Bill Filing Deadline Comes and Goes
In the final three days before the March 8 bill-filing deadline, Texas lawmakers went into their usual bill-filing frenzy. The numbers were similar to the 2011 session. This time, they introduced roughly 2,300 bills and joint resolutions in the final three days (compared to 1,700 in the same period in 2011). That brings the 60-day total to an unofficial 5,983 (almost identical to the 2011 numbers). There will be more; legislators can still file bills if they can persuade their colleagues to suspend the rules on a bill-by-bill basis.
The almost 6,000 bills filed is a huge number and virtually guarantees that: (1) at the end of the session, hundreds of bills will die in a massive logjam; and (2) in the final days, many lawmakers will be voting on bills they have not read and do not understand.
As is always the case, hundreds of bills are city-related and would do great harm to cities. Given the fact that so many bills were filed in the days leading up to the deadline, most – but not all – city-related bills are included in this issue of the Legislative Update; some will appear in the next issue. In addition, some bill summaries will, of necessity, be brief. Future editions of the update will expand on the most important bills if and when they progress through the legislative process.