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House of Representatives

House of Representatives

The Texas House of Representatives is one arm of the Legislature of the State of Texas (the other being the Texas Senate), which the Texas Constitution (Article III, Section 1) vests with all legislative power of the state. The primary legislative power is enacting laws, and the most visible function of the legislature is to make public policy through drafting, considering, and passing bills and resolutions. Biennially, the House of Representatives elects a speaker from its membership to serve as its presiding officer. The House of Representatives consists of 150 representatives elected in even-numbered years for two-year terms. A representative must be at least 21 years old, a qualified voter, and a resident of Texas for at least two years and of the district represented for at least one year immediately preceding election.

The legislature meets in regular session on the second Tuesday in January of odd-numbered years and in special sessions when convened by the governor. The length of the regular session is limited to 140 days. Special sessions are limited to 30 days, but the number of special sessions that may be called is not limited. Only legislative matters submitted by the governor may be considered in special session. All legislative sessions, except for the senate’s executive session, are open. Neither house may, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days or move to a place other than where the legislature is sitting. Two-thirds of each house constitutes a quorum, the number of members required to conduct business. If a quorum is not present, a smaller number may vote to adjourn and compel absent members to attend. The house is required to keep and publish a journal of its proceedings and to record the vote on any question on which three members who are present demand an actual count of yeas and nays.

(Sources include: Guide to Texas State Agencies, 11th edition (2001); Legislative Reference Library of Texas website (http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/index.cfm), accessed September 30, 2014; and the records themselves.)

Committee on Saving Taxes public hearing recordings | Textbook Investigating Committee recordings | House Photography records | House recordings


Texas House of Representatives Committee on Saving Taxes public hearing recordings, 1959-1960, 1962

Committee on Saving Taxes Public Hearing Audiotapes and TranscriptCreator: Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Committee on Saving Taxes
Title:
House of Representatives Committee on Saving Taxes public hearing recordings
Dates:
1959-1960, 1962
Abstract: The Texas House of Representatives Committee on Saving Taxes, appointed during the 56th and 57th Texas Legislature, was given the charge to investigate ways to reduce costs and waste in state government and to devise operational plans for all state departments, agencies, and institutions to provide economical and efficient services to the public. The committees held public hearings during 1959-1960 and 1962, at which primarily state agency personnel testified. Each agency’s staff was asked questions concerning the agency’s operations, current expenditures and revenue generated by the agency, and what cost-saving measures could be implemented at the agency itself and throughout state government. Digital copies of the audiotape recordings of these public hearings, created by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission with grant funding provided by the Library Services and Technology Act, Institute of Museum and Library Services, are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

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House of Representatives Textbook Investigating Committee recordings, 1962

Textbook Investigating Committee audiotapesCreator: Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Textbook Investigating Committee
Title: House of Representatives Textbook Investigating Committee recordings
Dates: 1962
Abstract: In response to controversy over the content of public school textbooks and assigned student reading in Texas in the 1950s and 1960s, the Texas House of Representatives Textbook Investigating Committee was created (House Simple Resolution 736, 57th Texas Legislature, Regular Session) in 1962 to study the contents of public school American history textbooks that had been approved for use in Texas schools and report its findings to the House of Representatives before the end of the regular session of the 58th Legislature. Economics and home economics textbooks, in addition to literary works used as assigned reading, also came under the committee’s consideration. The committee held public hearings in Austin, Amarillo, and San Antonio, and held two meetings after the hearings, all in 1962. Digital copies of the audiotape recordings of these public hearings and meetings, created by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission with grant funding provided by the Library Services and Technology Act, Institute of Museum and Library Services, are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

These audiotapes are arranged in chronological order, grouped by hearing location (Austin, Amarillo, San Antonio), with committee meetings appearing last.

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House of Representatives House Photography Records, 1971-1997

Image of a representative from the 67th legislature

Image of a representative from the 67th legislature

Creator: Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. House Photography
Title: House of Representatives House Photography records
Dates: 1971-1975, 1977-1979, 1981-1997
Abstract: The Texas House of Representatives is one arm of the Legislature of the State of Texas (the other being the Texas Senate), which the Texas Constitution (Article III, Section 1) vests with all legislative power of the state. House Photography records contain black-and-white and color photographs, contact sheets, negatives, slides, letters received, photograph order forms, policy statements, and product manuals produced and collected by the House Photography department of the Texas House of Representatives, dating 1971-1975, 1977-1979, 1981-1997. Records are from the 62nd through 74th Legislative Session. The department accumulated these records in the course of its work to make photographic portraits of individual state representatives, to photograph events on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives and in other related entities of state government, and to provide photographs at the request of members.

Only photographs from the Sixty-Seventh Legislature have been digitized.

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Texas Legislature, House of Representatives, House recordings, 1962, 1973, 1975-1979, 1981-1984, undated

House recordings
Creator: Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives
Title: House of Representatives recordings
Dates: 1962, 1973, 1975-1979, 1981-1984, undated
Abstract: The Texas House of Representatives is one arm of the Legislature of the State of Texas (the other being the Texas Senate), which the Texas Constitution (Article III, Section 1) vests with all legislative power of the state. House of Representatives recordings mainly contain floor debates, with some committee proceedings included. They span the 57th Legislature, Interim Term, in 1962, as well as the 63rd Texas Legislature, 1st Called Session, through the 68th Legislature, 2nd Called Session, from 1973 to 1984.

Recordings have been arranged by committee where possible to assist users in navigating. Logbooks associated with the recordings provide additional information about speakers and topics covered.

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