AUSTIN, Texas -- A new cast of lawmakers will gather in Austin this week for the 83rd Texas Legislature. But they bring with them a familiar agenda that includes taxes, education, health care, abortion, guns and even groping.
Republicans retain control of the House, the Senate and the governor's mansion, so they will set the agenda. Democrats, as in years past, will try persuasive arguments, fiery debates and parliamentary maneuvers to try and shape the bills that will end up on Gov. Rick Perry's desk.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus have promised a more conservative session.
The one piece of legislation that must pass every session is the state budget. Comptroller Susan Combs will declare Monday how much money lawmakers have available to spend.