The Facts

* The 1999 Fleming Foods decision was based on Texas legal precedent. The Texas Supreme Court has held since 1922 that “to say that the citizen, in order to know that law by which his rights are to be determined, must go through the many volumes of session laws … and examine the original acts, including the captions and repealing acts and clauses, is not to be seriously considered … The session laws are for all practical purposes inaccessible to the average citizen, and the task of searching through them to ascertain the law an insurmountable one.”

* In 2001, the 77th Legislature passed HB 2809, which provided for statutory revision and construction in giving non-substantively codified statutes the same meaning that was given the statute before its codification. That legislation effectively gave courts the authority to interpret statutes outside of their purview of interpreting and applying the plain meaning of the statute. Governor Perry vetoed the bill.

* In 2009, the 81st Legislature passed nearly identical legislation which was again vetoed by Governor Perry.

* Under the vetoed legislation, citizens seeking to understand their rights and responsibilities under Texas law would be consigned to long-defunct regulations and obscure floor debates between legislators to discern the lawmakers’ intentions.

* Additional legal research into the previous versions of law, as well as legislative activities, would result in skyrocketing attorney fees and make Texas law less accessible to average citizens.


* Avoid legislation that complicates the plain meaning of statutes. The very purpose of the codification process is to solidify public policy and make Texas law more accessible to its citizens.

* Prevent legislation that gives non-substantively codified statutes the same effect and meaning that was or would have been given the statute before its codification.