On Jan. 12, lawmakers convened in Austin for the 87th regular session of the state Legislature. It’s safe to say there hasn’t been a session quite like this one, which followed a bruising year that included a global pandemic, mass protests against police brutality, a momentous election season and an insurrection at the nation’s Capitol less than a week before lawmakers reported for work. From the COVID-19 testing tent outside the Capitol’s north entrance to the plexiglass barriers and heightened security everywhere, the Capitol complex — and how everyone involved in the legislative process does their jobs — was utterly transformed.
The Texas weather added another major item to lawmakers’ plates in mid-February when a massive winter storm brought the entire state to its knees, leaving millions without power, killing perhaps hundreds and exceeding the cost of even the state’s most devastating hurricanes.
Through it all, from those first days until the tumultuous last night before the House and Senate gaveled out sine die, Texas Tribune photographers were at the Capitol. Here is some of what they saw.
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