Tribpedia: Texas Legislature

Tribpedia

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 ...

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Freshman Samantha Salas (center) hangs out with friends before going to class on the first day of school on Aug. 25, 2014, at South Texas College's Pecan Campus in McAllen.
Freshman Samantha Salas (center) hangs out with friends before going to class on the first day of school on Aug. 25, 2014, at South Texas College's Pecan Campus in McAllen.

Momentum for Four-Year Degrees at Community Colleges

Ahead of the 2015 legislative session, momentum seems to be building for more chances to earn four-year degrees at community colleges in Texas. Certain bachelor's degrees are already offered at South Texas CollegeMidland College and Brazosport College.

Education Commissioner Michael Williams, a former railroad commissioner, is shown at a TribLive event on Jan. 27, 2011.
Education Commissioner Michael Williams, a former railroad commissioner, is shown at a TribLive event on Jan. 27, 2011.

Education Commissioner: "The System Needs to Catch Up"

UPDATED: Asked why the state had delayed a transition away from lower passing standards on state exams, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams told state lawmakers Tuesday that classroom instruction had failed to meet the rigor demanded by the new tests. 

University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall talks with colleague Gene Powell during a break at a regents' meeting  on May 14, 2014.
University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall talks with colleague Gene Powell during a break at a regents' meeting on May 14, 2014.

The Brief: Hall Censured in Historic Vote

Wallace Hall's future at the University of Texas System turned clearer Monday night: lawmakers scolded the embattled regent but decided to keep him around — for now, at least.

 

State Rep. Dan Flynn (right), R-Van, talks to state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, on Oct. 23, 2013. Van is co-chair of the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, whose members include Fischer.
State Rep. Dan Flynn (right), R-Van, talks to state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, on Oct. 23, 2013. Van is co-chair of the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, whose members include Fischer.

Transparency Committee Votes to Censure UT Regent Hall

UPDATED: In a 6-1 vote Monday, the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations voted to censure University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall. The committee’s investigation of Hall has focused mostly on his personal investigations of the University of Texas at Austin administration. In a statement, Hall said, "The committee's findings are based on distortions, untruths and intentional misrepresentations."

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.

Committee "Very Close" to Consensus on Wallace Hall

After a lengthy hearing on Wednesday, a co-chair of the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations said members were "very close" to reaching a consensus on what to do about UT Regent Wallace Hall.

UT System Chancellor Dr. Francisco Cigarroa and Board of Regents Chairman Paul L. Foster as UT Regents study tuition increases on May 14, 2014.
UT System Chancellor Dr. Francisco Cigarroa and Board of Regents Chairman Paul L. Foster as UT Regents study tuition increases on May 14, 2014.

Foster: UT Community Must "Re-establish Some Decorum"

A fraught week culminated in a relatively collegial meeting of the University of Texas System Board of Regents on Thursday, after which Chairman Paul Foster said it was time for the board and extended UT community to "re-establish some decorum."

 

Gov. Jim “Pa” Ferguson.
Gov. Jim “Pa” Ferguson.

In UT Regent Controversy, Echoes of Texas History

In 1917, Gov. Jim “Pa” Ferguson became the first person in Texas to be impeached. Almost a century later, the Ferguson impeachment presents both striking similarities and key differences to the ongoing saga involving University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall. If Hall is impeached, he would be the third person in Texas history to be in that situation. 

Clockwise, from top left: Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican nominee for governor; University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall; Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison; and state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor.
Clockwise, from top left: Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican nominee for governor; University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall; Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison; and state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor.

Political Landscape Shifts as Hall Inquiry Continues

As a lengthy legislative investigation of University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall appears to be nearing an end, the 2014 elections and developments at the University of Texas System are adding new twists with the potential to affect the ultimate outcome.

Clockwise, from top left: State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview; University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers; House Speaker Joe Straus; state Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie; and University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall.
Clockwise, from top left: State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview; University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers; House Speaker Joe Straus; state Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie; and University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall.

Admissions Inquiry Takes Center Stage in UT Saga

Of University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall’s allegations of misconduct at UT-Austin, none has gained as much traction as his assertion that there is "secret favoritism" for the politically connected in admissions. But more information — and a full-on UT System review — may be required to determine whether he has unearthed anything untoward.

A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.
A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.

Lawsuit Over Road Funding Program Leaves Funds in Limbo

LaSalle County, which is in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale, has sued the Texas Department of Transportation over the administration of a $225 million grant program aimed at repairing roads damaged by oilfield traffic. TxDOT says the program is being handled properly.

State Reps. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, and Dan Flynn, R-Canton, explain the House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations recommendation of impeachment in the case against Regent Wallace Hall, Jr. on May 12, 2014.
State Reps. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, and Dan Flynn, R-Canton, explain the House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations recommendation of impeachment in the case against Regent Wallace Hall, Jr. on May 12, 2014.

Transparency Committee Looks to UT System to Take Action

After voting on Monday that grounds exist to impeach one of the regents of the University of Texas System, members of a legislative committee say they hope to see a proactive response from UT's board of regents, which meets this week.

Texas Department of Public Safety officer Michael Knight and his horse Ranger stand by as the Texas DPS announces the launch of a new Mounted Horse Patrol Unit, which will be assigned to the Capitol Complex. May 6, 2014.
Texas Department of Public Safety officer Michael Knight and his horse Ranger stand by as the Texas DPS announces the launch of a new Mounted Horse Patrol Unit, which will be assigned to the Capitol Complex. May 6, 2014.

DPS Introduces New Mounted Patrol Unit for Capitol

The Texas Department of Public Safety is not horsing around with its new mounted patrol unit for the state Capitol complex. Formally introduced Tuesday morning, it includes three donated horses and four trained state troopers.

State Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, insurance company president Gordy Bunch, former state Sen. Michael Galloway and state Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, were the four initial candidates in a May 10 special election for Senate District 4. Creighton and Toth are heading to a runoff Tuesday.
State Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, insurance company president Gordy Bunch, former state Sen. Michael Galloway and state Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, were the four initial candidates in a May 10 special election for Senate District 4. Creighton and Toth are heading to a runoff Tuesday.

Conservatives Make Their Case in Bid for SD-4 Seat

State Rep. Brandon Creighton, businessman Gordy Bunch, former state Sen. Michael Galloway and state Rep. Steve Toth are looking to replace state Sen. Tommy Williams in a May 10 special election.

Analysis: Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Texas lawmakers are deciding whether to impeach Wallace Hall, a University of Texas regent — something they've never done before. Are they opening a Pandora's Box? There is nearly always an appointee or officeholder lawmakers would like to fire, but they have never gone this far.

Hallways like this one at Whole Woman's Health will have to be widened as part of the new legislation for abortion clinics to become ASCs.
Hallways like this one at Whole Woman's Health will have to be widened as part of the new legislation for abortion clinics to become ASCs.

Abortion Provider Shutters McAllen and Beaumont Clinics

Whole Woman's Health announced late Wednesday that it is closing two abortion clinics — one in the already underserved Rio Grande Valley and another in Beaumont — as a result of strict abortion regulations passed by the Legislature last year.