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Newsletter: Polls Open This Weekend

Early voting in the Republican and Democratic primary elections is underway. In fact, the polls are open this weekend, and I hope you can take a few minutes to vote in these critical contests.

I've often said that we need more Texans voting in primaries so that candidates are responsive and accountable to a broader set of Texans and their concerns. Unfortunately, some elected leaders in Austin and their allies have been trying to discourage voting among one important group of Texans: School teachers.

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Speaker Straus Named Texan of the Year

The Dallas Morning News named House Speaker Joe Straus the 2017 Texan of the Year on Friday, citing his successful efforts to stop legislation that targeted vulnerable Texans and would have caused severe harm to the Texas economy.

Under the leadership of Speaker Straus, the Texas House chose not to pass so-called bathroom legislation that was similar to a much-criticized law passed in North Carolina.

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The Holiday Season at the Texas Capitol

I hope you'll have a chance to visit the state Capitol in the next few weeks and see how the holiday season is celebrated throughout this beautiful and historic building.

In the middle of the House chamber on the Capitol's second floor sits a 23-foot, Texas-grown Christmas tree. The tree is decorated with ornaments collected through the District Ornament Project. Julie began this project back in 2009 as a way to make sure that our entire state is represented on the House tree. Each Member of the House commissions an artist (sometimes a professional, sometimes a student) to decorate an ornament in a way that celebrates his or her House district. Year after year, Julie has done great work coordinating this project.

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Newsletter: Combatting Opioid Addiction and Substance Abuse

Last month, I created a couple of new House committees to focus on issues that warrant extra attention and study before the next legislative session begins in January 2019. One of those new committees will look at substance abuse in Texas and the opioid epidemic.

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Speaker Joe Straus Announces Future Plans

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus announced Wednesday that he will not run for re-election to the Texas House in 2018. Speaker Straus’ time as a State Representative and as Speaker will end at the conclusion of his current term.

Speaker Straus was first elected a Member of the Texas House in a 2005 special election. In early 2009, less than four years later, his colleagues unanimous elected him Speaker. He has since been re-elected Speaker four times, and in every Speaker’s race he has won the support of an overwhelming majority of Republicans and an overwhelming majority of Democrats.

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