Difference between revisions of "Texas House of Representatives"

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Revision as of 11:43, 3 July 2013

Texas House of Representatives

Seal of Texas.svg.png
General Information
Type:   Lower house
Term limits:   None
2015 session start:   January 8, 2013
Website:   Official House Page
House Speaker:  Joe Straus, (R)
Members:  150
   Democratic Party (52)
Republican Party (98)
Length of term:   2 years
Authority:   Art 3, Texas Constitution
Salary:   $7,200/year + per diem
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (150 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (150 seats)
Redistricting:  Texas Legislature has control
The Texas House of Representatives is the lower house of the Texas Legislature, the state legislature of Texas. A total of 150 members serve in the lower house of the Texas Legislature and meet at the State Capitol in Austin. Each member represents an average of 167,637 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented approximately 139,012 residents.[2] The Legislature of the State of Texas, operating under the biennial system, convenes its regular sessions at noon on the second Tuesday in January of odd-numbered years. The maximum duration of a regular session is 140 days. The governor is given authority under the state constitution to convene the legislature at other times during the biennium[3]

As of May 2015, Texas is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.


Article III of the Texas Constitution establishes when the Texas State Legislature, of which the House of Representatives is a part, is to be in session. Section 5 of Article III states that the Legislature shall meet every two years at times to be established by law. Section 5 goes on to say that the Legislature can also be convened by the Governor of Texas.


See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 8 through May 27. Thirty minutes after the regular session ended, Governor Rick Perry called legislators back for a special session starting that evening.[4]

Major issues

Along with the necessity of creating a new budget, some of the biggest issues included medicaid and school funding, a water shortage, and reforming the school finance system.[5]


See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the House was not in regular session.

2011 (82nd Legislature)

See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the House will be in session from January 11 through May 30. [6]


See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the House did not meet in regular session. [7]

2009 (81st Legislature)

In 2009, the House met in session from January 13 through June 1. [8]


See also: Open States' Legislative Data Report Card

The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Texas was given a grade of A in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.[9]



See also: Texas House of Representatives elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Texas House of Representatives were held on November 6, 2012 in all 150 House districts. Elections for the office of Texas House of Representatives consisted of a Primary Election on March 6, 2012 and a General Election on November 6, 2012. A Primary Runoff Election was scheduled for May 22, 2012. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was December 12, 2011.[10]

This chamber was mentioned in a November 2012 Pew Center on the States article that addressed supermajorities at stake in the 2012 election. Supermajority generally means a party controls two-thirds of all seats. While it varies from state to state, being in this position gives a party much greater power. Going into the election, Republicans in the Texas House currently have a supermajority, which Democrats are seeking to cut into.[11]

The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.


See also: Texas House of Representatives elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Texas House of Representatives were held on November 2, 2010 in all 150 House districts. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was January 4, 2010, the primary election day was on March 2, and the primary runoff was held April 13.

In 2010, the candidates for state house raised a total of $78,482,292 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: [12]


To be eligible to serve in the Texas House of Representatives, a candidate must be:[13]

  • A U.S. citizen
  • 21 years old before the general election
  • A two-year resident of Texas before the general election
  • A district resident for 1 year prior to the general election


See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

If there is a vacancy in the House, the Governor must call a special election to fill the vacant seat[14]. A Governor's proclamation to a special election must be delivered to local elections authorities representing the vacant seat no later than 36 days before the scheduled election[15].

The Secretary of State can declare a candidate duly elected in a special election if there is no opposition[16].


See also: Redistricting in Texas

Legislative redistricting in Texas is handled by the Legislature. Maps are passed as regular legislature, but if the Legislature fails, a constitutionally-prescribed Legislative Redistricting Board -- made up of the Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the House, land commissioner, comptroller, and Attorney General -- is formed to finish the job. The board must meet within 90 days of the Legislature's failure, and pass a plan within 60 days of the first meeting. Texas is a Voting Rights Act state, meaning it must submit its maps to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

2010 census

Texas received its local census data on February 17, 2011. The state grew 20.6%, with Hispanics making up at least 2/3 of that growth. As far as the large cities, Houston grew by 7.5 percent, San Antonio grew by 16.0 percent, Dallas grew by 0.8 percent, Austin grew by 20.4 percent, and Fort Worth grew by 38.6 percent. However, Harris County -- of which Houston is the seat -- grew by 20%, suggesting suburban growth.[17]

In 2012, Texas was holding elections under interim maps drawn by a federal court after the Legislature's passed maps were thrown out by a panel of three federal judges on Voting Rights Act grounds. The panel drew up its own maps, but the federal court struck down those as well, substituting its own so that the elections could proceed.


Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state houses
Party As of May 2015
     Democratic Party 52
     Republican Party 98
Total 150

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Texas State House from 1992-2013.

Partisan composition of the Texas State House.PNG

82nd Legislature

The following map displays party control of districts throughout the Texas House of Representatives after the 2010 general elections:

Tx house 2011.jpg

81st Legislature

The following map displays party control of districts throughout the Texas House of Representatives before the 2010 general elections:

Texas House Districts by Party 2010.jpg


See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Texas Legislature are paid $7,200/year. Legislators receive $150/day per diem which is set by the Ethics Commission.[18]


When calculating a legislators' pension, their normal salary is artificially inflated to $125,000. This goes back to 1981, when lawmakers linked their salaries to those of state judges. Since then, they raised judges' salaries while removing the caps on their own pensions, pushing the maximum benefit up to 100% of a judge's salary.

In 2011, this resulted in an average state employee pension of $17,526 annually. The maximum pension a legislator can earn is $125,000, of which Rep. Tom Craddick (R) will be the first to qualify for when he retires. [19]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

Texas legislators assume office at the beginning of the legislative session (January). Special elections will be different and subject to case-by-case basis.


The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body.[20]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Texas House of Representatives
Office Representative Party
State Speaker of the House Joe Straus Ends.png Republican
State House Speaker Pro Tempore Beverly Woolley Ends.png Republican

List of Members

Current members, Texas State Senate
District House of Representatives Party Assumed office
1 George Lavender Ends.png Republican 2011
2 Dan Flynn Ends.png Republican 2003
3 Cecil Bell, Jr. Ends.png Republican 2013
4 Lance Gooden Ends.png Republican 2011
5 Bryan Hughes Ends.png Republican 2004
6 Matt Schaefer Ends.png Republican 2013
7 David Simpson Ends.png Republican 2011
8 Byron Cook Ends.png Republican 2003
9 Chris Paddie Ends.png Republican 2013
10 Jim Pitts Ends.png Republican 1993
11 Travis Clardy Ends.png Republican 2013
12 Kyle J. Kacal Ends.png Republican 2013
13 Lois Kolkhorst Ends.png Republican 2001
14 John Raney Ends.png Republican 2011
15 Steve Toth Ends.png Republican 2013
16 Brandon Creighton Ends.png Republican 2007
17 Tim Kleinschmidt Ends.png Republican 2009
18 John Otto Ends.png Republican 2005
19 James White Ends.png Republican 2011
20 Marsha Farney Ends.png Republican 2013
21 Allan Ritter Ends.png Republican 1999
22 Joe Deshotel Electiondot.png Democratic 1999
23 Craig Eiland Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
24 Greg Bonnen Ends.png Republican 2013
25 Dennis Bonnen Ends.png Republican 1997
26 Rick Miller Ends.png Republican 2013
27 Ron Reynolds Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
28 John Zerwas Ends.png Republican 2007
29 Ed Thompson Ends.png Republican 2013
30 Geanie Morrison Ends.png Republican 1999
31 Ryan Guillen Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
32 Todd Hunter Ends.png Republican 2009
33 Scott Turner Ends.png Republican 2013
34 Abel Herrero Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
35 Oscar Longoria Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
36 Sergio Munoz, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
37 Rene Oliveira Electiondot.png Democratic 1981
38 Eddie Lucio III Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
39 Armando Martinez Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
40 Terry Canales Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
41 Robert Guerra Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
42 Richard Raymond Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
43 J.M. Lozano Ends.png Republican 2011
44 John Kuempel Ends.png Republican 2011
45 Jason Isaac Ends.png Republican 2011
46 Dawnna Dukes Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
47 Paul Workman Ends.png Republican 2011
48 Donna Howard Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
49 Elliott Naishtat Electiondot.png Democratic 1991
50 Mark Strama Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
51 Eddie Rodriguez Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
52 Larry Gonzales Ends.png Republican 2011
53 Harvey Hilderbran Ends.png Republican 1989
54 Jimmie Don Aycock Ends.png Republican 2007
55 Ralph Sheffield Ends.png Republican 2009
56 Charles Anderson Ends.png Republican 2005
57 Trent Ashby Ends.png Republican 2013
58 Rob Orr Ends.png Republican 2005
59 J.D. Sheffield Ends.png Republican 2013
60 Jim Keffer Ends.png Republican 1997
61 Phil King Ends.png Republican 1999
62 Larry Phillips Ends.png Republican 2003
63 Tan Parker Ends.png Republican 2007
64 Myra Crownover Ends.png Republican 2001
65 Ron Simmons Ends.png Republican 2013
66 Van Taylor Ends.png Republican 2010
67 Jeff Leach Ends.png Republican 2013
68 Drew Springer Ends.png Republican 2013
69 James Frank Ends.png Republican 2013
70 Scott Sanford Ends.png Republican 2013
71 Susan King Ends.png Republican 2007
72 Drew Darby Ends.png Republican 2007
73 Doug Miller Ends.png Republican 2009
74 Poncho Nevarez Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
75 Mary E. Gonzalez Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
76 Naomi Gonzalez Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
77 Marisa Marquez Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
78 Joe Moody Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
79 Joe Pickett Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
80 Tracy King Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
81 Tryon Lewis Ends.png Republican 2009
82 Tom Craddick Ends.png Republican 1969
83 Charles Perry Ends.png Republican 2011
84 John Frullo Ends.png Republican 2011
85 Phil Stephenson Ends.png Republican 2013
86 John T. Smithee Ends.png Republican 1985
87 Four Price Ends.png Republican 2011
88 Ken King Ends.png Republican 2013
89 Jodie Laubenberg Ends.png Republican 2003
90 Lon Burnam Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
91 Stephanie Klick Ends.png Republican 2013
92 Jonathan Stickland Ends.png Republican 2013
93 Matt Krause Ends.png Republican 2013
94 Diane Patrick Ends.png Republican 2007
95 Nicole Collier Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
96 Bill Zedler Ends.png Republican 2011
97 Craig Goldman Ends.png Republican 2013
98 Giovanni Capriglione Ends.png Republican 2013
99 Charlie Geren Ends.png Republican 2001
100 Eric Johnson Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
101 Chris Turner Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
102 Stefani Carter Ends.png Republican 2011
103 Rafael Anchia Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
104 Roberto Alonzo Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
105 Linda Harper-Brown Ends.png Republican 2003
106 Pat Fallon Ends.png Republican 2013
107 Kenneth Sheets Ends.png Republican 2011
108 Daniel Branch Ends.png Republican 2003
109 Helen Giddings Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
110 Toni Rose Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
111 Yvonne Davis Electiondot.png Democratic 1993
112 Angie Chen Button Ends.png Republican 2009
113 Cindy Burkett Ends.png Republican 2011
114 Jason Villalba Ends.png Republican 2013
115 Bennett Ratliff Ends.png Republican 2013
116 Trey Martinez Fischer Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
117 Philip Cortez Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
118 Joe Farias Electiondot.png Democratic 2007
119 Roland Gutierrez Electiondot.png Democratic 2008
120 Ruth Jones McClendon Electiondot.png Democratic 1997
121 Joe Straus Ends.png Republican 2005
122 Lyle Larson Ends.png Republican 2011
123 Michael Villarreal Electiondot.png Democratic 2003
124 Jose Menendez Electiondot.png Democratic 2001
125 Justin Rodriguez Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
126 Patricia Harless Ends.png Republican 2007
127 Dan Huberty Ends.png Republican 2011
128 Wayne Smith Ends.png Republican 2003
129 John Davis Ends.png Republican 1999
130 Allen Fletcher Ends.png Republican 2009
131 Alma Allen Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
132 William Callegari Ends.png Republican 2001
133 Jim Murphy Ends.png Republican 2011
134 Sarah Davis Ends.png Republican 2011
135 Gary Elkins Ends.png Republican 1995
136 Tony Dale Ends.png Republican 2013
137 Gene Wu Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
138 Dwayne Bohac Ends.png Republican 2003
139 Sylvester Turner Electiondot.png Democratic 1989
140 Armando Walle Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
141 Senfronia Thompson Electiondot.png Democratic 1973
142 Harold Dutton, Jr. Electiondot.png Democratic 1985
143 Ana Hernandez Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
144 Mary Ann Perez Electiondot.png Democratic 2013
145 Carol Alvarado Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
146 Borris Miles Electiondot.png Democratic 2011
147 Garnet Coleman Electiondot.png Democratic 1991
148 Jessica Cristina Farrar Electiondot.png Democratic 1995
149 Hubert Vo Electiondot.png Democratic 2005
150 Debbie Riddle Ends.png Republican 2002

Amending the constitution

The Texas House of Representatives, together with the Texas State Senate, has the authority to propose amendments to the Texas Constitution. Proposed amendments must be approved in a joint resolution of both the Texas State Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. The joint resolution can originate in either the House or the Senate.

The resolution must be adopted by a vote of at least two-thirds of the membership of each house of the legislature. That amounts to a minimum of 100 votes in the House of Representatives and 21 votes in the Senate.

Amendments may be proposed in either regular or special sessions.

Standing committees

House of Representatives
SLP badge.png
House Committees

Agriculture and LivestockAppropriations
Business & IndustryCalendars
CorrectionsCounty AffairsCriminal Jurisprudence
Culture, Recreation, & TourismDefense & Veterans' Affairs
Economic & Small Business
ElectionsEnergy Resources
Environmental Regulation
General Investigating & Ethics
Government Transparency & Operation
Higher EducationHomeland Security & Public Safety
House AdministrationHuman ServicesInsurance
International Trade & Intergovernmental Affairs
Investments & Financial Services
Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence
Juvenile Justice & Family Issues
Land & Resource Management
Licensing & Administrative
Local & Consent CalendarsNatural Resources
PensionsPublic Education
Public HealthRedistricting
Rules & Resolutions
Special Purpose DistrictsState Affairs
Urban AffairsWays & Means

Senate Committees

The Texas House has 36 standing committees. The House also has 5 subcommittees and 3 select committees. Below are the standing committees:


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Texas
Partisan breakdown of the Texas legislature from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Texas State House of Representatives for the first 11 years while the Republicans were the majority for the last 11 years. Texas was under Republican trifectas for the final 11 years of the study.

Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Texas, the Texas State Senate and the Texas House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Texas state government(1992-2013).PNG

External links


  1. Population in 2010 of the American states
  2. Population in 2000 of the American states
  3. "Texas House of Representatives" FAQ's, March 13, 2009
  4. kten.com, "Texas Lawmakers To Tackle Redistricting In Special Session," May 29, 2013
  5. Star-Telegram, "As lawmakers return to Austin this week, a heap of work awaits," January 6, 2013
  6. 2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar, NCSL
  7. 2010 session dates for Texas legislature
  8. 2009 Legislative Sessions Calendar, NCSL
  9. Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
  10. Texas Secretary of State, "Important 2012 Election Dates", Accessed July 15, 2011
  11. Stateline, "In Legislative Elections, Majorities and Supermajorities at Stake," November 2, 2012
  12. Follow the Money: "Texas House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
  13. Qualifications for running for Texas House of Representatives
  14. Texas Legislature "Texas Election Code"(Referenced Statute 3.003 (3))
  15. Texas Legislature "Texas Election Code"(Referenced Statute 3.003 (3)(b)-(c))
  16. Texas Legislature "Texas Election Code"(Referenced Statute 2.055 (3)(b)-(c))
  17. U.S. Census Bureau, "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Texas' 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," February 17, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  18. NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
  19. USA Today, "State lawmakers pump up pensions in ways you can't," September 23, 2011
  20. Texas Speaker of the House