Sessions (Regular and Special)

Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Understand the cycle and length of Regular legislative sessions
  • Understand the nature of Special Sessions

Regular Sessions

Texas Legislature uses biennial sessions which means they meet every two years on odd numbered years, for 140 days.

The Texas Legislature meets in regular session on the second Tuesday in January of each odd-numbered year. The Texas Constitution limits the regular session to 140 calendar days.

Special Sessions

Only the Governor may call the Legislature into special sessions, unlike other states where the legislature may call itself into session. The governor may call as many sessions as he or she desires. For example, Governor Rick Perry called three consecutive sessions to address the 2003 Texas congressional redistricting. The Texas Constitution limits the duration of each special session to 30 days; lawmakers may consider only those issues designated by the governor in his “call,” or proclamation convening the special session (though other issues may be added by the Governor during a session).