Tribpedia: Texas House of Representatives

The Texas House of Representatives is one arm of the the Texas Legislature, the other being the Texas Senate. It is considered the "lower" chamber, with 150 members who represent districts of 150,000 people each. The primary legislative power is enacting laws, and the most visible function of the Legislature is to make public policy through drafting, considering and ...

Things to Do: The House's Interim Charges

House Speaker Joe  Straus, R-Alamo Heights, in January 2011.
House Speaker Joe Straus, R-Alamo Heights, in January 2011.

The House's interim charges are out, starting with instructions to everyone to consider ways to improve the state's manufacturing capability and increase the "transparency, accountability, and efficiency" in state government.

State Rep. Joe Driver, R-Garland, on the House floor.
State Rep. Joe Driver, R-Garland, on the House floor.

Campaign Chatter

Another veteran is retiring from the Legislature, special election candidates are flinging endorsements at each other, and a doctor is leaving the House.

Tourists enter the empty Senate chamber Wednesday morning as the Texas Senate adjourned sine die the day before, leaving the House with unfinished business on June 29, 2011.
Tourists enter the empty Senate chamber Wednesday morning as the Texas Senate adjourned sine die the day before, leaving the House with unfinished business on June 29, 2011.

Gone, Baby, Gone

Lost track of who's leaving and who's staying in legislative office?

State Rep. Will Hartnett (r), R-Dallas, listens to a question from the back mike as State Rep. Rene' Oliveira (l), D-Brownsville, waits on May 6, 2011.
State Rep. Will Hartnett (r), R-Dallas, listens to a question from the back mike as State Rep. Rene' Oliveira (l), D-Brownsville, waits on May 6, 2011.

Campaign Chatter

Chris Harris and Will Hartnett say they won't be back, but the horde of candidates for state and federal legislative seats is growing.

State Sen. Steve Ogden (r) chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, visits in the House chamber with State Rep. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, while he waits to visit with State Rep. Jim Pitts on May 18, 2011.
State Sen. Steve Ogden (r) chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, visits in the House chamber with State Rep. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, while he waits to visit with State Rep. Jim Pitts on May 18, 2011.

Campaign Chatter

Rep. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, will run for Steve Ogden's Senate seat. Ogden isn't running, and Williamson County has become the 300-pound gorilla of that district in terms of population. Rep. Larry Gonzales, R-Round Rock, won't run.

State Rep. John Kuempel, R-Seguin, looks through redistricting maps on display during debate on the House floor on June 14, 2011.
State Rep. John Kuempel, R-Seguin, looks through redistricting maps on display during debate on the House floor on June 14, 2011.

The Texas Weekly Index: March Fights, November Peace

General elections in Texas will be less competitive than ever under the redistricting maps approved by the Legislature earlier this year. The political threats to incumbents, if any, will come in primaries and not in general elections.

State Rep. John Kuempel, R-Seguin, looks through redistricting maps on display during debate on the House floor on June 14, 2011.
State Rep. John Kuempel, R-Seguin, looks through redistricting maps on display during debate on the House floor on June 14, 2011.

Feds: Proposed Texas Maps Undermine Minority Voting Rights

The U.S. Justice Department said Monday that new political maps for the Texas House and the state's congressional delegation don't protect the electoral power of the state's minority populations as required by the federal Voting Right Act.

The Texas Weekly Index

Lots of things affect election outcomes. Candidates. Money. Issues. Surprises. But some of the results are wired into district maps, through redistricting. Here's our charting of the political atmosphere — Republican or Democratic — in each of the House, Senate and congressional districts drawn by the Legislature this year.

House Speaker Joe Straus (r) greets Republican members at a press conference after the chamber adjourned sine die on May 30, 2011. Kelly Hancock is in the purple tie to Straus' right.
House Speaker Joe Straus (r) greets Republican members at a press conference after the chamber adjourned sine die on May 30, 2011. Kelly Hancock is in the purple tie to Straus' right.

Fort Worth Senate Race Could Get Crowded, and Quickly

As expected, state Rep. Kelly Hancock, R-Richland Hills, will run for the Texas Senate next year in SD-10, the district currently occupied by state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth. Hancock is the first challenger to announce, but this could get crowded, and quickly.

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Aaronson examines the Texas jobs "miracle," Root on how Rick Perry built his financial portfolio, Tan and Wiseman on Perry vs. Ron Paul, Philpott on how budget cuts will affect a mental health provider, yours truly on a House freshman who was less than impressed with his first legislative experience, M. Smith on public schools charging for things that used to be free, Hamilton on a new call to reinvent higher education, Grissom on a rare stay of execution, Galbraith on the end of a Panhandle wind program, Aguilar on the increase of legal immigration into the U.S. and Texas: The best of our best content from July 25 to 29, 2011.