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 ...

The Playlist: Thursday

There was no shortage of news coming out of the Capitol this week, but last Thursday was so singular that we built our entire playlist around the events of that day. Kicking things off: Wes Montgomery’s cover of “A Day In The Life” by The Beatles.

State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.
State Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discussed the Senate's base budget plan at a Jan. 27, 2015, news conference.

Nelson Emphasizes Property Tax Relief in Senate Budget

Nearly two weeks after the House's base budget was released, Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson presented the Senate's plan, which she said sets aside $3 billion for "meaningful" property tax relief for Texas homeowners.

Texas Capitol
Texas Capitol

Analysis: It's Not Bribery Unless They Say It's Bribery

It's a bribe when a lobbyist gives a public official something of value in exchange for a decision or a vote or some other official act. But there's an exception in Texas law when that official is a Texas legislator and the lobbyist reports the spending. In some cases, lobbyists don't even have to name the legislator who got the benefit.

Analysis: Legislators' Expenses and Schmoozing, Linked

The session stipends for legislators are set to rise, and because of a loophole in Texas law, that would mean lobbyists could spend more on legislators without saying whom they are wining and dining. Lobbyists must still report expenses. But they don't have to name the legislators they entertained — unless they exceed a threshold.

State of Mind: Finding a Way to Cover the Uninsured

Texas hospitals want state lawmakers to find a way for the state to draw down billions in federal Affordable Care Act dollars to cover the uninsured and alleviate the burden on local taxpayers. Health officials hope the Legislature looks at a program in San Antonio that they say has the makings of a Texas solution. This is the third video in our eight-part State of Mind series.

Gov. Rick Perry on the House dais in his final speech to the Texas Legislature on Jan. 15, 2015.
Gov. Rick Perry on the House dais in his final speech to the Texas Legislature on Jan. 15, 2015.

Analysis: Perry Says Goodbye — and Hello

Rick Perry will only be the governor of Texas for a few more days, but as he considers another run for president, his last speech to the Legislature was as much about the next 18 months as about the last 14 years. Some of what he said was just for Texas, but a lot of it sounded like the things voters will hear in places like Iowa and New Hampshire.