The Lieutenant Governor of Texas serves as the President of the Senate. The lieutenant governor's duties include presiding over the Senate, appointing chairs of committees, committee members, assigning and referring bills to specific committees, recognizing members during debate, and making procedural rulings. The lieutenant governor may also cast a vote should a Senate floor vote end in a tie. If the Senate votes to dissolve itself into the Committee of the Whole, in which all members are part of the committee, the President Pro-Tempore resides over the proceedings, with the Lieutenant Governor acting as a regular voting member. Due to the various powers of committee selection and bill assignment, the lieutenant governor is arguably considered more powerful than the Governor of Texas, and is considered one of the most powerful lieutenant governorships in the United States.
Unlike other state legislatures, the Texas Senate does not include majority or minority leaders. Instead, the President Pro Tempore is considered the second most powerful position, and can be reserved to any political party in the chamber regardless if the party is a majority or not. President Pro Tempores are usually the most senior members of the Senate. The President Pro Tempore preside when the lieutenant governor is not present or when the legislature is not in regular session.
The President of the Senate is Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. The President Pro Tempore is Republican Mike Jackson of District 11 (Bryan).
Senator John Whitmire, a Democrat from Houston, is the Dean of the Senate, meaning he is the most senior member, having served for 26 years. Senator Chris Harris, a Republican from Arlington, is the most senior member of his party, and the fourth overall member in terms of seniority.
For the 82nd Legislative Session there are only two new, or freshmen, senators, Brian Birdwell, a Republican from Granbury, and José R. Rodríguez, a Democrat from El Paso.
Read more about this topic: Texas Senate
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Famous quotes containing the word leadership:
“During the first World War women in the United States had a chance to try their capacities in wider fields of executive leadership in industry. Must we always wait for war to give us opportunity? And must the pendulum always swing back in the busy world of work and workers during times of peace?”
—Mary Barnett Gilson (1877?)
“This I do know and can say to you: Our country is in more danger now than at any time since the Declaration of Independence. We dont dare follow the Lindberghs, Wheelers and Nyes, casting suspicion, sowing discord around the leadership of Franklin D. Roosevelt. We dont want revolution among ourselves.”
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—Elizabeth Cady Stanton (18151902)