Texas Legislators End Frist Day of 88th Legislative Session

UPDATE 1/10/23 - Texas' 88th legislative session adjourned on Jan. 10 after completing opening ceremonies during which Gov. Greg Abbott congratulated newly elected and re-elected members of the House and Senate as well as Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, who was reelected today as House Speaker for the session.

Jan. 10 was the first day of the 88th Legislative Session that convened at Noon. Abbott made similar remarks in the House and Senate:

  • Honored to have former Senator Jane Nelson here today as the new Secretary of State
  • Proud any time Texas is represented as the best, proud of TCU representing state in the national championship game
  • Texas and its policies are attracting many from other states, more people coming into the state and adding to the economy more than any other state
  • Have an extraordinary opportunity to advance the state more than any other session ever
  • Will have an almost $33 billion surplus; due to the taxpayers and the leaders in this room have been good stewards
  • Not all states are in this position; noted California has a budget deficit of $20 billion and New York is asking federal government for money; Governor of New York is concerned that so many people are fleeing the state
  • TX attracts and keeps people in the state, No. 1 in retaining those born and raised within the state
  • Greater coalescence between both chambers about issues & solutions; starting in perfect position to have a successful session

Phelan was elected as House Speaker by record vote with 143 ayes. Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, also received a nomination from the floor for the speaker position. He received 3 aye votes. Also, the Texas Senate elected Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, as its President pro Tempore.  

Tracking the Legislature

The Texas House gavels in at 11 a.m. CT on Wednesday, Jan. 11 and at 10:30 a.m. CT on Thursday, Jan. 12. 

The Texas Senate gavels in at 11 a.m. CT on Wednesday, Jan. 11 and at 11 a.m. CT on Thursday, Jan. 12.

TEXPERS members can keep up with floor sessions, committee hearings, and other legislative events by watching live broadcasts on the House and Senate websites.

"TEXPERS is working hard to ensure legislation passed this session reflects the needs and values of TEXPERS members and their families," said Paul Brown, chair of the Association's Legislative Committee.

TEXPERS tracks proposed legislation that is pension- and pension-adjacent (subject matters that impact the management of pension funds, such as investments and cybersecurity). TEXPERS members can follow the Association on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and LinkedIn to stay current on legislation.

Additional legislative dates and deadlines include 60-day bill filing deadline on Friday, March 10; adjournment sine die on Monday, May 29; post-session 20-day deadline for Abbott to sign or veto on Sunday, June 18; and effective dates (the time the laws take effect). 

"We have a lot of work to do over the next few months, and we can't do it without your support," Brown said.

The Legislative Process

The deadline for legislators to submit bills is March 10. Lawmakers need a four-fifths vote to introduce new legislation, which must pass the House and Senate by May 29, when the Legislature adjourns.

Legislation will generally take effect on Sept. 1 unless vetoed by the governor or two-thirds of members in each chamber vote otherwise.

Committees are formed in the early weeks of a session to consider bills. Each representative sits on at least one committee, and most sit on two or three. Seniority and appointments by the speaker of the House determine members of House committees. Membership is determined entirely by appoints by the lieutenant governor for Senate committees, and senators generally sit on four or five committees.

Nearly all filed bills are referred to a committee. It is not guaranteed that legislation referred to a committee will be reported out of it.

The Lawmakers

Here are House members information and Senate members information.

The Budget Estimate

During the 2023-24 biennium, Texas lawmakers will have $188.2 billion in revenue for general-purpose spending, according to Texas State Comptroller Glenn Hegar, who reported the day before the 88th Legislature convenes. Budget estimates for general-purpose expenditures were $115.65 billion during the 87th session.

As the state's 88th regular legislative begins, TEXPERS, along with the association's Legislative Committee and legislative consultant, is monitoring the sessions, especially for any actions regarding public employee pensions. TEXPERS staff will regularly update this blog with the latest happenings that may be of interest to trustees and administrators of public employee retirement systems.


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