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 health officials have pulled guidelines allowing abortion facilities to use pre-recorded telephone messages to provide informed consent to patients off of their website. They said concerns raised by Rep. Frank Corte, who is seeking an AG opinion on the matter, "may have merit."Full Story
In honor of today's kickoff of early voting — a two-week period in which political junkies, committed activists and other go-to-the-head-of-the-class types will line up to cast ballots for their favorite candidates, unable to contain their enthusiasm or anger until March 2 — we present five different installments in our Primary Color series. Brandi Grissom reports on the GOP face-off to take on state Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, in House District 78. Elise Hu tackles the four-way scrum between Republicans in HD-20 hoping to succeed retiring state Rep. Dan Gattis, R-Georgetown. Ross Ramsey asks why a perenially safe incumbent, state Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Keller, has a fight on her hands this year in HD-98. Abby Rapoport looks at the battle for conservative cred in the race for the District 5 seat on the State Board of Education. And Morgan Smith picks apart the five-way race for the GOP nomination in Congressional District 23 — and the chance to topple U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, D-San Antonio.Full Story
Texans are more worried about the economy and the direction of the country than anything else, according to the new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Other notable findings: Nearly two-thirds support either gay marriage or civil unions, nearly half prefer private health insurance to a government-run plan, and more than a third think the Legislature meets every year.Full Story
The Texas Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of a $5 tax on admission to the state's strip clubs — a measure lawmakers implemented in 2007 to raise money for sexual assault prevention and low-income health insurance.Full Story
How will lawmakers deal with a budget shortfall of at least $11 billion — and maybe several billion more — in the next legislative session? In all likelihood, by doing what they did in 2003, when things were almost this bad.Full Story
Rep. Frank Corte Jr., R-San Antonio, became the sixth eighth member of the Texas House to say he won't seek reelection next year. He says he doesn't have specific plans, and adds that he's not endorsing any would-be successor.Full Story
Four Texas teachers groups offer similar benefits and want the same basic things. So what’s the fuss about?Full Story
Since 2005, Texas lobbyists have spent more than $500,000 on transportation and lodging for state officials, including members of the Lege.Full Story
Most money was on a run for governor or attorney general, but — as you’ll hear — Ronnie Earle wants to be a part of the legislative process and thinks the Lite Guv position suits him best.Full Story
The inflamed immigration rhetoric of the past couple of years has waned, but a report the National Conference of State Legislatures released today shows that state lawmakers still have passion for the issue.Full Story
Texas voters won't be offered a real chance at change in the Legislature and Congress next year. Four out of five state and federal lawmakers face no real competition in their primary or general elections.Full Story
Think like the political pros and your mind will go to the long game instead of the short one. The short game is the elections of 2010. The long game is redistricting in 2011, when maps are drawn that corral the voters into the districts that will elect legislators for the next ten years.Full Story
The El Paso school board this week dumped a controversial policy requiring teachers to give automatic grades of 50 to students who didn't earn them. But teachers are still allowed to do so at their discretion.Full Story
Criminal justice blogger Scott Henson is reporting on Grits For Breakfast that lawmakers put 59 new felonies on the books during the last legislative session.Full Story
The Rainy Day Fund seems like weather word play waiting to happen. It can plug holes in the budget, defend against an economic perfect storm and keep the deficit clouds at bay. That’s certainly how some see it when looking at the next biennium's projected shortfalls.Full Story
"It’d be like someone standing at the Alamo going, ‘I’m not gonna survive this thing,’ and all of a sudden he jumps up and starts speaking Spanish!" says Rep. Mark Homer, D-Paris. Maybe so, but switching parties usually works out.Full Story
State schools chief Robert Scott recently failed to get the Legislature to increase the cap on charter schools — then found a legal way to do it anyway, much to the dismay of state Democrats and teachers unions.Full Story
A California newspaper's speculation on who will be the country's first Hispanic president lists Texas' own Rep. Rafael Anchia and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as fan favorites.Full Story
Under new legislation, school districts for the first time can spend a portion of state “book” money on computer hardware and digital content. Some fear the explosion of choice will produce an erosion of quality content.Full Story
The state’s permanent school fund, which spins off money for textbooks and the like each year, has recaptured billions of dollars after a frightening downward spiral this spring.
Trouble is, the increase in the fund may produce no increase at all in education spending. The real beneficiaries of the fund often are the state legislature and its priorities outside education.Full Story