Bylaws

ARTICLE I. NAME AND PURPOSE

Section 1.01.  NAME.  The name of this organization shall be the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, hereinafter referred to as the Caucus.

Section 1.02.  PURPOSE.  The Caucus is a nonprofit organization the purpose of which is to serve the members of the Texas House of Representatives, and their staffs, particularly in regard to matters of interest to the Mexican-American community of this state, with the goal of providing a strong cohesive voice on those matters in the legislative process.

 

ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP

Section 2.01.  ELIGIBILITY.  To be eligible for membership in the Caucus, a person must be a member or member-elect of the Texas House of Representatives:

(a) who is of Mexican-American descent; or

(b) whose legislative district includes not less than 50 percent Hispanic voting age population, as reflected in the demographic research and redistricting records of the Texas Legislative Council; pursuant to the following subsections:

(1) who has served one regular session, and

(2) is confirmed by a vote of two-thirds of the Caucus; or

(c) who is nominated by the Chair and confirmed by a vote of four-fifths of the Caucus; pursuant to the following subsection:

(1) who has served one regular session; or

(d) who is appointed to the Texas House of Representatives by an existing member of the Caucus pursuant to the Texas Constitution, Article 16 §72(c).

Section 2.02.  REGISTRATION.  To be admitted to the Caucus an eligible person must register with the secretary of the Caucus.  “Register” means:  complete Registration Form and return Registration Form to Secretary of the Caucus.

Section 2.03.  TERM.

(a) Membership in the Caucus begins on the date the person registers with the secretary and continues until the member withdraws or ceases to be a member of the House of Representatives.

(b) The duties and privileges of membership in the Caucus shall not be abridged except as provided by Section 4.02(c)(1) of these bylaws.

Section 2.04.  WITHDRAWAL.  A member of the Caucus may withdraw from membership by filing a written withdrawal with the secretary of the Caucus.  The withdrawal is effective on its receipt by the Chair or on a later date stated in the withdrawal.

Section 2.05.  GRANDFATHER CLAUSE.  Any current member, who is non-Mexican American and who represents a district that includes less than 50 percent Hispanic voting age population as reflected by the demographic research and redistricting records of the Texas Legislative Council, may continue to be a member upon adoption of Article II of these bylaws.

Section 2.06.  DUES.  All members shall, before the second Tuesday in January of each year, pay dues of $300 per year.

 

ARTICLE III.  OFFICERS.

Section 3.01.  OFFICERS; EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.

(a) The officers of the Caucus shall be the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Legal Counsel.

(b) Officers are elected by membership

(c) An officer must be a member of the Caucus

(d) The officers constitute the executive committee. The executive committee shall meet at the call of the Chair.

Section 3.02.  OFFICER DUTIES.

(a) The Chair shall:

(1) preside at all meetings, including meetings of the executive committee;

(2) speak for the Caucus in conjunction with the executive committee;

(3) appoint committees

(4) execute the plans and programs of the Caucus; and

(5) regularly communicate with all Caucus members on matters concerning the purpose and activities of the Caucus

(b) The Vice Chair shall preside at meetings and perform the other duties of the Chair when the Chair is unavailable or is precluded from performing those duties.

(c) The Secretary shall maintain the minutes of the meetings and other non-financial records of the Caucus. The Secretary shall maintain a current membership roll at all times.

(d) The Treasurer shall maintain the financial records of the Caucus and shall issue a written financial report to all members in May of each year. The Treasurer shall communicate with the Mexican American Legislative Policy Council on financial matters.

(e) The Legal Counsel shall advise the membership on legal matters affecting the Caucus. The Legal Counsel shall act as the Parliamentarian of the Caucus.

Section 3.03.  EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE DUTIES.

(a) The executive committee shall perform the duties assigned by these bylaws and by the Caucus.

(b) The executive committee shall:

(1) set the date, place, and time for election of officers under Section 3.05;

(2) prescribe procedures for the election of officers under Section 3.06;

(3) set the date, place, and time for membership meetings under Section 4.01;

(4) advise the Chair on budget and policy matters; and

(5) provide guidance to the Chair and Caucus on all matters affecting the Caucus.

Section 3.04.  TERMS OF OFFICE.

(a) Each officer serves for a two-year term and until the officer=s successor is elected or appointed.

(b) Terms of office begin on the day on which a regular session of the legislature convenes and expire on the day the next regular session convenes.

Section 3.05.  ELECTION OF OFFICERS.

(a) The election of officers shall be held at a meeting of the Caucus held after the November general election of each even-numbered year.

(b) If a member-elect of the Texas House of Representatives who is eligible for membership in the Caucus will represent a House district whose current elected representative is also a member of the caucus, the member-elect may vote in the election of officers and the current elected representative may not vote.

Section 3.06.  ELIGIBILITY; ELECTION PROCEDURES.

(a) Any member of the Caucus is eligible to be a candidate for an office.  A member becomes a candidate either by announcing his candidacy in writing filed with the Secretary or by being nominated by another Caucus member in writing filed with the Secretary.

(b) To be eligible for election, a candidate must:

(1) Be present at the Caucus meeting at which elections are conducted.  This requirement may be suspended by majority vote of those present and voting, but only if the candidate is prevented from being present by medical or a family emergency.; and

(2) Be current on any and all dues owed to the Caucus.

Section 3.07.  RESIGNATION; VACANCIES.

(a) An officer may resign at his or her pleasure by written notice delivered to the Chair or the Secretary.

(b) A vacancy shall be filled by election for the unexpired term.  The election shall be held at the next regular meeting of the Caucus following the occurrence of the vacancy, or at a special meeting called for that purpose, whichever is earlier.

Section 3.08.  REMOVAL.  Any officer may be removed by vote of 2/3 of the membership.

 

ARTICLE IV.  MEETINGS; VOTING

Section 4.01.  MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS.

(a) The Caucus shall meet at least twice each month during a regular or special legislative session.  The Caucus may meet at other times at the call of the Chair.

(b) The Chair shall give each member reasonable notice of each meeting during a legislative session and at least three calendar days notice of any other meeting.  Reasonable notice includes the announcement of a meeting from the floor during a session of the House of Representatives.

Section 4.02.  QUORUM; VOTING.

(a) A simple majority of the members of the Caucus present constitutes a quorum.  A proxy may be used for the purposes of achieving a quorum.

(b) The affirmative vote of a simple majority of a quorum is required for the Caucus to take action.

(c) The following persons are allowed to vote:

(1) Those members whose dues are current, and

(2) A member-elect of the Texas House of Representatives who is eligible for membership in the Caucus and who has officially joined the Caucus through payment of dues.

Section 4.03.  PROXY.

(a) As provided by this section, a member may vote by proxy.  The proxy must:

(1) be in writing;

(2) name another member of the Caucus;

(3) state the date of the meeting at which the proxy is valid; and

(4) be signed by the member granting the proxy.

(b) A proxy permits the proxy holder to vote for all purposes on behalf of the member granting the proxy unless the proxy expressly identifies the issues on which the proxy holder is permitted to vote on behalf of the member granting the proxy.

(c) A proxy must be filed with the Secretary and constitutes a record of the Caucus.

 

ARTICLE V.  RULES OF PROCEDURE

Section 5.01.  PROCEDURES.  Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the procedures of all meetings of this organization.

 

ARTICLE VI.  AMENDMENTS

Section 6.01. AMENDMENTS TO BYLAWS.

(a) These bylaws may be amended in the following manner:

(1) by the affirmative vote of a majority of those present at a meeting at which a majority of the membership is present; or

(2) by the affirmative vote of a majority of the membership responding via e-mail to a  by-law change proposed by the chairman of the caucus.  The response to a chairman’s proposed by-law change is due within ten calendar days, not including the date of delivery, after it is delivered to the membership.   A complete tally of the votes on any proposed by-law amendment must be provided to the members within three calendar days after the conclusion of the ten-day period.

(b) A motion to amend the bylaws at a meeting is not in order unless a copy of the proposed amendments have been delivered to each member at least ten calendar days before the date the proposed amendment is considered.

(c) In any proposed amendment to the bylaws:

(1) the text of the bylaw amended must be set out at length;

(2) language to be added must be underscored; and

(3) language sought to be deleted must be bracketed and stricken through.