10chapter7 - 7 Introduction • Several factors make the...

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Unformatted text preview: 7 Introduction • Several factors make the legislative process appear confusing to the layperson. – Complex rules are a basic part of the legislative process. – The legislative process consists of several stages. – The issues faced by legislators are growing in complexity. • Through the presiding officers’ control of the flow of legislation in Texas, their power over public policy is tremendous. • Many participants who are not legislators are also involved in making legislative policy. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 7 Powers of the Presiding Officers • Procedural Powers – Committee Membership • The presiding officers (the lieutenant governor in the Senate and the speaker in the House) effec-tive-ly determine the composi-tion of legislative commit-tees even though seniority does play a role in selecting committee members. • Special interest representatives and legislators may also be involved in the bargaining that deter-mines who will fill committee slots. • The governor, subject to approval by the legisla-ture, may make appoint-ments to special interim study committees. • The power of the speaker is illustrated by Speaker Craddick’s action to eliminate the seniority appointments from the Appropriations Committee to ensure that its make-up would reflect his conservative ideology. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 7 Powers of the Presiding Officers • Procedural Powers – Conference Committees • Because major bills seldom pass both houses in identical form, conference committees must be formed to resolve the differences. • Five members from each house are appointed to conference committees by their respective presiding officers. – At least three members of the conference committee from each chamber must agree to accept the conference committee's report before it can be reported back to the House and Senate. – Because each chamber must either accept without change or reject the conference report, members of conference committees are very important in the legislative process. • Representatives of special interests often become involved in conference committee deliberations. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 7 Powers of the Presiding Officers • Committee Chairpersons – Because standing committees control legislation and their chairpersons control the committees, the selection of chairpersons is of great importance and is a matter of great interest to lobbyists. – Through the appointment of chairpersons, the presiding officers control legislation. – Seniority is relatively unimportant in determining chairmanships. – Speaker Lewis increased his control of standing committees by creating on each committee the position of chairperson for budget and oversight, another position appointed by the speaker....
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This note was uploaded on 01/27/2011 for the course POLS 207 taught by Professor Peterson during the Spring '07 term at Texas A&M.

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10chapter7 - 7 Introduction • Several factors make the...

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