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 ...

Women Still Underrepresented in Legislative Races

State senators take the oath of office on the first day of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 13, 2015.
State senators take the oath of office on the first day of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 13, 2015.

It remains a daunting political reality in Texas: Women are underrepresented in the halls of power, and it appears the 2016 elections will do little to change that. The greatest possible number of women lawmakers in 2016 races — assuming every incumbent, challenger and long shot wins — would be 54 House members and 10 senators.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) speak at a press conference in the Capitol about Sen. Cruz’s Terrorist Refugee Infiltration Prevention Act of 2015 (S. 2302), in Washington, D.C., Dec. 8, 2015.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) speak at a press conference in the Capitol about Sen. Cruz’s Terrorist Refugee Infiltration Prevention Act of 2015 (S. 2302), in Washington, D.C., Dec. 8, 2015.

Attorney General's Office: Abbott's Budget Vetoes Should Stand

Gov. Greg Abbott was well within his powers when he vetoed more than $200 million in funds approved by the Texas Legislature this year, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office wrote in an opinion issued Monday.

State Reps. José Menéndez (left) and Trey Martinez Fischer, both Democrats from San Antonio, are seeking the Texas Senate seat vacated by Leticia Van de Putte, who is running for mayor of San Antonio.
State Reps. José Menéndez (left) and Trey Martinez Fischer, both Democrats from San Antonio, are seeking the Texas Senate seat vacated by Leticia Van de Putte, who is running for mayor of San Antonio.

San Antonio Democrats In Rematch For Senate Seat

Trey Martinez Fischer and José Menéndez will once again battle over Texas Senate District 26 — a rematch of their special election runoff earlier this year, when the latter prevailed. 

Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, listens during a debate over Senate Bill 11 on March 18, 2015.
Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, listens during a debate over Senate Bill 11 on March 18, 2015.

Birdwell Asks AG to Clarify Where Colleges Can Ban Handguns

In an apparent effort to shut down talk of banning guns in college classrooms, state Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, has asked Attorney General Ken Paxton to clarify where universities can prohibit handguns with the state's campus carry law goes into effect Aug. 1. 

Gov. Greg Abbott is shown in November 2015 proposing reforms against "sanctuary cities" that he wants Texas lawmakers to consider in the 2017 legislative session.
Gov. Greg Abbott is shown in November 2015 proposing reforms against "sanctuary cities" that he wants Texas lawmakers to consider in the 2017 legislative session.

Lawmakers Support Abbott Against "Sanctuary Cities"

A majority of lawmakers in both the Texas House and Senate back Gov. Greg Abbott's recent moves to rein in "sanctuary cities" that don't comply fully with federal immigration policies, a Tribune tally shows.

The 2015 Texas Tribune Festival's keynote sessions included one-on-one conversations with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (clockwise, from top left), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. There was also a panel discussion on the 2016 presidential race.
The 2015 Texas Tribune Festival's keynote sessions included one-on-one conversations with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (clockwise, from top left), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. There was also a panel discussion on the 2016 presidential race.

2015 Tribune Festival: Videos of the Keynote Sessions

During the keynote sessions of the 2015 Texas Tribune Festival, we featured one-on-one conversations with Dan Patrick, Joe Straus, Nancy Pelosi and Julián Castro. You can watch those interviews and videos of our other keynote sessions here.