Texas Legislature Online was introduced on December 12, 1996. Since then we have received many questions, requests, and comments from members of the public. A few of the most frequently asked questions and our responses are listed below.

1.   How do I determine my district and legislator?
Use the Who Represents Me? system on this website. You can enter your ZIP code, city, or street address to find your legislator and district.

2.   How do I send e-mail to my representative or senator?
It is each legislator's prerogative to support feedback through e-mail. If a legislator chooses to do so, you can find an e-mail feedback form on the legislator's home page. You can find your representative on the house website and your senator on the senate website.

3.   How do I find out more about the Texas legislative process?
Information on the legislative process (introduction of bills, calendars, committees) can be found on the legislative process page.

4.   How do I find out when a public hearing is being held?
To find times and places for public hearings, view the committee schedule information available for house and senate committees.

5.   How do I follow the status of a bill?
You can use TLO to follow a bill through the entire legislative process. View the page How to Follow a Bill Using TLO to gain information on features provided by this website to follow a bill through the legislative process. This page includes information on how to find out when a bill will be discussed in committee, when a bill will be discussed on the floor, and how to find the current status for a bill.

6.   How do I view the text of a bill or lookup the status of a bill?
You can view bills, fiscal notes, and bill analyses by selecting the bill lookup link on the Texas Legislature Online home page. You can also use this link to inquire about the status for a bill. You will be prompted to enter a bill number.

7.   How do I obtain a hard copy of a bill?
The Texas Legislative Council House Document Distribution section distributes house documents and copies of general information and legislative reference publications to members of the legislature and to the general public.

House Document Distribution
Robert E. Johnson Building, Room B.324
1501 N Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 463-1144
E-mail: house.documentdistribution@tlc.state.tx.us

Senate Bill Distribution
Sam Houston Building, Room 190
201 E. 14th St.
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 463-0252

8.   What does the underlining and strikethrough in bill and amendment text mean?
Underlined and strikethrough text indicate changes being made to the text of existing law or an existing constitutional provision. Underlined text is new language and strikethrough text indicates text being removed from existing law.

9.   Is there an FTP site available for downloading bills?
Yes. The address is ftp.legis.state.tx.us. For downloading purposes, HTTP/FTP is supported on Internet Explorer (version 6 or higher), Firefox (version 3 or higher), and Safari. Firefox releases prior to version 3 do not support HTTP/FTP. The Firefox browser may require an add-on such as FireFTP. See the FTP site acceptable usage policy for more details.

10.   How do I obtain the conference committee report version of bill text?
Changes to bill text made by a conference committee are included in the enrolled version of the bill text.

11.   How do I find out how a legislator voted on a bill?
Bill vote information is available in the house or senate journal. The votes of individual representatives and senators are available only if (1) a record vote is requested at the time the vote takes place; or (2) when a record vote has not been taken within a specified time limit, a member registers a request to have his or her vote recorded in the journal. For help in finding vote information, view the page entitled Finding Vote Information.

12.   How current is the information on this site?
Information updates occur immediately after the information is entered into the legislature's internal computer system.

13.   What are the hours of operation?
Texas Legislature Online is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

14.   Is the system available when updates are being made?
Updates to the website do not require the system to be "unavailable." Occasional scheduled maintenance periods will require that the system be "unavailable." In such a case we will post a message on the home page.

15.   The information I need is not on the website. Where can I get help?
The earliest bill text available on this website is for the 73rd Legislature (1993). If you need access to earlier versions of text, you can view it onsite at the Legislative Reference Library (512) 463-1252.

16.   Can I obtain a copy of an entire code, such as the Education Code, through this system?
The full text of all statutes is available on this website. Every code is available in the Texas Statutes section.

17.   How do I register for an account so I may access the bill list and alert features?
Go to the login page and use the new user page to create an account. You will be required to select a security question and provide an answer. The question and answer are used for purposes of providing you the ability to reset your password if necessary.

18.   I forgot my account password. How do I reset it?
Go to the login page and use the reset password feature to reset your password. The web administrator does not have access to your password information.

19.   Can I track bills?
Yes. This site provides two methods for creating a personal list of bills for tracking purposes. The bill list feature is accessible from the MyTLO page. A bill alert system allows bill tracking with the added capability of receiving notification when actions change.

20.   Can I be notified of changes made to this site?
You can be notified when changes have taken place on bills or when upcoming committee meetings, committee minutes, or calendars have been posted.

21.   How does the bill alert feature work?
Bill alerts are available once you create an account on this website.  You will receive an e-mail if any bills on your list have had a change in action.

22.   How does the committee meeting, committees minutes, and calendar alerts feature work?
The committee meeting notice, committee minutes, and calendar alerts feature are available once you create an account on this website. You will receive an e-mail alert as new meeting notices, minutes, or calendars are posted.

23.   Why am I having trouble selecting statute sections or displaying the text properly?
You may be using a browser that does not support all of the features of this website. For optimal viewing of the site, we recommend using Internet Explorer (version 6 or above), Firefox, or Safari. Without one of the recommended browsers, some of this site's features may not be available.

24.   What is required for using the House current amendment feature?
For optimal viewing of the House current amendment page, we recommend using Internet Explorer (version 6 or above), FireFox, or Safari (version 1.2 or above). These browsers support automatic updates of current amendment, current bill, and today's amendments pages as legislative activity takes place.

25.   How do I obtain a list of effective bills?
A list of effective bills can be obtained through the following steps:

  1. Select the Reports link underneath Additional Searches from the home page.
  2. Select the General Reports tab.

The following reports consist of bills effective for the past legislative session:
  • Bills Effective on January 1st
  • Bills Effective Immediately
  • Bills Effective in 90 Days
  • Bills Effective on September 1st

26.   How do I access a mobile version of TLO?
From the mobile device browser, enter www.txlegis.com. In order to receive the best viewing capability on a BlackBerry, perform the following configuration steps:
  1. Go to the www.txlegis.com site on the BlackBerry.
  2. Display the BlackBerry's menu and select Options. The Browser Options screen displays.
  3. Select Browser Configuration. The Browser Configuration screen displays.
  4. Enable the following:
    • Select the Support JavaScript.
    • Select the Support Style Sheets.
  5. Display the BlackBerry's menu and select Save Options.

27.   How do I obtain a list of filed bills?
A list of filed bills can be obtained through the following steps:

  1. Select the Reports link underneath Additional Searches from the home page.
  2. Select the General Reports tab.

The following reports consist of bills filed for the specified legislative session:
  • Filed House Bills
  • Filed Senate Bills

28.   How do I testify at a House committee hearing?
Electronic registration has been implemented as a requirement for providing testimony at House committee hearings. See the House Witness Registration website for more information.