In my analysis of the Texas Constitution I will assess the three branches of our State Government, the Legislative Branch, Executive Branch and finally the Judicial Branch. Our State Government resembles our National Government in various ways but also in very different ways which we will review in this essay. I will identify a handful of criticisms and problems associated with the provisions in each of these branches of our State Government and identify suggested reforms that many feel are needed.
Our Legislative Branch has two chambers or as some will call it bicameral. The chambers consist of the Senate and the House of Representatives just like the National Legislative Branch. In our Senate we currently have a total of 31 members and there are 150 members in the House of Representatives. Senators hold their seat for 4 years and their election years are spread out while the House of Representatives are elected for two-year terms. In our Texas Legislature we have a few authority figures. “The Texas Constitution provides that the lieutenant governor shall serve as president of the senate, the presiding officer of that body. The lieutenant governor is elected statewide by voters of Texas and is the second-highest ranking officer of the executive branch of government”. (Texas Medical Associaton) In the House of Representatives we have a Speaker of the House who is chosen in each time a new legislature starts by its own members. “The speaker maintains order during floor debate, recognizing legislators who wish to speak and ruling on procedural matters.” (Joe Straus Speaker) There are also many committees who act as important gatekeepers and shape the proposed legislation. (University of Texas at Austin). The main purpose of the legislative branch is to make laws.
One of the criticisms of our legislative branch in Texas is the low pay of the Members in both the Senate and the House. Currently members of our legislative branch are only paid $7,200 per year with an additional personal allowance of $128.00 a day that they are in session. Many feel that his low pay opens the door to dependence on special interests who will entice a member to support a bill that they would normally not support. Others feel that the biggest criticism is how short the legislature session is. Currently when the members are in session it is only for 140 days every odd year unless they are called back in a special session. This limited time causes bills to get passed without properly being reviewed.
There are many reforms that have been discussed one being to extend the term for members of the Texas Legislature. Many feel that if the Senate is extended to six years and the House of Representative to four years it will allow the members to obtain more experience in fields and be able to not have to worry about when the next election is as often. Many critics feel that the time members are in session are too short to make any real progress,...