The 83rd Texas legislature got underway at 12 PM sharp on Tuesday, as members of both the Texas House of Representatives and Texas Senate were sworn in to begin their new terms.
Former Texas House speaker Tom Craddick -- who's been a member of the House since 1969 -- says that the 2013 freshman class in the House of Representatives is the second largest in Texas history.
Despite his 40 years of service, Craddick says he's still excited at the start of each new session.
"It kind of leaves you in awe when you kind of stand up there and take your oath -- knowing you're going to represent your district, your area and your family and friends in the legislature -- and you're gonna have a lot of effect in the next several months on what's gonna happen in Texas," said Craddick. "So, it's a major thing."
House members also voted Joe Straus as the chamber leader for the third consecutive term on Tuesday.