AUSTIN, Texas — Texas lawmakers met briefly on Wednesday, then both chambers adjourned until next Tuesday. That has a lot of people questioning why they are taking long weekends instead of passing bills.
The answer is that while you may not see a lot of action on the floor of the House and Senate, there are things happening behind the scenes.
The first thing to know is that lawmakers can't pass any bills for the first 60 days. It says so in the state constitution.
There is an exception to the rule though. Lawmakers can pass bills if they are declared emergency items by the governor. The governor usually declares emergency items during his State of the State, which is scheduled for next month.
Why is it next month? Well, keep in mind Governor Greg Abbott was just sworn in on Tuesday and he has to give his proposed budget to lawmakers before he can give his address.
In the meantime, both chambers have to pass rules of how they govern themselves, and the lieutenant governor and speaker of the House have to assign all members to committees.
It’s worth noting that the Senate Finance Committee expects to meet next Tuesday, so we could see committee assignments soon, and that's when things will slowly start to ramp up.