Tribpedia: Texas Senate

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 ...

Gov. Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott

Legislature Questions Abbott's Budget Vetoes

Some of Gov. Greg Abbott’s line-item vetoes in the state budget might be invalid, the state’s Legislative Budget Board said in a letter sent Tuesday to Texas Comptroller Glenn HegarThe director of the LBB said the governor’s veto proclamation, listing line items he chose to excise from the new budget, doesn’t have the effect Abbott apparently intended.

Early voting at the Acres Home Multiservice Center in Houston on Oct. 26, 2014.
Early voting at the Acres Home Multiservice Center in Houston on Oct. 26, 2014.

Analysis: The Center Did Not Hold

Middle ground is arguably the most dangerous turf for a Texas lawmaker to occupy these days, and new research shows that none are doing it. The gap between moderate Republican and Democratic lawmakers is growing.

Texas House Appropriations Chairman John Otto, R-Dayton, looks at his computer while state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, stands nearby on June 1, 2015.
Texas House Appropriations Chairman John Otto, R-Dayton, looks at his computer while state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, stands nearby on June 1, 2015.

Analysis: Legislature Losing Some Key Players

It will be more than a year before we know everyone who is and is not coming back to the Texas Legislature, but the trickle has started, and some big players are leaving the field. 

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

What Happened to Straus' and Patrick's Priority Bills?

Over the course of this year's legislative session, House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made their priorities known by what bills got the lowest bill numbers. The chambers' priority bills touched on some of the most contentious issues of the session. Take a look at how those proposals fared.

Gov. Greg Abbott speaks to reporters at the Security Operations Center at the Department of Public Safety on May 12, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott speaks to reporters at the Security Operations Center at the Department of Public Safety on May 12, 2015.

Analysis: Taking Stock of the Ethics Session

The governor asked lawmakers to put ethics reform at center stage this year. They filed bills. They even voted in favor of some strong restrictions on lobbyists' and officeholders' official behavior. But most of it never got to Greg Abbott's desk.

State Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, shows off his Sine Die tie on the last day of the 84th Legislative session on June 1, 2015.
State Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, shows off his Sine Die tie on the last day of the 84th Legislative session on June 1, 2015.

Analysis: A Conservative but Complicated Legislature

Voters sent a conservative pack of lawmakers to Austin and got conservative results. But it's more complicated than that. Issues that might have seemed black and white during the elections were rendered in shades of gray during the session.

Texas House Parliamentarian Chris Griesel and Speaker Joe Straus with several other House members on dias May 1, 2015
Texas House Parliamentarian Chris Griesel and Speaker Joe Straus with several other House members on dias May 1, 2015

Analysis: Votes Count, but the Rules Can Count More

At the end of the legislative session, votes still count and majorities are important. But the rules come into play as well, and so do the political minorities. That has been clearly on display this week as legislators navigate a number of deadlines.

House Appropriations Chair John Otto explains a budget amendment to a colleague during House Bill 1 debate March 31, 2015.
House Appropriations Chair John Otto explains a budget amendment to a colleague during House Bill 1 debate March 31, 2015.

Residency Requirement for Statewide Elected Officials Could Change

Statewide elected officials would no longer be required to live in Austin under a constitutional amendment that could be headed to voters on a general election ballot. The House tentatively backed the measure on Monday.

State Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, co-chair of the House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, is shown calling an executive session on May, 12, 2014.
State Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, co-chair of the House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, is shown calling an executive session on May, 12, 2014.

Senate Approves State Employee Pension Funding Plan

The Texas Senate on Friday voted to beef up the state’s underfunded retirement system for state employees by adding about $440 million to the program, a plan that has received mixed reviews from state employee advocacy groups.

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.