Texplainer: Why Are There Two Calendars Committees?

Hey, Texplainer: What's the difference between the Calendars Committee and the Local & Consent Calendars Committee?

Both are House committees and both, believe it or not, make calendars. So, really, not that much.

With more than 3,000 bills and only 140 days to pass them, somebody's got to set priorities and make a schedule. Those somebodies are on the calendars committees, which create the different schedules for representatives to discuss bills — the daily, supplemental, congratulatory and the local, consent and resolutions calendars.

Obviously, the Local & Consent Calendars Committee prepare the local, consent and resolutions calendar, which consists of local and usually uncontested legislation. Bills that, for instance, fund local parks or water districts are often tacked on there. The Rules and Resolutions Committee creates the congratulatory and memorial calendar. Those resolutions do anything from honoring fallen soldiers to recognizing high school state championship teams to declaring Pachyderm Day at the Capitol (which, for those of you who are curious, was March 30).

The Calendars Committee prepares the daily calendar — all the bills out of the calendar committee — and oversees preparation of the daily supplemental calendar, which combines pending business from the previous day that didn't make it to a final reading, and bills that are ready for a second reading. The Calendars Committee also determines the importance of a bill or resolution. For instance, bills on final reading and pending items, get top priority.

Bottom line: The Local & Consent Calendars Committee sets the agenda for uncontested bills and resolutions — the noncontroversial stuff, usually. The Calendars Committee schedules debate on the major bills, determines their legislative priority and creates a calendar that legislators use on the floor.

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[Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect that the Rules and Resolutions Committee creates the congratulatory and memorial calendar. A previous version incorrectly reported that another committee created that calendar. The post has also been updated to reflect that pending bills and those on final reading get top priority on the House Supplemental Calendar.]

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