The Big Conversation
Gov. Rick Perry will close the door on 30 years of state government work with a farewell address Thursday afternoon to the Legislature.
In that speech, Perry plans to tout the state's successes during his tenure as governor, the longest in Texas history. That would include the state's use of drug diversion programs to cut crime as well as the high job growth rate of recent years, reported the Tribune's Reeve Hamilton.
Perry, who has said on multiple occasions that he expects to make a decision on a second run for the White House in a few months, will also include a call for bipartisanship in finding solutions to the state's challenges.
"There is room for different voices, for disagreement," he plans to say, according to prepared remarks provided to the Tribune. "Compromise is not a dirty word if it moves Texas forward."
The Day Ahead
• Gov. Rick Perry addresses a joint session of the Legislature at 2:30 p.m. We will livestream the speech from the House chamber.
• Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Patrick holds a 9 a.m. press conference just off the floor of the Texas Senate.
First Test for Abbott's Case Against Immigration Policy, by Julián Aguilar
Marc Veasey Sees a Future for Texas Democrats, by Abby Livingston
Greg Abbott Gives Back 21CT Campaign Donation, by Terri Langford
Dream Act Supporters Rally Against Repeal Efforts, by Ryan McCrimmon
Commissioner Gets Cupcake Policy Wrong, Combs Says, by Eva Hershaw
Obama's Methane Plan: Why It Matters for Texas, by Neena Satija and Jim Malewitz
Straus Aims to Expand Authority for House Investigations, by Aman Batheja
Abbott Calls for Independent HHSC Review, by Edgar Walters
Eight Prisoners, Two Officers Killed in West Texas Prison Bus Wreck, Odessa American
Janek pressed for health contract extension, Houston Chronicle
FBI, special ‘strike force’ investigating state contracting scandal, Austin American-Statesman
San Antonio-based driller cutting 20 percent of workforce, Houston Chronicle
Battleground Texas replaces field director, San Antonio Express-News
Staff's lost health coverage, late paychecks show depth of Prime Prep's woes, The Dallas Morning News
Quote to Note
"It's still possible to pass open-carry legislation. What the House needs is to pass a bill to ban Kory Watkins from the Capitol."
— Open carry activist CJ Grisham on the blowback from the circulation of a video showing a confrontation on Tuesday between gun rights activists led by Watkins and state Rep. Alfonso "Poncho" Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, in the lawmaker's office
Today in TribTalk
2015: An agenda for transportation, by Deirdre Delisi
News From Home
This isn't just week one of the 84th legislative session — it's also the kickoff of our new afternoon email report, one we’ll be offering as a new benefit for subscribers to our premium newsletter for political insiders. And here’s a quick reminder of another incredible new perk for subscribers of Texas Weekly: a yearlong digital subscription to The Washington Post. Subscribe now to receive your first Blast the same day. Don't miss a single edition!
Trib Events for the Calendar
• Future Forum: The Future of Texas on Jan. 21 at the LBJ Library in Austin
• A Conversation With House Public Education Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock on Jan. 22 at The Austin Club
• Higher Ed: The Next Five Years on Jan. 26 at the Texas Tech University Alumni Center in Lubbock
• A Conversation With Lt. Gov.-elect Dan Patrick on Jan. 27 at The Austin Club
• A Conversation With Adm. William McRaven, UT System Chancellor on Feb. 5 at The Austin Club
• Houston & the Legislature: Previewing the 84th Session on Feb. 12 at the Wortham Center in Houston
• A Conversation With U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro on Feb. 19 at The Austin Club