Today, the Orthodox Union, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, congratulates Representative Joe Strauss on his reelection as the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.
This past Tuesday, the opening day of the 83rd Texas Legislature included the uncontested re-election of San Antonio Republican Joe Straus as Speaker of the House after his only challenger, David Simpson of Longview, dropped out of the race earlier in the day. Texas legislators officially convened in Austin for work on Tuesday, and are now poised to make education their top legislative priority for their 140 day session.
The speakership is one of the most powerful positions in Texas politics. As a result, Speaker Straus will play a key role in the passage of any new educational programs. Programs such as the Corporate Tax Credit Scholarship proposed by Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and Senate Education Committee Chairman Dan Patrick have a proven track record for expanding education opportunity for disadvantaged and working class families in many states. The Orthodox Union is working closely with the Texas Jewish community to advocate for the tax credit program that could offer hundreds of scholarships for students to attend Jewish day school.
Speaker Straus will now lead the 150 member House that includes 43 representatives entering their first term in office and is controlled 95 to 55 by his Republican Party. On the other side of the Capitol Building, the Senate, under the leadership of Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, enters the session with 19 Republicans and 12 Democrats.
Jesse Hervitz, Associate Political Director for the Orthodox Union, stated: “We would like to congratulate Speaker Straus on his election and welcome all the new members of the Texas House and Senate. The Orthodox Union and the Texas Jewish community look forward to working with Speaker Straus, Lt. Governor Dewhurst and the entire 83rd Texas legislature in upcoming months.”
OU | Enhancing Jewish Life