So, I know this is something that I should have learned, but failed to, in law school.
If I needed to determine why an amendment was added to a new bill, how would I go about that?
Are there minutes somewhere that I can get online?
I've read Texas Legislature Online. I know when the amendment was made....I just can't figure out why.
I also can't find any discussion about the bill.
If your amendment was from 2001 or later, you can see the online video from committee and floor activity and use that to divine some intent. The video is on TLO. You can also look on TLO in the text pane to look at the bill analysis and HRO bill analysis. HRO analysis is usually at the lower left of the text pane. Committee amendments or committee substitutes are sometimes explained in the bill analysis. Floor amendments are usually explained by the sponsor of the amendment on the video, but those explanations are often of little worth.
The HRO report is usually the first thing I go for, although you won't find one for every bill.
Committee minutes are online under each committee's page, look for the meetings link and then for agendas and minutes. Those are usually sparse.
The floor journals are also online, and sometimes you get statements in there of why people do certain things. Look for links to journals on the House or Senate page.
Prior to 2001, the committee and floor hearings are on tape. Those tapes are available as shown here: Link
One other thing to try is Shannon at TDCAA. If it happened from 2003 on, and affects our business, he can probably tell you the how and why. You should read the online stuff first, though.
John, thanks for the direction. I found the video...now I'm wading through it.
Glad to help. Once you've done it a couple times it becomes much easier. Unfortunately, I usually find little insight to what they do. Having watched them firsthand, I have strong private opinions on just how much intent they have.
You were totally right. After spending most of Saturday looking at the videos, there is no direction in what their purpose was.
The only reference to the amendment I am concerned with was:
Amendment 4 will close the fantasy loop hole.
That's it. Just that one line. It amazes me how things get done.
Is this online solicitation from 2005?
Yup. How'd you guess?
Rob Kepple worked on that particular bill. He might be able to help you with what that means.
Do you have an email address for him?
TDCAA Staff email addresses are "firstname.lastname@example.org" and the office number is 512/474-2436.
That said, if you want an "official" legislative history behind that floor amendment to HB 2228 (79R) -- one that can be cited in a brief or whatnot -- you're not going to find one anywhere other than where you've already looked.
Welcome to the sausage factory that is the state capitol.
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