subject that combines many different aspects of that subject.
Presiding Officer: The officer who presides over a deliberative assembly. The speaker of the house is the presiding officer of the Texas House of Representatives, and the lieutenant governor of Texas is the presiding officer of the Texas Senate.
Resolution: A type of legislative measure