The Legislative Reference Library (LRL) staff reviews the text of all bills that become law to determine their effective dates and enters the information into Texas Legislature Online (TLO) and on the library's website.
Effective Dates on the LRL's Website
The library compiles a detailed list of bills and their effective dates following each regular and called session. The Effective Dates for Bills list for the 87th Legislature, Regular Session, is now available on the LRL's website.
Effective Dates on TLO
To find the effective date of a bill, look up the bill in TLO and see the "Last Action" field in the history window.
For example, the "Last Action" field for SB 2, 87th Legislature, Regular Session, indicates that the bill is effective immediately and includes the effective date.
Sometimes a bill becomes effective on a specific date other than the beginning of the fiscal year (i.e., September 1) or the beginning of the calendar year (i.e., January 1). In these cases, the effective date is not stated in the "Last Action" field, but instead is indicated further down the page in the Actions table.
For example, the effective date for SB 197, 87th Legislature, Regular Session, is provided in the "Comment" column of the last action in the Actions table.
In some cases, sections of a bill may have different effective dates. These other effective dates are provided in the "Remarks" field.
For example, the "Last Action" field for HB 766, 87th Legislature, Regular Session, refers to the comments in the "Remarks" field because Section 2 of the bill has a different effective date from the rest of the bill.
You can also view lists of bills by effective date on TLO.
1. On TLO's homepage, click on the "Reports" link under Additional Searches.
2. The "General Reports" section has links to four lists of bills by effective date.
For House and Senate bills from the 87th Regular Session (2021), the two largest groupings are:
- Bills Effective Immediately: 329
- Bills Effective on September 1st: 666
For more information about bill effective dates, see the Section 3.14 of the Texas Legislative Council Drafting Manual.