How to visit the legislature in session?

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oohrah
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How to visit the legislature in session?

Postby oohrah » Mon May 01, 2017 10:59 am

I'm going to have a lot of free time this week and next, and I thought I would head to Austin to see our much vaunted lege. I was hoping some of you who have done it could post some tips, like, is there a published schedule of events, hours of open sessions, what to look for, parking!, etc?

I know I can carry in the Capitol Building and bypass the screeners. I'll probably look up my local Rep. Can you just drop by, or do they expect you to make an appointment? As you can tell, I'm new at this.
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apostate
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Re: How to visit the legislature in session?

Postby apostate » Mon May 01, 2017 11:09 am

You can just stop by your rep's office but s/he may be busy. If so, there will/should be staffers in their office who can tell your rep you stopped in and your concerns or comments.

The schedules are on the TLO site. http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Calendar ... yDate.aspx

There was reasonably priced parking but it filled up early.
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Papa_Tiger
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Re: How to visit the legislature in session?

Postby Papa_Tiger » Mon May 01, 2017 11:30 am

Check out the Visitor's Center Parking:
http://www.tspb.state.tx.us/plan/parking/parking.html

Very close to the Capitol and decent rates. I generally go on weekends or when it isn't metered, so I don't know what it is like finding parking during the week.

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oohrah
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Re: How to visit the legislature in session?

Postby oohrah » Tue May 02, 2017 6:40 am

Thanks for the links.
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Treating one variety of person as better or worse than others by accident of birth is morally indefensible.


chasfm11
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Re: How to visit the legislature in session?

Postby chasfm11 » Tue May 02, 2017 8:24 am

I was just there last Monday. The paid parking is only a couple of blocks away and there was no problem finding a slot - though we got there at 8:30am.

The access to the Capitol building with an LTC is very easy. I did it multiple times during the day.

The difficulty in finding places is understanding the old building versus the new underground one. There are maps which explain the layout, though the numbering system wasn't always clear. My Rep's office was part of the old building so going there was not an issue. We also went to another Rep's office in the new area. Once I was oriented, it seemed pretty straight forward.

There were signs outside the House chamber which indicated that, at times, the gallery may be closed. We were able to walk right into the the gallery and be seated before the session started that day. I don't know how easy it would be to follow the proceedings unless you were at the back of the House, where you could see the voting board. A lot of the work is apparently done in committees and I don't know if those are open to the public. I know that some are.

The Austin capitol seemed a lot more accessible than the one in Washington.
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RHenriksen
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Re: How to visit the legislature in session?

Postby RHenriksen » Tue May 02, 2017 1:27 pm

IIRC, the Senate & House galleries were posted 30.06 when the lege was in session - is that still the case?
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Papa_Tiger
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Re: How to visit the legislature in session?

Postby Papa_Tiger » Tue May 02, 2017 1:45 pm

RHenriksen wrote:IIRC, the Senate & House galleries were posted 30.06 when the lege was in session - is that still the case?
They weren't the last time I was there.


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