This week I will talk about the legislative process, and specifically some of the deadlines that the legislature works under every session. My office frequently receives questions regarding the legislative process, especially from those who are watching specific legislation or issues. The legislature convenes on the second Tuesday in January of odd-numbered years, and lasts for 140 days. The house and senate rules lay out the deadlines for the consideration of bills to help legislation move through the process. All house and senate bills must go through a committee and a report must be issued on each bill before consideration by the full body; bills and joint resolutions must also be read three times before being passed by either chamber of the legislature. Below are some of the major dates during this legislative session.


— Tuesday, January 10, 2017 (1st day): 85th Legislature convenes at noon.


— Friday, March 10, 2017 (60th day): Deadline for filing bills and joint resolutions other than local bills, emergency appropriations, and bills that have been declared an emergency by the governor.


— Monday, May 8, 2017 (119th day): Last day for house committees to report house bills and house joint resolutions.


— Friday, May 12, 2017 (123rd day): Last day for house to consider consent house bills on second and third reading and all third reading house bills or joint resolutions.


— Friday, May 18, 2017 (130th day): Last day for house to consider local house bills on second and third reading.


— Saturday, May 20, 2017 (131st day): Last day for house committees to report senate bills and senate joint resolutions.


— Tuesday, May 23, 2017 (134th day): Last day for house to consider senate bills and joint resolutions, other than local and consent, on second reading.


— Wednesday, May 24, 2017 (135th day): Last day for house to consider local and consent senate bills on second and third reading and all senate bills or joint resolutions on third reading. Last day for senate to consider all bills and joint resolutions on second or third reading.


— Sunday, May 28, 2017 (139th day): Last day for the house and senate to adopt conference committee reports or discharge conferees and concur with amendments.


— Monday, May 29, 2017 (140th day): Last day of 84th Regular Session; corrections only in house and senate.


— Sunday, June 18, 2017 (20th day following the end of regular session): Last day governor can sign or veto bills passed during the regular legislative session.


— Monday, August 28, 2017 (91st day following final adjournment of regular session): Date that bills without specific effective dates (that could not be effective immediately) become law.


For more information on the legislative process, please visit the website www.capitol.texas.gov.


Larry Phillips of Sherman represents District 62 in the Texas House of Representatives. His telephone number in Sherman is 903-891-7297. His telephone number in Austin is 512-463-0297. His address in Austin is P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768-2910. His email address is larry.phillips@house.state.tx.us.