When the 150 members of the Texas House of Representatives gavel into session Tuesday, Republican Speaker Joe Straus will be looking to keep his seat as the top man; to do so he only needs a simple majority: 76 votes.
However, he does have a challenger: Republican David Simpson from Longview. It is only Simpson's second term as a representative, but the former businessman was also mayor of the City of Avinger in 1993.
Lawmakers are back under the dome of the Texas Capitol for a new session for a new age in politics, with the reminder of what happened two years ago in the back of their minds.
Two years ago, education funding was slashed by $5.4 billion, the use of the state’s emergency "rainy day" fund was frowned upon, and a controversial Voter ID bill got through both chambers but was found unconstitutional against minority voters by the court system.
Craft brewing companies have provided plenty of fun to beer fans, and according to a report by University of Texas at San Antonio economics professor Scott Metzger (who also happens to run his very own brewery, Freetail Brewing Company) have generated $608 million in the Lone Star State.
Metzger estimates that by 2020, the industry will generate $5.6 billion, a figure he calls conservative.