Texas House of Representatives

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Texas House of Representatives
Texas State Legislature
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type Lower house of the Texas Legislature
Term limits None
History
New session started January 8, 2013
Leadership
Speaker of the House Joe Straus, (R)
Since January 13, 2009
Speaker pro Tempore Dennis Bonnen, (R)
Structure
Seats 150
Political groups Republican Party (95)
Democratic Party (55)
82 Texas House Structure.svg
Length of term 2 years
Authority Article 3, Texas Constitution
Salary $7,200/year + per diem
Elections
Last election November 6, 2012
(150 seats)
Next election November 4, 2014
(150 seats)
Redistricting Legislative Control
Meeting place
Texas House Chamber.jpg
House of Representatives Chamber
Texas State Capitol
Austin, Texas
Website
Texas House of Representatives

The Texas House of Representatives is the lower house of the Texas Legislature. The House is composed of 150 members elected from single-member districts across the state. The average district has about 150,000 people. Texas House elections are held every two years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Representatives are elected to two-year terms with no term limits. The House meets at the Texas Capitol in Austin.

Leadership of the House[edit]

Seal of the Speaker
Former Speaker pro Tempore, Craig Eiland

The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer and key leader of the House. The Speaker's duties include maintaining order within the House, recognizing members during debate, rule on procedural matters, the appointment chairships and members to committees, sending bills for committee review. The Speaker pro tempore is primarily a ceremonial position; by long-standing tradition, the Speaker pro tempore presides over the House during its consideration of local and consent bills.

Unlike other state legislatures, the House Rules do not formally recognize majority or minority leaders for parties represented in the House. However, each political party has a caucus that elects officers and participates in the lawmaking process. The leader of the Republican caucus is the Caucus Chairman, while the leader of the Democratic Caucus is the House Democratic Leader.

The current Speaker of the House is Joe Straus, a Republican from San Antonio. The Speaker pro tempore is Dennis Bonnen, a Republican from Angleton, TX. The current Republican Caucus Chairman is Brandon Creighton of Conroe and the current House Democratic Leader is Yvonne Davis of Houston. Bonnen was chosen to replace Democrat and former Speaker pro tempore Beverly Woolley.[1]

Leaders[edit]

Position Name Party Residence District
Speaker of the House Joe Straus Republican San Antonio 121
Speaker Pro Tempore Dennis Bonnen Republican Angleton, Texas 25

Committee Structure[edit]

The following represents the House committee structure for the 81st Legislature.

  • Agriculture and Livestock
  • Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Business and Economic Development
    • Subcommittee on Criminal Justice
    • Subcommittee on Education
    • Subcommittee on General Government
    • Subcommittee on Health & Human Services
    • Subcommittee on Hurricane
    • Subcommittee on Stimulus
  • Border & Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Business & Industry
  • Calendars
  • Corrections
  • County Affairs
  • Criminal Jurisprudence
  • Culture, Recreation, & Tourism
  • Defense & Veterans' Affairs
  • Elections
  • Energy Resources
  • Environmental Regulation
  • Federal Economic Stabilization Funding (Select Committee)
  • General Investigating & Ethics
  • Higher Education
  • House Administration
  • Human Services
  • Insurance
  • Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence
  • Land & Resource Management
  • Licensing & Administrative Procedures
  • Local & Consent Calendars
  • Natural Resources
  • Pensions, Investments, & Financial Resources
  • Public Education
  • Public Health
  • Public Safety
  • Redistricting
  • Rules & Resolutions
  • State Affairs
  • Technology, Economic Development, & Workforce
  • Transportation
  • Urban Affairs
  • Ways & Means

There are also statutory joint committees, composed of members of both the House and the Senate

  • Criminal Justice Legislative Oversight
  • Legislative Audit Board
  • Legislative Budget Board
  • Legislative Library Board
  • Sunset Advisory Commission
  • Texas Legislative Council

Current composition[edit]

The chamber was narrowly split heading into the 2010 election cycle, but large Republican gains on election day, a Republican victory in a December 14, 2010 special election, and the party switch of two Democratic members have given the GOP a supermajority of 101 members at the start of the 82nd legislature. The supermajority of the GOP was a vast change from the 1965 session, when there was only one Republican in the entire Texas House: Frank Kell Cahoon of Midland, then District 77.[2]

In 2013, the 83rd legislature has 95 Republicans and 55 Democrats. Of the Democrats, only ten are non-Hispanic whites. Only one of those ten, Tracy King of Zavala County, represents a predominantly rural district. All other rural districts have Republican representatives. By contrast, there were eighty-three Anglo Democrats in the House in 1987, with fifty-six of those from primarily rural areas.[3]

Composition[edit]

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Republican Democrat Vacant
Previous Legislature 75 73 148 2
Begin 101 49 150 0
End of Previous Legislature 48 149 1
Begin 95 55 150 0
June 27, 2013[4] 54 149 1
January 28, 2014 55 150 0
Latest voting share 63% 37%

List of Members[edit]

District Representative Party Residence First elected County(ies) represented
1 Lavender, GeorgeGeorge Lavender R New Boston 2010 Bowie, Franklin, Lamar, Red River
2 Flynn, DanDan Flynn R Canton 2003 Hopkins, Hunt, Van Zandt
3 Bell Jr., CecilCecil Bell Jr. R Magnolia 2012 Montgomery (part), Waller
4 Gooden, LanceLance Gooden R Terrell 2010 Henderson, Kaufman
5 Hughes, BryanBryan Hughes R Mineola 2004 Camp, Morris, Rains, Smith, Titus, Wood
6 Schaefer, MattMatt Schaefer R Tyler 2012 Smith (part)
7 Simpson, DavidDavid Simpson R Longview 2010 Gregg, Upshur
8 Cook, ByronByron Cook R Corsicana 2002 Anderson, Freestone, Hill, Navarro
9 Paddie, ChrisChris Paddie R Marshall 2012 Cass, Harrison, Marion, Panola, Sabine, Shelby
10 Pitts, JimJim Pitts R Waxahachie 1992 Ellis, Henderson (part)
11 Clardy, TravisTravis Clardy R Jacksonville 2012 Cherokee, Nacogdoches, Rusk
12 Kacal, KyleKyle Kacal R Hillister 2012 Brazos (part), Falls, Limestone, McLennan, Robertson
13 Kolkhorst, LoisLois Kolkhorst R Brenham 2000 Austin, Burleson, Colorado, Fayette, Grimes, Lavaca, Washington
14 Raney, JohnJohn Raney R Bryan 2010 Brazos (part)
15 Toth, SteveSteve Toth R The Woodlands 2012 Montgomery
16 Creighton, BrandonBrandon Creighton R Conroe 2006
17 Kleinschmidt, TimTim Kleinschmidt R Eagle Lake 2008 Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales, Karnes, Lee
18 Otto, JohnJohn Otto R Dayton 2004 Liberty, San Jacinto, Walker
19 White, JamesJames White R Woodville 2010 Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Polk, Tyler
20 Farney, MarshaMarsha Farney R Georgetown 2012 Burnet, Milam, Williamson (part)
21 Ritter, AllanAllan Ritter R[5] 1998 Jefferson (part), Orange
22 Deshotel, JoeJoe Deshotel D Port Arthur 1998 Jefferson (part)
23 Eiland, CraigCraig Eiland D Galveston 1994 Chambers, Galveston (part)
24 Bonnen, GregGreg Bonnen R Friendswood 2012 Galveston (part)
25 Bonnen, DennisDennis Bonnen R Angleton 1996 Brazoria (part), Matagorda
26 Miller, RickRick Miller R Sugar Land 2012 Fort Bend (part)
27 Reynolds, RonRon Reynolds D Missouri City 2010
28 Zerwas, John M.John M. Zerwas R Katy 2006
29 Thompson, EdEd Thompson R Pearland 2012 Brazoria (part)
30 Morrison, GeanieGeanie Morrison R Victoria 1998 Aransas, Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Refugio
31 Guillen, RyanRyan Guillen D Rio Grande City 2002 Atascosa, Brooks, Duval, Jim Hogg, Kenedy, La Sallae, Live Oak, McMullen, Starr, Willacy
32 Hunter, Todd AmesTodd Ames Hunter R Portland 2008
(1989-1997)
Nueces (part)
33 Turner, ScottScott Turner R 2012 Collin (part), Rockwall
34 Herrero, AbelAbel Herrero D Corpus Christi 2012 Nueces (part)
35 Longoria, OscarOscar Longoria D Beeville 2012 Cameron (part) Hidalgo (part)
36 Muñoz, Jr., SergioSergio Muñoz, Jr. D Mission 2010 Hidalgo
37 Oliveira, ReneRene Oliveira D Brownsville 1980 Cameron (part)
38 Lucio III, EddieEddie Lucio III D San Benito 2006
39 Martinez, ArmandoArmando Martinez D Weslaco 2004 Hidalgo (part)
40 Canales, TerryTerry Canales D Edinburg 2012
41 Guerra, RobertRobert Guerra D McAllen 2012†
42 Raymond, RichardRichard Raymond D Laredo 2001†
(1993-1999)
Webb (part)
43 Lozano, J. M.J. M. Lozano R[6] Kingsville 2010 Bee, Jim Wells, Kleberg, San Patricio
44 Kuempel, JohnJohn Kuempel R Seguin 2010† Guadalupe, Wilson
45 Isaac, JasonJason Isaac R Austin 2010 Blanco, Hays
46 Dukes, DawnnaDawnna Dukes D Austin 1994 Travis (part)
47 Workman, Paul D.Paul D. Workman R Austin 2010
48 Howard, DonnaDonna Howard D Austin 2006†
49 Naishtat, ElliottElliott Naishtat D Austin 1990
50 Israel, CeliaCelia Israel D Austin 2014†
51 Rodriguez, EddieEddie Rodriguez D Austin 2002
52 Gonzales, LarryLarry Gonzales R Round Rock 2010 Williamson (part)
53 Hilderbran, HarveyHarvey Hilderbran R Kerrville 1988 Bandera, Crockett, Edwards, Kerr, Kimble, Llano, Mason, Medina, Menard, Real, Schleicher, Sutton
54 Aycock, Jimmie DonJimmie Don Aycock R Lampasas 2006 Bell (part), Lampasas
55 Sheffield, RalphRalph Sheffield R Temple 2008 Bell (part)
56 Anderson, CharlesCharles Anderson R Waco 2004 McLennan (part)
57 Ashby, TrentTrent Ashby R Lufkin 2012 Angelina, Houston, Leon, Madison, San Augustine, Trinity
58 Orr, RobRob Orr R Burleson 2004 Bosque, Johnson
59 Sheffield, J.D.J.D. Sheffield R Gatesville 2012 Comanche, Coryell, Erath, Hamilton, McCulloch, Mills, San Saba, and Somervell
60 Keffer, JimJim Keffer R Eastland 1996 Brown, Callahan, Coleman, Eastland, Hood, Palo Pinto, Shackelford, Stephens
61 King, PhilPhil King R Weatherford 1998 Parker, Wise
62 Phillips, LarryLarry Phillips R Sherman 2002 Delta, Grayson, Fannin
63 Parker, TanTan Parker R Flower Mound 2006 Denton (part)
64 Crownover, MyraMyra Crownover R Lake Dallas 2000†
65 Simmons, RonRon Simmons R Carrollton 2012 Denton (part)
66 Taylor, VanVan Taylor R Plano 2010† Collin (part)
67 Leach, JeffJeff Leach R Plano 2012
68 Springer, Jr., DrewDrew Springer, Jr. R Vernon 2012 Childress, Collingsworth, Cooke, Cottle, Crosby, Dickens, Fisher, Floyd, Garza, Hall, Hardeman, Haskell,
Jack, Kent, King, Montague, Motley, Wheeler, Wilbarger, Young
69 Frank, JamesJames Frank R Wichita Falls 2012 Archer, Baylor, Clay, Foard, Knox, Wichita
70 Sanford, ScottScott Sanford R McKinney 2012 Collin (part)
71 Susan KingSusan King R Abilene 2006 Jones, Nolan, Taylor
72 Darby, DrewDrew Darby R San Angelo 2006 Coke, Concho, Howard, Irion, Reagan, Runnels, Sterling, Tom Green,
73 Miller, DougDoug Miller R New Braunfels 2008 Comal, Gillespie, Kendall
74 Nevarez, PonchoPoncho Nevarez D Eagle Pass 2012 Brewster, Culberson, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kinney, Loving, Maverick, Pecos, Presidio, Reeves, Terrell, Val Verde
75 Gonzalez, MaryMary Gonzalez D El Paso 2012 El Paso (part)
76 Gonzalez, NaomiNaomi Gonzalez D El Paso 2010
77 Marquez, MarisaMarisa Marquez D El Paso 2008
78 Moody, JoeJoe Moody D El Paso 2012
79 Pickett, JoeJoe Pickett D El Paso 1994
80 King, TracyTracy King D Batesville 2005
(1995-2003)
Dimmit, Frio, Webb (part), Uvalde, Zapata, Zavala
81 Lewis, Tryon D.Tryon D. Lewis R Odessa 2008 Andrews, Ector, Ward, Winkler
82 Craddick, TomTom Craddick R Midland 1968 Crane, Dawson, Martin, Midland, Upton
83 Perry, CharlesCharles Perry R Lubbock 2010 Borden, Gaines, Lubbock (part), Lynn, Mitchell, Scurry, Terry
84 Frullo, JohnJohn Frullo R Lubbock 2010† Lubbock (part)
85 Stephenson, PhilPhil Stephenson R Wharton 2012 Fort Bend (part), Jackson, Wharton
86 Smithee, John T.John T. Smithee R Amarillo 1984 Dallam, Deaf Smith, Hartley, Oldham, Parmer, Randall
87 Price, FourFour Price R Amarillo 2010 Carson, Hutchinson, Moore, Potter, Sherman
88 King, KenKen King R Pampa 2012 Armstrong, Bailey, Briscoe, Castro, Cochran, Donley, Gray, Hale, Hansford, Hemphill, Hockley,
Lamb, Lipscomb, Ochiltree, Roberts, Swisher, Yoakum
89 Laubenberg, Jodie AnneJodie Anne Laubenberg R Parker 2002 Collin (part)
90 Burnam, LonLon Burnam D Fort Worth 1996 Tarrant (part)
91 Klick, StephanieStephanie Klick R Fort Worth 2012
92 Stickland, JonathanJonathan Stickland R Bedford 2012
93 Krause, MattMatt Krause R Arlington 2012
94 Patrick, DianeDiane Patrick R Arlington 2006
95 Collier, NicoleNicole Collier D Fort Worth 2012
96 Zedler, BillBill Zedler R Arlington 2010
97 Goldman, CraigCraig Goldman R Fort Worth 2012
98 Capriglione, GiovanniGiovanni Capriglione R Southlake 2012
99 Geren, CharlieCharlie Geren R River Oaks 2000
100 Johnson, EricEric Johnson D Dallas 2010 Dallas (part)
101 Turner, ChrisChris Turner D Mesquite 2012 Tarrant (part)
102 Carter, StefaniStefani Carter R Dallas 2010 Dallas (part)
103 Anchia, RafaelRafael Anchia D Dallas 2004
104 Alonzo, Roberto R.Roberto R. Alonzo D Dallas 1992
105 Harper-Brown, LindaLinda Harper-Brown R Irving 2002
106 Fallon, PatPat Fallon R Grand Prairie 2012 Denton (part)
107 Sheets, KennethKenneth Sheets R Dallas 2010 Dallas (part)
108 Branch, DanDan Branch R Dallas 2002
109 Giddings, HelenHelen Giddings D De Soto 1992
110 Rose, ToniToni Rose D Dallas 2012
111 Davis, YvonneYvonne Davis D Dallas 1992
112 Button, Angie ChenAngie Chen Button R Richardson 2008
113 Burkett, CindyCindy Burkett R Garland 2010
114 Villalba, JasonJason Villalba R Dallas 2012
115 Ratliff, BennettBennett Ratliff R Coppell 2012
116 Fischer, Trey MartinezTrey Martinez Fischer D San Antonio 2000 Bexar (part)
117 Cortez, PhilipPhilip Cortez D San Antonio 2012
118 Farias, JoeJoe Farias D San Antonio 2006
119 Gutierrez, RolandRoland Gutierrez D San Antonio 2008†
120 McClendon, RuthRuth McClendon D San Antonio 1998
121 Straus, JoeJoe Straus R San Antonio 2005†
122 Larson, LyleLyle Larson R San Antonio 2010
123 Villarreal, MikeMike Villarreal D San Antonio 2003
124 Menéndez, JoséJosé Menéndez D San Antonio 2000
125 Rodriguez, JustinJustin Rodriguez D San Antonio 2012
126 Harless, PatriciaPatricia Harless R Spring 2006 Harris (part)
127 Huberty, DanDan Huberty R Kingwood 2010
128 Smith, WayneWayne Smith R Baytown 2002
129 Davis, JohnJohn Davis R Houston 1998
130 Fletcher, AllenAllen Fletcher R Houston 2008
131 Allen, AlmaAlma Allen D Houston 2004
132 Callegari, BillBill Callegari R Houston 2000
133 Murphy, JimJim Murphy R Houston 2010
134 Davis, SarahSarah Davis R Houston 2010
135 Elkins, GaryGary Elkins R Houston 1994
136 Dale, TonyTony Dale R 2012
137 Wu, GeneGene Wu D Houston 2012
138 Bohac, DwayneDwayne Bohac R Houston 2002
139 Turner, SylvesterSylvester Turner D Houston 1988
140 Walle, ArmandoArmando Walle D Houston 2008
141 Thompson, SenfroniaSenfronia Thompson D Houston 1972
142 Dutton, Jr., HaroldHarold Dutton, Jr. D Houston 1984
143 Luna, Ana HernandezAna Hernandez Luna D Houston 2005†
144 Perez, Mary AnnMary Ann Perez D Houston 2012
145 Alvarado, CarolCarol Alvarado D Houston 2008
146 Miles, BorrisBorris Miles D Houston 2010
147 Coleman, GarnetGarnet Coleman D Houston 1991†
148 Farrar, Jessica ChristinaJessica Christina Farrar D Houston 1994
149 Vo, HubertHubert Vo D Houston 2004
150 Riddle, DebbieDebbie Riddle R Houston 2002†
†Representative was first elected in a special election.

Notable past members[edit]

The House chamber

Recent controversies[edit]

House voting controversy[edit]

On May 14, 2007, CBS Austin affiliate KEYE reported on multiple voting by representatives during House floor sessions.[7] The report noted how representatives register votes for absent members on the House's automated voting machines. Each representative would vote for the nearest absent members (apparently regardless of party affiliation). This practice was in direct violation of a Rule of the House; however, no representative had ever been disciplined for the practice in the almost 70 years since the rule was adopted. Speaker Craddick, responsible for enforcement of House Rules, issued a statement that discipline for violations of the rule is left to the individual members.

Craddick removal controversy[edit]

Chaos erupted in the Texas House of Representatives on Friday, May 25, 2007, when Rep. Fred Hill, R-Richardson, attempted to offer a motion to remove Tom Craddick as Speaker and have the House elect a new speaker. Craddick (also a Republican) refused to allow him to make the motion.[8] The attempts to oust Craddick continued through the weekend as other Republicans made additional motions, which were also disallowed.

The last time a Texas House speaker was removed by a vote of his fellow members was in 1871, when the House adopted a resolution removing Speaker Ira Evans. The Republican House majority removed Evans because he was seen as cooperating too much with Democrats on an elections bill.[8] While Craddick's close allies say the 2007 attempt to remove Craddick was just an effort by Democrats to gain greater control of the Legislature before the legislative and congressional redistricting process of 2011,[8] Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, says the fight was about Craddick consolidating power with lobbyists and using campaign contributions to maintain control in the House: "This is about the convergence of money and power and influence," Cook said.[8]

In January 2009, Craddick lost the Speaker's chair after a challenge from Joe Straus.

Cook committee hearing closure controversy (2013)[edit]

On June 20, 2013 Byron Cook served as chairman of the House State Affairs Committee hearing on Texas State House Bill 60. Cook's stance was for the passing of the bill and during the hearing he interrupted a testimony, saying "Some of us do (adopt children)." At 12:00 AM on June 21, Cook decided to close the hearing prematurely.[9] Cook's explanation for breaching Texas State Legislature operating procedures was that the testimonies being heard had become repetitive. Twenty-four minutes later, Cook became personally offended by a testimony, ordering the cameras to be shut off and leaving the room of committee members and witnesses. Approximately 20 minutes afterwards, Cook was persuaded by colleagues to resume the hearing and continued listening to testimonies until he prematurely closed the hearing at 1:30 AM.[10]

See also[edit]

  • Killer Ds a group of Texas House Democrats who left the state of Texas in 2003 to prevent House consideration of the redistricting legislation that benefited Texas Republicans.
  • Texas Government Newsletter for long-time coverage of issues such as the Dirty Thirty, the Killer Bees, and Killer D's.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.dennisbonnen.com/index.php/ins/item/82-bonnen-appointed-speaker-pro-tem-chair-of-special-purpose-districts
  2. ^ Sue Watkins, The Alcade, 1965. Retrieved March 13, 2011. 
  3. ^ Gary Scharrer, "Election trends reflect change", Laredo Morning Times, January 5, 2013, pp. 1, 14A
  4. ^ Democrat Terrorist Supporters Mark Strama (District 50) resigned. [1]
  5. ^ Elected as a Democrat in 1998, Ritter switched parties in December 2010.
  6. ^ Elected as a Democrat in 2010, Lozano switched parties in March 2012.
  7. ^ CBS Channel 42 KeyeTV Investigates: One Lawmaker, Many Votes?, May 14, 2007, available at "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG6X-xtVask"; see also Wilson, Nanci, One Lawmaker, Many Votes?, May 14, 2007, available at "www.keyetv.com/topstories/local_story_134224129.html"
  8. ^ a b c d R.G. Ratcliffe and Gary Scharrer. "The House struggles to move forward". Houston Chronicle, chron.com (May 27, 2007). Retrieved May 27, 2007. 
  9. ^ http://www.texastribune.org/2013/06/21/sparks-fly-omnibus-abortion-bill-hearing/
  10. ^ http://www.statesman.com/news/news/emotional-10-hour-abortion-hearing-ends-without-a-/nYRGB/

External links[edit]