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35 terms

Ch 23

We the People Texas edition
STUDY
PLAY
bicameral legislature
having a legislative assembly composed of two chambers or houses; opposite of unicameral legislature
regular session
the 140-day period during which the Texas legislature meets to consider and pass bills; occurs only in odd-numbered years
biennial
occurring every two years
special session
a legislative session called by the governor that addresses an agenda set by him or her and that lasts no longer than thirty days
bill
a bill affecting only units of local government, such as a city, county, or special district
special bill
a bill that gives an individual or corporation a special exemption from state law
general bill
a bill that applies to all people and/or property in the state
resolution
a proposal, made by a member of the legislature, that generally deals with the internal workings of the government; a resolution is similar to a bill, but it has a more limited scope and lacks the force of public law
concurrent resolution
a resolution of interest to both chambers of the legislature, and that must pass both the House and Senate and generally be signed by the governor
joint resolution
a resolution, commonly a proposed amendment to the Texas Constitution or a ratification of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, that must pass both the House and Senate but does not require the governor's signature
simple resolution
a resolution that concerns only the Texas House or Senate, such as the adoption of a rule or the appointment of an employee, and does not require the governor's signature
constituent powers
efforts made by a member of a legislature on behalf of his or her constituency
constituents
citizens living in the district from which an official is elected
electoral powers
the legislature's mandated role in counting returns in the elections for governor and lieutenant governor
investigative powers
the power, exercised by the House, Senate, or both chambers jointly, to investigate problems facing the state
directive and supervisory powers
the legislature's power over the executive branch; for example, the legislature determines the size of appropriations for state agencies
judicial powers
the power of the House to impeach and of the Senate to convict members of the executive and judicial branches of state government
impeachment
the formal charge by the House of Representatives that leads to trial in the Senate and possible removal of a state official
introduction
the first step in the legislative process, during which a member of the legislature gets an idea for a bill and files a copy of it with the clerk of the House or secretary of the Senate
referral
the second step in the legislative process, during which a bill is assigned to the appropriate standing committee by the Speaker (for House bills) or the lieutenant governor (for Senate bills)
consideration by standing committee
the third step in the legislative process, during which a bill is killed, amended, or heard by a standing committee
floor action
the fourth step in the legislative process, during which a bill referred by a standing committee is scheduled for floor debate by the Calendars Committee
conference committee
a joint committee created to work out a compromise on House and Senate versions of a piece of legislation
action by the governor
the final step in the legislative process, during which the governor either signs or vetoes a bill
standing committee
a permanent committee with the power to propose and write legislation that covers a particular subject, such as finance or agriculture
pigeonholing
a step in the legislative process during which a bill is killed by the chair of the standing committee to which it was referred, as a result of his or her setting the bill aside and not bringing it before the committee
filibuster
a tactic that members of the Senate use to prevent action on legislation they oppose by continuously holding the floor and speaking until the majority backs down. In Texas, Senate rules require that senators stand upright at his/her desk and remain on topic while speaking.
post-adjournment veto
a veto of a bill that occurs after the legislature adjourns, thus preventing the legislature from overriding it
line-item veto
the power of the executive to veto specific provisions (lines) of a bill passed by the legislature
veto
the governor's power to turn down legislation; can be overridden by a two-thirds vote of both the House and Senate
Speaker
the chief presiding officer of the House of Representatives. The Speaker is the most important party and House leader, and can influence the legislative agenda, the fate of individual pieces of legislation, and members' positions within the House
recognition
the Speaker of the House's power to control floor debate by recognizing who can speak before the House
single-member district
an electorate that is allowed to select only one representative from each district; the normal method of representation in the United States
redistricting
the process of redrawing election districts and redistributing legislative representatives. This happens every ten years to reflect shifts in population or in response to legal challenges to existing districts
one-person, one-vote principle
the principle that all districts should have roughly equal populations