Crowds arrive at Capitol for start of 83rd legislative session

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by JESSICA VESS / KVUE News and photojournalist KENNETH NULL

khou.com

Posted on January 8, 2013 at 12:37 PM

AUSTIN -- Despite dreary weather Tuesday, guests crowded into the State Capitol early to watch the start of the 83rd legislative session.

The lines started forming early at each of the four entrances of the State Capitol. Within a couple of hours hundreds had lined up and security lines grew long. Everyone had to pass through metal detectors for screenings.
 
From there the lines moved up to the gallery entrances on the third floor. They stood in line for a seat above the chambers to watch as lawmakers get sworn-in. For many, it's a first time experience.
 
“I hope that this session here will be a lot more bipartisan, work together and get the bills done and stop all the bickering. That's what I hope to see come from this session here,” said Manuel Rodriguez of Seguin.
 
There are a lot of new faces joining veteran lawmakers in this session. Voters elected a record number of freshmen lawmakers, many of whom represent the Tea Party. It could lead to a conservative voting pattern this session. A lot of big issues are in store, from the budget to education and health care.
 
The session lasts for 140 days but could stretch out longer if lawmakers call for a special session.

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