A Comprehensive Guide to Legislative Calendars in the Texas Legislature

When the Texas Legislature convenes in both regular and special sessions, it can be difficult at times to keep up with what legislation is being considered and when.

The Texas Legislature operates with a variety of legislative calendars to manage the flow of bills through the overall legislative process. These calendars ensure the bills are considered in an organized manner and help prioritize legislative business. It is also imperative to understand how the time in session is used, such as the differences between a calendar day and a legislative day.

A calendar day is a day of the year on which the legislature may be in session. A legislative day is the period between the convening of the legislature and the next adjournment. For instance, the House or the Senate may convene for a daily session in the morning, recess for lunch, and adjourn that same evening, completing a legislative day on the same calendar day. However, if a chamber recesses at the end of the day, that particular legislative day continues until the next time the chamber adjourns.

The following is a breakdown of the different types of legislative calendars that exist in the Texas Legislature:

Texas Senate Calendars

Senate Agenda – Regular Order of Business

The Senate Agenda is a document that is prepared daily for the senators and the public that contains the following information:

  • The Intent Calendar (see below)
  • A list of Senate bills returned from the House with amendments
  • The status of bills in conference committees
  • The Local and Uncontested Calendar (see below)
  • Gubernatorial appointments reported favorably from the Senate Committee on Nominations and awaiting confirmation by the Senate
  • Committee hearings scheduled, with a list of measures to be considered by the committees
  • The regular order of business, listing bills and resolutions that been reported favorably from committee
  • Miscellaneous announcements
  • Senate floor action from the previous legislative day
  • Senate committee action from the previous day
  • Morning call items of business

Intent Calendar

The Senate Intent Calendar is a legislative calendar established in the Senate Rules that lists bills and resolutions for which Senators have filed written notice with the Secretary of the Senate to bring them up for consideration out of their regular order. Normally, a bill may not be brought up for consideration by the full Senate unless it is listed on the Intent Calendar.

When the Legislature is in session, you can find this calendar here.

Local and Uncontested Calendar

The Senate Local and Uncontested Calendar is a legislative calendar established in the Senate Rules that lists local and noncontroversial bills and resolutions scheduled by the Senate Committee on Administration for consideration by the Senate.

When the Legislature is in session, you can find this calendar here.

Texas House of Representatives Calendars

House General State Calendar

The House General State Calendar is a legislative calendar established by the House rules that lists non-emergency bills of statewide effect applicable to all areas but limited in legal effect to less than that constituting major state policy by classification or other factors, as well as non-emergency bills that are not included on the local, consent, and resolutions calendar.

When the Legislature is in session, you can find this calendar here.

House Local, Consent & Resolutions Calendar

The House Local, Consent, and Resolutions Calendar is a legislative calendar established by the House Rules that lists bills, house resolutions, and concurrent resolutions, not emergency in nature, regardless of extent and scope, on which there is general agreement concerning the measure’s consideration and passage. To be eligible for the local, consent, and resolutions calendar, a measure must have been recommended by the appropriate standing committee for placement on the calendar by the Committee on Local and Consent Calendars.

When the Legislature is in session, you can find this calendar here.

House Major State Calendar

The House Major State Calendar is a legislative calendar established by the House rules that lists bills of statewide effect, not emergency in nature, that establish or change state policy in a major field of governmental activity and that will have a major impact in application throughout the state without regard to class, area, or other limiting factors.

House Resolutions Calendar

The House Resolutions Calendar is a legislative calendar established in the House rules that lists House Resolutions and Concurrent Resolutions that are not emergency in nature and are not privileged.

Supplemental Calendar

The House Supplemental Calendar is the primary agenda followed by the House during its deliberations. Prepared by the House Committee on Calendars, this calendar is required to be distributed two hours before the House convenes. The Supplemental House Calendar contains:

  • Measures passed to third reading on the previous legislative day
  • Measures on the Daily House Calendar for a previous calendar day that were not reached for consideration
  • Measures on the Daily House Calendar for the current day
  • Postponed business form a previous calendar day
  • Notice to call from the table a measure laid on the table subject to call on a previous legislative day

When the Legislature is in session, you can find this calendar here.

Congratulatory and Memorial Resolutions Calendar

The Congratulatory and Memorial Resolutions Calendar is a legislative calendar established in the House rules that lists congratulatory and memorial resolutions whose sole intent is to congratulate, memorialize, or otherwise express concern or commendation. The calendar must be distributed to House lawmakers at least 24 hours in advance of the house set for consideration.

When the Legislature is in session, you can find this calendar here.

Constitutional Amendments Calendar

The House Constitutional Amendments Calendar is a legislative calendar established in the House rules that lists scheduled joint resolutions proposing amendments to the Texas Constitution, joint resolutions proposing the ratification of amendments to the Constitution of the United States, and joint resolutions applying to Congress for a convention to amend the Constitution of the United States.

Emergency Calendar

The House Emergency Calendar is a legislative calendar established in the House rules and composed of bills considered to be of such pressing and imperative import as to demand immediate action, bills to raise revenue and levy taxes, and the general appropriations bill. A bill submitted as an emergency matter by the governor may also be placed on this calendar.

Conclusion

Understanding the various types of legislative calendars and the distinction between calendar days and legislative days is crucial for navigating the Texas legislative process. These calendars help manage the flow of legislation and ensure that the legislative process is orderly and efficient. Whether you’re a legislator, advocate, or concerned citizen, being familiar with these calendars can enhance your ability to follow and influence the legislative process in Texas.

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