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 ...

Texplainer: When Can Texans Use Deadly Force in Self-Defense?

The death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin has put expansive self-defense laws like Florida's into focus. What does Texas law say about using deadly force in self-defense? Do you have to retreat first? Texas passed a bill in 2007 that removed the duty to retreat for people who are attacked, as long as they have the right to be at where the force is used.

Texas Gets a D+ in Public Integrity Study

Texas scored a 68 out of 100, coming in at 27th place in a national state integrity study. The state got high marks for auditing and for monitoring pension funds, but not as high for accountability of the governor and legislators.

Group Aims to Bring God Into Politics

God and Country, a new Texas-based organization, will hold a rally Saturday at a Tyler church to “draw a line in the sand and aggressively and publicly defend those certain unalienable rights endowed by our creator.”

The Humane Society of the United States is working with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, Carolina Tiger Rescue, Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation and Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary to rescue 11 exotic animals from the Collins Zoo.
The Humane Society of the United States is working with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, Carolina Tiger Rescue, Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation and Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary to rescue 11 exotic animals from the Collins Zoo.

Humane Society Wants Tougher Exotic Pet Rules in Texas

Texas is one of 13 states that allow people to own exotic animals as pets  as long as they're registered with local animal control. Many states are moving toward banning owning exotic animals, but some animal owners believe they have the knowledge and resources to raise exotic animals and will fight to keep them.

Gov. Rick Perry delivering his stump speech during an early morning campaign stop in Sioux City, Iowa, on Oct. 8, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry delivering his stump speech during an early morning campaign stop in Sioux City, Iowa, on Oct. 8, 2011.

Yeah, He Lost, But...

Texas Weekly

Rick Perry is still the Republican governor of a strongly Republican state. He controls the executive branch, maintains strong ties with business, has relatively weak opponents, and has run circles around the media.

Gov. Rick Perry at his last campaign stop of 2011 in Boone, Iowa, on Dec. 31, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry at his last campaign stop of 2011 in Boone, Iowa, on Dec. 31, 2011.

The Morning After: Perry Returns from the Trail

Texas Weekly

When the Legislature decamped from Austin in July, there was a sense of order in Texas politics. And yet, as Rick Perry returns a mere seven months later, conditions on the ground in Texas border on the chaotic.

Gov. Rick Perry at his last campaign stop of 2011 in Boone, Iowa, on Dec. 31, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry at his last campaign stop of 2011 in Boone, Iowa, on Dec. 31, 2011.

Rick Perry Returns to Texas, and to Texas Politics

The underlying fundamentals that buttressed Gov. Rick Perry's political power in the state are not much changed, and they suggest that he will reassert his powerful presence in Texas politics now that he is back. His relationship with voters may be in a rut, but when it comes to the legislators, business interests and interest groups who practice politics every day, he still holds sway.

Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin TX - March 13th 2011.
Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin TX - March 13th 2011.

Texas Policy Group Working to Shape 2013 Session

The conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation today wrapped up its annual legislative primer, which has become a must-attend for state Republican leaders. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports on how the group is already working to influence next year's legislative session.

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

Mike Jackson: The TT Interview

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.