Ad Spot

Texas House elects speaker as 2021 legislative session gets underway

The Texas House on Tuesday elected state Rep. Dade Phelan as the next House speaker, ushering into office a new leader who will oversee a chamber facing its toughest set of legislative challenges in years against the backdrop of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The House voted 143-2 for Phelan, with four members not voting. The two members who voted against Phelan were GOP freshmen Bryan Slaton and Jeff Cason.

Phelan, a Beaumont Republican, replaced former House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, who retired from office thanks to a secret recording scandal that fractured relationships in the 150-member lower chamber. Phelan has billed himself as a figure who has earned the trust of his colleagues and who wants to lead the House by letting members drive the business of it.

Phelan’s election to the gavel was one of the House’s first orders of business Tuesday, when the Legislature gaveled in for the 2021 legislative session.

The issues on the Legislature’s plate this year, such as grappling with projected shortfalls to the state budget and redrawing the state’s political maps, are expected to be particularly grueling as lawmakers legislate during a public health crisis — and how Phelan handles the challenge as a new leader under a brighter-than-ever spotlight will be one of the most consequential dynamics at the Capitol as business gets underway.

Governor Greg Abbott visited the Texas House and Senate Chambers to deliver opening day remarks for the start of the 87th Texas Legislature. The Governor urged the members of the House and Senate to work together over the next 140 days to to tackle the issues that matter most to Texans across the state.

“Over the next 140 days, we have the opportunity to not only respond to the challenges we face, but we also have an opportunity to put Texas on a trajectory to a future of even greater hope and opportunity,” said Governor Abbott. “Now more than ever, Texans need the Legislature to succeed this session. But equally important, America needs Texas to lead the way. If we do this, then we will chart a course towards a healthier, safer, freer, and more prosperous future for every Texan.”

For more information, read https://www.panews.com/2021/01/12/presumptive-speaker-phelan-weighs-in-on-pandemic-rules-marijuana-legalization-gambling-expansion-prior-to-session/

By Cassandra Pollock of The Texas Tribune, a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Local

Port Arthur police officers lead cereal drive to restock Food Bank shelves; see how you can help

Local

Crashed cars, flying sparks & wild ride lead to DWI arrest for Port Arthur man

Beaumont

Child on board: Erratic driving, slurred speech lead to arrest

Local

Nederland Police Department arrests, responses: Jan. 11-17

Local

PAISD celebrates school board with special recognition this month

Local

BRIEF: Port Arthur Teachers FCU meeting set

High School Sports

Bulldogs, Jackson on fire heading into rivalry game

Groves

Communication between PNG coach, Bulldog scorer goes silent during Madness

Local

5 COVID deaths in Port Arthur & Mid-County reported Thursday morning

Local

Library’s new design table, automated cutter open up imagination for Port Neches patrons

Beaumont

Authorities link wrong-way crash into deputy’s vehicle to intoxication assault

Local

D.A.’s Office: Nederland officer-involved fatal shooting investigation ruling important for community

Local

Nederland ISD dress code spotlighted for review

Groves

Groves Police Department arrests, responses: Jan. 13-19

Local

DEADLINE LOOMS: Need-to-know facts for Jefferson County property tax payments

High School Sports

Lewis: Titans playing hard despite loss to No. 2-ranked BU; key is to continue fighting

Local

LSCPA announces President’s, Dean’s Lists for Fall 

Local

Lamar State College Port Arthur names honor grads

Local

180 LSCPA degree, certificate grads walk across virtual stage

Local

Local heath officials asking for orderly response to vaccine requests

Beaumont

Search on for missing pregnant woman not seen since November; police say her vehicle found “physically altered”

Local

Biden to pause border wall construction, issue protections for DACA recipients, roll back other Trump immigration policies

Local

BRIGHT FUTURES — Visually impaired student Emily Montijo tackles multi-media learning at Bob Hope

Local

2021 Volume 1: Greater Port Arthur The Magazine has arrived