By Ed Sterling
AUSTIN — Lawmakers gathered at the state Capitol in their respective houses on Jan. 10, opening day for the 85th regular session of the Texas Legislature. The 140-day session will conclude on May 29.
After taking the oath of office and being sworn in, the Texas House of Representatives, on a vote of 150-0, unanimously re-elected Rep. Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, to a fifth term as speaker of the House, tying a record for the most terms as speaker.
Meanwhile, after being sworn in, the Texas Senate voted unanimously in favor of Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, as speaker pro tempore.
Seliger will wield the Senate gavel in the absence or temporary disability of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the 31-member body. Should the governor and lieutenant governor be temporarily unavailable, he will serve as governor in their absence.