TEXAS — Several legislators, including six new senators, were sworn in on the first day of the 86th session of the Texas State Legislature in Austin Tuesday.
The new Texas senate members include, Pete Flores (R), Angela Paxton (R), Beverly Powell (D), Nathan Johnson (D), Carol Alvarado(D) and Pat Fallon (R). Dan Patrick is returning as lieutenant governor, who serves as the President of the Senate.
Two of those senators were elected during the primary elections in March and four were elected in the general election in November of 2018.
During an interview with KVUE's Ashley Goudeau, Ross Ramsey with Texas Tribune said it's going to be interesting to see how the new members affect legislation.
"We'll see as we go how those new members fit in and how the daily, you know, relation politics change," Ramsey said. "There are more Democrats over there by one, so the lieutenant governor has less play. You know, in the Senate, you have to have a certain number of senators to bring something up for consideration and there were always enough Republicans that the lieutenant governor could say, 'make it so.' Now he's got a couple of people he has to negotiate with and that's going to be an interesting thing to watch."
Some of the big issues lawmakers may tackle during the session include school safety, property taxes, Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts, marijuana restriction changes and abortion laws. The lawmakers are also tasked with passing a balanced budget of $119 billion for fiscal years 2020 and 2021.
The new legislature should be in session until May 27. If work doesn't get completed, a special session could be called, which is something that has happened several times in the last decade.
KVUE's Christy Millweard was at the capitol during the swearing in ceremony and tweeted live updates.