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State Rep. Joe Straus 'energized' about upcoming session

Education, water, transportation among issues on table

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SAN ANTONIO – Republican State Rep. Joe Straus, from Dist. 121 in San Antonio, says lawmakers are facing a challenging session when they are gaveled into order in Austin next month.

Speaking to a San Antonio Bar Association luncheon on Thursday, Straus outlined his priorities for the 140-day session.

"(At the) top of the agenda is improving public and higher education, addressing our long-term water needs and transportation infrastructure," Straus said.

He said he also includes job-creation for a growing Texas and adoption of what he called "a transparent budget" among this priorities.

Straus is facing a challenge for his position as Speaker of the House from fellow Republican Rep. David Simpson, of Longview.

Straus said, "I enjoy the strong support of a large majority of Democrats and Republicans, but I take no challenge for granted."

He said, however, that he is confident going into the session.

It takes 76 votes from representatives to be elected Speaker of the House. Republicans hold 95 of the 150 Texas House seats.

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