Tribpedia: Texas Senate

The Texas Senate is the upper chamber of the state's bicameral Legislature. It is comprised of 31 state senators and the lieutenant governor, who serves as president of the Senate.

Senators serve four-year terms and are not term limited.

The second-highest post in the Senate is the president pro-tempore, who can come from either party and is usually determined ...

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

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.

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. 

State Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, the chairwoman of the Senate State Affairs Committee, listened to testimony during a Sept. 14, 2016, committee meeting.
State Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, the chairwoman of the Senate State Affairs Committee, listened to testimony during a Sept. 14, 2016, committee meeting.

At the Texas Capitol, the union dues bill is back

Legislation to stop automatic payroll deductions for most public employee unions is back after failing two years ago. Supporters say the state shouldn't be involved in collecting union dues; opponents say the GOP is trying to cripple certain unions.

Happy Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, watches passage of SB 1 budget bill on a 30-1 vote April 14, 2015.  Lone no vote was Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston.
Happy Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, watches passage of SB 1 budget bill on a 30-1 vote April 14, 2015. Lone no vote was Sen. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston.

Texas university leaders warn of dire consequences if Senate budget is implemented

In a day-long hearing, university presidents and chancellors said their schools might have to lay off faculty and cut classes if hundreds of millions of dollars worth of "special items" aren't put back in the budget. 

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.

The 84th legislative session ran from Jan. 13 through Jun. 1. State lawmakers enhanced gun rights, allowed epilepsy patients to use medicinal cannabis oil and outlawed local bans on fracking.
The 84th legislative session ran from Jan. 13 through Jun. 1. State lawmakers enhanced gun rights, allowed epilepsy patients to use medicinal cannabis oil and outlawed local bans on fracking.

Analysis: Take it from Texas — an election sweep carries no guarantee

Winning isn't everything when it comes to party control. If it was, Texas lawmakers would have nothing to do. But they still have plenty to fight about, and Republicans in Washington, D.C., will, too.

State Sens. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, and Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, listen to testimony at a Senate Committee on State Affairs hearing reviewing current ethics laws governing public officials and employees on Oct, 5, 2016.
State Sens. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, and Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, listen to testimony at a Senate Committee on State Affairs hearing reviewing current ethics laws governing public officials and employees on Oct, 5, 2016.

Analysis: In Texas, Lawmakers Regulate Their Own Regulators

The Texas Ethics Commission regulates legislators. Legislators control the commission's laws and budget. It's a complicated relationship.