Texas Politics


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Texas Politics and Government Sites



For additional resources see also the Political Science discipline page, the Geography discipline page, the Student Tools page and the Writing page.



The Official Website of the State of Texas

Texas Where We Stand: Comparative Facts and Figures about the Lone Star State

UT Libraries’ Statistics and Demographics Site: Web sites for Texas statistics, organized by subject

See the Texas State Data Center: population / demographic figures.


Texas Demographic and Socioeconomic Statistics / Indicators

UT Libraries’ Statistics and Demographics Site: web sites for state statistics, organized by subject

US Census data for Texas

Many Voices: Demographic and Socioeconomic Characteristics of Older Texans from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services

Economic Drivers of Texas (PDF)


Portal to Texas HistoryTexas Indian Lands Map from TexasIndians.com

Collection of Online Texas Newspapers

Collection of online Texas newspapers, compiled for IPL2

The Texas Almanac

Texas History.com

Texas Beyond History: The Virtual Museum of Texas' Cultural Heritage

The Handbook of Texas Online is produced by the Texas State Historical Association. The site provides summaries of the events and persons of Texas history and politics.

The Tides in Early Texas History collaborative digital project -- originally found at http://tides.sfasu.edu/home.html [link down] -- creates a platform in which cultural heritage institutions and educators can work together to enrich learning experiences for students, bridge gaps between disciplines and increase access to unique cultural collections. The gathering of all forms of cultural history around a topic offers a more complete story of the past than any one piece could do alone. The result is a unique tool for educators to teach early Texas history and information literacy. The Texas Tides project addresses the needs of educators, researchers and students for readily accessible primary and secondary cultural resource materials. The Tides web site documents early Texas history (prehistory until AD 1900) with an east Texas slant. In addition, The Texas Tides project meets the needs of Texas history teachers for curriculum material that will not only meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) guidelines, but also help prepare their students for the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Test (TAKS). [It looks as if the Tides site won't be back up anytime soon, if ever. However, you can still find the information from the original site through the Wayback Machine at https://web.archive.org/web/20100601162703/http://tides.sfasu.edu/.]

Texas Legacy Project

Texas Treasures - An online exhibit of historical artifacts and documents

McArdle Notebooks

Portal to Texas History

The Future is Texas (The Economist, (economist.com), December 19, 2002): an interesting look at Texas' political culture

A Genealogist’s Timeline of Texas History

Timeline: Women in Texas History

History of the XIT Ranch

SFA’s Public History Resources

East Texas Digital Archives and Collections

The South Texas Border, 1900-1920: photographs from the Robert Runyon Collection

Houston Oral History Project: A Great City Voices Its Past

The Day Tripper: a guide to travel in the Lone Star State

Texas Indians

Native Languages in Texas

Journal of the Constitutional convention of the state of Texas, begun and held at the city of Austin, September 6th, 1875


The Texas Constitution, adopted in 1876, is a marvel of inefficiency. Feel free to browse through what is probably one of the longest and most confusing constitutions in the world. Don't try to print it though ... you don't have enough paper! The Texas Legislative Reference Library has summaries of constitutional amendments.


Versions of the Texas Constitution from 1824-1876 are available from the Texas Legal History Digital Library of the Tarleton Law Library at the University of Texas at Austin


The Constitution of the State of Texas: An Annotated and Comparative Analysis


The Texas Governor has his own web page even though he has very little power in state government. Check out the page. Betcha it's a lot more impressive than the office itself!

Virtual Tour of the Governor's Mansion

Powers of the Governor

Texas State Agencies

The Texas Education Agency




If you are interested in interest groups in Texas, you need to become familiar with the state agency that regulates them. The Texas Ethics Commission serves as a repository of required disclosure statements for state officials, candidates, political committees and lobbyists and, consequently, serves as a clearinghouse of information for public and press inquiries.

Two of the most important regulatory agencies in Texas are the Public Utility Commission and the Texas Railroad Commission. Check out their web sites.

Texas Veterans Loans Program

See the Texas Workforce Commission for information on the Texas labor market.

Texas Juvenile Justice Department

Texas government agencies also include:

o   Texas Department of Agriculture

o   Texas Commission on the Arts

o   Texas Attorney General

o   Texas State Board for Educator Certification

o   Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

o   Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

o   Texas Lottery Commission

o   Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

o   State Fair of Texas

o   Texas Affordable Housing Corporation

o   and many, many others

Texas is one of the few states that actually reviews its agencies periodically under the state Sunset Act. Visit the web site of the state Sunset Commission.

Texas Administrative Code: Regulations created by Texas state agencies

Texas Register: Information on rulemaking by state agencies. Includes Governor's appointments, Attorney General opinions and documents such as RFPs.

The website of the Texas Legislature can take you to both the House and the Senate. If the legislature is in session, you can trace a House or Senate bill from its introduction. For information, start with the Texas Legislature Online.


Video broadcasts of

House and Senate

legislative activity

video camera

Click on the icon to see the

Texas Legislature at work.


CBS Reports: The Best Little Statehouse in Texas Parts 1&2 (54:12)

Powers of the Speaker of the House

House Rules

House Committees

Virtual Tour of the Senate

Senate Rules

Senate Committees

Senate Research Center Publications

Citizen Handbook

Legislative Glossary

How a Bill Becomes a Law

How to Read a Texas Legislative Bill

The Legislative Process

During a legislative session, members may introduce new legislation until the filing deadlines identified on the Legislative Dates Calendar. When the legislature is in session, the Texas Legislature Online home page will include the time that the House and Senate are scheduled to convene each day. Methods to view introduced legislation include:

How A Bill lBecomes A Law In Texas

Legislative Reports: View a list of bills that have been filed in the House or Senate.

Bill Status: View the current status and legislative history for a bill.

Text Search: Find bills with specific content.

Subject Search: Find bills on a specific subject using Bill Search or the Subject Index.

You can create a personal Bill List and receive e-mail notification as the status changes on bills you chose to watch.

Bills that have been referred to committee may be viewed using:

Legislative Reports

Bill Search

When a bill is scheduled to be heard by a House or Senate committee, public notice is made to allow public participation in the committee process. View House Meeting Notices and Senate Meeting Notices to see which bills are scheduled to be considered at a particular committee meeting.

Minutes are created by committee clerks after each public hearing. Use this website to view House Meeting Minutes and Senate Meeting Minutes.

Most committee meetings are available for viewing over the Internet on the House and Senate websites.

You can receive notice of upcoming House and Senate committee meetings via e-mail.

After a bill has been reported favorably by a committee and the committee report has been printed, the bill is available for placement on a calendar. A calendar is a list of bills and resolutions that are scheduled to be considered by the full House or Senate. Use this website to view House Calendars and Senate Calendars.

View the Amendments website to search for amendments based on chamber, author, bill, reading or date.

Proceedings on the House and Senate chamber floor may be viewed over the Internet at the House and Senate websites.

If a bill passes both the House and Senate, it may be signed or vetoed by the Governor or passed without signature. View the Legislative Reports to see a list of all bills passed or vetoed.

Once legislation becomes law, it becomes codified as a statute. Statutes may be viewed and searched at the Texas Statutes website.

Texas Laws, Past and Present

Gammel's The Laws of Texas: Early Texas laws digitized and made available from UNT Libraries

Legislative History and Intent Research: Guide to the history and intent of Texas legislation

In a representative system is it important for citizens to know who is making decision on their behalf. Yet a majority of citizens do not know the names of their representatives. This is your opportunity to enter the elect minority of US citizens who do know. Locate the name of your representatives at the state level at Vote Smart. They have a wealth of facts on your political leaders, including biographies and addresses, issue positions, voting records, campaign finances and evaluations by special interests.

Public Opinion Sites

o   Real Clear Politics

o   Survey USA FAQs

o   Polling Report

o   Gallup

o   Rasmussen

o   Zogby

o   The Texas Lyceum

The media play a major role in Texas politics.

o   The Dallas Morning News

o   The Austin-American Statesman

o   The Houston Chronicle

o   Texas Newspapers and Media   

5 Ways New Media Are Changing Politics

The Negative Consequences of Uncivil Political Discourse

A Primer on Persuasion and Influence

Propaganda Critic

Ad Critic

The 30 Second Candidate

The Living Room Candidate

In addition to the two major parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, Texas has a myriad of smaller political parties. I've listed the big three below. Almost any party you're looking for will have a web page, though.

o   The Libertarian Party defends the rights of individuals to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the same rights of others. Libertarians hold that governments must not violate individual rights. They oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. Finally, they support a free market system.

o   The Texas Democratic Party and the Republican Party of Texas both have fairly sophisticated web sites which not only lay out their own positions, but also criticize the positions of the opposition.

Texas Secretary of State


A complete list of candidates as well as all voting rules and regulations … and probably a list of polling places

Texas Election Night Returns

Texas has numerous local and state courts. The Texas Judiciary Online site allows people to research Texas judicial opinions and actions.

Court Structure in Texas: Ever confused by the number of Texas courts and their jurisdictions? This site explains how the court system in Texas is organized.

Supreme Court: The court of last resort for civil matters in the State of Texas

Court of Criminal Appeals: Texas' highest court for criminal cases

Courts of Appeals: Find out about the fourteen court of appeals in Texas, sign up to receive updates on cases that interest you and conduct research on cases and opinions.

Texas Office of Court Administration: The OCA provides administrative and technical support to all Texas courts. It operates under the direction of the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Texas.

State Office of Administrative Hearings: The SOAH conducts hearings and alternative dispute resolution proceedings.

State Counsel for Offenders - Texas Department of Criminal Justice: The SCO provides attorneys independent of the confinement divisions of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to help offenders with legal problems.

Texas Judicial Directory: Search by court type or name or by last name. Also link to the Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, Courts of Appeals or district-level Courts.

District Courts are the trial courts of Texas.

County Courts

Municipal Courts of Record

Texas Department of Corrections and Justice: Visit it to get an idea of what one of the largest prison systems in the world is like.

Texas Board of Pardons and Parole: The primary role of the Texas BPP is the discretionary release of eligible inmates sentenced to the Institutional Division to a plan of parole supervision.

Video: Stages of a Criminal Case

Texas Law Timeline

Visit the Texas Comptroller for information on the state’s economy. This site has the Comptroller's Research Reports, Fiscal Notes, Economic Reports, Education Reports, Performance Reviews and Economic Updates.

Basics on the Texas Property Tax

Read the Comptroller’s description on How to Appeal Your Property Taxes.

Where the Money Comes From

Where the Money Goes

Budget 101: A Guide to the Budget Process in Texas

Legislative Budget Board

No look at state government would be complete without looking at local governments in Texas. If your town -- or one of interest to you -- has a web site, you can access it through the Cities web page. You can get information on your county at the web site for the Texas Association of Counties.

Reporter’s Guide to Covering City Hall

Texas Counties

County Health Rankings

As you would expect in a state the size of Texas, almost every interest group in the country has a Texas branch. Here are a few that may be of interest to you. If you don't see the one you want, try going to its national page and looking for state links.

o   The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

o   The Texas Trial Lawyers Association is charged with protecting consumers. The TTLA is your resource for legislative information and politics.

o   The Texas Classroom Teachers Association is a nonprofit, nonunion professional education association, founded in 1927 as the only Texas education association devoted exclusively to the needs of classroom teachers and other professional, nonadministrative education personnel.

o   The Texas Cattle Feeders Association, headquartered in Amarillo, represents cattle feeders in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. TCFA works on behalf of its members in many ways including: state and national legislation, regulatory liaison with state and national regulatory bodies, up-to-the-minute computerized market information, seminars and meetings, an insurance and safety program that features the only full-time safety specialist in the cattle industry and industry promotion and research.

o   The Texas Association of School Boards

o   The Texas section of the American Civil Liberties Union

Texas Business and Industry Data Center

Open Secrets




Copyright 1996 Amy S Glenn
Last updated:   08/01/2022   0001

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