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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Berman: "There Are 'Birthers' All Over Texas"

Rep. Leo Berman is sponsoring "birther" legislation that would require all presidential and vice presidential candidates to produce their birth certificate to get on the Texas ballot. The conservative lawmaker's bill is fueled by his doubts President Barack Obama was born in the United States. We talk to his colleagues about whether the measure will pass the House — and if they agree with questions over the president's citizenship. 

The Weekly TribCast: Episode 67

This week's episode of the TribCast features Evan, Ross, Ben and Matt going over the "super-majority" in the Texas House and how that could lead to federal court challenges, the coming Census numbers, the Howard/Neil election fight and the public ed budget battle.

Texas Is "On the Brink," Legislative Study Group Says

Texas' superlatives are nothing to brag about, according to the fifth edition of "Texas on the Brink," an annual review that ranks the state on dozens of factors ranging from health insurance to voter turnout. Despite having the highest birth rate, Texas has the worst rate of women with health insurance. While the state has the second-highest public school enrollment, it ranks last in the percentage of people 25 and older with a high school diploma. And though Texas has the highest percent of its population without health insurance, the state is 49th in per capita spending on Medicaid.

Gov. Rick Perry delivering his State of the State address on Feb. 8, 2011
Gov. Rick Perry delivering his State of the State address on Feb. 8, 2011

Can Texas Lege Overrule Perry on Education Money?

 

Gov. Rick Perry has said he can't sign an application to recieve money from the federal government's $10 billion Education Jobs Fund because it requires him to make an assurance he cannot constitutionally make: that the Legislature will not use the money to offset state funding of public education programs. Now that it's in session and setting the 2012-13 budget, can lawmakers overrule the governor and accept the money? The short answer is no. 

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Ft. Worth at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Ft. Worth at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26.

Texas Democrats Blame Republicans for Budget Blues

Texas governors have limited control over what the state budget ultimately looks like. They can veto items in the final budget and, as Gov. Rick Perry did Tuesday, use the bully pulpit of the State of the State address to lay out priorities. Perry's speech was part pep rally, part budget proposal, with a dash of national politics. And, as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, Democrats weren't charmed.