Lawmakers back at Capitol for 84th Legislature

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Tuesday kicks off the first day of the 84th legislative session at the state Capitol. All 150 state representatives and about half of Texas senators, will be sworn into office. Official business starts at noon.

On Monday, the Texas Comptroller’s Office announced how much money lawmakers can use this session. Comptroller Glenn Hegar expects the state will bring in $113 billion in revenue — a 20-percent increase from the last legislative session.

As lawmakers get to work, so do groups who plan to lobby for their needs. Education and school funding is going to be a big topic this session. That’s along with how Texans get around; transportation will be a big topic this session, especially with the state’s continued growth.

Gun rights and safety, taxes and healthcare also top the list.

There will be a lot of groups rallying at the Capitol, hoping lawmakers hear them out. For example, gun rights advocates plan to use a 3D printer to make a gun at the Capitol. Some want the get rid of the state’s handgun licensing requirements.

Another group that will be the Capitol is the Texas State Employees Union. Members will also rally at the South Gate. They’re pushing lawmakers to provide a $6,000-per-year raise for all state employees — and fully fund state employee retirement and health care benefits.

Also, Tuesday at 10:15 a.m. a  group called Hispanics Organized for Political Education, or HOPE, plans to meet at the front steps of the Capitol. Their major concerns include education, drop-out rates and higher education.

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