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 ...

House Republicans Reaffirm Support of Gay Marriage Ban

During the Defense of Texas Marriage Amendment Rally on Mar. 23, 2015 at the Texas Capitol, a protester raises questions of marriage sanctity noting celebrities who've been married multiple times.
During the Defense of Texas Marriage Amendment Rally on Mar. 23, 2015 at the Texas Capitol, a protester raises questions of marriage sanctity noting celebrities who've been married multiple times.

House Republicans want Texans to know they still oppose same-sex marriage – even if foot-dragging Democrats thwarted a debate on the polarizing subject Thursday night.

 

The House of Representatives on May 14, 2015.
The House of Representatives on May 14, 2015.

State Leaders Juggle Resolutions on Five Major Issues

Top state leaders were negotiating intensely — and optimistically — Thursday afternoon to secure compromises on five bills covering tax cuts, restraints on local property tax increases, border security, prosecutions of state ethics cases and open carry of handguns before the end of the current legislative session in less than three weeks. 

House Reading Clerk Elizabeth Milam carries signed bills to the podium during the House session May 14, 2015.
House Reading Clerk Elizabeth Milam carries signed bills to the podium during the House session May 14, 2015.

With Deadline Looming, Democrats Drag Their Feet

Facing a midnight deadline in the House to take initial votes on that chamber's bills, Democrats dragged their feet, using non-stop banter, parliamentary maneuvers and other tactics to delay a vote on a bill forbidding the use of state or local funds to issue same-sex marriage licenses. 

 

 

 

Analysis: Does "Voucher" Label Fit the Bill?

You can slow down or even kill a piece of legislation with a single word or phrase, if it's poisonous enough. One such loaded word is "voucher." Critics are using that term to describe a school scholarship proposal that has won the Senate's approval. But backers say the proposal is a tax credit and not the kind of voucher program that seems to merit automatic dismissal from lawmakers.

Texas A&M University System Regent Jim Schwertner and former Regent Richard Box participate in an interview for a new movie, produced by John Robison, that revisits the decision to move to the SEC.
Texas A&M University System Regent Jim Schwertner and former Regent Richard Box participate in an interview for a new movie, produced by John Robison, that revisits the decision to move to the SEC.

House Panel Debates Bills to Rein In Film Incentives

A Texas House committee Thursday considered a pair of bills taking aim at the state film incentives program — one would block state grants for films and video games containing adult content. Another would abolish the program altogether.

Sens. Lois Kolkhorst, Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Jane Nelson, Charles Schwertner, Joan Huffman and Reps. Larry Gonzales, Sarah Davis, Sylvester Turner, John Otto and Trent Ashby make up the 2015 budget conference committee.
Sens. Lois Kolkhorst, Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Jane Nelson, Charles Schwertner, Joan Huffman and Reps. Larry Gonzales, Sarah Davis, Sylvester Turner, John Otto and Trent Ashby make up the 2015 budget conference committee.

A Closer Look at Budget Conference Committee Members

The budget conference committee will hash out a compromise of the chamber’s respective 2016-17 budget plans. Committee members include two Democrats who rank as the most experienced budget negotiators on the panel.

House Speaker Joe Straus (left) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
House Speaker Joe Straus (left) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

A Look at the Priority Bills for Straus and Patrick

The House speaker and the lieutenant governor traditionally award the lowest bill numbers to measures they view as priorities. Here's an updated breakdown of House Bills 1-20 and Senate Bills 1-20, showing where House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are placing their priorities for the 84th legislative session.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick during inaugural parade up Congress Ave. on January 20th, 2015
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick during inaugural parade up Congress Ave. on January 20th, 2015

Grassroots Panel Creates Political Drama for Patrick

The panel of conservative activists that is advising Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is putting him in a tricky spot as he navigates leadership politics under the dome. The leader of the Grassroots Advisory Board says the panel has no plans to scale back its activities at the Capitol.

Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during Texas Public Policy Foundation's grand opening of new building on April 21st, 2015
Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during Texas Public Policy Foundation's grand opening of new building on April 21st, 2015

Legislative Tensions Peak at Leadership Breakfast

A weekly leadership breakfast went sour Wednesday as the state's top three officials complained to one another about legislative packages and the tensions between a House and Senate that have just weeks left to complete their work.

State Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, held an impromptu press conference to explain the postponement of his open carry bill after House Democrats raised a point of order on April 14, 2015.
State Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, held an impromptu press conference to explain the postponement of his open carry bill after House Democrats raised a point of order on April 14, 2015.

After Misfire, House Republicans Reload Open Carry

After a bit of a Democratic gamesmanship shot down a major gun debate before it started, a measure that would allow gun owners with a concealed handgun license to carry their weapons openly in public is back on the House schedule Friday. Watch the House floor debate here.

House Parliamentarian Chris Griesel shows the rule book to a group of House members including Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, during a point of order called on HB 11 March 18, 2015.
House Parliamentarian Chris Griesel shows the rule book to a group of House members including Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, during a point of order called on HB 11 March 18, 2015.

Analysis: Winning and Losing Without Even Voting

Voting against legislation isn't the only way to kill it. Some of the most powerful tools available to Texas legislators are found in the dry pages of their parliamentary rulebooks.