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 ...

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

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.

Over the past week, we’ve exposed how Texas leaders who crusade against sex trafficking have done almost nothing to help child trafficking victims. In interviews with advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and victims themselves, here are the ways Texas could begin addressing the problem.

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.

Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a rally at the Capitol for school choice January 24, 2017. Both Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick spoke in favor of expanding school choice options. Students, educators, activists and parents marched on the south lawn to show their support for expanding school choice options during National School Choice Week.
Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a rally at the Capitol for school choice January 24, 2017. Both Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick spoke in favor of expanding school choice options. Students, educators, activists and parents marched on the south lawn to show their support for expanding school choice options during National School Choice Week.

Analysis: Texas leaders posturing in public for legislative advantage

Texas state leaders are debating several important issues in a very public way, delivering their messages to one another through rallies, press conferences, trade association meetings and the media. Get your popcorn ready.

Rep. Joe Straus makes remarks after being being sworn in for his fifth term as speaker of the Texas House on Jan. 10, 2017.
Rep. Joe Straus makes remarks after being being sworn in for his fifth term as speaker of the Texas House on Jan. 10, 2017.

Joe Straus: Legislators need to be careful when it comes to "bathroom bill"

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus told the Texas Association of Business that the "bathroom bill," a priority for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, was not his most urgent concern for the 85th Legislative Session.

Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablo gavels in the 85 Legislature on January 10, 2017.
Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablo gavels in the 85 Legislature on January 10, 2017.

Slideshow: 85th Texas Legislature kicks off

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The Texas Tribune's photographers were on hand at the state Capitol on Tuesday to capture scenes from the opening day of the 85th Legislative Session.

Rep. Joe Straus makes remarks after being being sworn in for his fifth term as speaker of the Texas House on Jan. 10, 2017.
Rep. Joe Straus makes remarks after being being sworn in for his fifth term as speaker of the Texas House on Jan. 10, 2017.

In 150-0 vote, Texas House backs Speaker Joe Straus for record-tying fifth term

San Antonio Republican Joe Straus was re-elected unanimously by House members Tuesday for a fifth term, joining former House Speakers Pete Laney and Gib Lewis for the longest tenures presiding over the House.