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 ...

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. 

Trump supporters at the Harris County Republican Party headquarters election watch party  in Houston on Nov. 8, 2016
Trump supporters at the Harris County Republican Party headquarters election watch party in Houston on Nov. 8, 2016

Analysis: A political fishing guide for the 2018 elections in Texas

A small group of Texas Republican officeholders in the Legislature and Congress have something new to worry about in the Donald Trump era: They won their November elections, but Hillary Clinton beat Trump in their districts.

House Ways and Means Chair Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, speaks with House Appropriations Chair John Otto, R-Dayton, and House Administration Chair Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, on the House floor on May 14, 2015.
House Ways and Means Chair Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, speaks with House Appropriations Chair John Otto, R-Dayton, and House Administration Chair Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, on the House floor on May 14, 2015.

Analysis: The Texas legislative tales that (almost) got away

The big bills and arguments and personalities in the Texas Legislature catch most of the attention and headlines, but little things deserve their time in the spotlight, too.

Mercedes Bristol, 62, of San Antonio, at the Capitol with her five grandchildren after testifying to the House Human Services Committee on Feb. 20, 2017.
Mercedes Bristol, 62, of San Antonio, at the Capitol with her five grandchildren after testifying to the House Human Services Committee on Feb. 20, 2017.

Watch the Texas House debate child welfare overhaul

The Texas House is in the middle of an intense debate over a proposal that would bar undocumented Texans taking care of abused or neglected children in their families from receiving state funds that would be available to other families.

Women "walk the track" on a stretch of Bissonnet Street in Houston. Pimps gather nearby in fast food and strip mall parking lots as potential johns circle and standard traffic passes through.
Women "walk the track" on a stretch of Bissonnet Street in Houston. Pimps gather nearby in fast food and strip mall parking lots as potential johns circle and standard traffic passes through.

Analysis: On child protection, the money might be the hardest part

The safety net for Texas children has some big holes in it, and most lawmakers want that fixed. But it's going to cost money — a harder sell in a conservative Texas Legislature.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called sex trafficking "one of the most heinous crimes facing our society" at a recent press conference. Estimates suggest there are 79,000 child victims of sex trafficking in Texas.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called sex trafficking "one of the most heinous crimes facing our society" at a recent press conference. Estimates suggest there are 79,000 child victims of sex trafficking in Texas.

Texas attorney general on funding for sex-trafficking victims: "We'll take what we can get"

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said more should be done to help sex-trafficking victims and protect vulnerable children in Texas — but that it's not up to him to fund those efforts.