FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2021
AUSTIN – Today, the second Tuesday of January each odd year, as the state Constitution mandates, is the first day of the 87th Session of the Texas Legislature. During each Session of my 28 years in the Texas Senate, it has been a day of excitement with the opportunity to reunite with my Senate family and friends.
I’ve said that each Legislative Session takes on its own unique character, but today, in 2021, this session has already distinguished itself. It will be the first in more than 100 years that the Legislature will face the challenges caused by a global pandemic that has claimed the lives of 28,000 Texans and stagnated the economy and Texas’ way of life. The president of the Senate gaveled-in wearing a mask, as did I and many, but not all in the Chamber. Revenue estimates place a shortfall of near $4 billion for the last year of the current biennium, with ominous forecasts for the next. We’ve faced financial woes before and through our collective efforts, have found ways to meet the growing needs of Texans.
But again, this Session is different. The events of January 6, 2021 saw our nation’s Capital under attack. Now, this Legislature and this state must sort out how to protect our democracy from those who attempted to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power that has been an example for democracies around the world. We saw Texans in Washington last week; some who through chaos, showed courage and answered the call to help protect colleagues and defend the House Chamber. There were others from Texas who will have to explain their roles in coming days.
I will end using words spoken during the invocation today that encouraged us “to not only pray for peace, but to seek it as well. Turn from evil and do good.” If we can all come together, put aside personal ambition and work for what is best for all Texans, this Session will find its way to success.