Texas Senate

The Texas Senate is the upper house of the Texas State Legislature. There are 31 members of the Senate, representing single-member districts across the U.S. state of Texas, with populations of approximately 806,000 per constituency, based on the 2010 U.S. Census. There are no term limits, and each term is four years long. Elections are held in even-numbered years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. In elections in years ending in 2, all seats are up for election. Half of the senators will serve a two-year term, based on a drawing; the other half will fill regular four-year terms. In the case of the latter, they or their successors will be up for two-year terms in the next year that ends in 0. As such, in other elections, about half of the Texas Senate is on the ballot. The Senate meets at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. The Republicans currently control the chamber, which is made up of 19 Republicans and 12 Democrats.[1][2]

Texas Senate
Texas State Legislature
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Term limits
None
History
New session started
January 8, 2019
Leadership
President of the Senate
Dan Patrick (R)
Since January 20, 2015
President Pro Tempore
Kirk Watson (D)
Since January 8, 2019
Structure
Seats31
86th Texas Senate
Political groups
Majority

Minority

Length of term
4 years
AuthorityArticle 3, Texas Constitution
Salary$7,200/year + per diem
Elections
First-past-the-post
Last election
November 6, 2018
(15 seats)
Next election
November 3, 2020
(16 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
TexasSenateChamberAustinTX
State Senate Chamber
Texas State Capitol
Austin, Texas
Website
Texas State Senate
Another view of the Texas State Senate IMG 6320
Inside view of the Texas Senate

Leadership

The Lieutenant Governor of Texas serves as the President of the Senate. Unlike most lieutenant governors who are constitutionally designated as presiding officers of the upper house, the Lieutenant Governor regularly exercises this function. The Lieutenant Governor's duties include appointing chairs of committees, committee members, assigning and referring bills to specific committees, recognizing members during debate, and making procedural rulings. The Lieutenant Governor may also cast a vote should a Senate floor vote end in a tie. If the Senate votes to dissolve itself into the Committee of the Whole, in which all members are part of the Committee, the President Pro-Tempore presides over the proceedings, with the Lieutenant Governor acting as a regular voting member. Due to the various powers of committee selection and bill assignment, the Lieutenant Governor is considered one of the most powerful lieutenant governorships in the United States.

Unlike other state legislatures, the Texas Senate does not include majority or minority leaders. Instead, the President Pro Tempore is considered the second most powerful position, and can be reserved to any political party in the chamber regardless if the party is a majority or not. Presidents Pro Tempore are usually the most senior members of the Senate. The President Pro Tempore presides when the Lieutenant Governor is not present or when the legislature is not in regular session.

For the 82nd Legislative Session, which began in 2011, there were only two new, or freshman, senators, Brian Birdwell, a Republican from Granbury, and José R. Rodríguez, a Democrat from El Paso.

For the 83rd Legislative Session, which began in 2013, there were six new senators, including Sylvia Garcia, who succeeded the late senator Mario Gallegos Jr. through a special election. The five other new senators were Charles Schwertner, a Republican from Georgetown, Ken Paxton, a Republican from McKinney, Kelly Hancock, a Republican from Fort Worth, Larry Taylor, a Republican from Friendswood, and Donna Campbell, a Republican from New Braunfels. For this term of the Legislature the President of the Senate is Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. The President Pro Tempore is Republican Kel Seliger of District 31 (Amarillo). Senator John Whitmire, a Democrat from Houston, is the Dean of the Senate, meaning he is the most senior member, having served since 1987. Senator Chris Harris, a Republican from Arlington, is the most senior member of his party, and the fourth most-senior overall member.

New senators elected in 2014 included Bob Hall, Paul Bettencourt, Van Taylor, Don Huffines, and Konni Burton, all Republicans.

New senators elected in 2016 were Bryan Hughes (R), Borris Miles (D), and Dawn Buckingham (R).[3]

Pete Flores (R) joined the Texas Senate through a special election in 2018.[4]

New senators elected in the 2018 regular election included Angela Paxton (R), Beverly Powell (D), Nathan Johnson (D), and Pat Fallon (R).[5]

State Rep. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, won the Senate District 6 special election on December 11, 2018, to replace Sylvia Garcia, who resigned after she won a seat in the United States House of Representatives in the regular election.[6]

Leaders

Position Name Party Residence District
Lieutenant Governor/President of the Senate Dan Patrick Republican Houston
President Pro Tempore Kirk Watson Democrat Austin 14

History

Quorum-busting

There have been at least three cases of quorum-busting in Texas Senate history. The first case was in 1870, with the Rump Senate, followed by the 1979 Killer Ds. and finally the Texas Eleven in August 2003, who were following the example of the Texas house Killer Ds.[7]

Committee structure

The following represents the Senate committee structure for the 85th Legislature.

  • Administration
  • Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs
  • Business & Commerce
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Health & Human Services
  • Higher Education
  • Intergovernmental Relations
  • Natural Resources & Economic Development
  • Nominations
  • State Affairs
  • Transportation
  • Veteran Affairs & Border Security

In addition, the House and Senate operate the permanent joint committee known as the Legislative Budget Board (LBB).

Current composition

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Republican Democratic Vacant
Begin 2013[8] 19 11 30 1
March 3, 2013[9] 12 31 0
Begin 2015 20 11 31 0
Begin 2017 20 11 31 0
End 2018 21 10 31 0
Begin 2019 19 12 31 0
Latest voting share 61.3% 38.7%

List of members

District Senator Party Residence First
elected
Next
election
County(ies) represented
1 Bryan Hughes Republican Mineola 2016 2020 Bowie, Camp, Cass, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Panola, Red River, Rusk, Smith, Titus, Wood, Upshur
2 Bob Hall Republican Edgewood 2014 2022 Dallas (part), Delta, Fannin, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Rains, Rockwall, Van Zandt
3 Robert Nichols Republican Jacksonville 2006 2022 Anderson, Angelina, Cherokee, Hardin, Henderson, Houston, Jasper, Liberty, Montgomery (part), Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, Tyler
4 Brandon Creighton Republican The Woodlands 2014† 2020 Chambers, Galveston (part), Harris (part), Jefferson, Montgomery (part)
5 Charles Schwertner Republican Georgetown 2012 2022 Brazos, Freestone, Grimes, Leon, Limestone, Madison, Milam, Robertson, Walker, Williamson
6 Carol Alvarado Democratic Houston 2018† 2020 Harris (part)
7 Paul Bettencourt Republican Houston 2014 2022 Harris (part)
8 Angela Paxton Republican Plano 2018 2022 Collin (part), Dallas (part)
9 Kelly Hancock Republican Fort Worth 2012 2022 Dallas (part), Tarrant (part)
10 Beverly Powell Democratic Fort Worth 2018 2022 Tarrant (part)
11 Larry Taylor Republican Friendswood 2012 2020 Brazoria (part), Galveston (part), Harris (part)
12 Jane Nelson Republican Flower Mound 1992 2020 Denton (part), Tarrant (part)
13 Borris Miles Democratic Houston 2016 2020 Fort Bend (part), Harris (part)
14 Kirk Watson Democratic Austin 2006 2018 Bastrop, Travis (part)
15 John Whitmire Democratic Houston 1982 2018 Harris (part)
16 Nathan Johnson Democratic Dallas 2018 2022 Dallas (part)
17 Joan Huffman Republican Southside Place 2008† 2018 Brazoria (part), Fort Bend (part), Harris (part)
18 Lois Kolkhorst Republican Katy 2014 2020 Aransas, Austin, Burleson, Calhoun, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend (part), Goliad, Gonzales, Harris (part), Jackson, Lee, Matagorda, Nueces (part), Refugio, Victoria, Waller, Washington, Wharton
19 Pete Flores Republican Pleasanton 2018† 2020 Atascosa (part), Bexar (part), Brewster, Crockett, Dimmit, Edwards, Frio, Kinney, Maverick, Medina, Pecos, Real, Reeves, Terrell, Uvalde, Val Verde, Zavala
20 Juan Hinojosa Democratic McAllen 2002 2020 Brooks, Hidalgo (part), Jim Wells, Nueces (part)
21 Judith Zaffirini Democratic Laredo 1986 2020 Atascosa (part), Bexar (part), Bee, Caldwell, Duval, Guadalupe (part), Live Oak, Jim Hogg, Karnes, La Salle, McMullen, San Patricio, Starr, Travis (part), Uvalde, Webb, Wilson, Zapata
22 Brian Birdwell Republican Granbury 2010† 2020 Bosque, Ellis, Falls, Hill, Hood (part), Frio, Johnson, McLennan, Navarro, Somervell, Tarrant (part)
23 Royce West Democratic Dallas 1992 2018 Dallas (part)
24 Dawn Buckingham Republican Horseshoe Bay 2016 2020 Bandera, Bell, Blanco, Brown, Burnet, Callahan, Comanche, Coryell, Gillespie, Hamilton, Kerr, Lampasas, Llano, Mills, San Saba, Taylor (part), Travis(part)
25 Donna Campbell Republican New Braunfels 2012 2018 Bexar (part), Travis (part), Comal, Hays, Kendall
26 Jose Menendez Democratic San Antonio 2015† 2020 Bexar (part)
27 Eddie Lucio Jr. Democratic Brownsville 1990 2020 Cameron, Hidalgo (part), Kenedy, Kleberg, Willacy
28 Charles Perry Republican Lubbock 2014† 2020 Baylor, Borden, Childress, Coke, Coleman, Concho, Cottle, Crane, Crosby, Dawson, Dickens, Eastland, Fisher, Floyd, Foard, Garza, Hale, Hardeman, Haskell, Hockley, Irion, Jones, Kent, Kimble, King, Knox, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Mason, McColluch, Menard, Mitchell, Montague, Motley, Nolan, Reagan, Runnels, Sleicher, Scurry, Shackelford, Stephens, Sterling, Stonewall, Sutton, Terry, Throckmorton, Tom Green, Upton, Ward, Wheeler, Wilbarger, Young
29 José R. Rodríguez Democratic El Paso 2010 2020 Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Presidio
30 Pat Fallon Republican Prosper 2018 2022 Archer, Clay, Collin (part), Cooke, Denton (part), Erath, Grayson, Jack, Montague, Palo Pinto, Parker, Wichita, Wise, Young
31 Kel Seliger Republican Amarillo 2004† 2018 Andrews, Armstrong, Bailey, Briscoe, Carson, Castro, Cochran, Collingsworth, Coke, Coleman, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Donley, Ector, Gaines, Glasscock, Gray, Hall, Hartley, Hemphill, Hansford, Howard, Hutchinson, Jones, Lipscomb, Loving, Lynn, Martin, Midland, Moore, Motley, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Sherman, Swisher, Wheeler, Winkler, Yoakum

†Elected in a special election

Notable past members

See also

References

  1. ^ McGuinness, Dylan. Flores defeats Gallego in Senate District 19, San Antonio Express-News, September 19, 2018.
  2. ^ Svitek, Patrick. Republican Pete Flores upsets Democrat Pete Gallego in race for Uresti seat, Texas Tribune, September 18, 2018.
  3. ^ 2016 Texas Elections, Texas Senate, Texas Tribune, 2016.
  4. ^ Texas Senate Members
  5. ^ Results of the Texas 2018 midterm election, Texas Tribune, November 6, 2018.
  6. ^ Scherer, Jasper. Alvarado wins Senate District 6 special election, December 11, 2018
  7. ^ Fikac, Peggy, August 21, 2003, Senators' 1870 walkout also drew GOP's wrath Reconstruction-era tiff led to arrests and one expulsion, San Antonio Express-News
  8. ^ Democrat Mario Gallegos, Jr. (District 6) died October 16 and was reelected posthumously.
  9. ^ Democrat Sylvia Garcia elected to succeed Gallegos

External links

Coordinates: 30°16′28″N 97°44′24″W / 30.274537°N 97.739906°W

2010 Texas elections

Elections were held in Texas on Tuesday, November 2, 2010. Primary elections were held on March 2, 2010.

The Republican Party continued its dominance over Texas politics, maintaining control of all statewide offices and increasing its majorities in both chambers of the Texas Legislature. The GOP also picked up control of three additional seats in the United States House of Representatives.

Lieutenant Governor of Texas

The Lieutenant Governor of Texas is the second-highest executive office in the government of Texas, a state in the U.S. It is the second most powerful post in Texas government because its occupant controls the work of the Texas Senate and controls the budgeting process as a leader of the Legislative Budget Board.

Under the provisions of the Texas Constitution, the Lieutenant Governor is President of the Texas Senate. Unlike with most other states' senates and the U.S. Senate, the Lieutenant Governor regularly exercises this function rather than delegating it to the president pro tempore or a Majority Leader. By the rules of the Senate, the Lieutenant Governor establishes all special and standing committees, appoints all chairpersons and members, and assigns all Senate legislation to the committee of his choice. The Lieutenant Governor decides all questions of parliamentary procedure in the Senate. He or she also has broad discretion in following Senate procedural rules.

The Lieutenant Governor is an ex officio member of several statutory bodies. These include the Legislative Budget Board, the Legislative Council, the Legislative Audit Committee, the Legislative Board and Legislative Council, which have considerable sway over state programs, the budget and policy. The Lieutenant Governor is also a member of the Legislative Redistricting Board (together with the Speaker of the House, Attorney General, Comptroller, and Land Commissioner), which is charged with adopting a redistricting plan for the Texas House of Representatives, Texas Senate, or U.S. House of Representatives after the decennial census if the Legislature fails to do so.

In the case of a vacancy in the Lieutenant Governor's office, the Senate elects one of its members to act as President of the Senate until the next statewide office election, in effect becoming the Lieutenant Governor. A Senator elected as presiding officer in this way retains his district seat and the voting privileges entailed with his Senate election.

The Lieutenant Governor is sworn-in on the third Tuesday every four years, the same as the Governor.

Dan Patrick has been the Lieutenant Governor of Texas since January 20, 2015.

The term of office was two years from 1846 to 1972. Voters then increased it to four years, effective for the 1974 election. The Lieutenant Governor assumes the powers of the Governor of Texas when the governor is out of the state or otherwise unable to discharge the office. The Lieutenant Governor is elected separately from the Governor, rather than on the same ticket; it is therefore possible for the Governor and Lieutenant Governor to be from different political parties (which was the case during Governor George W. Bush's first term and also during Bill Clements's two non-consecutive terms). The Lieutenant Governor becomes Governor if the elected Governor resigns, dies or is removed from office via impeachment and conviction. Former Governor Rick Perry took office upon George W. Bush's resignation on December 21, 2000. Bush became US President on January 20, 2001. When Perry became lieutenant governor on 19 January 1999, he became the first Republican since Albert Jennings Fountain in 1873 to serve as lieutenant governor, and the first Republican to be elected as Lieutenant Governor since James W. Flanagan in 1869.

Royce West

Royce Barry West (born 26 September 1952)

is an American Democratic politician and a member of the Texas Senate representing the Dallas-based 23rd District.

Sylvia Garcia

Sylvia R. Garcia (born September 6, 1950) is an American politician who has been serving as the U.S. Representative for Texas's 29th congressional district seat since 2019. She was elected on November 6, 2018. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously represented District 6 in the Texas Senate.

Texas Senate, District 10

District 10 of the Texas Senate is a senatorial district that currently serves a portion of Tarrant county in the U.S. state of Texas. The current Senator from District 10 is Republican Konni Burton.

Texas Senate, District 11

District 11 of the Texas Senate is a senatorial district that currently serves portions of Brazoria, Galveston and Harris counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The current Senator from District 11 is Larry Taylor.

Texas Senate, District 12

District 12 of the Texas Senate is a senatorial district that currently serves portions of Denton and Tarrant counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The current Senator from District 12 is Jane Nelson.

Texas Senate, District 13

District 13 of the Texas Senate is a senatorial district that currently serves portions of Fort Bend and Harris counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The current Senator from District 13 is Borris Miles.

Texas Senate, District 14

District 14 of the Texas Senate is a senatorial district that currently serves a portion of Travis county in the U.S. state of Texas. The current Senator from District 14 is Kirk Watson.

Texas Senate, District 15

District 15 of the Texas Senate is a senatorial district that currently serves a portion of Harris county in the U.S. state of Texas. The current Senator from District 15 is John Whitmire.

Texas Senate, District 16

District 16 of the Texas Senate is a senatorial district that currently serves a portion of Dallas county in the U.S. state of Texas. The current Senator from District 16 is Nathan M. Johnson.

Texas Senate, District 17

District 17 of the Texas Senate is a senatorial district that currently serves portions of Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris and Jefferson counties in the U.S. state of Texas. Senator Kyle Janek announced his resignation on May 29, 2008. Governor Rick Perry called for a special election to fill the vacancy on November 4, 2008. A runoff was held on December 16, 2008 which was won by Republican Joan Huffman.

Texas Senate, District 25

District 25 of the Texas Senate is a senatorial district that currently serves all of Comal, Guadalupe, Hays and Kendall counties, and portions of Bexar and Travis counties in the U.S. state of Texas. Long-term District 25 Senator Jeff Wentworth, who lost the Republican runoff election on July 31, 2012, was succeed in the position in January 2013 by Donna Campbell, an emergency department physician from New Braunfels.

Texas Senate, District 27

District 27 of the Texas Senate is a senatorial district that currently serves all of Cameron, Kenedy, Kleberg and Willacy counties and a portion of Hidalgo county in the U.S. state of Texas. The current Senator from District 27 is Eddie Lucio, Jr..

Texas Senate, District 5

District 5 of the Texas Senate is a senatorial district that serves Brazos, Freestone, Grimes, Leon, Limestone, Madison, Milam, Robertson, Walker and Williamson counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The current Senator from District 5 is Charles Schwertner.

Texas Senate, District 6

District 6 of the Texas Senate is a senatorial district that serves a portion of Harris county in the U.S. state of Texas. The seat is currently held by Sylvia Garcia, who won a 2013 special election after the death of Senator Mario Gallegos, Jr. on October 16, 2012.

Texas Senate, District 7

District 7 of the Texas Senate is a senatorial district that serves a portion of Harris county in the U.S. state of Texas. The current Senator from District 7 is Paul Bettencourt.

Texas Senate, District 8

District 8 of the Texas Senate is a senatorial district that currently serves portions of Collin and Dallas counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The current Senator from District 8 is Angela Paxton.

Texas Senate, District 9

District 9 of the Texas Senate is a senatorial district that currently serves portions of Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The current Senator from District 9 is Kelly Hancock.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.