Ending a 140 day session, the Texas Legislature has adjourned the 2019 session. The Texas Constitution spells out that the Texas Legislature will meet every odd-numbered year from January through May. The next regular session will convene in January of 2021. Only the governor can call the legislature back to Austin for special sessions, which cannot be more than 30 days at a time.
The founders of Texas provided for a citizens legislature, meaning that they wanted people to serve who had other occupations, rather than being full-time politicians. They wanted Texans who had real world experiences in business, agriculture and other industries. As a result, the Legislature meets part time, although there are still many responsibilities besides making laws in Austin.
By the end of the session, on May 27, the legislature had considered more than 4,700 House bills and nearly 2,500 Senate bills. Although only a small portion of them will pass, the months in Austin are spent in committee hearings, working on a budget and voting on bills filed by both the House and Senate.
Most new bills will become law on Sept. 1, 2019. That’s because that is the first day of the new fiscal year for the state. However, if a bill has enough votes, it can take effect immediately. The governor may let a bill become law by signing it or letting it pass without his signature. He may also veto a bill or parts of the budget by June 16.