Reasons behind TX lege best practices

You might be wondering why it takes months for the Texas Legislature to bills on the floor.

Since the 1900s, when there wasn't easy accessibility, or even travel methods, it's been law that Texas politicians have to wait at least 60 days prior to a bill being heard, voted on or passed through legislation.

Political consultant Chris Carmona said they can only get to work after everybody has been sworn in.

"Prior to that, you haven't selected a Speaker of the House. No committees have been named in the Senate or in the House. And, so you really can't really pass bills, until you actually have people filing them, go through the committee process," said Carmona.

Rice University political science professor Bob Stein said already thousands of bills have been introduced.

"In the early weeks of the legislative session, most of the work is done in committee," said Stein. "A lot of the activity is not on the floor, and won't take place until very late, when votes are coming up."

Stein said there's a lot of efficiency gains by having a full-time Legislature, rather than wait two years for hot topic items like school finance, school security, border security or property taxes.

Carmona said politicians are working behind the scenes in committees, meeting with lobbyists, hearing from the public.

"If we started passing legislation on day one, that would deprive every day Texas citizens the right to come down and actually testify for or against something they're very passionate about," said Carmona.

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