The Texas State House Chamber. Photo: Wikipedia
The 85th Session of the Texas Legislature begins on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, with adjournment set for Monday, May 29. Regular sessions last for 140 days in odd-numbered years, with the possibility of special sessions for up to 30 days, at the direction of the governor. With the start of bill filing on November 14, advocates can learn about the legislative process and how to affect policy by reading the information provided here.
Key Dates for the 85th Legislative Session
- Monday, November 14, 2016 — Start of legislation prefiling
- Tuesday, January 10, 2017 — 85th Session of Texas Legislature begins
- Monday, May 29, 2017 — Sine Die (last day of legislative session)
- Sunday, June 18, 2017 — Last day governor can sign or veto bills passed during regular session
How to Get Involved
Step 1: Educate Yourself
Learn how a bill becomes a law and how to follow a bill, see the “Guide to Texas Legislative Information (Revised)” PDF on the Texas Legislative Council Legislative Reference webpage.
Learn how to read a bill, see “Reading Statutes and Bills” PDF on the Texas Legislative Council Legislative Reference webpage.
Familiarize yourself with legislative language and terminology, see the “Guide to Texas Legislative Information (Revised)” PDF Appendix: Legislative Glossary on the Texas Legislative Council Legislative Reference webpage.
TCDD Can Help
TCDD staff will post news related to the Texas Legislature and other Public Policy issues on our Texas Legislature page.
The TCDD Legislative Advocacy Tips webpage contains information and resources from various sources to assist individuals and organizations in their advocacy efforts. This information is designed to give an overview of the basic policymaking processes in Texas and how to influence policy.
Step 2: Stay in the Loop
Step 3: Take Action
Find out who represents you in the Texas Legislature and contact them by phone, email or letter. You can also schedule an appointment to meet with your legislators and tell them how their decisions on the state budget and disability issues affect you and your family.
Share your story at a committee hearing in person or in writing. View Texas Legislature House Committee Meetings notices and Texas Legislature Senate Committee Meetings notices to see which bills are scheduled to be considered at a particular committee meeting.