From Texas Political Almanac
- 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.
- Sunset Bills in the 83rd Legislature being started w/ writeups for select bills: SB213(83R), SB215(83R), SB219(83R)
- Congressional writeups: CD1, CD7, CD8, CD9, CD14, CD15, CD16, CD22, CD27, CD29. Previous versions have been saved to 2001-era maps. Each will be updated and moved over to the current district page as time permits.
- 2011 Elections page is added with complete results. Writeup of contests are in progress, beginning with Houston election.
- Harris County Constable Precincts page completed with 2010 Demographics, Precinct Map, and some Election History.
- Overview of City of Houston council districts is ported over from the blog.
U.S. Congress Template:Congressional Districts
- Governor - Rick Perry
- Lt. Governor - David Dewhurst
- Attorney General - Greg Abbott
- Comptroller of Public Accounts - Susan Combs
- Commissioner of the General Land Office - Jerry Patterson
- Commissioner of Agriculture - Todd Staples
- Railroad Commissioners - Barry Smitherman, David Porter, Christi Craddick
- Secretary of State - Nandita Berry
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. Major-party nominees for office in 2014 are as follows:
- US Senate: John Cornyn (R), David Alameel (D)
- Governor: Greg Abbott (R), Wendy Davis (D)
- Lt. Governor: Dan Patrick (R), Leticia Van de Putte (D)
- Attorney General: Ken Paxton (R), Sam Houston (D)
- Comptroller: Glenn Hegar (R), Mike Collier (D)
- Land Commish: George P. Bush (R), John Cook [D]
- Ag Commish: Sid Miller (R), Jim Hogan (D)
- Railroad Commish: Ryan Sitton (R), 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.
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.
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.
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
- House RSS Feeds
- 2013 House Members
- 2013 Senate Members
- 2013 House Rules
- 2013 Senate Rules
- 2013 House Votes
- 2013 Senate Votes
- 83R House Interim Charges
- 83R Senate Interim Charges
- 2014-15 Biennium Budget
- 2013 Public Education Funding
- 2013 Higher Education Funding
- Pre-K Funding in Texas
- Houston City Government
- Dallas City Government
- Austin City Government
- San Antonio City Government
- Fort Worth City Government
- El Paso City Government
- Irving City Government
- Arlington City Government
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
- History of Public Education in Texas
- History of Public Education Legal Action in Texas
- Public Education Financing
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
Texas A&M System Agencies
- Texas A&M AgriLife Research
- Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
- Texas A&M AgriLife Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory
- Texas A&M Forest Service
- Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station
- Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
- Texas A&M Transportation Institute
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 General Government
- General Government - Major Funding Issues 2014
- Office of Attorney General
- Bond Review Board
- Cancer Prevention and Research Institute
- Public Finance Authority
- Department of Information Resources
- Pension Review Board
- State Office of Risk Management
- Secretary of State
- Trusteed Programs Within the Office of the Governor
- Texas Ethics Commission
Texas Health Care
Texas Criminal Justice
Texas Energy & Natural Resources
- Texas Highways
- Texas Airports
- Texas Railroads
- Texas Mass transportation
- Texas Ports
- Trans-Texas Corridor
- Pre-Columbian Texas
- Early European exploration
- French Colonization of Texas
- Spanish Texas: 1690â€“1821
- Mexican Texas: 1821â€“1836
- Texas Revolution
- Republic of Texas: 1836â€“1845
- Statehood, war, and expansion: 1845â€“1860
- Confederate Texas and Reconstruction: 1860â€“1876
- 19th century Post-Reconstruction
- The Progressive Era in Texas
- Depression and Wartime Texas
- Postwar Texas
- Modern Texas
Texas Media Markets
- Largest: Houston Media Market, DFW Media Market, San Antonio Media Market
- Full List: Abiline Media Market, Amarillo Media Market, Austin Media Market, Beaumont Media Market, Corpus Christi Media Market, DFW Media Market, El Paso Media Market, Harlingen Media Market, Houston Media Market, Laredo Media Market, Lubbock Media Market, Odessa Media Market, San Angelo Media Market, San Antonio Media Market, Sherman Media Market, Shreveport Media Market, Tyler-Longview Media Market, Victoria Media Market, Waco Media Market, Wichita Falls Media Market
Scratchpad & Miscellaneous Subjects
This section contains topics that have been discontinued as part of the focus for this site.
- Obama Administration
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