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 passing bills and resolutions.

The House meets biennially for 140-day sessions and in special sessions when called by the governor. Members are elected in even-numbered years for two-year terms. (See Texas Legislature topic page for qualifications to run for the House.)

Executive powers of each house include selection of legislative officers, employees and chairs and members of committees. Investigative powers are exercised through the formation of standing, special, interim and joint committees to study an issue. House committees are usually charged with a particular purpose by the speaker, although this may also be accomplished by a resolution adopted by the House. Each legislative house holds judicial powers over its members, including punishing or expelling members for cause.

The House speaker is elected biennially at the beginning of each legislative session by the 150 members of the House. It is a powerful position because the speaker appoints customarily appoints standing, special and conference committees, although the House is free to designate its own method of selection.

All legislative sessions, except for the Senate's executive session, are open. Neither house may, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days or move to a place other than where the Legislature is sitting. Two-thirds of each house constitutes a quorum, the number of members required to conduct business. If a quorum is not present, a smaller number may vote to adjourn and compel absent members to attend. The House is required to keep and publish a journal of its proceedings and to record the vote on any question on which three members who are present demand an actual count of yeas and nays.

The House maintains more standing committees than the Senate. As of 2009, the House had 34 standing committees:

  • Agriculture and Livestock
  • Appropriations
  • Border and Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Business and Industry
  • Calendars
  • Corrections
  • County Affairs
  • Criminal Jurisprudence
  • Culture, Recreation and Tourism
  • Defense and Veterans' Affairs
  • Elections
  • Energy Resources
  • Environmental Regulation
  • General Investigating and Ethics
  • Higher Education
  • House Administration
  • Human Services
  • Insurance
  • Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence
  • Land and Resource Management
  • Licensing and Administrative Procedures
  • Local and Consent Calendars
  • Natural Resources
  • Pensions, Investments and Financial Services
  • Public Education
  • Public Health
  • Public Safety
  • Redistricting
  • Rules and Resolutions
  • State Affairs
  • Technology, Economic Development and Workforce
  • Transportation
  • Urban Affairs
  • Ways and Means

Sources include the Texas House of Representatives Committees' Web page:


Houston attorney Shawn Thierry has been nominated to replace Borris Miles in state House District 146.
State Rep Doug Miller, R-New Braunfels, and opponent, Kyle Biedermann.
12:00 a.m. — State Rep. John Zerwas, MD, R-Richmond, reacts as the final bill passes before a midnight deadline. 10:09 p.m. — State Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin, listens to late night debate. 7:40 p.m. — State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, talks to a colleague. 10:22 p.m. —  State Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Fort Worth, center, and others listen as legislation is debated. 9:20 p.m. — House sergeant-at-arms Kimberly Nemecek watches a House staffer clean up in the back hall after state Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, hosted a barbecue dinner for legislators. Students take the Pledge of Allegiance as protesters shout on Jan. 29, 2015. Over shouts of protesters, school kids led the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance during Texas Muslim Capitol Day on Jan. 29, 2015. Protesters at Muslim Day at the Capitol on Jan. 29, 2015. A group of school children look on at the Texas Muslim Capitol Day ceremony. Almost forgotten in the midst of Texas Muslim Capitol Day, an open carry advocate displays his gun and the Israeli flag on Jan. 29, 2015. A small but vocal group of protesters look on as Texas Muslim Capitol Day ceremonies get underway on Jan. 29, 2015. A group of students gather by the south entrance of the Capitol on Texas Muslim Capitol Day on Jan. 29, 2015. Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's "Inside Texas Politics" on Dec. 11, 2015. Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's Inside Texas Politics on Jan. 4, 2015. Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA-TV's "Inside Texas Politics" on Sept. 21, 2014. Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, shown here with the Washington Redskins, played professional football from 1995-2004. State Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, speaking at the RedState Gathering in Fort Worth, Texas on August 8, 2014. State Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, spoke at the RedState Gathering in Fort Worth on Aug. 8, 2014.

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