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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Texas University Chancellors Brace for Budget Cuts

Every chancellor of a university system in Texas knows — down to the exact, excruciatingly precise percentage point — how much worse higher education fared than other agencies when their current budgets were cut. With the state facing a massive budget shortfall in the next biennium, the chancellors know they're in for another round. But this time they're adamant that they not bear a disproportionate share of the pain.

Details of Budget Proposals Begin to Seep Out

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.

Texplainer: What's an Emergency Item in Texas?

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?" 

The Capital at dawn opening day of the 82nd legislative session on January 11, 2011.
The Capital at dawn opening day of the 82nd legislative session on January 11, 2011.

Slideshow: Opening Day of Session

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. 

House Speaker Joe  Straus, R-Alamo Heights, in January 2011.
House Speaker Joe Straus, R-Alamo Heights, in January 2011.

Texas Legislature Returns to Austin

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.

House and Senate bills filed from 11/8-1/4.
House and Senate bills filed from 11/8-1/4.

Word Cloud Shows Lege Priorities So Far

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. 

Questions That'll Be Answered in 2011

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.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 12/27/10

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.