Texas Senate

Last updated

Texas Senate
Eighty-seventh Texas Legislature
Seal of State Senate of Texas.svg
Type
Type
Term limits
None
History
New session started
January 12, 2021
Leadership
Dan Patrick (R)
since January 20, 2015
Brian Birdwell (R)
since January 12, 2021
Structure
Seats31
87th Texas Senate.svg
Political groups
Majority
  •    Republican (18)

Minority

Length of term
4 years
AuthorityArticle 3, Texas Constitution
Salary$7,200/year + per diem
Elections
First-past-the-post
Last election
November 3, 2020
(16 seats)
Next election
November 8, 2022
(15 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
Texas Senate composition 2021.svg
State Senate Chamber
Texas State Capitol
Austin, Texas
Website
Texas State Senate
Inside view of the Texas Senate Another view of the Texas State Senate IMG 6320.JPG
Inside view of the Texas Senate

The Texas Senate (Spanish : Senado de Texas) 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 18 Republicans and 13 Democrats.

Contents

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 of Texas 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.

Leaders

PositionNamePartyResidenceDistrict
Lieutenant Governor/President of the Senate Dan Patrick Republican Houston
President Pro Tempore Brian Birdwell Republican Granbury 22

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. [1]

Committee structure

The following represents the Senate committee structure for the 86th Legislature.

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

Current composition

Senate Districts and Party Affiliation after the 2020 election
Republican Party
Democratic Party TxSen2020Comp.svg
Senate Districts and Party Affiliation after the 2020 election
  Republican Party
  Democratic Party

List of members

DistrictSenatorPartyResidenceFirst
elected
Next
election
County(ies) represented
1 Bryan Hughes Republican Mineola 20162024 Bowie, Camp, Cass, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Panola, Red River, Rusk, Smith, Titus, Wood, Upshur
2 Bob Hall Republican Edgewood 20142022 Dallas (part), Delta, Fannin, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Rains, Rockwall, Van Zandt
3 Robert Nichols Republican Jacksonville 20062022 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†2024 Chambers, Galveston (part), Harris (part), Jefferson, Montgomery (part)
5 Charles Schwertner Republican Georgetown 20122022 Brazos, Freestone, Grimes, Leon, Limestone, Madison, Milam, Robertson, Walker, Williamson
6 Carol Alvarado Democratic Houston 2018†2024Harris (part)
7 Paul Bettencourt Republican Houston 20142022Harris (part)
8 Angela Paxton Republican Plano 20182022 Collin (part), Dallas (part)
9 Kelly Hancock Republican Fort Worth 20122022Dallas (part), Tarrant (part)
10 Beverly Powell Democratic Fort Worth 20182022Tarrant (part)
11 Larry Taylor Republican Friendswood 20122024 Brazoria (part), Galveston (part), Harris (part)
12 Jane Nelson Republican Flower Mound 19922024 Denton (part), Tarrant (part)
13 Borris Miles Democratic Houston 20162024 Fort Bend (part), Harris (part)
14 Sarah Eckhardt Democratic Austin 2020†2022 Bastrop, Travis (part)
15 John Whitmire Democratic Houston 19822022Harris (part)
16 Nathan M. Johnson Democratic Dallas 20182022Dallas (part)
17 Joan Huffman Republican Southside Place 2008†2022Brazoria (part), Fort Bend (part), Harris (part)
18 Lois Kolkhorst Republican Katy 20142024 Aransas, Austin, Burleson, Calhoun, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend (part), Goliad, Gonzales, Harris (part), Jackson, Lavaca, Lee, Matagorda, Nueces (part), Refugio, Victoria, Waller, Washington, Wharton
19 Roland Gutierrez Democratic San Antonio 20202024 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 20022024 Brooks, Hidalgo (part), Jim Wells, Nueces (part)
21 Judith Zaffirini Democratic Laredo 19862024Atascosa (part), Bee, Bexar (part), Caldwell, Duval, Guadalupe (part), Hays (part), Jim Hogg, Karnes, La Salle, Live Oak, McMullen, San Patricio, Starr, Travis (part), Webb, Wilson, Zapata
22 Brian Birdwell Republican Granbury 2010†2024 Bosque, Ellis, Falls, Frio, Hill, Hood, Johnson, McLennan, Navarro, Somervell, Tarrant (part)
23 Royce West Democratic Dallas 19922022Dallas (part)
24 Dawn Buckingham Republican Horseshoe Bay 20162024 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 20122022Bexar (part), Comal, Guadalupe (part) Hays (part), Kendall, Travis (part)
26 Jose Menendez Democratic San Antonio 2015†2024Bexar (part)
27 Eddie Lucio Jr. Democratic Brownsville 19902024 Cameron, Hidalgo (part), Kenedy, Kleberg, Willacy
28 Charles Perry Republican Lubbock 2014†2024 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, Motley, Nolan, Reagan, Runnels, Sleicher, Scurry, Shackelford, Stephens, Sterling, Stonewall, Sutton, Taylor (part), Terry, Throckmorton, Tom Green, Upton, Ward, Wilbarger
29 Cesar Blanco Democratic El Paso 20202024 Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Presidio
30 Drew Springer Republican Vernon 20202024 Archer, Clay, Collin (part), Cooke, Denton (part), Erath, Grayson, Jack, Montague, Palo Pinto, Parker, Wichita, Wise, Young
31 Kel Seliger Republican Amarillo 2004†2022 Andrews, Armstrong, Bailey, Briscoe, Carson, Castro, Cochran, Collingsworth, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Donley, Ector, Gaines, Glasscock, Gray, Hall, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Howard, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Loving, Martin, Midland, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Sherman, Swisher, Wheeler, Winkler, Yoakum

†Elected in a special election

Notable past members

Past composition of the Senate

The Senate was continuously held by Democrats from the end of the Reconstruction era until the Seventy-fifth Texas Legislature was seated in 1997, at which point Republicans took control. The Republican Party has maintained its control of the Senate since then.

See also

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References

  1. 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

Coordinates: 30°16′28″N97°44′24″W / 30.274537°N 97.739906°W / 30.274537; -97.739906