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 ...

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.  

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Rep. Senfronia Thompson D-Houston and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston during a press conference on Jan 12, 2017.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Rep. Senfronia Thompson D-Houston and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston during a press conference on Jan 12, 2017.

Solutions: What Texas can do to help child sex-trafficking victims

Over the past week, we’ve exposed how Texas leaders who crusade against sex trafficking have done almost nothing to help child trafficking victims. We asked those closest to the issue how they would begin addressing the problem. Here's what they said.

State Rep. James White, R-Hillister, speaks on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives on April 29, 2015.
State Rep. James White, R-Hillister, speaks on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives on April 29, 2015.

Despite state budget woes, Republican lawmaker wants funds for death penalty attorneys

Rep. James White's House Bill 1676 would create a state-funded office to represent death-sentenced inmates who can’t afford their own lawyer in their direct appeals to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Gov. Greg Abbott prepares to deliver his State of the State address, flanked by (l.-r.) Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, state Sens. Donna Campbell, R-San Antonio, and Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, and House Speaker Joe Straus.
Gov. Greg Abbott prepares to deliver his State of the State address, flanked by (l.-r.) Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, state Sens. Donna Campbell, R-San Antonio, and Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, and House Speaker Joe Straus.

Convention of states resolution is on its way to full Texas Senate

The Senate State Affairs Committee addressed one of Gov. Greg Abbott's four emergency items Thursday: passing a resolution showing the state backs an Article V convention. 

Sen. Joan Huffman, chair of the Senate Committee on State Affairs, listens to testimony on the affirmation of First Amendment liberty protections in Texas from invited witnesses on Feb. 17, 2016.
Sen. Joan Huffman, chair of the Senate Committee on State Affairs, listens to testimony on the affirmation of First Amendment liberty protections in Texas from invited witnesses on Feb. 17, 2016.

Senate State Affairs greenlights bill to end most union payroll deductions

The Senate State Affairs Committee greenlighted a bill to the full Senate Thursday that would end the state’s practice of collecting dues for certain public employee unions through automatic payroll deductions.

Austin City Council member Greg Casar comments on recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement actions in Austin outside the Little Walnut Creek Branch Library on Friday, February 10, 2017. Casar and Council member Delia Garza joined community organizations to speak out against the ICE actions.
Austin City Council member Greg Casar comments on recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement actions in Austin outside the Little Walnut Creek Branch Library on Friday, February 10, 2017. Casar and Council member Delia Garza joined community organizations to speak out against the ICE actions.

Reports of immigration raids whip across Texas, but details are sparse

Immigrant communities in Texas and nationwide are swirling with reports of large-scale immigration enforcement by federal agents, but so far details are scant and ICE says its activities are routine.