Have you ever been curious about how the legislative branch in Texas works? Are you interested in learning more about our state’s lawmakers and the people who make up the state’s three branches of government as well as the agencies, boards, and commissions? If so, then we recommend that you have a look at the Texas State Directory and its companions, Texas Legislative Handbook and Texas Legislative Guide. Published by Texas State Directory Press, Inc., Texas State Directory is the go-to source for information about Texas government. In fact, its subtitle is “The Comprehensive Guide to the Decision-Makers in Texas Government.” Now in its 60th edition, Texas State Directory is divided into five sections: the State Section, the County Section, the City Section, the Federal Section, and the Reference Section. As you would expect, the State Section covers every branch of state government and has information about elected and appointed officials. The County and City Sections contain detailed information about county public officials and the elected officials in the incorporated cities, respectively. The Federal Section provides information about the Texans who represent the State in the federal government, including United States Senators, members of the United States House of Representatives, and Federal Circuit and District Judges. The Reference Section is where you can find names and addresses associated with the two main political parties, some Texas facts, and qualifications for office, among other things.
Texas Legislative Handbook is a handy pocket guide featuring photographs and useful information about our state senators and representatives, addresses and telephone numbers for the Texas delegation of the 115th United States Congress, and the names of those members who comprise the various Senate and House Standing Committees. Of interest as well are the Senate and House seating charts and the Senate and House district maps.
The last of this trio of governmental resources is the Texas Legislative Guide: A Guide to the Texas Legislative Process. This volume is separated into four principal sections. After providing a brief historical synopsis of the early Texas legislatures, the first section addresses the powers granted to the legislature and how the legislature is structured and how it operates. The second section of the book delves into the legislative process and walks the reader through the various stages from the initial preparation and reading of a bill to its enrollment and ultimate signing (or vetoing) by the governor. The third section lays out the responsibilities, immunities, and restrictions of the legislator and describes the three libraries located within the capitol complex. Political parties, administrative agencies, and interest groups are discussed in the fourth section as are the public’s participation in the legislative process and the role of the press.
Be sure to ask for the Texas State Directory at the reference desk.