Administrative State Assignment

| July 22, 2015

As we have learned, the Texas Legislature only meets for a few months every other year. Accordingly, a lot of the decision-making in state governments is delegated to the administrative bureaucracy.

In modern times, though, the legislature has take more care to see that administrative rulemaking does not take place behind closed doors. Just as the federal government has the Federal Register, where proposed federal rules are published for public comment, Texas has the Texas Register.

The Texas Register is published weekly by the Texas Secretary of State, and contains a variety of proposed and final state agency rules, as well as emergency rules, notices, and official legal opinions from the Texas Attorney General.

To see how this works, go to the Texas Register website. Look at the June 26, 2015 issue (the current issue as I write this assignment). At the top, you’ll seeĀ  an “Attorney General” section where there are some requests for legal opinions. Next, you’ll see a section on “Proposed Rules.” These are rules being proposed by various state agencies, and public comments are generally invited. Under “Texas Animal Health Commission,” look for a proposed rule entitled “Fever Ticks.”

Most HCC students and faculty don’t give a lot of thought to beef production. You order a hamburger and…there it is. Modern agriculture, however, is exceedingly complicated, and state government spends a lot of time and energy on livestock health and safety. Cattle fever ticks are a big problem in the cattle industry. The disease they carry attacks and destroys red blood cells.

This proposed rule recommends some minor changes in the Texas Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program, which provides for quarantine zones where cattle have been found with cattle fever ticks.

Write a 3 page essay about state agency rulemaking in Texas, using this rule as an example. Tell your reader what the agency is trying to do and why. If your reader had a comment about the proposed rule, to whom (specifically) should it be directed, and when?

Cite your sources.

Additional Resources

Here’s the Texas Animal Health Commission’s website about the fever tick program:

Here’s some background from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:


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