37 Organization and Leadership

Learning Objectives

At the end of this section you’ll be able to:

  • Understand how the Texas State Legilsature is organized
  • Understand the Leadership of the Texas State Legislature


Although members are elected on partisan ballots, both houses of the Legislature are officially organized on a nonpartisan basis, with members of both parties serving in leadership positions such as committee chairmanships. As of 2018, a majority of the members of each chamber are members of the Republican Party.


The Lieutenant Governor (currently Dan Patrick), elected statewide separately from the governor, presides over the Senate, while the Speaker of the House (currently Joe Straus) is elected from that body by its members. Both have wide latitude in choosing committee membership in their respective houses and have a large impact on lawmaking in the state.


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