Slideshow: Opening Day of Session

Opening day of the 82nd legislative session was, as expected, heavy on pomp and circumstance and light on substance. The chambers were at their most crowded with spouses, children and special guests of lawmakers watching the swearing in. But amid the hand-shaking and picture-taking, there was business to be done. Gov. Rick Perry addressed both chambers, declaring his first emergency items — the abolition of sanctuary cities and bolstering of private property rights — to allow the Legislature to take them up immediately. The Senate named state Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, its president pro tempore, and the House re-elected Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio. The former was a foregone conclusion, the latter only slightly less so. Of course, it was in question enough to fill the gallery seats and Capitol halls with ultimately disappointed anti-Straus partisans. And then there were all the lobbyists, the Tea Partiers and the man dressed like a pig who also made it a memorable first day of the session. Soon, the mood may take a turn as legislators begin wrestling with the looming $27 billion shortfall — but that’s for another slideshow.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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