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19 June 2015

Capitol Update: Veto Period and Ballot Propositions

These past few weeks have been full of what seems to be non-stop rain and storms across the state. I want to thank our local and community leaders, as well as our first responders, for their work ensuring our safety through these difficult times.

Veto Period

By the time you are reading this, the June 21st deadline for Governor Abbott to act on a bill will nearly have passed. In our legislative process, a bill must be passed by a majority vote in both the House and Senate, then move to the governor’s desk to either be signed into law or vetoed. If the governor does not wish sign or veto a bill, he can allow it to become law without his signature. For bills that pass early in the Legislative Session, the Governor has only 10 days to act on a bill, and if the Governor vetoes the bill, the Legislature still has time to override the veto with a two-thirds vote in each chamber. For bills that pass late in the Legislative Session, the Governor has 20 days after session ends to review and act on bills, and the since the Legislature is out of session, any vetoes in this period cannot be overridden. As of June 17th, the Governor had signed 587 bills into law, and vetoed only 4 bills.

Proposition 6

Proposed constitutional amendments follow a slightly different process than bills. A constitutional amendment changing the Texas Constitution is filed in the House or Senate and must pass both chambers with at least two-thirds of the elected membership. Afterwards, the constitutional amendment does not go to the Governor’s desk. Instead, the measure is placed on the following November ballot for voters to decide. This past week, the Texas Secretary of State conducted a random lottery to assign proposition numbers to the seven proposed constitutional amendments that will be on the ballot. Proposition 6 will be a constitutional amendment I authored guaranteeing Texans the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, which passed the House and Senate with strong bipartisan support. I was proud to author this legislation, and I look forward to its passage on the ballot this November.

For the convenience of constituents not wanting to travel far from home, the mobile office will continue its regular Wednesday travel schedule throughout the District even now that session has concluded. The final stop this month is June 24th at the San Augustine County Courthouse from 8:30 am to 11am.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at (936) 634-2762 or (512) 463-0508 if we can ever be of assistance, and remember that our door is always open.

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