Senators kick off session with day of ceremony


The Texas Senate gaveled into session shortly after noon Tuesday for a ceremonial start to the 85th legislative session.

Senators who ran for office in 2017, including three newcomers — Republicans Dawn Buckingham and Bryan Hughes, and Democrat Borris Miles — took the oath of office administered by Nathan Hecht, chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court.

With the 31 senators sitting at desks surrounded by seated family members, Gov. Greg Abbott led the session with remarks that avoided policy statements or requests for action, focusing instead on the themes of responsibility and integrity.

Abbott reminded senators that they will help decide the future of a state where “anyone from anywhere has a chance to come here and succeed,” a place where “generations of Texans have persevered through countless tribulations with the typical Texas character.”

“We may bring different political perspectives, but we unite under one Capitol dome,” Abbott said, adding that elected officials serve a “cause that makes Texas far more than just a state, it’s a cause that makes Texas a passion.”

Senators also elected Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, as the body’s president pro tem to fill in for Patrick and to act as governor when Abbott and Patrick are out of state at the same time.

“It’s a great honor,” Seliger said, recalling the awe he felt when he first arrived in the Senate almost 13 years ago. “I can honestly say today that I’m not one less bit impressed, awed and inspired.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Cornyn pushes back on plan to build wall in South Texas eco areas
Cornyn pushes back on plan to build wall in South Texas eco areas

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, pushed back Tuesday against federal moves to build the border wall in eco-tourist areas in South Texas, instead calling for the use of increased technology to better secure the border. At issue are initial moves by the Department of Homeland Security to prepare land for a physical barrier in the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge...
Austin parks 60 police SUVs as Ford says it’s not to blame
Austin parks 60 police SUVs as Ford says it’s not to blame

Austin city officials have now pulled 60 Austin police patrol Ford sport utility vehicles from the street because of carbon monoxide concerns as Ford Motor Co. pushes back against an officer’s lawsuit claiming the company was responsible for exposing him to the poisonous gas. As federal testing on the 60 cars continued Tuesday, Ford contends...
AFFIDAVIT: Man arrested after firing AK-47 at Pflugerville man, crashing in Manor after police chase, officials say
AFFIDAVIT: Man arrested after firing AK-47 at Pflugerville man, crashing in Manor after police chase, officials say

Authorities have arrested a man who they say fired an AK-47 at another man before fleeing and crashing his vehicle in Manor early Monday. Police responded at 1:12 a.m. to reports of shots fired at a home at the 200 block of S. Lampasas St. in Pflugerville, where a woman, her son and another person told officers a man -- later identified by police as...
UT profs say they will appeal ruling in campus carry lawsuit
UT profs say they will appeal ruling in campus carry lawsuit

Three University of Texas faculty members will appeal a federal judge’s ruling to dismiss their lawsuit over a state law that permits students to carry concealed handguns in most campus buildings. On Monday, attorneys for professors Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore and Mia Carter filed a notice saying they will appeal the decision to the 5th Circuit...
Austin police sergeant fired, accused of lying about off-duty shifts
Austin police sergeant fired, accused of lying about off-duty shifts

An Austin police sergeant has been fired after Chief Brian Manley said the officer lied to his superiors and used his vacation time to work off-duty patrol shifts. Sgt. Richard Davis was fired Friday, a disciplinary memo shows. In January, Davis told his platoon leader that he would be out of town during South by Southwest, so he could not fill any...
More Stories