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 ...

Parliamentarian Karina Davis watches as new Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick gavels in the Texas Senate on Jan. 21, 2015.
Parliamentarian Karina Davis watches as new Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick gavels in the Texas Senate on Jan. 21, 2015.

Without Two-Thirds Rule, Senate Moving Patrick's Priorities

When the Texas Senate changed the rules on how many votes are required to bring legislation to the floor for debate, Democrats said a process intended to encourage compromise would suffer. Several bills have been unblocked, but the conservative steamroller that Democrats feared hasn't emerged.

During the Defense of Texas Marriage Amendment Rally on Mar. 23, 2015 at the Texas Capitol, a protester raises questions of marriage sanctity noting celebrities who've been married multiple times.
During the Defense of Texas Marriage Amendment Rally on Mar. 23, 2015 at the Texas Capitol, a protester raises questions of marriage sanctity noting celebrities who've been married multiple times.

House Republicans Reaffirm Support of Gay Marriage Ban

House Republicans want Texans to know they still oppose same-sex marriage – even if foot-dragging Democrats thwarted a debate on the polarizing subject Thursday night.

 

State Sen. Wendy Davis speaking to the press after a Travis County Democratic campaign rally on Oct. 22, 2014.
State Sen. Wendy Davis speaking to the press after a Travis County Democratic campaign rally on Oct. 22, 2014.

Wendy Davis Fined $5,000 for Ethics Violation

The Texas Ethics Commission has fined former state Sen. Wendy Davis $5,000 after finding "credible evidence" she failed to disclose her relationship with two lobbyists on financial disclosure forms filed during her 2012 re-election campaign. 

Texas A&M University System Regent Jim Schwertner and former Regent Richard Box participate in an interview for a new movie, produced by John Robison, that revisits the decision to move to the SEC.
Texas A&M University System Regent Jim Schwertner and former Regent Richard Box participate in an interview for a new movie, produced by John Robison, that revisits the decision to move to the SEC.

House Panel Debates Bills to Rein In Film Incentives

A Texas House committee Thursday considered a pair of bills taking aim at the state film incentives program — one would block state grants for films and video games containing adult content. Another would abolish the program altogether.

Sens. Lois Kolkhorst, Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Jane Nelson, Charles Schwertner, Joan Huffman and Reps. Larry Gonzales, Sarah Davis, Sylvester Turner, John Otto and Trent Ashby make up the 2015 budget conference committee.
Sens. Lois Kolkhorst, Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Jane Nelson, Charles Schwertner, Joan Huffman and Reps. Larry Gonzales, Sarah Davis, Sylvester Turner, John Otto and Trent Ashby make up the 2015 budget conference committee.

A Closer Look at Budget Conference Committee Members

The budget conference committee will hash out a compromise of the chamber’s respective 2016-17 budget plans. Committee members include two Democrats who rank as the most experienced budget negotiators on the panel.

House Speaker Joe Straus (left) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
House Speaker Joe Straus (left) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

A Look at the Priority Bills for Straus and Patrick

The House speaker and the lieutenant governor traditionally award the lowest bill numbers to measures they view as priorities. Here's an updated breakdown of House Bills 1-20 and Senate Bills 1-20, showing where House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are placing their priorities for the 84th legislative session.

Dawn Carlton is pushing for a series of bills this legislative session to change the way court-appointed guardians are used in Texas.
Dawn Carlton is pushing for a series of bills this legislative session to change the way court-appointed guardians are used in Texas.

Guardianship Reform Could Offer New Freedoms

Dawn Carlton is intellectually disabled, but she says she manages fine on her own. She is pushing changes in the way court-appointed guardians are used in Texas. Tens of thousands of Texas adults with disabilities have legal guardians who make decisions about how their money is spent and where they live.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick during inaugural parade up Congress Ave. on January 20th, 2015
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick during inaugural parade up Congress Ave. on January 20th, 2015

Grassroots Panel Creates Political Drama for Patrick

The panel of conservative activists that is advising Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is putting him in a tricky spot as he navigates leadership politics under the dome. The leader of the Grassroots Advisory Board says the panel has no plans to scale back its activities at the Capitol.