Tribpedia: Texas Legislature

Tribpedia

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 ...

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Hallways like this one at Whole Woman's Health will have to be widened as part of the new legislation for abortion clinics to become ASCs.
Hallways like this one at Whole Woman's Health will have to be widened as part of the new legislation for abortion clinics to become ASCs.

Abortion Provider Shutters McAllen and Beaumont Clinics

Whole Woman's Health announced late Wednesday that it is closing two abortion clinics — one in the already underserved Rio Grande Valley and another in Beaumont — as a result of strict abortion regulations passed by the Legislature last year.

 

A spent fuel pool at the South Texas Project Electric Generating station near Palacios. STP Nuclear Operating Company, the station's operator, is building dry cask storage to house spent fuel once its pools fill up. Because the federal government has breached its contract that guaranteed permanent waste storage, U.S. taxpayers will foot the bill, through the government's judgement fund.
A spent fuel pool at the South Texas Project Electric Generating station near Palacios. STP Nuclear Operating Company, the station's operator, is building dry cask storage to house spent fuel once its pools fill up. Because the federal government has breached its contract that guaranteed permanent waste storage, U.S. taxpayers will foot the bill, through the government's judgement fund.

Nuclear Waste Storage on Texas Lawmakers' Agenda

Following instructions from House Speaker Joe Straus, Texas lawmakers plan to study the benefits of accepting high-level nuclear waste from around the country, a controversial proposition. But even if Texas says it wants a waste facility, huge hurdles would stand in its way. 

State Reps. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas; Jose Manuel Lozano, R-Kingsville; and Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock, are the GOP's three Hispanic incumbents in the state House. They will face off against Democrats and Libertarians in the general election in November.
State Reps. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas; Jose Manuel Lozano, R-Kingsville; and Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock, are the GOP's three Hispanic incumbents in the state House. They will face off against Democrats and Libertarians in the general election in November.

Hispanic Republicans Look Past Primary Elections

With most candidates' campaigns for the March primaries in full swing, Hispanic Republicans trying to increase their numbers in the state House are mostly looking past the primaries. The three Hispanic GOP incumbents don't have any primary challengers, and Hispanic Republicans will challenge four Hispanic House Democrats in November. 

Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, left, and Rep. Diane Patrick, R-Arlington.
Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, left, and Rep. Diane Patrick, R-Arlington.

Contested Races Within GOP Reflect Broader Rift

Republicans have a comfortable majority in the Texas Legislature, but in the primaries, the debate is over which sorts of Republicans should be in control. Across the state, conservatives are challenging moderate incumbents, and vice versa. State Reps. Jonathan Stickland and Diane Patrick are just two of the GOP incumbents facing primary challenges.

Spanish-Speaking Candidates Have Political Advantage

In Texas, Spanish-speaking candidates looking to win in 2014 have a political advantage with the coveted Hispanic vote regardless of political affiliation, according to political observers. Those observers say such skills help demonstrate commitment and a level of connection that is important with Hispanic voters.

State Rep. Dan Flynn (right), R-Van, talks to state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, on Oct. 23, 2013. Van is co-chair of the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, whose members include Fischer.
State Rep. Dan Flynn (right), R-Van, talks to state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, on Oct. 23, 2013. Van is co-chair of the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, whose members include Fischer.

Lawmaker Eyes Access to UT Regents' Computers

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer believes that the investigation into whether a University of Texas System regent should be impeached could require a look at UT regents' personal computers, iPads and smartphones.

The Economic Debate Behind the Political Debate

This summer’s debate on abortion restrictions turned entirely on politics. It wasn’t about money. But the state's abortion and health care policies intersect in the budget — even though that might not always be part of the debate — and the budget is where the impact of decisions on abortion and Medicaid will be revealed.

UT/TT Poll: Legislature Stands Ahead of Congress

Texas politicians and institutions are getting much better marks from the state’s voters than the president and Congress, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Among Texas politicians, Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz were viewed favorably by the highest percentages of people, but they also led in their share of unfavorable rankings.

The Texas Tribune Festival 2012 Opening Session: A Conversation with Gov. Rick Perry and Evan Smith, Sept. 21, 2012.
The Texas Tribune Festival 2012 Opening Session: A Conversation with Gov. Rick Perry and Evan Smith, Sept. 21, 2012.

Perry Issues More Than Two Dozen Vetoes

Gov. Rick Perry issued more than two dozen vetoes Friday, including a line-item veto that wipes out funding for the Travis County prosecutors who investigate government fraud and public corruption. He also vetoed a bill that would have had Texas law mirror gender wage protections in the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.

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

Agenda Texas: Campus Construction in Spotlight

On the latest Agenda Texas, from KUT News and the Tribune: Higher education was having a great legislative session — until the very end, when a plan to issue billions of dollars in bonds for campus construction projects died.

Lawmakers Collect Daily Pay Even in Recess

It doesn't feel much like there's a special session going on at the state Capitol, but that doesn't mean taxpayers won't get a bill for it. Lawmakers get paid whether they're here or not. Throw in travel costs and legal fees and the bill could easily exceed $1 million.