It’s the week that was in Texas politics with Alex Samuels, political reporter for the Texas Tribune.
Texas’ 87th legislative session begins…
“It was a different start at the Capitol, that’s for sure,” Samuels said. “Members of the media weren’t allowed, at least in the Senate, on the floor. We were delegated to the gallery. Of course, there are protocols for getting tested, wearing masks in the Capitol and all that. So it’s a lot different start than we’ve seen in past sessions.”
…Including new leadership in the House
“The Texas House did vote, Dade Phelan as the new speaker of the Texas House. Of course, he replaces Dennis Bonnin, who resigned, I believe it was in 2019 after his scandal broke. So now House lawmakers have a new leader heading into the new session.”
Texas attorney general Ken Paxton under scrutiny again
“He was at a rally that preceded [the US Capitol riot], I believe it was called a Stop the Steal rally. He spoke in Washington, D.C. He was not directly involved with [the riot]. And he has previously condemned the violence. He signed on to a January 6 statement from the Republican Attorney General’s Association condemning the violence. But earlier this week, he was the lone holdout among state attorneys general not to sign on either of two new letters condemning the insurrection at the Capitol. When our reporters asked why that he didn’t sign on to either letter, he essentially told us that he had already addressed this issue multiple times.”