HBA-TYH H.J.R. 70 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.J.R. 70 By: Keffer State Affairs 4/13/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The composition of the Texas House of Representative has varied drastically over the past century and a half. Between the 1st Legislative Session and the 33rd Legislative Session, House membership increased from 66 members in 1864, to 142 by 1913. However, the composition has remained at its current constitutional limit of 150 members since 1923, while Texas' population has increased significantly. In 1923, Texas had a total population of a little over 4.5 million, and today the population is roughly 19 million. While representing roughly the same number of constituents as an urban legislator, the demands placed on a rural representative are different. For example, an urban legislator may represent 115,000 people within a 20 square mile radius, all within one community and one county. Comparatively, a rural legislator may represent the same amount of people, but within a 20,000 or 33,000 square mile radius, with maybe 20 to 30 communities within around 10 to 17 different counties. As proposed, H.J.R. 70 requires the submission to the voters of a constitutional amendment allowing the membership of the Texas House of Representatives to increase by five members after each federal decennial census until the federal decennial census for the year 2100, provided that the total membership does not exceed 200. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 2, Article III, Texas Constitution, as follows: Sec. 2. Requires the Senate to consist of 31 members. Deletes requirement for the Senate to never increase above 31 members. Requires the House of Representatives (House) to consist of 150, rather than ninety-three, members until the first apportionment that occurs after the publication of the federal decennial census for the year 2000. Requires five additional members to be elected to the House, beginning with that apportionment and at the first apportionment that occurs after each federal decennial census before the federal decennial census for the year 2100. Deletes text referring to prior provisions of apportionment. SECTION 2. Requires this proposed constitutional amendment to be submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 2, 1999. Sets forth the required language for the ballot.