AUSTIN - Today, January 14, 2003, the Texas State Senate convened to start the 78th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, which will last for at least 140 days. The chamber was crowded with the 31 Senators sitting alongside their family and friends, surrounded by a full gallery.
The Lieutenant Governor called the Session to order with a pound of the gavel, followed by the customary invocation, roll call of the Senators, and the administration of the Oath of Office to the Senators. "We didn't come here not to be successful. We will be successful," said Lieutenant Governor-Elect David Dewhurst.
After the adoption of Senate Resolution 1 for the election of officers of the Senate, Senator Harris nominated Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. as President Pro-Tempore, seconded by seventeen other Senators. The Oath of Office was then administered to the unanimously elected Senator.
In his acceptance speech, Senator Lucio said that "we are born with an awesome power--the power to chose. We chose to do right or wrong...whether to make a difference." He said that he will do his very best to make a difference.
With the adoption of Senate Resolution 8, the Senate appointed the committee to notify the Governor and the House of Representatives that the Senate is ready to transact business. Also adopted was Senate Committee Resolution 3, which authorized the Lieutenant Governor to appoint committees.
Senate Resolution 7, offered by Senator Whitmire, was passed and the Senators randomly drew lots to determine whether they will serve a 2- or 4-year term.
The Session was adjourned and will reconvene tomorrow at 11 a.m.