Tribpedia: Texas Legislature

The Texas Legislature is the chief policymaking branch of state government that the Texas Constitution (Article III, Section 1) vests with all legislative power in the state. It is a bicameral body composed of an upper chamber, the Texas Senate, and a lower chamber, the Texas House. The 181 members are elected from districts throughout Texas.  

It enacts thousands of ...

Residency Requirement for Statewide Elected Officials Could Change

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.

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.

Parliamentarian Karina Davis watches as new Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick gavels in the Texas Senate on Jan. 21, 2015.
Parliamentarian Karina Davis watches as new Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick gavels in the Texas Senate on Jan. 21, 2015.

Without Two-Thirds Rule, Senate Moving Patrick's Priorities

When the Texas Senate changed the rules on how many votes are required to bring legislation to the floor for debate, Democrats said a process intended to encourage compromise would suffer. Several bills have been unblocked, but the conservative steamroller that Democrats feared hasn't emerged.

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.

 

State Sen. Wendy Davis speaking to the press after a Travis County Democratic campaign rally on Oct. 22, 2014.
State Sen. Wendy Davis speaking to the press after a Travis County Democratic campaign rally on Oct. 22, 2014.

Wendy Davis Fined $5,000 for Ethics Violation

The Texas Ethics Commission has fined former state Sen. Wendy Davis $5,000 after finding "credible evidence" she failed to disclose her relationship with two lobbyists on financial disclosure forms filed during her 2012 re-election campaign. 

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.