UNDER THE ROTUNDA
The Texas Senate approved rules yesterday guiding its operations in the upper chamber. For the first time in nearly 70 years, the Senate completely eliminated the two-thirds rule, which requires that two-thirds of the 31-member Senate agree to bring up a bill for debate on the floor. In the past, a minority of 11 members could block a bill from debate. Legislative fights have occurred each and every decade because bills have been thwarted because of the two-thirds rule. Now the Senate will operate under the three-fifths rule, lowering the threshold from 21 votes to 19 votes needed to bring a bill up for debate in the Senate (with the requisite lieutenant governor’s recognition).
HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW
Need a refresher course on how a bill becomes a law in Texas? The Texas Legislative Council takes you through the different stages a bill must go through, from its initial draft stage to its final journey to the governor’s desk. The site includes easy-to-read diagrams illustrating the process for bills originating from the House and Senate.
TMA'S LEGISLATIVE AGENDA: PRESERVE PHYSICIANS' INDEPENDENT MEDICAL JUDGMENT
The patient-physician relationship is unique in modern American life. Patients place their lives in their physicians’ hands. Not only must they trust in their doctors’ knowledge, experience, and skill, but they also must trust that their physician is acting in their best interest — neither motivated nor distracted by competing interests. More
PHYSICIAN OF THE DAY
The physician of the day at the Capitol is Troy Fiesinger, MD, of Houston. Dr. Fiesinger graduated from Baylor College of Medicine. He is a member of TMA and Harris County Medical Society, and past president of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Fiesinger also is a member of TMA’s Council on Medical Education.
WHAT WE'RE READING
TMA's Texas Legislature main page