Article 3, Sections 1-43, Texas Constitution
| Preamble • 1 • 2|
Article 3 (1-43) • Article 3 (44-49) • Article 3 (50-67)
4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • 14 • 15 • 16 • 17
| Text of Section 1:
Senate and House of Representatives
The Legislative power of this State shall be vested in a Senate and House of Representatives, which together shall be styled "The Legislature of the State of Texas."
| Text of Section 2:
Membership of Senate and House of Representatives
The Senate shall consist of thirty-one members. The House of Representatives shall consist of 150 members.
(Amended Nov. 2, 1999.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 2: See Appendix, Note 1.)
| Text of Section 3:
Election and Term of Office of Senators
The Senators shall be chosen by the qualified voters for the term of four years; but a new Senate shall be chosen after every apportionment, and the Senators elected after each apportionment shall be divided by lot into two classes. The seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first two years, and those of the second class at the expiration of four years, so that one half of the Senators shall be chosen biennially thereafter. Senators shall take office following their election, on the day set by law for the convening of the Regular Session of the Legislature, and shall serve thereafter for the full term of years to which elected.
(Amended Nov. 8, 1966, and Nov. 2, 1999.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 3: See Appendix, Note 1.)
| Text of Section 4:
Election and Term of Members of House of Representatives
The Members of the House of Representatives shall be chosen by the qualified voters for the term of two years. Representatives shall take office following their election, on the day set by law for the convening of the Regular Session of the Legislature, and shall serve thereafter for the full term of years to which elected.
(Amended Nov. 8, 1966, and Nov. 2, 1999.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 4: See Appendix, Note 1.)
| Text of Section 5:
Meetings; Order of Business
(a) The Legislature shall meet every two years at such time as may be provided by law and at other times when convened by the Governor.
(b) When convened in regular Session, the first thirty days thereof shall be devoted to the introduction of bills and resolutions, acting upon emergency appropriations, passing upon the confirmation of the recess appointees of the Governor and such emergency matters as may be submitted by the Governor in special messages to the Legislature. During the succeeding thirty days of the regular session of the Legislature the various committees of each House shall hold hearings to consider all bills and resolutions and other matters then pending; and such emergency matters as may be submitted by the Governor. During the remainder of the session the Legislature shall act upon such bills and resolutions as may be then pending and upon such emergency matters as may be submitted by the Governor in special messages to the Legislature.
(c) Notwithstanding Subsection (b), either House may determine its order of business by an affirmative vote of four-fifths of its membership.
(Amended Nov. 4, 1930, and Nov. 2, 1999.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 5: See Appendix, Note 1.)
| Text of Section 6:
Qualifications of Senators
No person shall be a Senator, unless he be a citizen of the United States, and, at the time of his election a qualified voter of this State, and shall have been a resident of this State five years next preceding his election, and the last year thereof a resident of the district for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained the age of twenty-six years.
(Amended Nov. 2, 1999.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 6: See Appendix, Note 1.)
| Text of Section 7:
Qualifications of Representatives
No person shall be a Representative, unless he be a citizen of the United States, and, at the time of his election, a qualified voter of this State, and shall have been a resident of this State two years next preceding his election, the last year thereof a resident of the district for which he shall be chosen, and shall have attained the age of twenty-one years.
(Amended Nov. 2, 1999.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 7: See Appendix, Note 1.)
| Text of Section 8:
Each House Judge of Qualifications and Election; Contests
Each House shall be the judge of the qualifications and election of its own members; but contested elections shall be determined in such manner as shall be provided by law.
| Text of Section 9:
President Pro Tempore of Senate; Lieutenant Governor Office Vacancy; Speaker of House of Representatives
(a) The Senate shall, at the beginning and close of each session, and at such other times as may be necessary, elect one of its members President pro tempore, who shall perform the duties of the Lieutenant Governor in any case of absence or temporary disability of that officer. If the office of Lieutenant Governor becomes vacant, the President pro tempore of the Senate shall convene the Committee of the Whole Senate within 30 days after the vacancy occurs. The Committee of the Whole shall elect one of its members to perform the duties of the Lieutenant Governor in addition to the member's duties as Senator until the next general election. If the Senator so elected ceases to be a Senator before the election of a new Lieutenant Governor, another Senator shall be elected in the same manner to perform the duties of the Lieutenant Governor until the next general election. Until the Committee of the Whole elects one of its members for this purpose, the President pro tempore shall perform the duties of the Lieutenant Governor as provided by this subsection.
(b) The House of Representatives shall, when it first assembles, organize temporarily, and thereupon proceed to the election of a Speaker from its own members.
(c) Each House shall choose its other officers.
(Amended Nov. 6, 1984; Subsec. (a) amended Nov. 2, 1999.)
| Text of Section 10:
Quorum; Adjournments from Day to Day; Compelling Attendance
Two-thirds of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each House may provide.
| Text of Section 11:
Rules of Procedure; Expulsion of Member
Each House may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish members for disorderly conduct, and, with the consent of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offense.
| Text of Section 12:
Journals of Proceedings; Entering Yeas and Nays
(a) Each house of the legislature shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish the same.
(b) A vote taken by either house must be by record vote with the vote of each member entered in the journal of that house if the vote is on final passage of a bill, a resolution proposing or ratifying a constitutional amendment, or another resolution other than a resolution of a purely ceremonial or honorary nature. Either house by rule may provide for exceptions to this requirement for a bill that applies only to one district or political subdivision of this state. For purposes of this subsection, a vote on final passage includes a vote on third reading in a house, or on second reading if the house suspends the requirement for three readings, on whether to concur in the other house's amendments, and on whether to adopt a conference committee report.
(c) The yeas and nays of the members of either house on any other question shall, at the desire of any three members present, be entered on the journals.
(d) Each house shall make each record vote required under Subsection (b) of this section, including the vote of each individual member as recorded in the journal of that house, available to the public for a reasonable period of not less than two years through the Internet or a successor electronic communications system accessible by the public. For a record vote on a bill or on a resolution proposing or ratifying a constitutional amendment, the record vote must be accessible to the public by reference to the designated number of the bill or resolution and by reference to its subject.
(Subsecs. (a) and (c) amended, and (b) and (d) added Nov. 6, 2007.)
| Text of Section 13:
Vacancies; Writs of Election
(a) When vacancies occur in either House, the Governor, or the person exercising the power of the Governor, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies; and should the Governor fail to issue a writ of election to fill any such vacancy within twenty days after it occurs, the returning officer of the district in which such vacancy may have happened, shall be authorized to order an election for that purpose.
(b) The legislature may provide by general law for the filling of a vacancy in the legislature without an election if only one person qualifies and declares a candidacy in an election to fill the vacancy.
(Amended Nov. 6, 2001.)
| Text of Section 14:
Privileged from Arrest
Senators and Representatives shall, except in cases of treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the Legislature, and in going to and returning from the same.
| Text of Section 15:
Disrespectful or Disorderly Conduct; Obstruction of Proceedings
Each House may punish, by imprisonment, during its sessions, any person not a member, for disrespectful or disorderly conduct in its presence, or for obstructing any of its proceedings; provided, such imprisonment shall not, at any one time, exceed forty-eight hours.
| Text of Section 16:
The sessions of each House shall be open, except the Senate when in Executive session.
| Text of Section 17:
Neither House shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that where the Legislature may be sitting.
| Text of Section 18:
Ineligibility for Other Offices; Interest in Contracts
No Senator or Representative shall, during the term for which he was elected, be eligible to (1) any civil office of profit under this State which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which may have been increased, during such term, or (2) any office or place, the appointment to which may be made, in whole or in part, by either branch of the Legislature; provided, however, the fact that the term of office of Senators and Representatives does not end precisely on the last day of December but extends a few days into January of the succeeding year shall be considered as de minimis, and the ineligibility herein created shall terminate on the last day in December of the last full calendar year of the term for which he was elected. No member of either House shall vote for any other member for any office whatever, which may be filled by a vote of the Legislature, except in such cases as are in this Constitution provided, nor shall any member of the Legislature be interested, either directly or indirectly, in any contract with the State, or any county thereof, authorized by any law passed during the term for which he was elected.
(Amended Nov. 5, 1968.)
| Text of Section 19:
Ineligibility of Persons Holding Other Offices
No judge of any court, Secretary of State, Attorney General, clerk of any court of record, or any person holding a lucrative office under the United States, or this State, or any foreign government shall during the term for which he is elected or appointed, be eligible to the Legislature.
| Text of Section 20:
Collectors of Taxes; Persons Entrusted with Public Money; Ineligibility
No person who at any time may have been a collector of taxes, or who may have been otherwise entrusted with public money, shall be eligible to the Legislature, or to any office of profit or trust under the State government, until he shall have obtained a discharge for the amount of such collections, or for all public moneys with which he may have been entrusted.
| Text of Section 21:
Words Spoken in Debate
No member shall be questioned in any other place for words spoken in debate in either House.
| Text of Section 22:
Disclosure of Private Interest in Measure or Bill; Not to Vote
A member who has a personal or private interest in any measure or bill, proposed, or pending before the Legislature, shall disclose the fact to the House, of which he is a member, and shall not vote thereon.
| Text of Section 23:
Removal from District or County from Which Elected
If any Senator or Representative remove his residence from the district or county for which he was elected, his office shall thereby become vacant, and the vacancy shall be filled as provided in section 13 of this article.
| Text of Section 23a:
(Repealed Nov. 4, 1997.)
| Text of Section 24:
Compensation and Expenses of Members of Legislature; Duration of Sessions
(a) Members of the Legislature shall receive from the Public Treasury a salary of Six Hundred Dollars ($600) per month, unless a greater amount is recommended by the Texas Ethics Commission and approved by the voters of this State in which case the salary is that amount. Each member shall also receive a per diem set by the Texas Ethics Commission for each day during each Regular and Special Session of the Legislature.
(b) No Regular Session shall be of longer duration than one hundred and forty (140) days.
(c) In addition to the per diem the Members of each House shall be entitled to mileage at the same rate as prescribed by law for employees of the State of Texas.
(Amended Nov. 4, 1930, Nov. 2, 1954, Nov. 8, 1960, April 22, 1975, and Nov. 5, 1991.)
| Text of Section 24:
Texas Ethics Commission
(a) The Texas Ethics Commission is a state agency consisting of the following eight members:
(b) The governor may reject all names on any list submitted under Subsection (a)(1) or (2) of this section and require a new list to be submitted. The members of the commission shall elect annually the chairman of the commission.
(c) With the exception of the initial appointees, commission members serve for four-year terms. Each appointing official will make one initial appointment for a two-year term and one initial appointment for a four-year term. A vacancy on the commission shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term in the same manner as the original appointment. A member who has served for one term and any part of a second term is not eligible for reappointment.
(d) The commission has the powers and duties provided by law.
(e) The commission may recommend the salary of the members of the legislature and may recommend that the salary of the speaker of the house of representatives and the lieutenant governor be set at an amount higher than that of other members. The commission shall set the per diem of members of the legislature and the lieutenant governor, and the per diem shall reflect reasonable estimates of costs and may be raised or lowered biennially as necessary to pay those costs, but the per diem may not exceed during a calendar year the amount allowed as of January 1 of that year for federal income tax purposes as a deduction for living expenses incurred in a legislative day by a state legislator in connection with the legislator's business as a legislator, disregarding any exception in federal law for legislators residing near the Capitol.
(f) At each general election for state and county officers following a proposed change in salary, the voters shall approve or disapprove the salary recommended by the commission if the commission recommends a change in salary. If the voters disapprove the salary, the salary continues at the amount paid immediately before disapproval until another amount is recommended by the commission and approved by the voters. If the voters approve the salary, the approved salary takes effect January 1 of the next odd-numbered year.
(Added Nov. 5, 1991.)
| Text of Section 25:
The State shall be divided into Senatorial Districts of contiguous territory, and each district shall be entitled to elect one Senator.
(Amended Nov. 6, 2001.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISION for Sec. 25: See Appendix, Note 3.)
| Text of Section 26:
Apportionment of Members of House of Representatives
The members of the House of Representatives shall be apportioned among the several counties, according to the number of population in each, as nearly as may be, on a ratio obtained by dividing the population of the State, as ascertained by the most recent United States census, by the number of members of which the House is composed; provided, that whenever a single county has sufficient population to be entitled to a Representative, such county shall be formed into a separate Representative District, and when two or more counties are required to make up the ratio of representation, such counties shall be contiguous to each other; and when any one county has more than sufficient population to be entitled to one or more Representatives, such Representative or Representatives shall be apportioned to such county, and for any surplus of population it may be joined in a Representative District with any other contiguous county or counties.
| Text of Section 26a:
(Repealed Nov. 2, 1999.)
(TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 26a: See Appendix, Note 1.)
| Text of Section 27:
Elections for Senators and Representatives shall be general throughout the State, and shall be regulated by law.
| Text of Section 28:
Time for Apportionment; Apportionment by Legislative Redistricting Board
The Legislature shall, at its first regular session after the publication of each United States decennial census, apportion the state into senatorial and representative districts, agreeable to the provisions of Sections 25 and 26 of this Article. In the event the Legislature shall at any such first regular session following the publication of a United States decennial census, fail to make such apportionment, same shall be done by the Legislative Redistricting Board of Texas, which is hereby created, and shall be composed of five (5) members, as follows: The Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Attorney General, the Comptroller of Public Accounts and the Commissioner of the General Land Office, a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum. Said Board shall assemble in the City of Austin within ninety (90) days after the final adjournment of such regular session. The Board shall, within sixty (60) days after assembling, apportion the state into senatorial and representative districts, or into senatorial or representative districts, as the failure of action of such Legislature may make necessary. Such apportionment shall be in writing and signed by three (3) or more of the members of the Board duly acknowledged as the act and deed of such Board, and, when so executed and filed with the Secretary of State, shall have force and effect of law. Such apportionment shall become effective at the next succeeding statewide general election. The Supreme Court of Texas shall have jurisdiction to compel such Board to perform its duties in accordance with the provisions of this section by writ of mandamus or other extraordinary writs conformable to the usages of law. The Legislature shall provide necessary funds for clerical and technical aid and for other expenses incidental to the work of the Board, and the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be entitled to receive per diem and travel expense during the Board's session in the same manner and amount as they would receive while attending a special session of the Legislature.
(Amended Nov. 2, 1948, and Nov. 6, 2001.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISION for Sec. 28: See Appendix, Note 3.)
| Text of Section 29:
'Enacting Clause of Laws
The enacting clause of all laws shall be: "Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas."
| Text of Section 30:
Laws Passed by Bill; Amendments Changing Purpose
No law shall be passed, except by bill, and no bill shall be so amended in its passage through either House, as to change its original purpose.
| Text of Section 31:
Origination in Either House; Amendments
Bills may originate in either House, and, when passed by such House, may be amended, altered or rejected by the other.
| Text of Section 32:
Reading on Three Several Days; Suspension of Rule
No bill shall have the force of a law, until it has been read on three several days in each House, and free discussion allowed thereon; but four-fifths of the House, in which the bill may be pending, may suspend this rule, the yeas and nays being taken on the question of suspension, and entered upon the journals.
(Amended Nov. 2, 1999.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 32: See Appendix, Note 1.)
| Text of Section 33:
All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.
(Amended Nov. 2, 1999.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 33: See Appendix, Note 1.)
| Text of Section 34:
Defeated Bills and Resolutions
After a bill has been considered and defeated by either House of the Legislature, no bill containing the same substance, shall be passed into a law during the same session. After a resolution has been acted on and defeated, no resolution containing the same substance, shall be considered at the same session.
| Text of Section 35:
Subjects and Titles of Bills
(a) No bill, (except general appropriation bills, which may embrace the various subjects and accounts, for and on account of which moneys are appropriated) shall contain more than one subject.
(b) The rules of procedure of each house shall require that the subject of each bill be expressed in its title in a manner that gives the legislature and the public reasonable notice of that subject. The legislature is solely responsible for determining compliance with the rule.
(c) A law, including a law enacted before the effective date of this subsection, may not be held void on the basis of an insufficient title.
(Subsec. (a) amended and (b) and (c) added Nov. 4, 1986.)
| Text of Section 36:
Revival or Amendment by Reference; Re-Enactment and Publication at Length
No law shall be revived or amended by reference to its title; but in such case the act revived, or the section or sections amended, shall be re-enacted and published at length.
| Text of Section 37:
Reference to Committee and Report
No bill shall be considered, unless it has been first referred to a committee and reported thereon, and no bill shall be passed which has not been presented and referred to and reported from a committee at least three days before the final adjournment of the Legislature.
| Text of Section 38:
Signing Bills and Joint Resolutions; Entry on Journals
The presiding officer of each House shall, in the presence of the House over which he presides, sign all bills and joint resolutions passed by the Legislature, after their titles have been publicly read before signing; and the fact of signing shall be entered on the journals.
| Text of Section 39:
Time of Taking Effect of Laws; Emergencies; Entry on Journal
No law passed by the Legislature, except the general appropriation act, shall take effect or go into force until ninety days after the adjournment of the session at which it was enacted, unless the Legislature shall, by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each House, otherwise direct; said vote to be taken by yeas and nays, and entered upon the journals.
(Amended Nov. 2, 1999.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 39: See Appendix, Note 1.)
| Text of Section 40:
Special Sessions; Subjects of Legislation; Duration
When the Legislature shall be convened in special session, there shall be no legislation upon subjects other than those designated in the proclamation of the Governor calling such session, or presented to them by the Governor; and no such session shall be of longer duration than thirty days.
| Text of Section 41:
Elections by Senate and House of Representatives
In all elections by the Senate and House of Representatives, jointly or separately, the vote shall be given viva voce, except in the election of their officers.
| Text of Section 42:
(Repealed Aug. 5, 1969.)
| Text of Section 43:
Revision of Laws
(a) The Legislature shall provide for revising, digesting and publishing the laws, civil and criminal; provided, that in the adoption of and giving effect to any such digest or revision, the Legislature shall not be limited by sections 35 and 36 of this Article.
(b) In this section, "revision" includes a revision of the statutes on a particular subject and any enactment having the purpose, declared in the enactment, of codifying without substantive change statutes that individually relate to different subjects.
(Subsec. (a) amended and (b) added Nov. 4, 1986.)