Session ’13: Opening Day Expectations

Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio (Texas House of Representatives)

Lawmakers and their families will crowd the chamber floors at the Texas State Capitol on Tuesday, as the 83rd Legislative Session officially begins. Both the House and Senate will convene at noon.

Members will be sworn in, then elect their own leaders. Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, is set to become the President Pro Tem of the Senate.

Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio (Texas Senate)

It is largely a ceremonial post as the lieutenant governor actually runs the Texas Senate. But the post does mean that Van de Putte will be in line to become governor, right after Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, is expected to retain his role as leader of the House, though he faces conservative competition from sophomore Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview.

Gov. Rick Perry will also address each chamber, laying out his vision for the session ahead. In the past, he has also declared some early emergency items for lawmakers to begin tackling in their first sixty days at the Capitol. Some have suspected Perry’s first issue this session might be abortion-related, as he has already shown strong support for “fetal pain” legislation.

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Texas (change)

 
Republican Rick Perry is Governor of Texas. Two Republicans represent Texas in the U.S. Senate, and Texas has 32 representatives in the U.S. House: 20 Republicans and 12 Democrats.
 
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Governor: Rick Perry
Lieutenant Governor: David Dewhurst
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