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 ...

Michael Morton sits beside his mother, Patricia Morton, during an emotional press conference after a judge agreed to release him on personal bond after he spent nearly 25 years in prison for the murder of his wife.
Michael Morton sits beside his mother, Patricia Morton, during an emotional press conference after a judge agreed to release him on personal bond after he spent nearly 25 years in prison for the murder of his wife.

Morton Case Sparks Calls for Texas Evidence Law Reform

Since 1994, DNA tests have exonerated 44 Texas inmates. Michael Morton, released from prison last week after 25 years, will almost certainly be the 45th. But defense lawyers and Morton’s advocates argue that under antiquated Texas discovery laws, the alleged injustices that robbed him of a quarter of a century of his life could still happen today.

Out of the Smoke-Filled Room and Onto the Internet

The concept of crowdsourcing — soliciting information from a wide range of people responding to an open call over the internet — is drawing some interest at the Capitol and could play a significant role in the way Texas lawmakers handle a key issue next session.

Rep. Dan Branch R-Dallas and Sen. Judith Zaffirini D-Laredo, co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Oversight of Higher Education Governance, Excellence & Transparency during meeting on September 21st, 2011
Rep. Dan Branch R-Dallas and Sen. Judith Zaffirini D-Laredo, co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Oversight of Higher Education Governance, Excellence & Transparency during meeting on September 21st, 2011

Higher Ed Oversight Committee Revisits "Solutions"

The day-long inaugural hearing of the Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence, and Transparency featured national experts weighing in on how to — and how not to — make universities in Texas more accountable and transparent.

Former Texas Tech football coach, Mike Leach - September 15, 2011.
Former Texas Tech football coach, Mike Leach - September 15, 2011.

Mike Leach: The TT Interview

The former Texas Tech football coach on his pending lawsuit against the university, how the state's doing at educating student athletes and what happens if the Big 12 falls apart.

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

Re-reading Perry's State of the State Speeches

One 2012 presidential candidate wanted to sell a government-run lottery to finance a health insurance program. He wanted to deregulate college tuition, and then freeze it. He proposed leaving the state's Rainy Day Fund alone — or, sending all of that money back to taxpayers. Hint: He's from Texas. Another hint: He's not Ron Paul.

Why the Redistricting Lawsuit Matters

Because — as both Democrats and Republicans know well — the drawing of district lines determines the outcomes of future elections. Don't believe it? On the new maps at issue in federal court, only seven of the 150 Texas House races were competitive in 2010.

The Texas Constitution
The Texas Constitution

Texplainer: Why is the Texas Constitution So Long?

Hey, Texplainer: Why does the Texas Constitution have so many amendments? The way it's written makes it both fairly easy to amend and highly restrictive in the powers it grants, making frequent and often highly specific changes necessary. 

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 7/18/11

Ramshaw on the lioness of the Texas House, Dehn and Tan review 20 years of Rick Perry's political ads, Murphy's latest database includes the governor's political accounts over the last decade, Aaronson's visualizations of what was said in the biggest legislative debates, M. Smith on the woman in the middle chair at the State Board of Education, Galbraith on how the drought is forcing ranchers to sell their herds, Grissom has the story on a cattle rustler who's asking the courts to give him an old-fashioned sentence, Hamilton covers Rick O'Donnell's latest salvo at higher education,  Aguilar on whether and how the sanctuary cities issue will translate at the ballot box next year, yours truly on Ron Paul's candidacy and the candidate in his own words: The best of our best from July 18 to 22, 2011.