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NURS 7322 - Healthcare Policy, Analysis and Advocacy: Legislation

An introduction to resources for health policy research in NURS 7322.

Federal Overview & Process

Congress = Senate + House

Senate:

  • Members serve 6-year, staggered terms
  • Every 2 years, about 1/3 of Senators are up for re-election
  • Senators are elected "at large," which means each Senator represents the entire state
  • Each state has 2 Senators regardless of population
  • 100 Senators currently serve in the Senate


House:

  • Members serve 2-year terms
  • Represent people in a District
  • Districts are apportioned by population using US Census Data
  • 435 Representatives currently serve in the House

Understanding the Federal Legislative Process is key to understanding how a bill becomes a law.

Read legislative citations more easily with the Key to Legislative Citations.

Local Overview & Process

Council-Manager form of government

  • Meet weekly
  • "A" Sessions are open to the public
  • 6 votes needed to approve a motion


11 representatives elected to City Council pass laws and establish policies

  • Representatives come from 10 Districts with equal population distribution as determined by the US Census
  • The Mayor is part of City Council and is elected city-wide
  • All members serve 2-year terms with a 4-term limit


City Manager

  • Carries out the policies set forth by the elected representatives

The local San Antonio legislative process is different from State and Federal. Generally, you will need to go to City Council Meetings or follow your Council Member's social media in order to stay on top of pending legislation.

State Overview & Process

Texas State Legislature = Senate + House

Senate:

  • Members generally serve 4-year terms; however, in election years ending in "2," half of the senators will serve a two-year term based on a drawing
  • Senators are elected to represent single-member districts, which means one person (the Senator) represents all the residents in a District to a body (The Legislature) with multiple members
  • Districts are based on population, determined by US Census data
  • Each Senatorial District includes approximately 806,000 people
  • 31 Senators currently serve in the Senate


House:

  • Members serve 2-year terms
  • Representatives are elected to represent single-member districts, which means one person (the Senator) represents all the residents in a District to a body (The Legislature) with multiple members
  • Districts are based on population as determined by US Census data
  • Each House District include approximately 150,000 people
  • 150 Representatives currently serve in the House

The Texas State Legislative Process is very much like the Federal Process. A few things to know about the structure of the Texas State governing body:

  • It has the "power of the purse"
  • It is part of a plural executive
  • The Lieutenant Governor, elected separately from the Governor, presides over the Senate and is the single most powerful legislator in the state
  • The Speaker of the House is elected from its own body every session
  • Only the Governor may call the Legislature into special sessions

Find and Follow Bills

At the Federal level:

At the State level:

At the local level:

Find Your Elected Officials

My Bexar Community Dashboard Bexar County provides an extremely useful tool that lists everything from Federal elected officials to local services

Find Officials & Committee members

  Elected Officials Committees
Federal

Senate; House

Senate; House

State House & Senate info - Who Represents Me

Senate; House

City San Antonio City Council Council Committees
Tribal Information
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) BIA is managed under the Department of the Interior. Texas is part of the Southern Plains region.
Tribal Councils Tribal Councils may be listed on the BIA site, or you may need to search for them individually.