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 ...

State Officials Investigating Rep. Dukes' Use of Staff

Texas State Representative Dawnna Dukes is honored at the unveiling of the African American Portrait Project at the African American Cultural and heritage Facility in Austin, Texas. June 9, 2014.
Texas State Representative Dawnna Dukes is honored at the unveiling of the African American Portrait Project at the African American Cultural and heritage Facility in Austin, Texas. June 9, 2014.

The State Auditor's Office is investigating whether state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, an Austin Democrat, improperly required legislative staffers on the state payroll to help work on an annual event she sponsors through a nonprofit group that she founded, a Capitol source told The Texas Tribune on Friday.

Nobel Prize-Winning physicist Steven Weinberg told the Faculty Council at the University of Texas at Austin that he will attempt to ban guns from his classroom this fall, regardless of UT's policy.
Nobel Prize-Winning physicist Steven Weinberg told the Faculty Council at the University of Texas at Austin that he will attempt to ban guns from his classroom this fall, regardless of UT's policy.

Nobel Laureate Becomes Reluctant Anti-Gun Leader

UT-Austin Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg has emerged as a leader, albeit a reluctant one, for faculty who oppose allowing guns in their classrooms after saying he will try to prevent students who want to carry handguns from taking his courses. 

On Jan. 20, 2016, the Texas House Higher Education Committee discussed efforts to grow educational programs with University of Texas System Chancellor Bill McRaven.
On Jan. 20, 2016, the Texas House Higher Education Committee discussed efforts to grow educational programs with University of Texas System Chancellor Bill McRaven.

UT System Chancellor McRaven Blasts Top 10 Percent Rule

Texas should consider scrapping its top 10 percent automatic admissions rule for universities, which hurts the prestige of the University of Texas at Austin, UT System Chancellor Bill McRaven said in two separate public appearances this week.

Ramon Cavazos teaches a middle school business class in the Olfen Independent School District in Rowena, Texas, on Jan. 20, 2016.
Ramon Cavazos teaches a middle school business class in the Olfen Independent School District in Rowena, Texas, on Jan. 20, 2016.

Tiny District to Offer First Four-Day School Week in Texas

Olfen Independent School District, one of the smallest districts in Texas, will transition to a four-day school week in August — the first of its kind in the state. School officials said a newly passed law altering how the state defines a school day allowed them to create the modified calendar. 

On Jan. 20, 2016, the Texas House Higher Education Committee discussed efforts to grow educational programs with University of Texas System Chancellor Bill McRaven.
On Jan. 20, 2016, the Texas House Higher Education Committee discussed efforts to grow educational programs with University of Texas System Chancellor Bill McRaven.

Chancellors: University Expansion is Good for Texas

The chancellors of Texas’s top university systems defended their ambitious expansion plans to lawmakers Wednesday and some pushed back against the idea of more oversight of their growth. 

 

State senators take the oath of office on the first day of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 13, 2015.
State senators take the oath of office on the first day of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 13, 2015.

Women Still Underrepresented in Legislative Races

It remains a daunting political reality in Texas: Women are underrepresented in the halls of power, and it appears the 2016 elections will do little to change that. The greatest possible number of women lawmakers in 2016 races — assuming every incumbent, challenger and long shot wins — would be 54 House members and 10 senators.

Revisit Our God & Governing Series

In the 2015 Texas legislative session, state lawmakers frequently used their religious beliefs to defend their policymaking. Take a look back at "God & Governing," our documentary-style series on the role lawmakers' personal faith played in their legislating. 

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) speak at a press conference in the Capitol about Sen. Cruz’s Terrorist Refugee Infiltration Prevention Act of 2015 (S. 2302), in Washington, D.C., Dec. 8, 2015.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) speak at a press conference in the Capitol about Sen. Cruz’s Terrorist Refugee Infiltration Prevention Act of 2015 (S. 2302), in Washington, D.C., Dec. 8, 2015.

Attorney General's Office: Abbott's Budget Vetoes Should Stand

Gov. Greg Abbott was well within his powers when he vetoed more than $200 million in funds approved by the Texas Legislature this year, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office wrote in an opinion issued Monday.

 

Prosecutors, Insurer Change Controversial Funding Deal

Big changes are coming to the controversial funding agreement between Texas Mutual Insurance and the Travis County district attorney's office. The changes, designed to implement safeguards against abuse and conflicts of interest, come in the wake of a six-month investigation by The Texas Tribune and the Austin American-Statesman.

State Reps. José Menéndez (left) and Trey Martinez Fischer, both Democrats from San Antonio, are seeking the Texas Senate seat vacated by Leticia Van de Putte, who is running for mayor of San Antonio.
State Reps. José Menéndez (left) and Trey Martinez Fischer, both Democrats from San Antonio, are seeking the Texas Senate seat vacated by Leticia Van de Putte, who is running for mayor of San Antonio.

San Antonio Democrats In Rematch For Senate Seat

Trey Martinez Fischer and José Menéndez will once again battle over Texas Senate District 26 — a rematch of their special election runoff earlier this year, when the latter prevailed.