Texas Legislative Law Handbook

Texas Legislative Law Handbook

Legislative Process

This all-new chapter details a bill's progress through the legislature, step by step, with citations to all of the applicable rules. It also includes all sorts of useful statistics and graphs, from the chances of passage based on filing date to the percent of bills killed in Calendars.


Legislative Drafting

This is a walkthrough of all of the skills needed to draft a bill. No more pouring over Legislative Council's 300-page Drafting Manual looking for answers. For even more brevity, we put a drafting checklist in the Appendix to catch the most common mistakes. This edition also has a section on drafting in special sessions.


Points of Order

This chapter opens with a pie chart of all of the points of order in 85th. It then details each of the rules and constitutional provisions on that chart. We tell you how often each rule was used last session and how often they were successful. We also make comparisons to prior sessions so that you can spot trends. Finally, we explain the successful precedent from every point of order since 2011 so that you can build the best case possible. If you're crunched for time, flip to the Appendix. You'll find a checklist that asks a series of questions that will help you spot the most common sources of error.


Statutory Interpretation

This chapter contains hundreds of citations from Texas cases, detailing how bill language should be interpreted. Understanding how a court will interpret a statute is crucial for those who work around the capitol. Not only does it help you explain what a bill means, but it also helps you catch potential misinterpretations.


Administrative Law

It may not sound exciting, but administrative law might be the most valuable chapter in this book. The legislature is in session for 140 days every two years—that leaves the executive branch 590 to fill the gaps. Learn what agencies can and can't do, understand the history and current court doctrine surrounding anticompetitive rules, and maximize your effectiveness during the interim.


Campaign & Ethics

This is a completely new chapter for this edition. It's by ethics guru Andy Cates. He has his own book on the laws that apply to candidates, lobbyists, and PACs, but we asked him to write up a quick overview of the most important points for our readers.