Texplainer

Texplainer: Besides Elections, What’s Going on Today?

Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at the Flawn Academic Center on the University of Texas at Austin campus on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in Austin, Texas.
Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at the Flawn Academic Center on the University of Texas at Austin campus on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in Austin, Texas.

The Democrats are delaying their usual primary election night precinct conventions until March 22, when they hold county conventions. The state's Republicans will hold some tonight and combine others with the county conventions. 

 

Texplainer: What Does the Parliamentarian Do?

Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, l, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appeal for order as the Senate chamber erupted into chaos just before midnight June 25, 2013.
Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, l, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appeal for order as the Senate chamber erupted into chaos just before midnight June 25, 2013.

Who was the woman talking into the Senate presiding officer's ear during the filibuster watched around the world? Parliamentarians offer nonpartisan and confidential advice about legislative rules and practice.

Texplainer: What Are the Rules of a Filibuster?

Closeup of State Sen. Wendy Davis' shoes as she begins a filibuster of SB 5 on June 25, 2013.
Closeup of State Sen. Wendy Davis' shoes as she begins a filibuster of SB 5 on June 25, 2013.

State Sen. Wendy Davis is trying to talk to death an abortion bill that she and other Democrats oppose. The rules for filibustering could make the hours until midnight tough ones for the Fort Worth Democrat.

Texplainer: Who Oversees Texas' Fertilizer Plants?

A vehicle near the remains of a fertilizer plant burning after an explosion in West, Texas, near Waco.
A vehicle near the remains of a fertilizer plant burning after an explosion in West, Texas, near Waco.

Hey, Texplainer: Which state and federal agencies were responsible for overseeing and regulating the fertilizer plant in West that exploded last week?

 

Texplainer: What is the Blocker Bill?

January 9th, 2013: Sen. Dan Patrick R-Houston who is in favor of eliminating the two-thirds rule, speaks on the Senate floor. Senators have agreed to leave the rule as is.
January 9th, 2013: Sen. Dan Patrick R-Houston who is in favor of eliminating the two-thirds rule, speaks on the Senate floor. Senators have agreed to leave the rule as is.

The blocker bill, a tradition of the Texas Senate, gives the minority party power, because it requires that two-thirds of the Senate must agree before a bill is heard on the floor.

What Happens to Gallegos' Senate Seat?

Texas state Sen. Mario Gallegos (D-Houston) is shown in the Texas Senate chamber on May 4, 2011.
Texas state Sen. Mario Gallegos (D-Houston) is shown in the Texas Senate chamber on May 4, 2011.

State Sen. Mario Gallegos, D-Houston, died Tuesday, but his name will still appear on the November ballot. What happens to his seat — and how soon his district will have representation in the Senate — is in the hands of Gov. Rick Perry.