Ask the editor: Why does the Texas Legislature meet only every two years?

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Local municipalities are preparing for the upcoming 86th legislative session, which begins Jan. 8, by passing their top legislative priorities.

Texas, along with Montana, Nevada and North Dakota, are the only states that meet biennially, all convening on odd-numbered years.

The Texas Legislature has been meeting since it was established in 1845. Because the only way to travel back then was by foot or horse, lawmakers decided it was best to meet every two years versus annually.

According to the Texas House of Representatives website, the maximum duration of a regular session is 140 days. However, the Constitution gives governors the power to call as many special sessions as they want if more time is needed. A special session was called in 2017 by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Called sessions are limited to a period of 30 days, during which the Legislature is permitted to pass laws only on subjects submitted by the governor in calling for the session.

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Miranda Jaimes
Miranda has been in the North Texas area since she graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2014. She reported and did design for a daily newspaper in Grayson County before she transitioned to a managing editor role for three weekly newspapers in Collin County. Now she's in Tarrant County, mostly, and has been an Impacter since 2017 as the editor of the Grapevine/Colleyville/Southlake edition.
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