State Government


Texas Legislature

In the United States, state governments operate under federalism. Therefore, the State of Texas has its own independent executive, legislative, and judicial branch of government.

The Legislative Branch includes two chambers, the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate. The Texas House of Representatives is composed of 150 members, each elected for a two-year term. The Texas Senate is composed of 31 members who represent 31 separate geographical districts in the state. The Texas Legislature meets in Regular Session for about five months every other year. Regular Sessions begin at noon on the second Tuesday in January of odd numbered years and can last no more than 140 days, ending during the last week of May or the first week of June. Special Sessions may be called by the Governor and can last up to 30 days.

The Judicial Branch includes the court system, where the Supreme Court is the highest state appellate court for civil matters, and the Court of Criminal Appeals as the highest state appellate court in criminal matters. Courts of appeals also exercise intermediate appellate jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases. District courts are the state’s trial courts of general jurisdiction. In addition to these state courts, the Texas Constitution provides for a county court in each county. To aid the constitutional county court with its judicial functions, the Legislature has established statutory county courts. The Texas Constitution also authorizes not less than one nor more than 16 justices of the peace in each county. By statute, the Legislature has also created municipal courts in each incorporated city in the state.

The Executive Branch is headed by the Governor of Texas and includes numerous State agencies such as the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Texas Department of Transportation, and Texas Department of Public Safety. The executive branch consists of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller of Public Accounts, Land Commissioner, Attorney General, Agriculture Commissioner, the three-member Texas Railroad Commission, the State Board of Education, and the Secretary of State.


Harris County promotes accessible, affordable, equitable, reliable, safe, and sustainable transportation options and networks to facilitate efficient movement of people and goods throughout the region.


Harris County promotes an inclusive and resilient local economy by working aggressively to remain competitive over time and expand opportunities for workers, small businesses, and community-driven investments while addressing historical and current economic inequities in doing so.


Harris County improves overall health and quality of life by implementing preventative and responsive public health strategies, providing access to affordable and high-quality health care, and addressing the social determinants of health to eliminate disparities and achieve health equity.


Harris County reduces flood risk and strengthens resiliency through holistic, equitable, and effective prevention, mitigation, and response strategies.


Harris County will aim to exemplify high-quality, transparent, and accountable government by using data and best practices to invest taxpayer dollars wisely; by continually reviewing and improving the effectiveness of our policies, programs, and services; by recruiting and retaining a talented and diverse workforce; and by engaging with and providing outstanding customer service to all of our communities.


Harris County combats the underlying causes and disproportionate impact of climate change on marginalized communities by making community-driven improvements to air, water, and soil quality, by committing to the use of clean energy, improving flood resiliency with natural infrastructure practices, reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and providing every resident access to quality green spaces.


Harris County increases access to, incentivizes and invests in quality affordable and flood resilient housing that is widely accessible throughout the county, builds safe and healthy neighborhoods, facilitates economic opportunity, and provides access to recreational green spaces for all residents.


Harris County promotes safe, healthy, thriving communities through restorative and evidence-based strategies that foster public trust, prevent violence and trauma, reduce racial and economic disparities, and minimize criminal justice system exposure where at all possible.