Tuesday was the big day for Governor Abbot and Lt. Gov. Patrick. Swearing in, speeches, BBQ lunch and inaugural balls were the highlight of the week.
The next day Patrick presided over the Senate as it passed rules for the session. Patrick made good on a campaign promise and presided over the elimination of the decades old two-thirds rule. That rule required two-thirds of the senators to agree to debate a bill. The rule was changed to require three-fifths approval, still a supermajority, but one that can be completely controlled by Senate Republicans.
The Senate rules also reduced the number of committees from 18 to 14, eliminating three committees that had Democratic chairs last session. Patrick might announce the new committee appointments as early as this weekend.
After Wednesday’s sessions both the House and Senate adjourned until next week and they will likely adjourn again on Wednesday for that week.