House leader with support of Tea Party-backed members caps year of momentum heading into 2015 Session
AUSTIN Texas (Texas Insider Report) Texas operates the 12th largest economy in the world
upon which so many across America rely said State Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) as part of the first of 8 nominating speeches
for Texas House Speaker during the House Representatives opening session earlier today
Speaker Joe Straus has a track record of achieving results and positive outcomes ... and voting ones district is the hallmark of Strauss leadership said Price
(right) shortly before the House overwhelming re-elected Straus who took office in 2005 and became speaker in 2009.
In recent weeks as some elements of the Tea Party movement tried to mount an effort to weaken or defeat Straus the Speaker saw member after member of the House Chamber many of them Tea Party backed candidates from 2012 or 2010
announce their backing of Strauss re-election.
Many credited Strauss fiscal and budgetary policies as well as his leadership style as key factors contributing to Texas current economic growth. Such characteristics could be necessary to help craft what many believe will be a complicated state budget process during the 2015 Legislative Session.
Additionally with Governor-Elect Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov.-Elect Dan Patrick set to take office next Tuesday January 20th Straus is now the only top legislative leader returning to his job.
As it turned out the challenge for the speakership appears to have given Straus more of a gift than a headache says Mark Jones a Rice University political science professor.
When he announced his candidacy for speaker the Tea Party-backed North Texan State Representative Scott Turner offered Straus and his allies an opportunity to rally the troops and prove he garners a high level of support from within the conservative movement across Texas Jones said.
Straus came out stronger" Jones said.
Straus leadership team remains intact since the last session with no learning curve and few Committee Chairmanships to be replaced after the retirement of some members prior to the 2014 election season.
Its a great position to start with" said Bill Miller a longtime Austin lobbyist.
Speaker Straus is in a pivotal position and I think hell be remembered as a speaker for using his power wisely. And thats the highest praise you can give someone like that."
Miller who called Straus recent maneuvering ahead of todays vote beautiful" said the speaker will be able to spread goodwill by offering to help Patrick and Abbott with their transition into power.
He understands what you dont know and what you need to know" Miller said of the speaker.
Politics aside Straus seems determined to stay focused on policy talking during his acceptance speech about the issues that he wants to emphasize during the 2015 Legislative Session:
- Economic Development
- Fiscally prudent & efficient statewide economic policy
- Public Education
- Higher Education
- Transportation and
Capitol leaders the rank and file Texas Republican as well as Tea Party conservatives seem to agree that at least as the session kicked-off the 2015 Legislative Session will lead to anything but the inter-chamber House vs. Senate fights many have predicted.
The newly-elected Speaker of the House closed his acceptance address saying:
We will not resort to Washington-style politics where score-keeping is more important than getting things done ... because thats not the best way to represent the Texas we all know and love.
Represent your districts and lets leave our state a more prosperous one than that which we inherited.