ACT—A public law enacted by the Texas Legislature. A bill that has been passed by both houses of the legislature and presented to the governor becomes law if it is signed by the governor, if it is not signed by the governor within a specified period of time, or if the governor vetoes the bill and the veto is overridden by a two-thirds vote in each house.
ACTION—A description of a step that a bill undergoes as it moves through the legislative process.
ADJOURNMENT—The termination of a meeting. Adjournment occurs at the close of each legislative day upon completion of business, with the hour and day of the next meeting set before adjournment. (See RECESS.)
ADJOURNMENT SINE DIE—See SINE DIE.
ADOPTION—Approval or acceptance; usually applied to amendments or resolutions.
ADVICE AND CONSENT—Procedure by which the senate gives approval or confirms appointments made by the governor to state offices.
AMENDMENT—Any proposed alteration to a bill or resolution as it moves through the legislative process. Amendments to a measure may be proposed by members in their assigned committees or by any member of a chamber during that chamber’s second reading or third reading consideration of the measure.
APPORTIONMENT—The proportionate distribution of elected representation in the U.S. Congress among the states.
APPROPRIATION—An authorization by the legislature for the expenditure of money for a public purpose. In most instances, money cannot be withdrawn from the state treasury except through a specific appropriation.
AUTHOR—The legislator who files a bill and guides it through the legislative process (also called the primary author). The senate allows multiple primary authors for each bill or resolution. The house of representatives allows only one primary author, the house member whose signature appears on the original measure and copies filed with the chief clerk. Both houses also have coauthors, and the house of representatives has joint authors.