Want to stay fully informed of the latest dealings in the Texas Legislature during the session? Then read the TMA Legislative News Hotline.
TMA Legislative News Hotline: Friday, Jan. 23, 2015
Watch this video of TMA Vice President of Advocacy Darren Whitehurst to learn more about Texas’ new leadership and what’s in store for medicine during the 84th legislative session.
TMA Legislative News Hotline: Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015
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).
TMA Legislative News Hotline: Monday, Jan. 20, 2015
A new stage takes shape for Texas’ leadership when Gov. Gregg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are sworn into office today. Governor Abbott, the state’s longest serving attorney general, will become the state’s 45th governor. Lieutenant Governor Patrick, a four-term Texas senator, will take the reins in the upper chamber. Inauguration ceremonies are the main event today under the dome.
TMA Legislative News Hotline: Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015
The Texas House reelected Rep. Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) to his fourth term as House speaker yesterday. He won against Rep. Scott Turner (R-Frisco). The vote count was 127-19. The Texas Senate also named Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen) as president pro tempore, the second highest position in the Senate. With all the new elected officials moving in and around the state Capitol, offices have changed. You can find your legislator’s office on the Texas Tribune map. And, if you don’t know who represents you – go to the TMA’s Grassroots Action Center for a quick and easy way to find out.
TMA Legislative News Hotline: Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015
The 84th legislative session kicks off with much fanfare at noon. The festivities start with opening remarks from Gov.-Elect Greg Abbott and swearing in of the 177 legislators, and electing the House speaker. Five seats are still unfilled — four in the House and one in the Senate. But once all the runoffs and special elections are final, there will be 181 legislators ushering bills through their respective chambers. For the first time in 14 years, Texas will have a new governor, and for the first time in 12 years, a new lieutenant governor. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov.-Elect Dan Patrick will be sworn into office during inauguration ceremonies Jan. 20.