While the rules and procedures of a legislative body can be sleep-inducing, their impact on the legislative process cannot be overstated. In the coming days, the Texas House will be debating the rules under which they will operate during the 83rd session.

Three proposed rules stand out by providing more sunlight and transparency for taxpayers:

  • provide for including caption information identifying bills that impose, authorize or increase a tax, assessment, surcharge or fee.
  • prohibit floor amendment that impose new taxes, assessments, surcharges or fees.
  • require all bills and resolutions that impose, authorize or increase a tax, assessment, surcharge or fee not be placed on the House calendar until it has been reported out by the Ways and Means Committee.

These additions to the Rules of the Texas House will potentially be recorded votes on the floor. As such, they will then be eligible for scoring on the 2013 Fiscal Responsibility Index.

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Image Credit: Speaker’s Gavel, Texas House of Representatives

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."