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Contents

Updates

  • District pages updated for current Congressional, State Senate, and State House districts. All 2001-era districts have had a unique page created in the redistricting sections for each page. State Board of Education pages are in queue to be completed next.
  • Committee assignments for the 83rd Lege are now updated: House and Senate
  • An update to the overall outline of content is being created to allow space for non-political topics still relevant to Texas government. Some see information has been provided to areas such as Texas Education.

Showcase

Texas Government

Federal Officeholders

U.S. Senate

U.S. Congress U.S. Congressional Districts

District CD1, CD2, CD3, CD4, CD5, CD6, CD7, CD8, CD9, CD10, CD11, CD12, CD13, CD14, CD15, CD16, CD17, CD18, CD19, CD20, CD21, CD22, CD23, CD24, CD25, CD26, CD27, CD28, CD29, CD30, CD31, CD32, CD33, CD34, CD35, CD36

Statewide Officeholders

Campaign 2014

On May 29, 2013, Comptroller Susan Combs announced that she would not seek re-election to the office of Comptroller. On July 8, 2013, Governor Rick Perry announced that he would not seek re-election to the office of Governor. These decisions set in motion the largest number of statewide candidacies in a number of years. Republican candidates rumored, announced, or considering a run for office in 2014 are as follows:

  • US Senate: John Cornyn (i), U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, Michael Fjetland (D), Maxey Scherr (D), David Alameel (D), Harry Kim (D), Kesha Rogers (D)
  • Governor: Greg Abbott, Larry Kilgore, Sen. Wendy Davis (D), Ray Madrigal (D)
  • Lt. Governor: David Dewhurst (i), Sen. Dan Patrick, Jerry Patterson, Todd Staples, Leticia Van de Putte (D)
  • Attorney General: Rep. Dan Branch, Barry Smitherman, Sen. Ken Paxton, Sam Houston (D)
  • Comptroller: Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, Sen. Glenn Hegar, Debra Medina, Raul Torres, Mike Collier (D)
  • Land Commish: George P. Bush, David Watts, John Cook [D]
  • Ag Commish: Eric Opiela, former Rep. Tommy Merritt, J. Allen Carnes, former Rep. Sid Miller, Jim Hogan (D)
  • Railroad Commish: Malachi Boyuls, Ray Keller, Becky Berger, former Rep. Wayne Christian, Steve Brown (D)

State Board of Education

The Texas State Board of Education is an elected board that oversees the public education system in Texas. Members run in partisan elections and represent fifteen single-member districts for four-year terms. The terms are staggered, with half of the seats being up each cycle. However, all seats are up in the first year after new districts are drawn.

Board members set the Texas Essential Knowledge Standards (TEKS) for each subject area. TEKS is the basis for the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test, a standardized test used to determine whether students are meeting standards at specific grade levels. The board also oversees investments in the Permanent School Fund.

State Board of Education Districts

District SBOE1, SBOE2, SBOE3, SBOE4, SBOE5, SBOE6, SBOE7, SBOE8, SBOE9, SBOE10, SBOE11, SBOE12, SBOE13, SBOE14, SBOE15


Texas Legislature

State Senate

The Texas Senate is the upper house of the Texas Legislature. There are 31 members, each representing single-member districts. The term of office is four years, with no term limits. All Senators are up for re-election in the first year after redistricting, with lots drawn to determine which half of the body is up for election two years later. Republicans control the body 19-12 after the 2012 election cycle.

Senate Districts

District SD1, SD2, SD3, SD4, SD5, SD6, SD7, SD8, SD9, SD10, SD11, SD12, SD13, SD14, SD15, SD16, SD17, SD18, SD19, SD20, SD21, SD22, SD23, SD24, SD25, SD26, SD27, SD28, SD29, SD30, SD31
State House

The Texas House of Representatives is the lower house of the Texas Legislature. The House consists of 150 members elected from single-member districts. Representatives are elected to two-year terms with no term limits. The 83rd legislature will be controlled by Republicans 95-55. This follows the 82nd legislature where Republicans had won 99 seats in the 2010 election cycle and gained two more with the ensuing party-switches of Allan Ritter (Nederland) and Aaron Pena (Edinburg) to the Republican Party. The House is led by a Speaker of the House, who is elected by the body at the start of each legislative session. Joe Straus has served as Speaker since the 81st session. Rep. David Simpson has also announced his candidacy for Speaker going into the 83rd session.

The map in effect for 2012 (H309) is the creation of a 3-judge panel that resulted from a prior court-drawn map being overturned by the Supreme Court (H302). The legislature's plan (H283) serves as the basis for what Republicans in the legislature sought during the 82nd session. It remains to be seen whether 2014 elections will be held under a new map created from the ongoing lawsuit against the legislature's map, a new legislative-drawn map from the 2013 session, or possibly under the same map as 2012.

House Districts

District HD1, HD2, HD3, HD4, HD5, HD6, HD7, HD8, HD9, HD10, HD11, HD12, HD13, HD14, HD15, HD16, HD17, HD18, HD19, HD20, HD21, HD22, HD23, HD24, HD25, HD26, HD27, HD28, HD29, HD30, HD31, HD32, HD33, HD34, HD35, HD36, HD37, HD38, HD39, HD40, HD41, HD42, HD43, HD44, HD45, HD46, HD47, HD48, HD49, HD50, HD51, HD52, HD53, HD54, HD55, HD56, HD57, HD58, HD59, HD60, HD61, HD62, HD63, HD64, HD65, HD66, HD67, HD68, HD69, HD70, HD71, HD72, HD73, HD74, HD75, HD76, HD77, HD78, HD79, HD80, HD81, HD82, HD83, HD84, HD85, HD86, HD87, HD88, HD89, HD90, HD91, HD92, HD93, HD94, HD95, HD96, HD97, HD98, HD99, HD100, HD101, HD102, HD103, HD104, HD105, HD106, HD107, HD108, HD109, HD110, HD111, HD112, HD113, HD114, HD115, HD116, HD117, HD118, HD119, HD120, HD121, HD122, HD123, HD124, HD125, HD126, HD127, HD128, HD129, HD130, HD131, HD132, HD133, HD134, HD135, HD136, HD137, HD138, HD139, HD140, HD141, HD142, HD143, HD144, HD145, HD146, HD147, HD148, HD149, HD150
Texas Sunset Commission

In 1977, the Texas Legislature created the Sunset Advisory Commission to identify and eliminate waste, duplication, and inefficiency in government agencies. The 12-member Commission is a legislative body that reviews the policies and programs of more than 150 government agencies every 12 years. The Commission questions the need for each agency, looks for potential duplication of other public services or programs, and considers new and innovative changes to improve each agency's operations and activities. The Commission seeks public input through hearings on every agency under Sunset review and recommends actions on each agency to the full Legislature. In most cases, agencies under Sunset review are automatically abolished unless legislation is enacted to continue them.

2013 Texas Legislative Session

Administrative

Issues

Archive

Local Government

Texas Judiciary

Texas Supreme Court

Composed of the Chief Justice and eight Justices, the Supreme Court of Texas is the court of last resort for civil matters in the State of Texas. The Supreme Court is in Austin, next to the State Capitol.

The Justices of the Supreme Court are elected to staggered six-year terms in state-wide elections. When a vacancy arises the Governor may appoint a Justice, subject to Senate confirmation, to serve out the remainder of an unexpired term until the next general election. All members of the Court must be at least 35 years of age, a citizen of Texas, licensed to practice law in Texas, and must have practiced law (or have been a lawyer and a judge of a court of record together) for at least ten years (see Tex. Const., Art. 5, Sec. 2).

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

The Court of Criminal Appeals is Texas' highest court for criminal cases. The Court consists of a Presiding Judge and eight Judges. They are elected by the voters of the entire state, and they hold their offices for terms of six years. The Court sits in Austin - near the Capitol. From time to time it may sit in other cities to hear cases.

Texas Court of Appeals

The fourteen Courts of Appeals have intermediate appellate jurisdiction in both civil and criminal cases appealed from district or county courts. Each Court of Appeals has jurisdiction in a specific geographical region of the State. Each Court is presided over by a chief justice and has at least two other justices. The specific number of justices on each Court is set by statute and ranges from three to thirteen.

Presently there are eighty justices authorized for these Courts. Appeals in the Courts of Appeals are usually heard by a panel of three justices, unless in a particular case an en banc hearing is ordered, in which instance all the justices of that Court hear and consider the case.

Texas District Courts

The district courts are the trial courts of general jurisdiction of Texas.The geographical area served by each court is established by the Legislature, but each county must be served by at least one district court. In sparsely populated areas of the State, several counties may be served by a single district court, while an urban county may be served by many district courts.

There are currently 156 courts and affiliated judges. 359 districts contain one county, while 97 districts contain more than one county..

District courts have original jurisdiction in all felony criminal cases, divorce cases, cases involving title to land, election contest cases, civil matters in which the amount in controversy (the amount of money or damages involved) is $200 or more, and any matters in which jurisdiction is not placed in another trial court. While most district courts try both criminal and civil cases, in the more densely populated counties the courts may specialize in civil, criminal, juvenile, or family law matters.

Texas County-level Courts

County-level courts consist of three types:

  • Constitutional County Courts: one court in each county
  • Statutory County Courts: established in 88 counties
  • Statutory Probate Courts: established in 10 counties

Texas Justice Courts

Texas Municipal Courts

Elections

Texas Education

Public Education (K-12)

During the 2010-11 school year, Texas had 4,933,617 students and 334,930 teachers. The graduating class for the prior school year was 280,520 students. The Texas Education Association (TEA) lists 1,237 different school districts and charter schools throughout the state. These districts contain 8468 different schools at all levels. The data produced for the 2008-09 school year calculates the per-pupil spending throughout the state at $7,418 per student.

Texas School Districts

District Houston ISD, Dallas ISD, Fort Worth ISD, Austin ISD, Northside ISD, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, El Paso ISD, Arlington ISD, San Antonio ISD, Fort Bend ISD, Katy ISD, North East ISD, Aldine ISD, Garland ISD, Plano ISD, Pasadena ISD, Lewisville ISD, Brownsville ISD, Klein ISD, Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, Alief ISD, Alvin ISD

Higher Education

University Systems: University of Texas System, Texas A&M System, University of Houston System

Public Universities: University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, University of Houston, University of Texas - El Paso, North Texas University, Texas State, University of Texas - San Antonio, University of Texas - Arlington, University of Texas - Pan American, Lamar University, Stephen F. Austin University, Texas Southern University, Tarleton State University, Sam Houston State University, Texas Womens University

Private Universities: Rice University, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University

Texas A&M System Agencies

Health-Related Institutions: UT Southwestern Medical Center, UT Medical Branch at Galveston, UT Health Science Center at Houston, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, UT Health Science Center at Tyler, Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Community and Technical Colleges: Alamo College, Alvin Community College, Amarillo College, Angelina College, Austin Community College, Blinn College, Brazosport College, Central Texas College, Cisco College, Clarendon College, Coastal Bend College, College of the Mainland, Collin College, Dallas Community College, Del Mar College, El Paso Community College, Frank Phillips College, Galveston College, Grayson College, Hill College, Houston Community College, Howard College, Kilgore College, Laredo Community College, Lee College, Lone Star College, McLennan Community College, Midland College, Navarro College, North Central Texas College, Northeast Texas Community College, Odessa College, Panola College, Paris Junior College, Ranger College, San Jacinto College, South Plains College, South Texas College, Southwest Texas Junior College, Tarrant County College

Enrollment/Financial Assistance: Top 10% Scholarships, Texas Grant, B-On-Time Loan Program, Hazlewood Exemptions, Guaranteed Student Loans, Family Practice Residency Program, Emergency and Trauma Care Education Partnership Program, Teach for Texas Loan Repayment Program, T-STEM Challenge Scholarship, Graduate Medical Expansion, Norman Hackerman Advance Research Program

Texas Health Care

Texas Criminal Justice

Texas Agriculture

Texas Energy & Natural Resources

Texas Transportation

Texas Economy

Texas History

Texas Geography

Texas Media Markets

Texas Counties
Major: Harris, Dallas, Bexar, Tarrant, Travis, Collin, Denton, Cameron, El Paso, Webb, Jefferson


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