It is my genuine hope that you find this site an invaluable resource to help you learn about the legislative process and stay informed of the activities and accomplishments of the Texas House. You can access tools that help you track legislation, provide real time access to debates, and help you get to know your elected officials.
Thank you for visiting this site and for taking an active role in your state government. An open government is essential to ensuring public confidence and accountability.Respectfully,
Room CAP 2W.13, Capitol
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
(512) 463-0675 Fax
San Antonio, TX 78209
(210) 832-9994 Fax
The Honorable Joe Straus was re-elected Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives by a unanimous vote at the commencement of the 82nd Regular Legislative Session on January 8, 2013. As Speaker, Joe Straus has set a tone of respectful leadership, empowering the members of the Texas House to do what is right for their constituents and for the people of Texas.
Speaker Straus believes in a limited, efficient government that is accountable to taxpayers. He wants to expand opportunity for all Texans by promoting economic development, improving education, increasing budget transparency, and securing the resources and infrastructure needed for private-sector growth.
In addition to serving as Speaker, he represents San Antonio's 121st District, which includes the Bexar County communities of Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Terrell Hills, and northeast San Antonio. Speaker Straus was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in a special election in February 2005 (79th Regular Session).
His first session as Speaker, in 2009, was widely viewed as a success as legislators reduced taxes, set aside billions in a rainy day fund, and invested more money in priorities including education, college scholarships, and health care. During his service as a member of the Legislature, Speaker Straus has been a leader on economic issues, common sense tax relief, and energy efficiency measures. In the 2007 Legislative Session, Speaker Straus served on the Committee on Economic Development as Vice Chairman, the Committee on Regulated Industries, and the Committee on Local and Consent Calendars. In 2007, he authored legislation eliminating the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund tax, saving consumers more than $200 million a year in taxes.
In addition to presiding over the Texas House, Speaker Straus serves as the co-chair of the Legislative Budget Board, the State Preservation Board, the Legislative Audit Committee, and the Texas Legislative Council. He is one of five members on the Legislative Redistricting Board. Speaker Straus also serves as a member of the Texas House Republican Caucus.
As a lifelong Republican, Speaker Straus has served on numerous campaign committees for federal, state, and local candidates, as a precinct chairman, and on the Management Committee of the Bexar County Republican Party. In 1986, he was U.S. Representative Lamar Smith's campaign manager in Smith's first race for Congress. Early in his career, he worked in public service in the administrations of President Ronald Reagan and President George H. W. Bush
Speaker Straus is a San Antonio native and a fifth-generation Texan. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, he has an insurance, investments, and executive benefits practice. He and his wife Julie have two daughters.
last updated on 10/19/2012
|Date||Sponsored By||Topic||Time||Video Format|
|11/23/09||Straus, Joe||2009 Texas Capitol Ornament||6 minutes||RealPlayer|
The speaker is the presiding officer of the house of representatives. The Texas Constitution requires the house of representatives, each time a new legislature convenes, to choose one of its own members to serve as speaker.
As presiding officer, the speaker maintains order during floor debate, recognizing legislators who wish to speak and ruling on procedural matters. The constitution also requires the speaker to sign all bills and joint resolutions passed by the legislature. As a member of the house of representatives, the speaker may vote on all questions before the house.
The other duties and responsibilities of the speaker are determined by the members of the house in the House Rules of Procedure, which are adopted by a majority vote of the members at the beginning of each regular session of the legislature. The members give the speaker the authority to appoint the membership of each standing committee, subject to rules on seniority, and to designate the chair and vice chair for each committee. Under the rules, the speaker is responsible for referring all proposed legislation to committee, subject to the committee jurisdictions set forth in the rules. The rules also allow the speaker to appoint conference committees, to create select committees, and to direct committees to conduct interim studies when the legislature is not in session.
If you are an undergraduate, graduate, or law student and are interested in applying for an internship with the Office of the Speaker, please submit your resume to:
The Texas House of Representatives is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age or disability in the employment or the provision of services. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you require reasonable accommodations during the application process, please call (512)463-0865.