Congress Texas Legislature

Topics: United States, United States Senate, United States House of Representatives Pages: 2 (451 words) Published: October 15, 2010
Congress and the Texas Legislature: Session Length and Session Frequency The Legislature of the State of Texas is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Texas. The legislature is a bicameral body composed of a 31-member Senate and a 150-member House of Representatives. The Legislature meets at the Capitol in Austin. The Legislature is arguably considered the most powerful arm of the Texas government not only because of its power of the purse to control and direct the activities of state government and the strong constitutional connections between it and the Lieutenant Governor of Texas, but also due to Texas's plural executive. Texas has a bicameral (two chamber) legislature consisting of a House of Representatives and a Senate. The House has 150 members elected from districts to serve two-year terms; the Senate includes 31 senators elected from districts to serve four-year terms. Each legislative chamber has certain tasks and responsibilities. Both chambers must both agree, however, before legislation can pass. Bicameralism has supporters and critics. Its defenders echo the position of the framers of the American Constitution, arguing that bicameralism provides an important check and balance on the legislative branch. In contrast, the critics of bicameralism believe that a single-house legislature is more economical and efficient. Nebraska is the only state with a unicameral legislature. The Composition of the Legislature Today. For many years, the Texas legislature was almost an exclusive club for white males. Although the legislature is a more diverse body today, it is not a cross-section of the state’s population. Times are changing, though, and the number of women and minorities in the legislature continues to increase. The legislature meets in regular session every other year, in odd calendar years. The Texas Constitution empowers the governor to call special sessions of the legislature, which may last for a maximum of 30 calendar days. Annual...
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