The Texas Legislature begins meeting on the second Tuesday in January of odd numbered years and continues for 140 days. This is the best time to visit the Capitol. It is interesting to see the House and Senate in action. For the first 3 or so months of the session, the House and Senate meet Monday through Wednesday (or Thursday). The House generally begins meeting at 10:00 am and the Senate at 11:00 am. They may only meet a couple of hours during the early part of the session, but beginning around mid-April, both chambers may meet for extended periods and will also meet on Fridays (as well as the weekends in May). You can go to the second floor gallery to watch the action. It is best to sit in seats on the North or South in order to see people, who will be recognized by the Legislature (e.g. Doctor of the Day, Minister of the Day, etc.).
You can also attend a committee hearing. All hearings are open to the public and you are allowed to go in and out of the hearing room at any time. For a schedule of hearings, go to the Capitol homepage: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/ and look for the link on the left hand side for "committee meetings".
The tour is wonderful and will highlight the interesting architectural features and history of the building. It lasts about 30 minutes.
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