BILL-FILING NUMBERS DOWN
In the final three days before the March 11 bill-filing deadline, Texas lawmakers went into their usual bill-filing frenzy. However, the numbers were down substantially from previous sessions. This time, they introduced roughly 1,700 bills and joint resolutions in the final three days (compared to 2,900 in the same period in 2009). That brings the 60-day total to an unofficial 5,873 (compared to 7,340 in 2009). 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.
Even though 1,400 fewer bills were introduced this time, almost 6,000 bills is still 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.