The 88th Legislative Assembly convenes, the state treasury is full, and the Republicans are still in power.

The 2023 legislative session began at sharp noon Tuesday, with lawmakers and top Texas leaders returning to Austin with a cash-filled state treasury and Republicans retaining control of the reins.

The first of 140 days officially named the 88th Texas Legislature was an upbeat one, with showmanship overshadowing partisanship, even as leaders acknowledged the challenges ahead.

Family, friends, and supporters of state legislators filled the Capitol in support, filling the chamber of the House of Representatives and the galleries of both houses to witness the traditional swearing-in ceremony.

With Governor Greg Abbott back for a third term and the Senate once again controlled by fellow Republican Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick, the only real drama on Tuesday took place in the 150-member House of Representatives, where the speaker is elected by the members.

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