Gov. Greg Abbott has laid out a bunch of priorities that he hopes lawmakers will take on this legislative session: measures related to criminal justice, protecting businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits and how elections are run in the state. But to get anything done on his list, he’ll need help in the Texas House and Senate.
Abbott works closely with the leaders of each chamber — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in the Senate and Speaker Dade Phelan in the House — to pursue his agenda. Look closer, though, and there’s a lot more going on in the new Legislature. There are a total of 181 legislators in the Capitol, but the influence is not evenly distributed. Due to the lawmakers’ positions, ideology and tenure, some will have a much bigger say on the biggest issues this session. Here’s who to watch:
Potential swing votes in the Senate