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What's Next? Post-Session FAQ and Bill Statistics, 88th R.S.

Bill Statistics:

House Bills (HBs) & Senate Bills (SBs)
Filed 8,046
Sent to the Governor 1,242
Signed by the Governor 270
Filed without the Governor's signature 23
Vetoed by the Governor 2
House Joint Resolutions (HJRs) & Senate Joint Resolutions (SJRs)
Filed 299
Filed with the Secretary of State 13
House Concurrent Resolutions (HCRs) & Senate Concurrent Resolutions (SCRs)
Filed 185
Filed with the Secretary of State 14
Sent to the Governor 86
Signed by the Governor 47
Filed without the Governor's signature 1
Vetoed by the Governor 0

*Statistics as of May 30, 2023, at 3 p.m. See our bill statistics page to compare these numbers with historical statistics.


Post-Session FAQ:

What happens now?

The 88th Regular Session ended Monday, May 29, 2023. Bills that pass both the House and the Senate are sent to the governor to sign, veto, or allow to become law without his signature.


When the Legislature passes a bill, does it become a law right away?

No. Under Article 4, Section 14 of the Texas Constitution, bills passed by the Legislature must be submitted to the governor for approval. The governor can sign a bill, veto it, line-item veto an appropriation, or allow a bill to become law without his signature.


How much time does the governor have to act on a bill?

The deadline for the governor to act on a bill is contingent upon the point in time in which the bill is presented to the governor.

If a bill is sent to the governor during the legislative session, the governor has 10 days (excluding Sundays) to sign the bill or return the bill to the Legislature with objection. If after 10 days the bill is not returned to the Legislature by the governor with objections or he has not yet signed it, the bill becomes law as if the governor had signed it.

If the Legislature has adjourned sine die, or if the bill is presented to the governor less than 10 days (excluding Sundays) prior to final adjournment, the governor has 20 days (including Sundays) after the final day of the session to sign or veto the bill. If neither action is taken, the bill becomes law without the governor's signature (Texas Const. art. IV, § 14).

Sunday, June 18, is the 20th day following the final adjournment of the 88th Regular Session. It is the last day the governor can sign or veto bills passed during the 88th Regular Session. The LRL's vetoes database will be updated for the 88th Regular Session as we receive those documents.


If the governor approves a bill, when will it take effect?

The text of a bill may include effective date provisions requiring the bill to take effect immediately, to take effect on a specified day, or there may be no mention of an effective date. Different sections of a bill may have different effective dates.

According to Article III, Section 39 of the Texas Constitution, a bill cannot become effective until at least 90 days after the session ends unless the bill passes both chambers with a favorable vote by two-thirds of the members.

Monday, August 28, 2023, is the 91st day following final adjournment; bills that do not specify an effective date and those that did not have the two-thirds vote necessary to take effect earlier will take effect on Monday, August 28, 2023.

If a bill received the votes necessary to become effective immediately, it will take effect on the date of the last action necessary for it to become law. This could be when the governor signs it, when the governor files it with the Secretary of State without approving or vetoing it, or when the time for the governor to act expires, if the bill has not been approved or vetoed during that time.


What happens to bills that do not pass?

Bills that do not make it completely through the legislative process die with the end of the session and are not automatically refiled during the next session.


What about other types of legislation?

Joint resolutions that pass both chambers of the Legislature are filed with the Secretary of State, and will be on the ballot as a proposed constitutional amendment for the November 7, 2023, election.

Concurrent resolutions generally require action by the governor. Concurrent resolutions used for administrative matters in the House and Senate do not require approval from the governor.

Simple resolutions are passed by only one chamber of the Legislature, and do not require the governor's approval.


Where can I find more information about special sessions?

You can start with the LRL's FAQ about special sessions. The LRL website's section devoted to special sessions also includes historical information, links to statutory authority pertaining to special sessions, and more.