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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New Legislative Faces — and an Experience Deficit

With 43 legislators in the freshman class and 24 more who were new after the 2010 elections, the 150-member Texas House has a lot of new blood — and a lot of inexperienced officeholders. They aren’t stupid, and some are quite smart. But their lack of experience will become evident as they run into the particular quirks of the Texas Legislature.

State Representative Trey Martinez-Fischer, right, and District 7 Councilman Justin Rodriguez, left, greet Rodriguez's grandmother, Inez Randon Ramirez, and her friend, Mary Barker as they get out the message to vote at the Alicia Trevino Lopez Senior Center in San Antonio, Friday, October 26, 2012.
State Representative Trey Martinez-Fischer, right, and District 7 Councilman Justin Rodriguez, left, greet Rodriguez's grandmother, Inez Randon Ramirez, and her friend, Mary Barker as they get out the message to vote at the Alicia Trevino Lopez Senior Center in San Antonio, Friday, October 26, 2012.

Outspoken Democrat Has Knack for Political Sparring

The outnumbered Texas House Democrats have plenty of leaders, insists state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, of San Antonio. But that hasn’t stopped the chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus from taking center stage.

 

Firemen look for hot spots along Texas Highway 21 on September 13, 2011 after last week's devastating wildfires.
Firemen look for hot spots along Texas Highway 21 on September 13, 2011 after last week's devastating wildfires.

Lawmakers Hear Plea for More Fire Department Funding

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With the threat of wildfires still looming, firefighters across the state are facing critical funding shortages, state legislators were told at a Senate committee hearing Tuesday.

Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, at the "How to Pay for Public Education" panel at The Texas Tribune Festival, Sept. 24th 2011.
Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, at the "How to Pay for Public Education" panel at The Texas Tribune Festival, Sept. 24th 2011.

Senate Hearing Tackles Vouchers, School Choice

In a preview of a likely battle in the upcoming legislative session, state lawmakers on Friday heard testimony on school choice programs, including vouchers that would allow students to use public money to attend private schools. 

State Rep. Charlie Geren, the head of the House Administration Committee, wrote a letter to his fellow House members saying that they were "under no legal obligation"to accommodate a Texas Tribune request to submit three years of tax returns.
State Rep. Charlie Geren, the head of the House Administration Committee, wrote a letter to his fellow House members saying that they were "under no legal obligation"to accommodate a Texas Tribune request to submit three years of tax returns.

With Transparency, There's Room to Improve

Lawmakers say they want transparency and that the public should be able to see their finances. But state requirements allow officeholders to report their financial interests vaguely enough to hide conflicts.

Interactive Map: Texas House Committees in 82nd Session

Texas Weekly

Use this interactive to explore the geographic distribution of committee members in the Texas House, by committee, to see who's got what clout on what subject. Choose a committee and the map highlights the district of each member and, in a different color, the home districts of the chairs, vice chairs and co-chairs.