6 Takeaways From House Speaker Dennis Bonnen's First Session in Charge

AUSTIN -- With the smoke cleared on the 86th Legislature, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen looked back with no regrets at his first session in charge, during which he passed his ambitious priorities of revamping the state's school finance system and delivering tax caps to try to tamp down rising property taxes in the state.What did we learn about how the 22-year veteran of the House oversaw the chamber he has dedicated his life to? Here are six quick takeaways from the Angleton Republican's first session in charge.1. Protecting the House was a priorityFrom the beginning, Bonnen said he would do everything in his power to "protect the House" and go after those who tried to harm the institution. That meant those within the chamber who tried to sow discord between the members of the House and those outside the chamber, be it political advocates or lawmakers across the capitol rotunda in the Senate, who could sink the chamber's priorities. While he expected people to have disagreements, Bonnen said, he didn't want those differences to settle in and divide the chamber, which needed to work together to accomplish its big goals on school finance and property taxes. "It’s most importantly of all, setting a clear tone and message that we will have issues that are divisive and contentious but we will not let those issues divide us," he said. "We will do our work, we will do our job and we will respect each other."  Continue reading...

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