POSTED: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - 7:30pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 11:27am
The 83rd Texas Legislative Session will have many elements that occupied the 82nd Session two years ago, the Republican representing Gregg and Upshur counties lamented to a Longview tea party audience Monday.
Rep. David Simpson was encouraged, nonetheless, that pure conservatism could prevail this go-around thanks to the continued influx of new members to the statehouse in Austin. That’s especially true in the House of Representatives where 43 of 150 members will be freshman, and another 24 sophomores, including Simpson.
“This freshman class will not have the luxury of just sitting down and watching — they need to hit the ground running,” Simpson told about 60 members of We The People-Longview. “Pray they will maintain their principles, their zeal and not just go along to get along.”
No one could accuse Simpson of doing that in his first session. Voting against the two-year budget because it postponed some payments and pushed up some tax collections to achieve balance, Simpson last summer had wry praise for Gov. Rick Perry for saying the same thing about the 2012-13 spending plan.
“What we need are statesmen, not politicians who put their finger to the wind,” Simpson said, praising the tea party group as part of “ ... the renewed determination of people engaged in the political process.”
The challenges of 2011, however, are among the chief challenges Simpson anticipates when lawmakers convene on Jan. 8 — public school funding, balancing a budget, redistricting.
For more on this story from KETK newspaper partner the Longview News-Journal here.