Tribpedia: Texas House of Representatives

Tribpedia

The Texas House of Representatives is one arm of the the Texas Legislature, the other being the Texas Senate. It is considered the "lower" chamber, with 150 members who represent districts of 150,000 people each. The primary legislative power is enacting laws, and the most visible function of the Legislature is to make public policy through drafting, considering and ...

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Analysis: For Straus, Division Might Be Strength

House Speaker Joe Straus is shown on Sept. 20, 2014, during an interview at The Texas Tribune Festival.
House Speaker Joe Straus is shown on Sept. 20, 2014, during an interview at The Texas Tribune Festival.

House Speaker Joe Straus, seeking a fourth term at the helm of the chamber, is facing a challenge from state Rep. Scott Turner. If Straus prevails, he could gain an advantage in setting the agenda for the next legislative session. Everybody else in management — the governor and the lieutenant governor — will be new on the job. 

House Speaker Joe Straus gavels out the 83rd Legislative session at Sine Die 5:03 PM on May 27, 2013.
House Speaker Joe Straus gavels out the 83rd Legislative session at Sine Die 5:03 PM on May 27, 2013.

Analysis: A Speaker Who May Have Less of a Say

House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, enters the next legislative session as a clear favorite for re-election, but the issues raised in the conservative wave in this year's elections, along with the influence of a fresh batch of new Republican state senators, could dominate the Legislature's calendar.

Democratic candidates Susan Motley (l.) and Terry Meza, in a runoff for House District 105.
Democratic candidates Susan Motley (l.) and Terry Meza, in a runoff for House District 105.

HD-105 Runoff Candidates Hope to Claim District for Democrats

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In the May 27 Democratic runoff for House District 105, two lawyers from Irving are contending for the chance to take on a former Republican former state legislator. Democrats are hoping to end 12 years of Republican representation in the Dallas-area district. 

House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations co-chairs Rep. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, and Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Canton, during a hearing on Oct. 22, 2013.
House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations co-chairs Rep. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, and Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Canton, during a hearing on Oct. 22, 2013.

Flynn: "Obnoxious Attitude" Not a Basis for Impeachment

The co-chair of the committee considering the actions of University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall, after listening to hours of testimony and reading thousands of documents, has concluded that the regent's behavior does not warrant impeachment. 

Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, after he filed for House Speaker on Jan. 10, 2014.
Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, after he filed for House Speaker on Jan. 10, 2014.

Turner's Declaration Could Impact Republican Primaries

Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, wants to be speaker of the Texas House. That could make him a topic of discussion in this year's Republican primaries for the House, where voters might equate support for a particular candidate for speaker with allegiance to a particular strand of conservatism.

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst signs a stack of bills during a recess in the Senate session on May 22, 2013.
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst signs a stack of bills during a recess in the Senate session on May 22, 2013.

Which Votes Will Haunt Lawmakers?

Texas Weekly

Gov. Rick Perry has until June 16 to sign or veto bills from the legislative session, but political operatives are already combing through the records of the proceedings, looking for votes that might haunt legislators in next year's elections.

News App: Tracking the Status of House and Senate Bills

The deadline for bills to win approval from the House and the Senate passed earlier this week, resulting in the death of a lot of legislation. Most of what remains is to reconcile differences between versions of legislation passed by both chambers. Our updated bill apps — one for House bills and one for Senate legislation — detail the results.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, announce legislation to modernize the Texas Open Meetings Act on March 7th, 2013. the bill will be filed today by Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin
Attorney General Greg Abbott, announce legislation to modernize the Texas Open Meetings Act on March 7th, 2013. the bill will be filed today by Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin

Will Lawmakers Leave When the Session Ends?

Texas Weekly

A perfect time for speculation: The legislative session isn't quite over, and the political season hasn't quite begun.

Crowds of visitors, lobbyists, and lawmakers turned out to the Texas capitol for the opening day of the 83rd legislative session, Jan. 8, 2013.
Crowds of visitors, lobbyists, and lawmakers turned out to the Texas capitol for the opening day of the 83rd legislative session, Jan. 8, 2013.

For 83rd Lege, More Civility Than Drama

Texas lawmakers have 10 days left in the regular session. They haven't embarrassed themselves, spent much time in bitter fights or generated the sorts of headlines that have made voters think so little of Washington. Maybe Texans won’t notice the officeholders in Austin or, if they do, will notice the difference between the two.

Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie speaks with Rep. Todd Hunter R-Corpus Christi and Rep. Abel Herrero D-Robstown on House floor before voting on HB 10 February 21st, 2013
Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie speaks with Rep. Todd Hunter R-Corpus Christi and Rep. Abel Herrero D-Robstown on House floor before voting on HB 10 February 21st, 2013

Agenda Texas: Bill Kill, Vol. 1

On the latest Agenda Texas, from KUT News and the Tribune: Deadlines in the Texas House have come and gone. Now lawmakers are left to pick up the pieces for next session, or to find another way to get their bills passed.

News App: Updated House Bill Tracker

Another major House deadline has passed, ending that chamber's consideration of major legislation filed by its own members. We've updated our House Bill tracker, showing which bills stalled in committee and which ones stalled in the full House. Some  proposals could resurface as amendments to other bills, but it will become harder to pass legislation before the session ends.

January 14th, 2013: Senator John Whitmire D-Houston smiles as fellow Senators praise his 40 years in the Texas legislature
January 14th, 2013: Senator John Whitmire D-Houston smiles as fellow Senators praise his 40 years in the Texas legislature

A Rumor of Peace

Texas Weekly

It’s a little funny to talk to people at the Capitol who have been steeled in a culture of political warfare about the outbreak of peace. Many differences remain, but those blood veins that were sticking out on everyone’s foreheads and necks in 2009 and 2011 have smoothed out. For the moment, Texas civics is downright civil.

State Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, explains an education funding amendment to SB 1 the budget bill during debate on April 4, 2013.
State Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, explains an education funding amendment to SB 1 the budget bill during debate on April 4, 2013.

A House Less Susceptible to Political Stampedes

In 2011, state lawmakers fresh from a Tea Party election surge were hypersensitive to the opinions of and instructions from conservative activists. But as Thursday's House budget debate showed, this session isn't quite the same.

Interactive: The Texas Weekly Index

Going by the Texas Weekly Index, which is based on the results of contested statewide elections over the 2010 and 2012 political cycles, the state's most conservative districts are in the Panhandle. The most liberal districts are in urban areas. Use this interactive to see charts that illustrate the political climate of each district.

Gov. Rick Perry meets with senior staff members at his office in the state Capitol on Jan. 9, 2013.
Gov. Rick Perry meets with senior staff members at his office in the state Capitol on Jan. 9, 2013.

Former Rick Perry Aide Got $162,500 Bonus

Days before she became Gov. Rick Perry's chief of staff, Ann Bishop was paid a $162,500 bonus from the Employees Retirement System, records show. The bonus paid to Bishop, already the highest paid executive officer in a state aagency, provoked outrage from two lawmakers.