What are the main power structures in the Texas legislature?
The Lieutenant Governor presides over the Texas Senate, but the Speaker of the House presides over the Texas House of Representatives. The latter is elected by his/her fellow representatives. Both the Lt. Gov. and the Speaker must maintain order during debates and designate when legislators shall speak. The Speaker may vote for bills passed through his/her House, but the Lt. Gov. may not vote in the Senate. Only in the case where a vacancy for the Lt. Gov. position exists may a Senator vote, when he/she has already been elected to act as the Presiding Officer until the next election establishes a new Lt. Gov.
Currently, the Republicans hold a majority in both the Senate and the House.
The Senate can confirm official appointments made by the Governor.
The Texas legislature can move to impeach and try members of the judicial and executive branches. It can pass bills and turn them into laws; it proposes resolutions and then amends the state Constitution; and it levies taxes and determines the state's budget. It also exercises oversight on the agencies and departments to which it has allocated funds.