Compensation, Privileges, and Immunities

Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the basic compensation, privileges, and immunities of Texas legislators


This section describes the basic compensation, privileges, and immunities of Texas legislators



State legislators in Texas make $600 per month or $7,200 per year, plus a per diem set by the Ethics Commission in Rule 50.1. The per diem in the 2021-2022 biennium was $221 for every day the Legislature is in session (regular or special). This adds up to a total of $38,140 in a year with a regular session ($7200 salary plus $30,940 per diem), and a two-year term paying a total of $45,340 ($14,400 salary plus $30,940 per diem).

Retirement Options

Legislators receive a pension after eight years of service, starting at age 60. A legislator’s pension is based not on a legislator’s salary of $600 a month, but on the current salary of a Texas state district court judge—a base salary of $140,000 per year.

Legislative Immunities

The Texas Constitution grants two types of immunities to Texas state legislators. One protects speech and debate. The other prevents or limits arrest during the legislative session.

Speech and Debate Immunities

The Texas Constitution (Article III, Section 21) grants Texas state legislators a fundamental protection of free speech and debate. This immunity protects legislators from punitive executive or judicial action. The intent is to allow lawmakers to work independently and unimpeded by the threat of intervention from the other branches of government in the discharge of their legislative duties.

Arrest Immunities

Texas state legislators are also protected from arrest traveling to and from and during legislative sessions. Exceptions include treason, felony, or breach of the peace.

Licenses and Attributions


Revision and Adaptation. Authored by: Kris S. Seago. License: CC BY: Attribution