Tracking Legislation

By Ken Paxton, State Representative

Tuesday, January 11, 2010 marks the first day of the 82nd Regular Session of the Texas Legislature. Each legislative session, constituents ask me how to track legislation important to them. The Texas Legislature Online has a number of tools available to make bill tracking easy.

Bills may be searched online by bill number, author or sponsor, committee, subject, action, or a particular date (filing date) at http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Reports/BillsBy.aspx. Pre-filing of bills has already begun, so you can see what bills have already been filed for the upcoming session. Additionally, I will discuss here in the coming weeks the bills I have already filed to be considered during the 82nd Legislative Session.

Interested parties or individuals may also create a personal list of bills for tracking purposes and can even receive electronic notification when there are actions affecting particular legislation. One may also receive e-mail notification when selected calendars, committee hearing notices or committee minutes are posted. These services are free of charge. To create a “My Texas Legislature Online” personal list, go to http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/MyTLO/Login/Register.aspx.

The Texas Legislative Council House Document Distribution section distributes hard copies of bills, as well as other house documents and copies of general information and legislative reference publications to members of the legislature as well as to the general public. For more information on obtaining copies of any of these documents, visit their website at http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/.

Finally, vote information on bills is included in the House or Senate journal if a record vote is requested at the time the vote takes place, or if a member registers within a specified time limit to request that his or her vote is recorded in the journal. This allows constituents to keep track of how their legislators voted on a particular bill. For more information on tracking legislative votes, visit http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Help/findvoteinfo.aspx. To learn who represents you in the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate, visit http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/ and enter your address.

I hope these resources will prove to be useful for people living in Collin County. I believe it is important for voters to know the issues being discussed and considered by their government, and I strongly believe that constituents have the right to know how their elected officials voted on any particular issue. I look forward to serving you in Austin, and I welcome your feedback during this time.

Representative Ken Paxton is running for Speaker of the Texas House.

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