Organization and Leadership

Presiding Officers

The presiding officeres have wide latitude in choosing committee membership in their respective chambers and have a large impact on lawmaking in the state.

Texas Senate Leadership: The Lieutenant Governor

As presiding officer of the Senate, the lieutenant governor is officially called the President of the Senate. The lieutenant governor is elected by a statewide popular vote to serve a four year term of office. The lieutenant governor is not a member of the Senate, and votes only in case of a tie. The lieutenant governor appoints all chairs and members of Senate committees, and refers all bills to committee. The lieutenant governor also schedules most bills for consideration on the Senate floor.

The current Lieutenant Governor is Dan Patrick.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick
Figure 1. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick

Texas House of Representatives Leadership: The Speaker of the House

The speaker of the House is the presiding officer, elected by a majority of House members. The speaker appoints chairs and members of all House committees and refers all bills to a committee.

The current Speaker of the House is Joe Strauss.

Speaker of the House Joe Strauss
Figure 2. Speaker of the House Joe Strauss