The Housekeeping Resolution (HR3) has been filed. #txlege…
The rules (HR4) have also been filed. #txlege…
The number of members on the House Committee on Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services (PIFS) is decreased from 11 to 9. It appears to be the only committee with a change in number of members.
The chair of the Committee on Ways & Means will now be barred from serving on any other substantive committee. The only other chairs in this category are Appropriations and State Affairs.
The permanent speaker pro tem is limited to serving on one substantive committee and cannot chair a standing committee.
The Committee on Appropriations shall hold 1 or more public hearings on LARs for major state agencies (appropriations >$40m) and higher ed institutions. The committee can require attendance of the agency head or another employee.
Regarding media access to the House chamber: a person is permitted on the floor if their organization has publicly operated for at least 18 months as a for-profit organization supported by ads or subscriptions or as a nonprofit 501(c)(3).
There's a process for an individual to file a complaint with the House Committee on Administration if he/she is not granted a media pass. The final determination of the Committee's action on the complaint is to be placed in the journal.
Three members are required to enter the yays and nays in the journal.
There's a modification in the number of copies of amendments required to be filed with the Speaker. Six copies will be required and four additional copies for each amendment that exceed two pages in length.
A conference committee report on the GAA must be printed and given to each member at least 48 hours before action can be taken on the report in a regular session or 24 hours in a special. All other conference committee reports remain at 24 hours.
The final addition is what everyone is waiting on--Rule 16 Special Rule. It's specific to "disruptions caused by actual or imminent threat of an emergency, including an epidemic or a pandemic." Once this rule is activated, it prevails over Rules 1-15.
The initial activation of Rule 16 is upon adoption of the rules for the 87th. The rule or a section of the rule can be reactivated if there's a disaster declaration by the President, the Governor, the governing body of a political subdivision or certain public health officials.
If in a regular/special session, a House resolution can deactivate the rule or a section of the rule. If not in a regular/special session, a majority vote of the House Admin Committee is required.
Now on to the rule! If the speaker and speaker pro tem are unavailable, the chair of the Committee on State Affairs is authorized to convene the House and preside over its proceedings.
If the speaker, speaker pro tem, and chair of State Affairs are unavailable, the speaker can give a list of members in order of priority to the chief clerk who would then contact the next available member.
One of the members in the order listed above is authorized to conduct an emergency adjournment or a postponement of reconvening.
Each person admitted to a meeting room for a committee meeting is required to wear a CDC-recommended face mask. If there are protective barriers, a member, officer, or employee can remove their face mask if more than 6 feet away from another person not protected by the barrier.
There's a 30-minute notice requirement to be read by the reading clerk for a committee or subcommittee to assemble while the house is in session if written notice was not already given 2 hours in advance of the meeting.
A committee notice must include instructions related to public access to the meeting location and health and
safety protocols for attending the meeting, if broadcasted, a link to the broadcast on the House site, and instructions for those who wish to testify.
The requirement for all meetings of a committee or subcommittee to be open to other members, the press, and the public may be satisfied by video broadcasting the meeting in real time through the Internet.
Two members of a committee can satisfy quorum requirements for taking testimony. Other members can participate electronically provided there's two-way communication with each other.
For each public hearing, the chair of a committee must allow Texas residents to electronically submit comments on a measure or matter included on the public notice. House Admin shall establish a standard process for submission.
When the House is in session, accredited members of the media are entitled to the designated area in the gallery but not allowed on the floor. They must present their media pass to the sergeant-at-arms to enter the designated area.
Each person to the House floor or gallery is required to wear a CDC-recommended face mask. A mask is not required when speaking at the speaker's dias or the front or back mic.
Defines "voting machine" to include a device issued to a member by the Texas Legislative Council and configured to provide access to a secure website through which the member may register presence or cast a vote when on the floor or in an adjacent room or hallway of the floor.
Further defines presence in the house to include the house gallery for purposes of voting.
Creates a "consensus calendar" for non-emergency bills that were not recommended for local, consent, and resolutions but can be considered with little debate as determined by the Calendars Committee.
For bills placed on the consensus calendar, all speeches are limited to 3 minutes without extension.
An amendment to a bill on the consensus calendar is not in order during second reading unless approved by the Committee on Calendars.
A printed copy of the GAA is not required to be placed in the mailbox of a member at least 168 hours before consideration. Notification via email is sufficient, but the printed copy should be provided as soon as practicable.
An amendment to a bill on second reading on the emergency or major state calendar must be provided to the chief clerk at least 12 hours before the calendar is eligible for consideration.

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