Texas Legislature 2019

Through the lens: The 86th Texas Legislature in photos

Take a look back at the 2019 regular legislative session as seen through the lenses of Texas Tribune photographers.

Flowers and foliage outside the Capitol on April 9.

Texas Legislature 2019

The 86th Legislature runs from Jan. 8 to May 27. From the state budget to health care to education policy — and the politics behind it all — we focus on what Texans need to know about the biennial legislative session.

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From the first day of the session on Jan. 8 to adjournment sine die on May 27, The Texas Tribune photojournalists have been all over the Capitol and its grounds, covering the 86th Texas Legislature day in and day out. Thousands of pictures were taken to grace hundreds of stories. Here are a few of them.

Opening Day of the 86th session of the Texas Legislature with action in the Texas House 
Election of Speaker Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, by unanimous vote.
State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, speaks after being elected Speaker of the House on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.
Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen (dubbed "the Big 3") pet Abbott's dog Pancake after their joint press conference at the Governor's Mansion on Jan. 9.
The "Children of the Confederacy" plaque hangs on a wall on the first floor of the eastern side of the Capitol building.
Dr. Alma Arredondo addresses the State Preservation Board at the Capitol on Jan. 25, 2019. Arredondo argued the state erred in removing a Confederate plaque that said the Civil War wasn’t over slavery.
Texas Secretary of State David Whitley attended a Senate Nominations Committee on Feb. 7. Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Whitley to the job. But after Whitley presided over a botched review of the voter rolls that questioned the citizenship of thousands of eligible voters, the Texas Senate gaveled out Monday without confirming him to the post. That ended his ill-fated tenure.
State Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, on the Senate floor on May 15, 2019.
Gov. Greg Abbott with House members on the House Floor on April 30, 2019.
State Rep. Erin Zwiener, D-Driftwood, with her daughter on the chamber floor during the House deliberation on a new school finance plan April 3.
Texas Rep. Toni Rose, D-Dallas, right, chats with other house members on May 7, 2019.
From left: Jordan Schwikert, Alyssa Baumann and Tasha Schwikert, three gymnasts who say they were abused by Larry Nassar, testify on HB 3809 during the Senate State Affairs Committee on May 13, 2019.
Becky Leach, wife of state Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, in the Capitol on April 8. Becky Leach testified on House Bill 3809 before the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee, which her husband chaired. The bill doubled the amount of time that victims of certain types of sexual abuse have to sue abusers or entities, from 15 years to 30 years after a victim turns 18. The bill passed and went to the governor.
State Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, listens to testimony from State Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock, on HJ3. Huberty seeks to postpone a vote on the bill related to a sales tax increase. May 7, 2019.
The Sergeant-At-Arms' team prepares bills, mostly House bills, marked on the calendar for the next day on May 21, 2019.
State Rep. Julie Johnson, D-Carrollton, spoke against Senate Bill 1978 on the House floor on May 20. Behind her, from left: state Reps. Jessica González, Mary González, Erin Zwiener  and Celia Israel. The five women formed the first-ever LGBTQ Caucus this session.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick at the dais on the Senate floor on May 25, 2019.
House Speaker Dennis Bonnen signs paperwork on the House floor on May 25, 2019.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Gov. Greg Abbott and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen were joined by state legislators at a press conference at the Governor's Mansion on May 23. The men announced they'd reached deals on overhauls to the property tax and school finance systems.
State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, oversaw the successful passing of HB 1, a budget deal, in the Senate on May 27, 2019.
Eliana Peña wears her quinceañera dress for photos at the Texas Capitol on May 26, 2019.
Chyrece Campbell held Pierce Campbell as he looked up at the rotunda at the Capitol. Chyrece and her children, also pictured, Madison, Gregory and Kennedy, visited the building on Jan. 8, the first day of the 86th regular legislative session.