Tribpedia: Texas Senate

Tribpedia

The Texas Senate is the upper chamber of the state's bicameral Legislature. It is comprised of 31 state senators and the lieutenant governor, who serves as president of the Senate.

Senators serve four-year terms and are not term limited.

The second-highest post in the Senate is the president pro-tempore, who can come from either party and is usually determined ...

Read More...

Van de Putte's Bus Tour Hits Republican Stronghold

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte waves to the delegates at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention held at the Dallas Convention Center on June 27, 2014.
State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte waves to the delegates at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention held at the Dallas Convention Center on June 27, 2014.

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, is reaching out to voters in conservative hotbeds in North and East Texas — a nod to Democrats’ dependence on increasing voter turnout in statewide races.

Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio (center) on the House floor on Feb. 8, 2011.
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio (center) on the House floor on Feb. 8, 2011.

For Van de Putte, Questions About Private, Public Work

As Sen. Leticia Van de Putte reaches for one of the most powerful jobs in Texas, the blurred lines between her private work and public role are giving rise to familiar questions in a part-time Legislature, where low pay and lax disclosure laws have fostered the perception of conflicts of interest.

A voting precinct at the Parker Lane United Methodist Church in Austin is shown in November 2013.
A voting precinct at the Parker Lane United Methodist Church in Austin is shown in November 2013.

Analysis: A Lot of Races, But Not as Much Drama

With fewer than 10 weeks left until Election Day, almost all of the Texas races for Congress and the Legislature are all but over. Just a handful of competitive races — one each in the congressional delegation and the state Senate and fewer than a dozen in the House —  remain. 

Education Commissioner Michael Williams, a former railroad commissioner, is shown at a TribLive event on Jan. 27, 2011.
Education Commissioner Michael Williams, a former railroad commissioner, is shown at a TribLive event on Jan. 27, 2011.

Education Commissioner: "The System Needs to Catch Up"

UPDATED: Asked why the state had delayed a transition away from lower passing standards on state exams, Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams told state lawmakers Tuesday that classroom instruction had failed to meet the rigor demanded by the new tests. 

Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, is shown listening to testimony during a Health and Human Services committee hearing on Feb. 19, 2013. Nelson was named chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee in July 2014.
Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, is shown listening to testimony during a Health and Human Services committee hearing on Feb. 19, 2013. Nelson was named chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee in July 2014.

Senators Discuss Funding of National Guard Deployment

At a state Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday, senators debated the merits and tactical strategies of Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to send Texas National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

State Reps. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, and Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, faced off for the vacant Senate District 4 seat in a special election runoff Tuesday.
State Reps. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, and Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, faced off for the vacant Senate District 4 seat in a special election runoff Tuesday.

Creighton Easily Wins Special State Senate Race

State Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, has defeated state Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, in a low-turnout special election runoff for the Houston-area state Senate seat vacated by Tommy WilliamsBoth contenders in the heavily conservative Senate District 4 drew Tea Party backing.

Sen. Charles Schwertner R-Georgetown speaks about health care in Texas at February 27th TribLive
Sen. Charles Schwertner R-Georgetown speaks about health care in Texas at February 27th TribLive

Schwertner to Lead Health and Human Services Committee

After appointing Republican state Sen. Jane Nelson to chair the Senate Finance Committee, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has picked state Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, to replace her as the head of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

 

House Speaker Joe Straus gavels out the 83rd Legislative session at Sine Die 5:03 PM on May 27, 2013.
House Speaker Joe Straus gavels out the 83rd Legislative session at Sine Die 5:03 PM on May 27, 2013.

Analysis: A Speaker Who May Have Less of a Say

House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, enters the next legislative session as a clear favorite for re-election, but the issues raised in the conservative wave in this year's elections, along with the influence of a fresh batch of new Republican state senators, could dominate the Legislature's calendar.

State Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, insurance company president Gordy Bunch, former state Sen. Michael Galloway and state Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, were the four initial candidates in a May 10 special election for Senate District 4. Creighton and Toth are heading to a runoff Tuesday.
State Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, insurance company president Gordy Bunch, former state Sen. Michael Galloway and state Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, were the four initial candidates in a May 10 special election for Senate District 4. Creighton and Toth are heading to a runoff Tuesday.

Special Election to Fill Empty Senate Seat

With all of the precincts counted, Brandon Creighton and Steve Toth finished first and second and appear headed for a runoff in the contest to succeed Tommy Williams in the Texas Senate. 

 

Tea Party candidate Konni Burton and former state Rep. Mark Shelton are vying to represent Senate District 10 in a Republican runoff election.
Tea Party candidate Konni Burton and former state Rep. Mark Shelton are vying to represent Senate District 10 in a Republican runoff election.

Burton, Shelton Face Off in Primary Runoff Battle

Former state Rep. Mark Shelton and Tea Party favorite Konni Burton are vying in a Republican runoff election for the state Senate seat left open by Wendy Davis. It's a swing district that both political parties are paying close attention to.

Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, l, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appeal for order as the Senate chamber erupted into chaos just before midnight June 25, 2013.
Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, l, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appeal for order as the Senate chamber erupted into chaos just before midnight June 25, 2013.

Texas GOP Gets a Hand From Washington Democrats

Some Texas Republicans would like to change a rule that allows Democrats to block bills favored by the majority of the state Senate. They have a new ally, at least on the idea: Democrats in the U.S. Senate who are changing their rules to dilute the power of the Republican minority that is blocking their actions.

Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, holds a copy of the state budget on the Senate floor March 20, 2013.
Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, holds a copy of the state budget on the Senate floor March 20, 2013.

In the Senate, an Expected Exit and a Surprising One

Texas Weekly

Announcements from state Sens. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, increased the number of senators who won't be back in 2015. Those announcements bring the certain turnover in the 31-member body to four, and the possible turnover to seven. 

Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, debates Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, about halfway through a filibuster of SB 5 on June 25, 2013.
Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, debates Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, about halfway through a filibuster of SB 5 on June 25, 2013.

Abortion Fight Boosts Democrats' Political Accounts

State Sen. Wendy Davis' filibuster against abortion legislation gave Democrats across the country a rare red-state rallying point, and some of them responded by opening their checkbooks. Battleground Texas raised almost $406,000 during the six days that began with the filibuster.

 

DPS officers confer in the galley at the start of the Senate second called special session on July 1, 2013.
DPS officers confer in the galley at the start of the Senate second called special session on July 1, 2013.

Dewhurst Discusses What He Saw at DPS Screening Spot

UPDATED: A week after saying that he saw bottles of urine and bags of feces at a DPS screening station ahead of a Senate debate on an abortion bill, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Thursday that he wasn’t close enough to see what was in the containers but was told what was in them, the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday.

 

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, cheering with activists to disrupt the last minutes of the vote on Senate Bill 5.
Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, cheering with activists to disrupt the last minutes of the vote on Senate Bill 5.

How Activists Yelled an Abortion Bill to Death

When efforts by state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and other Senate Democrats to run out the clock on an abortion bill fell short, protesters made enough noise to grind the Senate chamber to a halt. But the unusual display of civil disobedience was not planned by the groups that had rallied thousands to the Capitol that day.