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 ...

Analysis: Fear of Spending Even Extends to Tax Cuts

State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick at a budget press conference on Jan. 27, 2015.
State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick at a budget press conference on Jan. 27, 2015.

Lawmakers want to send voters a tax cut but fear spending the money the cut requires without asking voters for permission. Senate leaders are proposing a constitutional amendment that would allow them to ignore caps on spending growth when they are cutting taxes or paying debts.

Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, is congratulated by Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, in passing changes to Senate rules on Jan. 21, 2015.
Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, is congratulated by Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, in passing changes to Senate rules on Jan. 21, 2015.

Analysis: A Desire for Tax Cuts and a Call for Restraint

As state officials rush to announce tax cuts, a former mayor now in the Senate is pleading for a little restraint and a return to pay-as-you-go government. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, says the state has enough money to address deferred maintenance of roads and buildings and to balance the state pension fund, if his colleagues will move tax cuts to the back of the line.

New Texas Sen. Konni Burton, c, stands with other incoming Senators during the swearing-in ceremony at the Texas Capitol Jan. 13, 2015.
New Texas Sen. Konni Burton, c, stands with other incoming Senators during the swearing-in ceremony at the Texas Capitol Jan. 13, 2015.

Analysis: Taking Lobbyists' Money, Ignoring Their Calls

A new senator doesn't think taxpayer-supported governments should hire lobbyists to talk to other government officials and won't let those lobbyists come to her office. But she took their contributions during her 2014 campaign. 

State Reps. José Menéndez (left) and Trey Martinez Fischer, both Democrats from San Antonio, are seeking the Texas Senate seat vacated by Leticia Van de Putte, who is running for mayor of San Antonio.
State Reps. José Menéndez (left) and Trey Martinez Fischer, both Democrats from San Antonio, are seeking the Texas Senate seat vacated by Leticia Van de Putte, who is running for mayor of San Antonio.

Analysis: The "GOP" Strikes Back

State Rep. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, is on his way to the Texas Senate, thanks in part to the "gringos y otros pendejos" derided last summer by his opponent and House colleague, Trey Martinez Fischer.

Committee Breakdowns: Texas Senate

Texas Weekly

We take a look this week at how the newly formed Senate committees stack up by party ID and by gender. Women are significantly underrepresented on the Administration, Nominations and Finance committees. And in the most extreme example, there is not a single woman on the Business and Commerce Committee.

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.

Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA's Inside Texas Politics on Jan.25, 2014.
Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA's Inside Texas Politics on Jan.25, 2014.

Inside Texas Politics: A Quiet One and a Loud One

On this week's edition of WFAA-TV's Inside Texas Politics with host Jason Whitely, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy and Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey talk about the personal styles of Texas' new governor and lieutenant governor.

Then-state Rep. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, is shown on the second-to-last day of the first-called special session during the 82nd Legislature on June 27, 2011. Taylor was elected to the Texas Senate in 2012.
Then-state Rep. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, is shown on the second-to-last day of the first-called special session during the 82nd Legislature on June 27, 2011. Taylor was elected to the Texas Senate in 2012.

Patrick Sets Committees; Taylor Gets Education

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's office on Friday announced new committee members. Among the new chairs: State Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, who will lead the Senate Education Committee.