TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The Texas Legislature is preparing for its next session in Austin. The governing body in Texas meets every two years for 140 days to chart the near-term future of Texas.
Republicans have had a hold on the legislative body for years and you would think that holding the major leadership offices of Governor and Lieutenant governor and a majority of lawmakers that they would pass anything and everything on the Republican agenda. But that is not the case. In fact, in-fighting in the Republican leadership and representation caused a culture of nearly dysfunction on many fronts last session.
The Governor and Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House did not agree on much and that caused a legislative rivalry that ended with legislation being doomed before it made it to the Governor’s desk. There will be a new Speaker of the House in this session and perhaps that will help some, but many of the other players are still in place.
Another issue is that special interest caucuses or groups of lawmakers have created a power struggle of their own. Last session the Texas House Freedom Caucus killed more than 100 bills in a single day. The move was seen as retaliation for a lack of respect for the caucus’s agenda. So, in-fighting in the state house slowed and even killed legislation last session.
It will soon be up to lawmakers to give it another try as the next session takes shape. Let’s press our local representatives to work together productively and not destructively and that will make for a Better East Texas.