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 ...

Mike Jackson: The TT Interview

Sen. Mike Jackson R-La Porte on last regular day of the 82nd legislative session May 30th, 2011
Sen. Mike Jackson R-La Porte on last regular day of the 82nd legislative session May 30th, 2011

The president pro tempore of the Texas Senate on what it was like to be second in line to run the Lone Star State when Gov. Rick Perry was out on the campaign trail, his hopes for smooth sailing while he's at the helm and what he'd do if he were faced with an execution decision under his watch.

TribYear: Top Texas News of 2011

In the spirit of TribWeek and TribMonth, we present TribYear: 10 of our best stories of 2011 — from the budget-whacking legislative session to emergency room mistakes, education accountability and a Williamson County man exonerated after spending nearly 25 years wrongfully imprisoned for his wife's murder.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 11/21/11

Root and Tan on the restoration of the Governor's Mansion and on the Perrys' expensive replacement digs, E. Smith's TribLive interview with three freshman legislators in El Paso, M. Smith on tough financial standards for local school districts, Ramshaw and Murphy on Texas docs paid by drug companies, yours truly on new congressional and legislative redistricting maps, Hamilton on the biggest competitive endeavor in Brownsville's schools and Aguilar on how border mayors feel about military equipment in their cities: The best of our best content from November 21 to 25, 2011.

Gov. Rick Perry and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback in Bettendorf, Iowa, for Perry's government reform speech.
Gov. Rick Perry and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback in Bettendorf, Iowa, for Perry's government reform speech.

Perry Takes Aim at Congress, Courts

Gov. Rick Perry is proposing to bring a little Texas to Washington — with a “part-time citizen Congress” that doesn’t meet so often, and whose members earn only half of what they make now. The Republican presidential hopeful will also call for an end to lifetime appointments for federal judges, including members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas.
Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas.

Government by Lawsuit Gives Cover to Texas Lawmakers

Judges have been telling legislators what to do since we set up government to replace knife fights and bar brawls. Over the years, lawmakers have learned some things. Importantly, voters will let their elected officials break their promises if the courts are holding gavels over their heads. School finance, for instance.

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.

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.