Tribpedia: Texas Legislature

The Texas Legislature is the chief policymaking branch of state government that the Texas Constitution (Article III, Section 1) vests with all legislative power in the state. It is a bicameral body composed of an upper chamber, the Texas Senate, and a lower chamber, the Texas House. The 181 members are elected from districts throughout Texas.  

It enacts thousands ...

Uncertainty, deep tension mark the end of the 85th regular session

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick  gaveled out the 85th legislative session for the Texas Senate on May 29, 2017.  Patrick hinted at a special session later this year to take care of issues that weren't resolved during the regular session. 
<p>Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick &nbsp;gaveled out the 85th legislative session for the Texas Senate on May 29, 2017. &nbsp;Patrick hinted at a special session later this year to take care of issues that weren't resolved during the regular session.&nbsp;</p>

The 85th legislative session came to a close Monday amid uncertainty over whether Gov. Greg Abbott would call lawmakers back for overtime. Lawmakers scuffled on the final day, punctuating a session in which friction between between the two chambers was more intense than ever.

State Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, right, chairman of the House Committee on Calendars,&nbsp;talks with Rep. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin (seated, left) and Chris Paddie, R-Marshall (center) in a packed room on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at the Capitol.
<p><span>State Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, right, chairman of the House Committee on Calendars,&nbsp;talks with Rep. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin (seated, left) and Chris Paddie, R-Marshall (center) in a packed room on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at the Capitol.</span></p>

Texas lawmakers considered a lot of bills. Can you spot the real ones?

How close have you been paying attention during the 85th Texas Legislative session? Take this quiz to see how well you can distinguish between real bills and fake ones.

District Judge Julie Kocurek, who was severely injured in a 2015 shooting, greets state Rep. Tomas Uresti after she was mentioned in Chief Justice Nathan Hecht's State of the Judiciary speech on Feb. 1, 2017.
<p>District Judge Julie Kocurek, who was severely injured in a 2015 shooting, greets state Rep. Tomas Uresti after she was mentioned in Chief Justice Nathan Hecht's State of the Judiciary speech on Feb. 1, 2017.</p>

Texas House passes court security bill

The bill is named in honor of state District Judge Julie Kocurek. Her assailant shot at her several times outside her home, and she suffered serious injuries from shattered glass and shrapnel.

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, left, talks with Rep. John Cyrier, R-Lockhart,&nbsp;on the House floor on April 27, 2017.
<p><span>State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, left, talks with Rep. John Cyrier, R-<span>Lockhart,</span>&nbsp;on the House floor on April 27, 2017.</span></p>

What unusual maneuver happened in the Texas House to halt amendments on “sanctuary” bill?

The marathon debate on the “sanctuary” bill in the Texas House had impassioned speeches, tears and what some House Democrats called a surprising move by a House Republican to cut short debate on adding amendments to the bill.

State Rep. Rick Miller, R-Sugar Land, listens to testimony in the State &amp; Federal Power &amp; Responsibility Select Committee on&nbsp;April 13, 2017. Miller's House Joint Resolution 39 calls for a convention of states under Article V of the U.S. Constitution.&nbsp;
<p>State Rep. Rick Miller, R-Sugar Land, listens to testimony in the State &amp; Federal Power &amp; Responsibility Select Committee on&nbsp;April 13, 2017. Miller's House Joint Resolution 39 calls for a convention of states under Article V of the U.S. Constitution.&nbsp;</p>

House committee considers convention of states measures

The House Select Committee on State and Federal Power and Responsibility considered measures that aim to pull powers from the federal government and hand it to the states.

 

State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, speaks on the House floor during the budget debate on April 6, 2017.
<p>State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, speaks on the House floor during the budget debate on April 6, 2017.</p>

Data shows Dukes has missed most votes in Texas House

State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, has missed more than 100 record votes during the current legislative session, the most of the 150 members of the House, according to a Tribune analysis of data from a legislative analytics website.

Happy Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, watches passage of SB 1 budget bill on a 30-1 vote April 14, 2015.  Lone no vote was Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston.
Happy Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, watches passage of SB 1 budget bill on a 30-1 vote April 14, 2015. Lone no vote was Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston.

Senate backs bill requiring minors obtain parental consent before joining unions

Minors in the state may be required to obtain parental approval before they can join a labor union under a proposal the Texas Senate tentatively approved along party lines Monday.

 

State Rep. John Raney, R-College Station, lays out his bill HB 355 in the House Higher Education Committee on March 22, 2017. &nbsp;Raney's bill would forbid registered sex offenders from residing in college dorms to help curb the crime o sexual assaults on Texas college campuses. &nbsp;
<p>State Rep. John Raney, R-College Station, lays out his bill HB 355 in the House Higher Education Committee on March 22, 2017. &nbsp;Raney's bill would forbid registered sex offenders from residing in college dorms to help curb the crime o sexual assaults on Texas college campuses. &nbsp;</p>

House committee backs banning most sex offenders from living on college campuses

Most registered sex offenders would be barred from living on college campuses under a bill unanimously approved by a House committee Wednesday. 

State Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, questions Health & Human Services chief Charles Smith regarding state contracts for health clinics during a State Affairs Committee interim hearing on Aug. 15, 2016.
State Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, questions Health & Human Services chief Charles Smith regarding state contracts for health clinics during a State Affairs Committee interim hearing on Aug. 15, 2016.

Legislator: Some Republican men tried to retaliate over “masturbation bill”

After state Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, filed a bill that would fine men $100 for masturbating, some Republican men in the Texas House, she said, tried to derail a separate and unrelated bill of hers Tuesday.