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 ...

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.

TribFest 2014 Joe Straus interview with Ross Ramsey
Conversation San Antonio event on May12th, 2014 with Speaker of the House John Boehner
Credit: Bob Daemmrich/Marjorie Kamys Cotera
TribFest 2014 Joe Straus interview with Ross Ramsey Conversation San Antonio event on May12th, 2014 with Speaker of the House John Boehner Credit: Bob Daemmrich/Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Analysis: Dancing With Those Who Brung Ya

Splitting the majority party in the House of Representatives leaves a potential speaker with two routes to the top. Lawmakers did it one way in Texas and another way in Washington, D.C. 

State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, being escorted out of a House Transportation Committee hearing chaired by Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, on April 30, 2015.
State Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, being escorted out of a House Transportation Committee hearing chaired by Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, on April 30, 2015.

Analysis: Citizen Feedback, Without the Road Trip

After a committee confrontation and a state police investigation, there's still a question about allowing people who aren't in the Capitol to register their support or opposition to legislation: Why not?

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. 

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.