Texas State Senate
|Texas State Senate|
|2013 session start:||No regular session in 2012|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||David Dewhurst, (R)|
| Democratic Party (12) |
Republican Party (18)
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art III, Sec 1-43, Texas Constitution|
|Salary:||$7,200/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 2, 2010 (16 seats)|
|Next election:||November 6, 2012 (31 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Texas Legislature has control|
One-half of the Senate membership is elected every two years in even-numbered years, with the exception that all 31 Senate seats are up for election for the first legislature following the decennial census in order to reflect the newly redrawn districts. After the initial election, the Senate is divided by lot into two classes, with one class having a re-election after two years and the other having a re-election after four years. Texas state senators are not subject to term limits. Each member represents an average of 811,147 residents, as of the 2010 Census. After the 2000 Census, each member represented 672,640 residents.
Article III of the Texas Constitution establishes when the Texas State Legislature, of which the Senate 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 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Senate will not be in regular session.
2011 (82nd Legislature)
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the Senate will be in session from January 11 through May 30. 
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
2009 (81st Legislature)
In 2009, the Senate met in session from January 13 through June 1. 
- See also: Texas State Senate elections, 2012
- See also: Texas State Senate elections, 2010
Elections for the office of Texas State Senate was held on November 2, 2010 in 16 of Texas's 31 senate districts. The 16 districts where electoral contests took place in 2010 were: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 22, 25, and 29. 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 senate raised a total of $11,219,972 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: 
|Perry, Bob J||$544,500|
|Texas Association of Realtors||$426,548|
|Texas Medical Association||$255,741|
|Texans for Lawsuit Reform||$218,466|
|Independent Insurance Agents of Texas||$207,232|
|Associated General Contractors of Texas||$180,408|
To be eligible to serve in the Texas State Senate, a candidate must be:
- A U.S. citizen
- 26 years old before the general election
- A five-year resident of Texas before the general election
- A district resident for 1 year prior to the general election
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the Senate, the Governor must call a special election to fill the vacant seat. 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.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2012, members of the Texas Legislature are paid $7,200/year. Legislators receive $150/day per diem which is set by the Ethics Commission.
The $7,200/year that Texas legislators are paid as of 2011 is the same as they were paid during legislative sessions in 2010 and 2007. Per diem has increased from $139/day in 2007 to $168/day in 2010 and decreased to $150/day in 2011.
When sworn in
Texas legislators assume office at the beginning of the legislative session (January). Special elections will be different and subject to case-by-case basis.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of December 2013|
The following map displays party control of districts throughout the Texas State Senate:
Similar to many states, the Lieutenant Governor serves as President of the Senate, but in Texas this position can be given a great deal of power. The Senate adopt the rules at the beginning of each legislative session which sets out how much power the President of the Senate will have.
Under current rules, the Lieutenant Governor decides all parliamentary questions, sets up standing and special committees and can appoint committee chairs along with individual members. The Lieutenant Governor also sets the order in which bills are considered and is given a strong leadership role.
|President of the Senate||David Dewhurst||Republican|
|State Senate President Pro Tempore||Steve Ogden||Republican|
|President of the Senate||David Dewhurst||Republican|
|State Senate President Pro Tempore||Robert Duncan||Republican|
List of current members
| State legislatures where heading into the November 2, 2010 elections|
the Republican Party is in the majority in both chambers
The Texas State Senate has 18 standing committees, 3 subcommittees, and 2 select committees. The following is a list of the standing committees:
- Administration Committee
- Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee
- Business & Commerce Committee
- Criminal Justice Committee
- Economic Development Committee
- Education Committee
- Finance Committee
- Government Organization Committee
- Health & Human Services Committee
- Higher Education Committee
- Intergovernmental Relations Committee
- International Relations and Trade Committee
- Jurisprudence Committee
- Natural Resources Committee
- Nominations Committee
- State Affairs Committee
- Transportation & Homeland Security Committee
- Veteran Affairs & Military Installations Committee
There have been 3 cases of quorum-busting in Texas Senate history so far. The first one took place in 1870, with the Rump Senate. Then came the Killer Bees in 1979, and the Texas Eleven. The Texas Eleven were a group of Democrats that left the state in 2003 to prevent redistricting legislation, following the example of the Texas House Killer Ds.
- ↑ Texas Constitution, Article 3, Section 3
- ↑ Population in 2010 of the American states
- ↑ Population in 2000 of the American states
- ↑ 2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar, NCSL
- ↑ 2010 session dates for Texas legislature
- ↑ 2009 Legislative Sessions Calendar, NCSL
- ↑ Follow the Money: "Texas Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- ↑ Qualifications for running for Texas Senate
- ↑ Texas Legislature "Texas Election Code"(Referenced Statute 3.003 (3))
- ↑ Texas Legislature "Texas Election Code"(Referenced Statute 3.003 (3)(b)-(c))
- ↑ Texas Legislature "Texas Election Code"(Referenced Statute 2.055 (3)(b)-(c))
- ↑ National Conference of State Legislatures, "2011 Legislator Compensation Data"
- ↑ National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislator Compensation Data"
- ↑ Empire Center, "Legislative Salaries Per State as of 2007"
- ↑ Duties of the Lt. Gov. of Texas
- ↑ The Killer Bees were a group of 12 Senators who hid out in Austin in 1979 to keep the Senate from reaching a quorum.
- ↑ History of the Texas State Senate
State of Texas
|State executive offices||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Secretary of State | Attorney General | Comptroller | State Auditor | Commissioner of Education | Commissioner of Insurance | Commissioner of Agriculture | Commissioner of General Land Office | Chairman of Workforce Commission | Chairman of Public Utilities | Chairman of Railroad Commission |
List of Counties |
List of Cities |
Texas school districts A - L |
Texas school districts M - Z |