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The Brief: Jan. 21, 2015

A day of festivities surrounding the inauguration of Texas' newest governor, Greg Abbott, and lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, ended with the traditional black tie gala.

Gov. Greg Abbott enjoys the moment with his mother and father in law at the 2015 Texas Inaugural on Jan. 20, 2015.

The Big Conversation

A day of festivities surrounding the inauguration of Texas' newest governor, Greg Abbott, and lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, ended with the traditional black tie gala. Also, the University of Texas at Austin illuminated the campus tower in orange in honor of Abbott, a 1981 graduate of the university's business school.

The two men's speeches were a study in contrast. Abbott stressed biography and the improbable details of his rise to the Governor's Mansion from a debilitating accident suffered 30 years ago. Patrick, meanwhile, struck a more assertive tone, proclaiming his identity as a Christian as essential to his approach to life.

He also claimed a mandate from the voters to take conservatism to the next level, placing special emphasis on passing school choice legislation this session.

With inaugural activities done, the focus returns to the two chambers for the remainder of the week. The Senate is expected to move quickly to adopt its rules for the session now that the presiding officer has been installed. Committee assignments could quickly follow. On the House side, members have made their committee requests, and now everyone waits for the speaker to parcel out those assignments.

The Day Ahead

•    The House convenes at 10 a.m.; the Senate convenes at 11 a.m.

•    The LBJ Library Future Forum presents its biannual event The Future of Texas. The event will feature a panel of state lawmakers — including state Reps. Donna HowardMatt KrauseSarah Davis and Alfonso "Poncho" Nevárez — discussing the hot topics of the upcoming Texas legislative session. We will livestream the event beginning at 7 p.m.

Trib Must-Reads

Cruz, Castro, Cornyn Assess State of the Union Speech, by Abby Livingston

McCaul Plan Would Fund Guard, Aid Border Patrol, by Julián Aguilar

Introducing Our 2016 Presidential Page, by Emily Ramshaw

Voters May Decide Plano's Equal Rights Ordinance, by Bobby Blanchard

Companies Tied to Patrick's Advisers Lobby Heavily, by Morgan Smith, Becca Aaronson and Jolie McCullough

Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Patrick Take Oath of Office (w/ speech texts), by Reeve Hamilton

Storify: Inauguration Day for Abbott, Patrick, by Jim Malewitz and Alexa Ura


Austin sees first inauguration parade in more than a decade, Austin American-Statesman

Abbott, Patrick take reins of Texas government, promising opportunity for all, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Perry leaves office and stops for ice cream, Houston Chronicle

Education common theme among inaugural addresses, KXAN-TV

Earthquakes, dispute over smoking ban rile Irving residents at meeting, The Dallas Morning News

Abbott replaces Perry’s economic development director, San Antonio Express-News

‘Koch Primary’ Opens for Republican Hopefuls, The New York Times

Quote to Note

“As conservatives, we have done many great things over 12 years since we’ve been in the majority, but now it’s time to take it to the next level.”

— Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, laying out a decidedly conservative agenda for his term as the Senate's presiding officer

Today in TribTalk

Don’t let good work get lost in the headlines, by Irene Williams

News From Home

Our 84th Lege page is a one-stop shop for all of your Texas legislative needs. Among its features are the must-watch issues of the session — curated by our reporters — across nearly a dozen different policy areas, or hot lists. This week, our featured hot list is Budget & Taxes.

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    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

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Explore related story topics

Politics Dan Patrick Greg Abbott Michael McCaul Rick Perry