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 ...

New Prison Rule Means Texas Jailbirds Can't Tweet

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has decided that prison inmates should not be allowed to have active social media accounts, even if friends or family on the outside run them. But the department's new rule is eliciting free speech concerns from civil liberties groups, and raising questions about how friends or family can advocate for inmates.

Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, talks with an aide during testimony Dec. 7, 2015 before the Senate Education Committee on teacher-student relationships.
Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, talks with an aide during testimony Dec. 7, 2015 before the Senate Education Committee on teacher-student relationships.

Analysis: Politics Wasn't at Play With Tax Hearing, Bettencourt Says

After questions about a special Senate committee hearing in San Antonio, and the appearance there of a challenger to House Speaker Joe Straus, state Sen. Paul Bettencourt makes a fairly strong case that there’s nothing to see here.

The three senators who sent the fewest bills to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk this session: Bob Hall, R-Edgwood (left), Konni Burton, R-Colleyville (middle) and Don Huffines, R-Dallas (right).
The three senators who sent the fewest bills to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk this session: Bob Hall, R-Edgwood (left), Konni Burton, R-Colleyville (middle) and Don Huffines, R-Dallas (right).

Analysis: Endorsements, Loyalties — and Getting Things Done

Endorsements seem harmless enough, but several state senators will have to eat some crow to get their legislation passed next year. They endorsed challengers to fellow legislators — and lost. 

Supporters wait for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz to take the stage at the Redneck Country Club in Stafford, Texas on the evening of the Texas primary on Mar. 1, 2016.
Supporters wait for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz to take the stage at the Redneck Country Club in Stafford, Texas on the evening of the Texas primary on Mar. 1, 2016.

Analysis: A Good Election Night to Be a Texas Incumbent

For all of the talk and bluster about replacing the people in government with new folks, Texas voters on Tuesday were remarkably gentle with incumbents, giving nearly all of them a ticket to the general election in November.

Travis County voters cast ballots at Travis County Tax Office on Feb. 25, 2016.
Travis County voters cast ballots at Travis County Tax Office on Feb. 25, 2016.

Liveblog: 2016 Texas Primary Results

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Throughout the night, Tribune reporters will keep you updated on the results of Texas' Republican and Democratic primary battles, from the first early voting totals through the last ballots counted.

The March 1 primary ballot will feature 18 open seats in the Texas Legislature – two in the Senate and 16 in the House.
The March 1 primary ballot will feature 18 open seats in the Texas Legislature – two in the Senate and 16 in the House.

Open Legislative Races Draw More than 70 Candidates

A slew of open seats in the Legislature means there will be at least 18 freshman lawmakers in the Capitol come January. Two thirds of the open seats are currently held by a Republican.

State Reps. Jonathan Stickland (left), R-Bedford, and Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, are seen as gadflies by many of their colleagues in the Texas House. Both are locked in tough 2016 primary battles.
State Reps. Jonathan Stickland (left), R-Bedford, and Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, are seen as gadflies by many of their colleagues in the Texas House. Both are locked in tough 2016 primary battles.

Analysis: Primaries Could Hush Reps. Stickland, Martinez Fischer

Republican Jonathan Stickland and Democrat Trey Martinez Fischer, the noisiest pot-stirrers in the Texas House, are in tough March 1 primary contests. Each man is his own best argument, and his worst one.

Sen. Rodney Ellis and State Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, D-San Antonio, celebrate Gov. Abbott's signing of HB48 that establishes the Timothy Cole Exoneration Review Commission. In background is Cole's brother, Cory Session.
Sen. Rodney Ellis and State Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, D-San Antonio, celebrate Gov. Abbott's signing of HB48 that establishes the Timothy Cole Exoneration Review Commission. In background is Cole's brother, Cory Session.

State Rep. Ruth McClendon Submits Letter of Resignation

State Rep. Ruth McClendon, D-San Antonio, has submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Greg Abbotteffective Jan 31, the governor's office confirmed Tuesday.

Clockwise, from top left: Republican state Reps. Tony Tinderholt of Arlington, John Frullo of Lubbock, Byron Cook of Corsicana and Matt Rinaldi of Irving.
Clockwise, from top left: Republican state Reps. Tony Tinderholt of Arlington, John Frullo of Lubbock, Byron Cook of Corsicana and Matt Rinaldi of Irving.

Analysis: The Future of the Texas House Could Be Seen in Eight Races

Will bragging rights in the Republican primaries for Texas House seats go to the management now in place or to those opposed to the current leaders? Watching these races involving incumbents will provide some answers.

State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, is shown during a legislative debate on gun legislation on April 17, 2015.
State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, is shown during a legislative debate on gun legislation on April 17, 2015.

Analysis: For Politicians, No Statute of Limitations on Comments

All of us have to watch our mouths — particularly politicians. State Rep. Jonathan Stickland is under political fire for past online comments. He's apologized, but time is the enemy here for the Bedford Republican, who's facing a primary challenge.

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. 

A child walks in a United Nations refugee camp in Turkey where thousands of Syrian refugees reside.
A child walks in a United Nations refugee camp in Turkey where thousands of Syrian refugees reside.

DPS Chief: Refugee Concerns Extend Beyond Syrians

Despite Texas Republicans’ laser focus on keeping Syrian refugees from being resettled here, the head of the state's Department of Public Safety says he’d prefer a wider lens that focuses on all countries connected to “Islamic extremist terrorism.”