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 Appropriations Chair John Otto explains a budget amendment to a colleague during House Bill 1 debate March 31, 2015.
House Appropriations Chair John Otto explains a budget amendment to a colleague during House Bill 1 debate March 31, 2015.

Residency Requirement for Statewide Elected Officials Could Change

Statewide elected officials would no longer be required to live in Austin under a constitutional amendment that could be headed to voters on a general election ballot. The House tentatively backed the measure on Monday.

State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Simonton, lays out Senate Bill 7 in the Texas House on June 27, 2011. The measure passed, 96-48.
State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Simonton, lays out Senate Bill 7 in the Texas House on June 27, 2011. The measure passed, 96-48.

House Votes to Keep Free Tuition for Some Veterans' Kids

At the last minute, the House voted to scrap changes to the Hazlewood program that would have made many children of veterans ineligible for free tuition. The bill will still need to be reconciled with the Senate's more restrictive version. 

 

Former state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, is shown in 2011.
Former state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, is shown in 2011.

Former State Rep. Leo Berman Dies at 79

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Tributes poured in this weekend from Texas conservatives and Democrats alike for former state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, whose death was announced Saturday on the Texas House floor. He served in the House from 1999 to 2013. 

State Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, co-chair of the House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, is shown calling an executive session on May, 12, 2014.
State Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, co-chair of the House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, is shown calling an executive session on May, 12, 2014.

Senate Approves State Employee Pension Funding Plan

The Texas Senate on Friday voted to beef up the state’s underfunded retirement system for state employees by adding about $440 million to the program, a plan that has received mixed reviews from state employee advocacy groups.

Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, answers an audience question during TTEvents on April 30, 2015.
Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, answers an audience question during TTEvents on April 30, 2015.

Union Dues Spark an End-of-Session Dispute

An unexpected end-of-session skirmish over payroll deductions for union dues pits Republicans against Democrats, business against labor, and presents lawmakers with one of those votes that might be important in next year's elections.

Gov. Greg Abbott annouces several emergency legislative items in his first State of the State speech on Feb. 17, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott annouces several emergency legislative items in his first State of the State speech on Feb. 17, 2015.

Analysis: Ethics at Center Stage, Hurting for Attention

In February, Gov. Greg Abbott asked lawmakers to dedicate this legislative session to ethics reform. With only two weeks left, he's still waiting. The most significant changes being proposed still haven’t been considered by the Texas House.

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 Reaffirm Support of Gay Marriage Ban

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.