Bill filing kicks off in Texas legislature

Posted: 11:50 PM, Nov 14, 2016
Updated: 2016-11-15 15:50:48Z
Bill filing kicks off in Texas legislature

The first Monday after Election Day is the unofficial start to the new Texas legislative session.

Monday morning, state lawmakers began filing the bills or proposed laws they will fight to get passed. By the end of the first day, over 500 bills were filed ranging on subjects of sharia law, education and texting while driving.

Experts believe the strong showing is a good indication of what issues will be discussed in the session. 

Mary Duty, chair of the McLennan County Democrats said she got back to work, " Wednesday morning."

Around 2:00 a.m., moments after Trump was projected winner of the Presidential Election, she started working on her next project.

"I downloaded the agenda or what i thought would be the agenda for the Texas legislature," Duty said.

While Monday marks the first day bills could be filed, the actual session will not start until January.

Pre-filing a bill can have multiple purposes. Filing a bill before legislation allows lawmakers and constituents the opportunity to learn more about the proposed legislation. There is also the advantage of reaching committee first.

The bills filed also give a good idea of what representatives worked on in the off season and what their agenda will be. Duty sees one topic in particular sticking out

."The biggest piece of the pie in Austin is educational funding," Duty said.

Jon Kerr of the McLennan County Republican Party agrees with her.

"I had a conversation with Representative Doc Anderson the other day and of course education is always a hot topic and I believe that legislature will be address that fairly soon," Ker said.

Both agree though the national election is really that catalyst to political involvement at the state and local levels. Ker said the County Republican Party will meet to discuss some of the issues they want to advocate both nationally and in Austin.

Duty echoes that sentiment. She believes that local politics is often the starting place of national policy and constituents can heavily influence the outcome.

"This is where a citizen can make a difference you can get on the phone you can meet the legislator at the church picnic you know these guys are in our towns they live here and you really have the opportunity to use your voice," Duty said.

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