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 ...

State senators take the oath of office on the first day of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 13, 2015.
State senators take the oath of office on the first day of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 13, 2015.

Women Still Underrepresented in Legislative Races

It remains a daunting political reality in Texas: Women are underrepresented in the halls of power, and it appears the 2016 elections will do little to change that. The greatest possible number of women lawmakers in 2016 races — assuming every incumbent, challenger and long shot wins — would be 54 House members and 10 senators.

Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at the Flawn Academic Center on the University of Texas at Austin campus on Nov. 6, 2012.
Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at the Flawn Academic Center on the University of Texas at Austin campus on Nov. 6, 2012.

Analysis: For Many Candidates, Election is No Contest

Now that the political candidates have filed, some of the races in the 2016 election cycle have come to an end. It's not that the elections are over, but 75 federal and state lawmakers don't have any major-party opponents. 

The 2015 Texas Tribune Festival's keynote sessions included one-on-one conversations with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (clockwise, from top left), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. There was also a panel discussion on the 2016 presidential race.
The 2015 Texas Tribune Festival's keynote sessions included one-on-one conversations with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (clockwise, from top left), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. There was also a panel discussion on the 2016 presidential race.

2015 Tribune Festival: Videos of the Keynote Sessions

During the keynote sessions of the 2015 Texas Tribune Festival, we featured one-on-one conversations with Dan PatrickJoe Straus, Nancy Pelosi and Julián Castro. You can watch those interviews and videos of our other keynote sessions here.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was interviewed by Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith on Oct. 16, 2015.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was interviewed by Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith on Oct. 16, 2015.

At Festival Opener, Patrick Makes a Spirited Conservative Pitch

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick unapologetically stuck to his guns in an on-stage interview Friday evening — and his religious views, and the Legislature’s conservative budget and the state’s reluctance to embrace Medicaid expansion and the federal health care law.

State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, debates an amendment to SB19, an ethics bill on May 26, 2015.
State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, debates an amendment to SB19, an ethics bill on May 26, 2015.

Analysis: Patrick Makes Sure An Old Bill Comes Due

Legislation that would have blocked public employees from paying union or association dues with paycheck deductions failed last session. But the Senate is reopening the issue, and it could play against a powerful House chairman up for reelection next year.

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus listened to a Jan. 13, 2015, speech by a fellow member nominating him for another term as speaker.
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus listened to a Jan. 13, 2015, speech by a fellow member nominating him for another term as speaker.

Analysis: Winning by Packing the Ballot

It should come as no surprise when political plotters and schemers try to pack a primary election to force an incumbent into a runoff. Their hope is that the runoff's greater concentration of partisan voters will be harder on the incumbents.

Defying Pressure, Regulators Uphold Historical Racing

In a victory for racetracks and a rebuff to state lawmakers, the Texas Racing Commission on Tuesday declined to outlaw historical racing in the state. The commission, which oversees dog and horse racing in Texas, voted 4-3-1 not to repeal historical racing, admitting that their action could jeopardize the agency’s funding after this month.