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Written By Jim Murphy

Election Night Celebration!
Westside Republican Headquarters
Election Night Celebration!
Watch returns on two 60” TV’s
Tuesday, November 6, 7:00 p.m. to Midnight

Accomplishments of the 82nd Texas Legislature
The 82nd Texas Legislature accomplished a lot in 2011. Led by Republican leaders in the Texas House of Representatives, lawmakers passed historic legislation like Voter ID, “loser pays” tort reform, the State Health Care Compact and legislation to defund Planned Parenthood.

82nd Regular Session Wrap Up
Since we are still working in the special session, there is work to be done and highlights yet to come. However, before we get too far past the end of the regular session, we need to reflect on what we accomplished in the 140 days of the session.

Working with Our Senate Colleagues
There are few hard and fast rules about how we work with the Senators since personalities dictate much of this and the issue at hand also makes an impact.

What Happens in a Committee Meeting?
Much of the "heavy lifting" we do in the Legislature occurs in the committee process. We can go into more depth on the topics and witnesses can provide valuable testimony.

Sunset 101
Each session a number of state agencies undergo review by the Sunset Advisory Commission. This begins long before session and is an aspect of government reform that is not very common in other states.

Your Bill Has Passed Committee -- Now What?
Previously we wrote about the process of drafting legislation and all the steps required to get it through the assigned committee. That is a lot of work and a significant accomplishment but the next stages are even more challenging.

Redistricting - A View From Inside the Process
Every ten years we are required to redraw our political boundaries. Following the census, cities, counties, school districts all draw their own lines.

Passing My Legislative Package in Three Easy Steps
I started the development of my legislative package campaigning door to door to listen to constituents across the district.

Life After Session
As each session wraps up, the Speaker in consultation with each of the committee chairs develops a list of interim charges for each of the committees.

Overtime: A Note from Jim…
It’s really called a Special Session, but to most of us, it feels more like overtime. We just completed the 140-day regular session and on the very next day, we started our Special Session.

What's Special about a Special Session?
With our May 30th end of session fast approaching, there is growing talk of a Special Session. I have not experienced one of these so I have been reading our rules and talking with my colleagues to 1) see how likely it might be and 2) better understand how these work.

Lobbyists: Working with the Fourth Branch of Government
Lobbyists have a public image about equal to that of used car salesmen --- or perhaps as low as politicians! Like most images, there is some basis for it but it really paints with a broad brush a group of people who can be very valuable to us in the legislative process.

Legislation by Walking Around
Anybody observing the House members when we convene on the floor will see lots of movement. Representatives don't simply sit at their desk and vote.

How You Can Influence Legislation
No doubt different legislators have particular preferences but I think most of us operate similarly so here is what works for me.

For More Information, Click Here
The Internet has transformed the way we get information. There is so much available and this is especially true for the world of politics.

Budget Update
Last week, the Texas House of Representatives passed legislation that addresses the state's current and future fiscal situation.

Amendments -- The Legislative Wild Card
Making changes to bills happens throughout the legislative process. Once the bill is drafted or introduced, these become formalized and follow specific structures.

A Day in the Life
So what does a daily schedule look like for an individual lawmaker? Here’s a rundown of a typical day for me in the weeks ahead.

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