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 ...
The Legislature's starting budget will apparently include proposals to cancel popular back-to-school sales tax holidays, cut discounts for retailers who remit sales taxes early, allow sales of liquor on Sundays to increase revenue from taxes on alcohol, cut the state's subsidy of dependent insurance premiums for state employees and lower the tax breaks for energy companies that take on certain high-cost gas drilling projects, sources say.Full Story
As be begins his second decade as governor, Rick Perry's plan is to deal with the basics: to make sure the state is on a smooth economic path, to pass a balanced state budget, to coax the federal government into loosening its purse strings and tightening its security on the Mexican border.Full Story
Despite the budget crisis, thousands of Texas teachers know their jobs are safe. They possess a "continuing contract" — the public education equivalent of tenure. Many of the most senior educators are employed under these contracts, which may complicate the efforts of some districts to cut personnel costs.Full Story
Trib CEO Evan Smith spent the morning interviewing House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, at a TribLive event. And Pitts made some news. Here are a few headlines.Full Story
Ever hear something about Texas politics or policy and wonder what it is? Or read something that made you think, "I have no idea what that means"? We're here to help. From questions about why Rick Perry is within his legal right to shoot a coyote while jogging to what the heck "chubbing" is, Texplainer will answer your burning questions. Today: "What's a Legislative emergency item?"
Opening day of the 82nd Legislative Session was heavy on pomp and circumstance and light on substance. But, amid the hand shaking and picture taking and protesting Tea Partiers, there was business to be done.Full Story
The Texas Legislature begins its biennial session today. If 2009 is a guide, lawmakers here are likely to introduce — and pass — more bills this year than virtually any other state.Full Story
The Texas Legislature today starts its 140-day effort to puzzle out a massive budget deficit, political redistricting, immigration and a slew of other gnarly problems. The budget issues came into focus Monday with new numbers from the comptroller, who says the state is recovering, slowly, from the recession. But first, legislators will get organized, voting on new rules, a new Speaker, and getting sworn in.Full Story
The 82nd Texas Legislature convenes in Austin this week, and while it’s not as much fun as the circus — usually — it’s more important and does have its share of comedy and drama.Full Story
A new word cloud visualizes the bills filed so far according to their Texas Legislative Council assigned categories. After education, which accounts for more than a quarter of the bills, the top categories are elections, criminal procedure, vehicles and traffic, and taxation.Full Story
Texas alternates election years with governing years, with legislative sessions set in the odd-numbered years after voters choose their leaders. There are variations, but it’s got a rhythm: Choose them, watch them govern, choose, watch. The elections behind us, it’s time to see what this particular bunch will do.Full Story
Galbraith on why the Lege meets only every two years, Hu picks the year's best political moments on video, Ramsey on the personalities who mattered in 2010, Stiles on lobbyists with conflicts of interest and what the census means for redistricting, yours truly on the new Cameron Todd Willingham documentary, Grissom on cockfighting and Trillin on Sissy Farenthold: The best of our best from Dec. 23 to 27, 2010.Full Story
Come January, as Texas lawmakers begin work to pass bills and tackle the yawning budget gap, they will go up against a simple but implacable barrier: time. Texas is one of a dwindling number of states whose legislatures hold scheduled meetings only every two years. Just three other, far smaller states — Montana, North Dakota and Nevada — still have biennial legislative sessions. Lawmakers differ on whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, especially for budgeting. Regardless, Texas seems unlikely to change anytime soon.Full Story
After the election last month, state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, promised to start a Tea Party Caucus in the Texas Legislature. Today, Patrick has the names of the founding members.Full Story
After serving eight years as a Democrat, Edinburg state Rep. Aaron Peña explains why he is joining the Republican Party.Full Story