It’s been a tragic and tumultuous few weeks for national politics and the United States. As a result of national goings-on, it might be easy to forget that today is the start of the 87th Texas Legislative session.
The 87th Texas Legislative convenes today, January 21 and ends on May 31, 2021. In light of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week and on going concerns over the spread of the Coronavirus, security at the Texas capitol has been increased and many lawmakers are sitting out the swearing in ceremony and considering the safest way to carry out the business of legislating.
So, what’s in store for the 87th Texas Legislative session? Of course, the budget. And redistricting of the Texas political boundaries. The 2020 Decennial Census, which serves as the basis for state redistricting, has been hampered by lawsuits, deadline changes, and a myriad of other issues hamper, including COVID-19. As a result, the release of the 2020 Census counts is still unclear. Despite these challenges, the 2020 Census was the first to provide opportunity to respond to the survey online. The Pew Research Center offers a synopsis of the challenges surrounding the 2020 Decennial Census.
In addition to these two massive undertakings — budget and redistricting — Texas lawmakers filed 1427 bills and resolutions they hope to be heard and decided during the 2021 legislative session. As residents of Texas, we can likely expect to see legislation and debates around local government authority, elections, police reform, property taxes, and marijuana legalization among many other issues.
There is no doubt, this session will be one to watch.
Here are a few resources to learn more about the 87th Texas Legislative Session and to follow goings-on at the Capitol:
- Texas Legislature Online provides access to bills, hearings, videos and more.
- Go one step further with My Texas Legislature Online for personalized bill tracking.
- On overview of the upcoming session from the Texas Tribune – The Texas Legislature convenes for its 2021 session Tuesday. Here are 5 things to watch.
- See an overview of the Texas Legislative Process provided by the University of Texas
- Texas bill tracking via Legi Scan