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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Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4, which lays the foundation for Texas' future water needs. He is joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay on May 28, 2013
Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4, which lays the foundation for Texas' future water needs. He is joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay on May 28, 2013

Perry Hails Water Bill, is Evasive on His Future

Gov. Rick Perry signed a major water infrastructure bill into law on Tuesday. Speaking to reporters afterward, he remained coy about his political future and wouldn't say if he will add any items to the special session agenda.

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.

Sen. Dan Patrick R-Houston, speaks during budget bill SB1 discussion on March 20th, 2013
Sen. Dan Patrick R-Houston, speaks during budget bill SB1 discussion on March 20th, 2013

Senate Approves New High School Graduation Plan

The Senate version of House Bill 5, which it approved Monday, still allows students to complete diplomas in specialized areas, or "endorsements." But it changes the courses required to graduate under those endorsements.

House Debate Over Water Bill Could Spur Bigger Fight

A bill that would draw $2 billion for water projects from the Rainy Day Fund is set to hit the House floor Monday afternoon. The debate could turn to focus on what it means to be a fiscal conservative in the Tea Party era. As some conservative activists are urging supporters to express opposition to the bill, Gov. Rick Perry has voiced his support for the measure.

The Love-Hate Relationship With Transparency

Texas Weekly

One Texan's transparency is another’s right to privacy, and people in politics generally find it easier to demand openness than to provide it. “They all say they want transparency,” said freshman Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake. “And in the same breath that they say they’re for transparency, they’re talking about how to remove it.” 

House Speaker Joe Straus (l), R-San Antonio, adjourns the House of Representatives sine die on June 29, 2011.
House Speaker Joe Straus (l), R-San Antonio, adjourns the House of Representatives sine die on June 29, 2011.

Straus Picks Lead Budget Negotiators

The House sent five members to negotiate a budget with the Senate Monday, with instructions to avoid anything that looks like it would expand the state's Medicaid program. 

Gov. Rick Perry announces a 5 percent cut in the Texas franchise tax for small business on April 15, 2013. In the background are Rep. Harvey Hildebran, R-Kerrville, Gary Farmer of the Austin Chamber and MIke Morrissey of the governor's staff.
Gov. Rick Perry announces a 5 percent cut in the Texas franchise tax for small business on April 15, 2013. In the background are Rep. Harvey Hildebran, R-Kerrville, Gary Farmer of the Austin Chamber and MIke Morrissey of the governor's staff.

Perry Surprises by Urging House to Bust Spending Cap

UPDATE: Gov. Rick Perry told House Republicans in a private meeting this week that he could support a budget that breaks the state's constitutional spending cap, according to several attendees. But many are still wary of doing so.

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.

Rep. Ron Simmons R-Carrollton and Rep. Oscar Longoria D-Mission show off their purple ties on Purple Thursday at the Texas Capitol.
Rep. Ron Simmons R-Carrollton and Rep. Oscar Longoria D-Mission show off their purple ties on Purple Thursday at the Texas Capitol.

Freshman Lawmakers Seek Common "Purple" Ground

The freshmen in the Texas House wear something purple every Thursday as a symbol of their willingness to compromise across the aisle. Now that the bill-filing deadline has passed, it's time to identify which issues are negotiable.