Texas Politics - The Legislative Branch
  1. Tradition and Modernity
  2. Looking Ahead
  1. Sessions
  2. Special Sessions
  3. Bicameral Structure
  4. Membership
  5. Compensation
  6. Terms of Office
  1. Formal
  2. Informal
  3. Party
  4. Gender, Race, Ethnicity
  5. Incumbency
  6. Age and Occupation
  1. Historical Perspective
Powers and Immunities
  1. Bills
  2. Resolutions
  3. Administrative Powers
  4. Investigative, Impeachment
  5. Immunities
Presiding Officers and Powers
  1. Senate Pres./Lt. Governor
  2. Speaker of the House
  3. Pro Tempore Positions
  1. Committees
  2. System Impact
How a Bill Becomes a Law
  1. Intro, Referral
  2. Committee Action
  3. Floor Action
  4. Conference Committee
  5. Governor's Desk
Citizens Legislative Power
  1. Constitutional Amendments
  2. Initiative and Referendum
10  Conclusions
  1. Reforms
  2. Citizen Participation
  1. Print-friendly format
  2. Key words and phrases
  3. Multimedia resources
  4. Lt. Governors table
  5. Speakers table
9.    Legislative Powers of Citizens

In addition to the influence that Texans exert through elections and pressuring their legislators in the regular legislative process, Texans shape their laws in one other important way. They approve (or, ratify) amendments to the state Constitution.

9.1    Constitutional Amendments

State constitutional amendments are proposed by the Texas Legislature. Texas voters then ratify (or reject) these proposed amendments through simple majority vote in special elections. In the special election on November 6, 2001, there were no fewer than nineteen proposed amendments to the Constitution. Most of these proposed amendments dealt with trifling issues (like donating surplus firefighting equipment to developing countries) that would best be decided by executive branch officials. Still, the power to approve or reject proposed amendments to the state Constitution is important, and sometimes the proposed amendments actually address core issues related to the functioning of our state government. (See the discussion of Mode of Amendment in the Constitution chapter of Texas Politics.)

Texas Politics:
© 2005, Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services
University of Texas at Austin