Senator Craig Estes
The Senate of the State of Texas - District 30

For Immediate Release
March 21, 2003
Contact: Lewis Simmons
Phone: (512) 463-01301

Capitol Update
Legislators File 5,400 Bills
By Senator Craig Estes

A flurry of activity enveloped the Capitol on March 14 as the deadline came and went for legislation to be filed for consideration during the 78th Legislature underway in Austin. Some political observers had earlier forecast that the number of bills filed this session would be lower than usual, a prognosis largely driven by the state's financial woes. As it turned out, those statistical predictions were inaccurate.

As the dust began settling after the filing deadline, it was revealed that the state's 181 legislators had filed a total of 5,406 bills to be considered during this regular 140-day session. Bill statistics for this 78th Legislature are fairly well in line with the most recent sessions: 5,544 in the 77th Legislature, 5,766 in the 76th Legislature, and 5,561 in the 75th Legislature.

If the history repeats itself, less than 30 percent of the total bills filed will survive the rigors of the legislative process and the governor's veto power, so we can expect about 1,500 to 1,600 of the original bills filed to actually become law.

Going into this, my first legislative session, I had no preconceived notion of filing a lot of legislation. Texas already has a staggering number of laws, so my goal was to carefully consider the bills I would carry while devoting ample energy to grasping the issues and working to defeat any bad legislation that comes before the committees on which I serve or to the floor of the Senate.

The 31 members of the Texas Senate have filed a total of 1,855 bills for an average of about 60 bills per Senator, individually ranging from less than a dozen to more than 100. My legislative package contains 25 bills for which I am the primary author. They include some bills which would affect all Texans and others which address issues of keen interest to specific communities within the 18 counties of Senate District 30.

Full text and detailed information about these and other bills being considered by the 78th Legislature, is available on the Internet by going to the Texas Legislature Online at

The Legislative Reference Library also operates a toll-free bill status hotline available by calling 1-877-824-7038. The hotline is open weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until the Legislature adjourns for the day.

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