GOVERNMENT: Legislature

House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety Chairman Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, listened to testimony during a March 17, 2015, hearing.
House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety Chairman Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, listened to testimony during a March 17, 2015, hearing.

Committee Sends Open Carry Bill to House Floor

A Texas House committee on Thursday approved a bill from state Rep. Larry Phillips that would allow the open carry of handguns in the state. The legislation now goes to the House floor. A similar bill passed the Senate last week.

Featured Data

Interactive: Bill Tracker for the 83rd Session

Gay Rights Activists Find Unlikely Republican Ally

Republican State Reps.  Byron Cook (l), R-Corsicana, Burt Solomons (c), R-Carrollton, and Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, listen to a point of order on HB12 sanctuary cities bill on May 6, 2011.
Republican State Reps. Byron Cook (l), R-Corsicana, Burt Solomons (c), R-Carrollton, and Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, listen to a point of order on HB12 sanctuary cities bill on May 6, 2011.

Corsicana Republican state Rep. Byron Cook, who has an adopted child, says both same-sex adoptive parents should be listed on a Texas birth certificate. He believes it's best for the children, though it puts him at odds with his party's stance on gay rights issues. 

House Committee Considers Banning E-Cigarette Use by Minors

E-cigarettes vaporize a liquid solution for inhalation. They have grown steadily in popularity since they were introduced in 2005.
E-cigarettes vaporize a liquid solution for inhalation. They have grown steadily in popularity since they were introduced in 2005.

The House Public Health Committee on Tuesday discussed five bills that would extend current restrictions on tobacco products to vapor products like e-cigarettes. The Senate passed similar legislation last week.

$209.8 Billion Budget Plan Headed to House Floor

State Rep. John Otto (right) proposes a constitutional amendment to use Rainy Day Fund money to pay off state debt during a news conference on Jan. 15, 2015. At left is state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen.
State Rep. John Otto (right) proposes a constitutional amendment to use Rainy Day Fund money to pay off state debt during a news conference on Jan. 15, 2015. At left is state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen.

The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday backed a $209.8 billion two-year budget that would leave $8.4 billion on the table, along with billions more in the state’s savings account. The budget plan now goes to the full House.

Lawmakers Say Sports Shaped Their Political Careers

Students at North Forney High School work through football practice on the first day of school in Forney, Texas, in August 2010.
Students at North Forney High School work through football practice on the first day of school in Forney, Texas, in August 2010.

Five state lawmakers — all former college athletes — gathered at the University of Texas at Austin to talk about the parallels between athletics and governing and the lessons they learned from high school and college sports.