Tribpedia: Texas House of Representatives

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 ...

Senate Adopts Voter ID Report

Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, asks the Senate to adopt the conference committee report on voter ID legislation on May 9, 2011.
Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, asks the Senate to adopt the conference committee report on voter ID legislation on May 9, 2011.

The state Senate today approved a conference committee report on the voter identification bill that includes changes that would allow citizens to use a new form of documentation to cast their ballots.

House Appropriations Committee chairman, State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie (r), listens to debate on HB1 conferee's instructions on May 6, 2011.
House Appropriations Committee chairman, State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie (r), listens to debate on HB1 conferee's instructions on May 6, 2011.

House Sets Budget Negotiating Rules

The House is sending its five budget conferees — Reps. Jim Pitts, John Otto, Sylvester Turner, John Zerwas and Myra Crownover — off to negotiate with the Senate, but they want to tie their hands on certain issues, instructing them on what's acceptable to add, subtract, or leave alone when they talk with the other side.

Rep. Senfronia Thompson (r), D-Houston, talks to Rep. Mike Hamilton during the local and consent calendar on April 26, 2011.
Rep. Senfronia Thompson (r), D-Houston, talks to Rep. Mike Hamilton during the local and consent calendar on April 26, 2011.

Puppies, and the Legislative Power of Distraction

It’s tense at the Texas Capitol. It’s May — the last month of the session. Deadlines are arriving daily. Bills are dying. Legislative wish lists are drying up and blowing away. Time is precious, and big issues — the state budget, legislative and congressional redistricting, most of the governor’s self-styled emergency items, to name a few — remain unresolved. Blame the puppies.

Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, attempts to get votes to suspend the rules on CSSB1580 a Senate spending bill on April 28, 2011.
Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, attempts to get votes to suspend the rules on CSSB1580 a Senate spending bill on April 28, 2011.

Why Texas House Won't Agree to Senate Budget

It might not matter, in the end, whether the Senate wants to use some of the Rainy Day Fund to balance the budget. The House isn’t likely to go along unless the proposition is delivered on a tea cart pushed by Gov. Rick Perry and third-party conservative groups who have been hounding lawmakers to hold the line.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Apr. 25, 2011

Aguilar and Weber on a subdued debate over homeland security, Galbraith on rising concern about natural gas drilling, Grissom on a controversial psychologist, Hamilton on the aftermath of the Rick O'Donnell episode, Philpott on the comptroller's apology, Ramshaw with more on the statewide database of child abusers, E. Smith interviews Lance Armstrong, M. Smith on what House budget cuts would mean for school districts, M. Stiles on how redistricting would change things for each House member, Tan on the Senate's wobbly attempts to approve a budget and my interview with David Dewhurst: The best of our best content from April 25 to 29, 2011.

Representatives Mike Villarreal (l), D-San Antonio, Ruth Jones McClendon (c), D-San Antonio, and Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, criticize Republican Senators and Gov. Rick Perry for an inadequate effort on April 28, 2011.
Representatives Mike Villarreal (l), D-San Antonio, Ruth Jones McClendon (c), D-San Antonio, and Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, criticize Republican Senators and Gov. Rick Perry for an inadequate effort on April 28, 2011.

House Democrats Applaud Senate's Budget Delay

House Democrats are applauding the Senate's delay in taking up what they call a “woefully inadequate” appropriations bill.

Texas House to Consider Redistricting Maps

Texas state representatives will choose their voters today — grabbing the ones they want, ditching the ones they don't — as the decennial drawing of political maps reaches the floor of the House. They'll start with a map approved last week by the Republican-dominated Redistricting Committee, and then consider dozens of alternatives during the debate.

House: Foster Kids Must Get Records Faster

Responding to a Texas Tribune article about young adults who age out of foster care being denied their records, House lawmakers passed a bill today to require the prompt release of case files following a child's discharge from foster care.  

Gov. Rick Perry delivering his State of the State address on Feb. 8, 2011
Gov. Rick Perry delivering his State of the State address on Feb. 8, 2011

House Tentatively Passes Eminent Domain

Another bill on Gov. Rick Perry's emergency items list — eminent domain — tentatively passed in the House today, and it could further curb the government's right to take private property.

State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (l), R-Killeen, and State Rep. John Otto (r), R-Dayton, wait to speak on HB4 supplemental house appropriations bill on March 31, 2011.
State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (l), R-Killeen, and State Rep. John Otto (r), R-Dayton, wait to speak on HB4 supplemental house appropriations bill on March 31, 2011.

Budget Fun: Guess the Signature

If the signatures of state representatives on the hundreds of amendments to HB1 are any indication, possession of legible handwriting is not a prereqisite for holding elective office. We've selected the 10 most indecipherable John Hancocks from the more than 370 amendments. See if you can identify each one. 

Bill Could Subject TSA Agents to State Misdemeanor

TSA agents could be charged with misdemeanor crimes for intrusive pat-downs of Texas travelers, under a bill filed by Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, and co-authored by more than 40 other lawmakers. "The safeguards instituted in the wake of a national tragedy to protect us from terrorists have somehow been transformed from prudent caution to ridiculous excess," Simpson said.