Rep. Dade Phelan is sworn in as speaker. Rules make a difference DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writertaffet@dallasvoice.com The Texas House of Representatives elected a speaker of the house on the first ballot on Tuesday, Jan.
10, on the opening day of the 2023 Legislature. What happened in Washington the previous week couldn’t have happened in Austin.
The rules make the difference. In the Texas Legislature, first, members are nominated for speaker with a speech limited to three minutes.
Then each nomination may be seconded with up to five seconding speeches. Then a recorded vote is taken. If no one receives 50 percent in the first vote, the top two candidates go into a runoff, just as in Texas primaries and general elections, and the winner becomes the speaker of the Texas House.