Texas Politics - The Legislative Branch
  1. Tradition and Modernity
  2. Looking Ahead
  1. Sessions
  2. Special Sessions
  3. Bicameral Structure
  4. Membership
  5. Compensation
  6. Terms of Office
  1. Formal
  2. Informal
  3. Party
  4. Gender, Race, Ethnicity
  5. Incumbency
  6. Age and Occupation
  1. Historical Perspective
Powers and Immunities
  1. Bills
  2. Resolutions
  3. Administrative Powers
  4. Investigative, Impeachment
  5. Immunities
Presiding Officers and Powers
  1. Senate Pres./Lt. Governor
  2. Speaker of the House
  3. Pro Tempore Positions
  1. Committees
  2. System Impact
How a Bill Becomes a Law
  1. Intro, Referral
  2. Committee Action
  3. Floor Action
  4. Conference Committee
  5. Governor's Desk
Citizens Legislative Power
  1. Constitutional Amendments
  2. Initiative and Referendum
10  Conclusions
  1. Reforms
  2. Citizen Participation
  1. Print-friendly format
  2. Key words and phrases
  3. Multimedia resources
  4. Lt. Governors table
  5. Speakers table
Interactive tool for examining age and occupation in the legislature Legislature age and occupation profiles
3.6    Age and Occupation

Another, informal qualification that continues to be important is age – specifically, it helps to be middle aged or older. While the members of the House of Representatives tend to be younger than those of the Senate, 80 percent were at least forty years old in the 2003-2004 legislature, and 44 percent were at least fifty years old. Some 77 percent of the Senate in the same session were at least fifty years old.

Additionally, it helps to be either a lawyer or businessperson. Twenty-nine percent of the legislators in the 2003-2004 legislature were lawyers. Another 28 percent of the House and a whopping 60 percent of the Senate listed business or accounting as their professions. If you add farming/ranching, insurance and real estate to the "business" category, you can see the overwhelming presence of business interests that actually reside in the statehouse. This chapter includes an interactive tool that allows you to examine the characteristics of Texas legislators and compare the chambers to each other and to the legislature as a whole.

Texas Politics:
© 2005, Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services
University of Texas at Austin