If you have ever tuned in to any livestreams of the Texas Senate or House of Representatives proceedings, you are probably familiar with seeing non-elected officials—who are granted access to the floor—provide certain functions as a part of the overall legislative process.

If you have ever wondered who they are, consider this your explainer.

Senate (Senate Rules, Article I)

President of the Senate – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R)
Elected statewide, this individual decides all questions of order in the proceedings of the Senate. They also name all standing committees and appoint all chairmen, vice chairmen, and members of each committee. This individual does not vote on legislation.

President Pro Tempore Sen. Brian Birdwell (R–Granbury)
More of a ceremonial position, this individual is a senator elected by their peers to fulfill the role of president in the case of the president’s absence.

Secretary – Patsy Spaw
Charged with the coordination of the other offices and divisions of the Senate.

Journal Clerk – Lourdes Litchfield
Records the regular order of business for the Senate and its committees.

Calendar Clerk – Tracy Ortiz
The official custodian of the bills and resolutions pending in the Senate. All Senate bills and resolutions are filed in their office.

Enrolling Clerk – Patience Worrel
Oversees the Engrossing and Enrolling Department, produces the official Senate committee printing, produces the engrossed and enrolled versions of legislation that pass out of the Senate, and drafts and produces Senate bills and resolutions.

Sergeant-at-Arms – Rick DeLeon
Maintains order and carries out directives from other presiding officers and members of the Legislature.

Doorkeeper – Austin Osborn
Controls access to the Senate floor.


House of Representatives (House Rules, Rule 1 & 2)

Speaker of the Texas House of RepresentativesDade Phelan (R–Beaumont)
Ultimately, the speaker is the presiding officer of the Texas House of Representatives. The speaker is elected from among their peers and has the ability to vote at any time. This individual also names standing committees, appoints the chairman and vice chairman of each committee, and allocates committee membership based on seniority and general requests from House membership.

Chief Clerk – Robert Haney
The chief administrative officer of the House supervises all legislative departments and is the custodian of all bills and resolutions residing in the House. They are responsible for keeping a complete record of the introduction of bills and any subsequent actions taken on them throughout the process.

Journal Clerk – Jennifer Teigen Doran
Maintains a journal of the proceedings of the House when in session. The House Journals are usually made available to the public a few days after the events occur in the legislative process.

Reading Clerk(s) – Haley Hilderbran
Charged with reading the bills (bill captions) upon first, second, and third readings.

Sergeant-at-Arms – Michael Black
Maintains order and carries out directives from other presiding officers and members of the Legislature.

Doorkeeper – Anthony Hester
Controls access to the House of Representatives floor. 

Voting Clerk – Scottie Hagen
Charged with opening and closing the voting machines at the direction of the speaker for the purposes of quorum registration and voting on individual bills. As a result, also records votes and submits the official copy to the journal.

Committee Coordinator – Stacey Nicchio
Prepares a schedule for regular meetings of all House committees, posts committee hearing notices, maintains committee minutes, maintains all sworn statements, forwards impact statements, receives committee reports, and refers them to be printed, as well as receives and distributes all recommendations and final reports of interim study committees.

Parliamentarian(s) – Sharon Carter & Hugh Brady
Working directly for the speaker of the House, they advise and assist the presiding officer of the House on all matters of parliamentary procedure. At the direction of the speaker, they also provide a written copy of the speaker’s ruling on a point of order to include citations for the grounds of any decision.

Jeramy Kitchen

Jeramy Kitchen serves as the Capitol Correspondent for Texas Scorecard as well as host of 'This Week in Texas', a show previewing the week ahead in Texas politics. After managing campaigns for conservative legislators across the state, serving as Chief of Staff for multiple conservative state legislators, and serving as Legislative Director for the largest public policy think tank in Texas, Jeramy moved outside of the Austin bubble to focus on bringing transparency to the legislative process.


This Memorial Day

Never forget that we remain the home of the free because of their bravery and sacrifice.