Remarks to Begin
the 85th Legislature
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House Budget Prioritizes Public Education

The initial 2018-19 budget introduced by Texas House leadership Tuesday puts additional resources into public education, child protection and mental health while increasing state spending by less than 1 percent.

“We keep overall spending low while making investments in children and our future,” said Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio. “We put an emphasis on public education, child protection and better mental health care. The Members of the House, beginning with the Appropriations Committee, will now have the chance to shape this budget and decide how best to allocate resources during an economic slowdown. This is the first step toward producing a balanced budget that reflects the priorities of the Texas House and does not raise taxes.”

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Newsletter: Honored to Serve

The Texas House convened for our 2017 session last week, and by a vote of 150-0, my fellow State Representatives again elected me Speaker of the House. I am grateful for this opportunity to continue serving as the House's presiding officer, and I'm looking forward to the work ahead.

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Speaker Straus Remarks to Begin the 85th Legislature

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus delivered the following remarks to begin the 85th Legislature after his Texas House colleagues elected him to a fifth term as Speaker of the House.

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Newsletter: The House Will Come to Order

The 2017 legislative session will begin at noon Tuesday. I am honored to again have the opportunity to represent our community and provide leadership for our entire state.

I hope to focus this session on issues that will support private sector growth and create opportunities for our citizens, such as promoting job creation, keeping more local dollars in our local schools, improving our mental health system, and protecting children. The House has worked diligently on these issues in recent months and is ready to deliver results.

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House Report Puts Spotlight on Mental Health Reforms

The Texas House on Thursday released a report from the Select Committee on Mental Health. The report followed months of extensive hearings and examination into the state’s approach to behavioral health issues.

Speaker Joe Straus formed the Select Committee in November 2015 in order to take a comprehensive look at the behavioral health system for adults and children in Texas. He appointed Representative Four Price of Amarillo as Chairman of the Select Committee. Speaker Straus named members from a variety of House committees -- such as Appropriations, Public Health, Corrections, Insurance and County Affairs – to serve on the Select Committee as well.

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