Two Texoma Freshman Lawmakers to be Sworn in Today in Austin

It's a big morning in Austin as two incoming freshmen lawmakers from Texoma are sworn in to the Texas House.

Representatives James Frank of Wichita Falls and Drew Springer of Muenster are getting ready for their first legislative session.

"It's a unique feeling, one that's started to give me goosebumps," said Springer.

"It is pretty amazing when you see your name up on the voting board," Frank said.

It is official, both Springer and Frank are listed on that voting board along with 37 other incoming freshman this 83rd legislative session. 

It's a big class of first timers, but Springer says there is strength in numbers.

"We want to make sure that the issues that almost all of us ran on are addressed. If they're not address they're going to deal with a block of 30 to 40 that say this is why we came to Austin. We didn't come to play the same game," Springer said.

Frank adds they will rely on their districts and veteran lawmakers in the 140 days ahead.     

"Certainly freshmen come in with enthusiasm and ideas and there needs to be a balance between listening to those ideas and what can be executed and what can't be executed," added Frank. 

Both agree increasing efficiency in government operations is a high priority and both support fewer state mandates to local governments.

Springer said, "Government doesn't know all the answers. Better decisions are made on a local level.

"If we spend money if we waste money here, we're either taking money away from the taxpayer that we didn't need to take, or we're not funding a program that needs to be funded," Frank explained.

Education is always a hot topic once a session starts and Frank and Springer know there will be issues to tackle. On the rural front, Springer says he will support increased vocational training.

"We don't train our kids for jobs that are in our districts. They move off to the big cities and they don't come back," said Springer.

School vouchers to compensate parents for sending children to private schools are sure to come up again, but Frank sees little more chance that will pass than in previous sessions.  But he does want to see more choices in schools.

"Giving parents more of a choice especially in failing districts has lots of support. I think that's something that will pass," Frank said.

The swearing in ceremonies for both the House and Senate begin Tuesday at noon. We'll bring you all the highlights.

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