It was a busy week in Texas politics. We take a look at all the highlights with Juan Carlos Huerta, professor of political science at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.
Monday marked the first day lawmakers could file bills for the legislative session, which begins in January. Huerta says some of the bills filed this week were symbolic, with lawmakers looking for a way to go on the record about an issue that’s important to them. Others, like a group of bills aimed at changing marijuana laws, could move Texas toward fewer restrictions on the drug.
The race for House speaker also made news this week, with Republican Dennis Bonnen announcing that he has enough votes to win the job. Huerta wonders whether Bonnen, who represents Angleton, will push for legislation that benefits Gulf Coast interests.
The race for Texas’ 23rd Congressional District is still too close to call, but Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones headed to Washington anyway for freshman orientation, posing with whom she hopes will be her colleagues.
“Last time I checked, about 1,000 votes [separate Jones from incumbent, Will Hurd,]” Huerta says. “But if you could be the winner, might as well be up there in Washington, D.C. learning the ropes.”
Written by Shelly Brisbin.