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 ...

State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (l), R-Killeen, and State Rep. John Otto (r), R-Dayton, wait to speak on HB4 supplemental house appropriations bill on March 31, 2011.
State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (l), R-Killeen, and State Rep. John Otto (r), R-Dayton, wait to speak on HB4 supplemental house appropriations bill on March 31, 2011.

Budget Fun: Guess the Signature

If the signatures of state representatives on the hundreds of amendments to HB1 are any indication, possession of legible handwriting is not a prereqisite for holding elective office. We've selected the 10 most indecipherable John Hancocks from the more than 370 amendments. See if you can identify each one. 

State GOP Freshmen Discuss Tea Party Influence

Thirty new GOP lawmakers took office this year, promising their constituents they'd cut the fat out of government. As the House prepares to vote on a slew of budget bills on Thursday and Friday, this freshman bloc is showing some clout. Many have vowed to not spend the remaining Rainy Day funds to close the next biennium's budget gap. Now that they're off the campaign trail and inside the Capitol, has their perspective changed? The Texas Tribune interviews Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Terrell, Rep. Raul Torres, R-Corpus Christi, and Rep. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock. 

Inside Intelligence: Redistricting Will Be...

For the latest installment of our nonscientific survey of political and policy insiders, we asked whether the Legislature will finish its redistricting chores or will need help, whether Republicans will be able to ensure future super-majorities, and how lawmakers will split four new congressional seats between the political parties.

Paul Burka: The TT Interview

The senior executive editor of Texas Monthly on the biennial list of the Best and Worst Legislators, now coming together for the 20th time, on how he decides who's in and who's out, and on how this crop of lawmakers is shaping up.

Texas Lawmakers Resort to Fighting Words

Texas lawmakers and citizens are out to protect their interests this session, especially as the Legislature deals with a massive budget shortfall. In the process, it appears they're ratcheting up their rhetoric. Do their fighting words represent politics as usual or a serious lapse in civil discourse? 

Texas Capitol on Feb 22nd.
Texas Capitol on Feb 22nd.

Texas Lawmakers Debate How to Curb School Bullying

More than 15 anti-bullying bills have been filed this session. But while the legislation is supported by teacher organizations and advocacy groups like the Anti-Defamation League, it has drawn opponents as diverse as the American Civil Liberties Union and the archconservative Liberty Institute, who question how effective any new state law will be in curbing aggression in schools. 

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.