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
6.    Presiding Officers and Powers

The wide dispersal of authority that exists in the executive branch ironically is absent in the Texas Legislature, the popular branch of government. The leader of each chamber exercises considerable authority over the rest of the membership, and over the flow of legislation.

The authority vested in the offices of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House historically has been reinforced by the strong personalities of leaders like Bill Hobby and Bob Bullock, among others who have occupied these offices. It almost seems that a strong personality is required just to be able to attain these offices, particularly that of Speaker of the House, which is elected by that chamber's membership. In any case, the offices themselves are invested with considerable institutional power.

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