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Swearing-in ceremonies kick off the 86th Legislative Session

Posted: 5:16 PM, Jan 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-08 18:55:55-05

 

The 86th Texas Legislative Session is underway. The session began at noon today and will continue for the next 140 days.

The swearing-in ceremonies in both the House of Representatives and Senate wrapped up around 2 p.m.  Experts said this week’s priority is getting organized, and lawmakers will get to work first thing next week.

The general consensus is the same among House and Senate members. Property tax reform and public school funding are two topics at the forefront of this legislative session.

KRIS 6 News spoke to all Coastal Bend delegates in their offices Tuesday.

Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa is optimistic that a larger budget this session will help lawmakers achieve big things.

“It’s very clear that our top priority this session will be public education and financing public education. Number two — property taxes. How to find a way to keep them from going up so fast so quickly?” Hinojosa said.

Rep. Todd Hunter emphasized the importance of assisting schools affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“The issue is going to be education and how you fund schools. Our area got hit by the hurricane. We were the first hit, and we had schools that collapsed and you had to send kids to other schools. So the question is gonna be, how do you help schools when a hurricane hits?” Hunter asked.

Rep. Abel Herrero is optimistic about the newly-elected Speaker of the House.

“We’re excited about Speaker Bonnen and obviously his priority of making public education the number one issue,” Herrero said.

Local delegates also emphasized the importance of help for veterans and suicide prevention.

The 86th Texas Legislative Session reconvenes in Austin at 10 a.m. Wednesday for informational sessions before a four-day weekend.

The 86th Texas Legislative Session assembles in Austin.