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Tuesday a Day of Celebration for Freshman Lawmakers in Austin
The next 140 days will be busy for Texas lawmakers. There's a budget to balance and major issues to address.
But yesterday was a day for celebration.
The rain didn't put a damper on this bright occasion as the 83rd legislative session is gavelled in.
It was a formal occasion for some and a matter of state pride for others in the crowd. The roll is called and members of the 2013 house of representatives are sworn in including the two freshmen lawmakers from Texoma.
Representative Drew Springer said, "This is a great day. I'm super excited to have my family here. I had my wife and daughter sitting with me, my two sons on my left. Getting the opportunity to bring the governor into the chamber. It was a great day."
Representative James Frank of the 69th District said, "It's great. It's wonderful to be a part of it. It's exciting to see a place where so much history has happened."
This is the largest class of freshman lawmakers in 40 years and half of all the members of the house are in their 1st or second term.
The first order of business was to select a Speaker of the House.
Representative Joe Straus of San Antonio was chosen for a third turn as Speaker.
He laid out the priorities for the House which include education, the state water plan, infrastructure, creating jobs and budget transparency.
It's an agenda both Texoma representatives support.
Governor Rick Perry addressed the representatives, discussing legislative priorities and offering advice to the new faces, encouraging them to find a veteran lawmaker and seek their council over the next 140 days.
He also warned the freshmen, "The elevator passes for the senior members. Don't fall for that one."
Lawmakers celebrated yesterday, but it's back to business today.