The 83rd Texas Legislature convened in Austin this morning.

The first order of business for the Texas House was to determine the Speaker of the House for this legislative session.

By a voice vote, Joe Straus won re-election to the speaker position."Members, I am humbled by your support, grateful for the confidence you have placed in me," Straus said. "I am honored to serve again as your Speaker."

In his opening address, Speaker Straus also talked about the future of the state, "We gather today to chart a path forward for the state we love. We have a lot to be proud of in Texas, from leading the nation in job creation to leading an American energy revolution. For eight straight years Texas has led the nation in exports, and our unemployment rate is well below the national average, despite a massive influx of new workers.

"Our economy is so vast and diverse that if Texas were its own country – and no, don’t worry, that isn’t something we’re going to do this session –  but if we were, we’d be the 14th largest economy in the world. Other states envy our strength. But we should not allow our state’s many successes to hide some very real … and very urgent  …  challenges.

"Instead, now is the time to get serious about solving those challenges, to take the next step forward and to lead Texas into a new era of innovation and opportunity," Straus said.

As directed by the state constitution, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst is the presiding officer of the Texas Senate and longtime Senator Leticia Van de Putte from San Antonio was elected President Pro Tempore.

83rd Legislature will meet for 140 days.