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Guide to Texas Legislative Information (GTLI)
Process for a Bill
Floor action

The first floor consideration of a bill occurs on its second reading. After it is read the second time, again by caption only, the measure is subject to debate and amendment by the entire membership of the chamber. On second reading, a bill may be amended by a simple majority of those members present and voting. If no amendment is made, or if those proposed are disposed of, the final action on second reading of a bill is a vote on its passage to engrossment, if the bill is being considered in the chamber in which it was introduced, or passage to third reading, if the bill is being considered in the opposite chamber. The bill then is laid before the body for a third reading and final passage. A bill may be amended again on third reading, but amendments at this stage require a two-thirds majority of the members present for adoption.

Although the Texas Constitution requires a bill to be read on three separate days in each chamber before it can have the force of law, this constitutional rule may be suspended by a four-fifths vote of the chamber in which the bill is pending. In such cases, the bill is given an immediate third reading following the vote to pass the bill to engrossment or third reading. The senate routinely suspends the constitutional provision in order to give a bill an immediate third reading. The house, however, rarely suspends this provision, and third reading consideration of a bill in the house normally occurs on the day following second reading consideration.

After a bill has been read a third time, a vote is taken for final passage. If the bill receives a simple majority vote, it is considered passed, and the chief clerk of the house or the secretary of the senate, as appropriate, certifies the billís final passage, noting on it the date of its passage and the vote by which it passed. When the bill is passed in the originating chamber, the bill is engrossed (all corrections and amendments are incorporated into it), and an exact and accurate copy of the engrossed bill is prepared and sent to the opposite chamber for consideration.

Floor action
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