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 ...

A new fuel pump sticker issued by the Texas Department of Agriculture puts tax blame on Congress and the Legislature while placing Commissioner Sid Miller's name in greater prominence.
A new fuel pump sticker issued by the Texas Department of Agriculture puts tax blame on Congress and the Legislature while placing Commissioner Sid Miller's name in greater prominence.

New Gas Pump Stickers Highlight Sid Miller, Ding Lawmakers

A new sticker for the state's gas pumps comes with a few additional flourishes: Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's name emblazoned across the top and a disclaimer blaming gas taxes on Congress and the Texas Legislature. 

 

Former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas is shown speaking at the Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 20, 2014.
Former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas is shown speaking at the Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 20, 2014.

Hutchison, Fenves Decry Dwindling State Support for Higher Education

Before meeting with state and higher ed leaders, UT-Austin President Greg Fenves and former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said Monday that universities, state governments and the private sector need to take action to preserve public colleges' strengths. 

The Sam Houston Parkway, along with the Sam Houston Tollway, in Houston.
The Sam Houston Parkway, along with the Sam Houston Tollway, in Houston.

Paying Off Toll Roads Could Top $30 Billion

If Texas decided to pay off construction debt on nearly all of its toll roads tomorrow, the price tag would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 billion, according to a preliminary report. 

Revisit Our God & Governing Series

In the 2015 Texas legislative session, state lawmakers frequently used their religious beliefs to defend their policymaking. Take a look back at "God & Governing," our documentary-style series on the role lawmakers' personal faith played in their legislating. 

State Rep. Molly S. White, R-Belton, and Major General James K. "Red" Brown Jr.
State Rep. Molly S. White, R-Belton, and Major General James K. "Red" Brown Jr.

Two Close Races May Be Heading to Recounts

Two of the closest races in Tuesday’s Texas Republican primary may not be over yet, as one candidate is requesting a recount and two others remain unclear which one of them made an expected runoff.

Travis County voters cast ballots at Travis County Tax Office on Feb. 25, 2016.
Travis County voters cast ballots at Travis County Tax Office on Feb. 25, 2016.

Liveblog: 2016 Texas Primary Results

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Throughout the night, Tribune reporters will keep you updated on the results of Texas' Republican and Democratic primary battles, from the first early voting totals through the last ballots counted.

The March 1 primary ballot will feature 18 open seats in the Texas Legislature – two in the Senate and 16 in the House.
The March 1 primary ballot will feature 18 open seats in the Texas Legislature – two in the Senate and 16 in the House.

Open Legislative Races Draw More than 70 Candidates

A slew of open seats in the Legislature means there will be at least 18 freshman lawmakers in the Capitol come January. Two thirds of the open seats are currently held by a Republican.

Baylor University Chancellor and President Ken Starr during a Texas Tribune Higher Education Symposium in Waco.
Baylor University Chancellor and President Ken Starr during a Texas Tribune Higher Education Symposium in Waco.

Baylor Opts Out of Campus Carry

Baylor University has opted out of Texas' campus carry law, joining the long list of Texas private universities that have decided to continue banning handguns on their campuses.

An email from state Rep. Dawnna Dukes to members of her staff. The email provides instructions for work her staff must complete before the upcoming African American Community Heritage Festival.
An email from state Rep. Dawnna Dukes to members of her staff. The email provides instructions for work her staff must complete before the upcoming African American Community Heritage Festival.

Email Shows Dukes Directed State Staff to Work on Festival

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When state Rep. Dawnna Dukes sent out an email to her staff last month, her urgent instructions about an upcoming project made clear what she wanted. But the email from the Austin Democrat had nothing to do with state business.

Texas State Representative Dawnna Dukes is honored at the unveiling of the African American Portrait Project at the African American Cultural and heritage Facility in Austin, Texas. June 9, 2014.
Texas State Representative Dawnna Dukes is honored at the unveiling of the African American Portrait Project at the African American Cultural and heritage Facility in Austin, Texas. June 9, 2014.

State Auditor's Office Investigating Rep. Dukes' Use of State Staff

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The State Auditor's Office is investigating whether state Rep. Dawnna Dukes improperly required her legislative staffers to participate in work for a nonprofit group that she founded, a Capitol source told The Texas Tribune on Friday. 

Nobel Prize-Winning physicist Steven Weinberg told the Faculty Council at the University of Texas at Austin that he will attempt to ban guns from his classroom this fall, regardless of UT's policy.
Nobel Prize-Winning physicist Steven Weinberg told the Faculty Council at the University of Texas at Austin that he will attempt to ban guns from his classroom this fall, regardless of UT's policy.

Nobel Laureate Becomes Reluctant Anti-Gun Leader

UT-Austin Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg has emerged as a leader, albeit a reluctant one, for faculty who oppose allowing guns in their classrooms after saying he will try to prevent students who want to carry handguns from taking his courses.