Welcome back, members of the Texas Legislature (that would be the 79th Legislature, if anyone's counting).
79th Texas Legislature
What's at stake: Lawmakers must produce a balanced budget. They will also tackle school finance, property taxes, and protective services for children and the elderly. And jockeying for next year's campaign will begin.
Where to watch: www.house.state. tx.us/media/ welcome.php (House) or www.senate.state .tx.us/ bin/live.php (Senate)
Tell Us: What should be the No. 1 goal of the 79th Texas Legislature?
Latest News: Track the action in Austin throughout the session on our special section.
Video: Brad Watson reports
We know you've got a million things on your minds, so we offer just a few pithy words, cadged from the pages of history, to concentrate the ol' mental faculties:
"A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people, it shall be the duty of the legislature of this State to make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of public schools."
Article X of the first Constitution of the state of Texas, passed Aug. 26, 1845 (Article VII in the current Constitution)
"The Court declares that the Texas school finance system is unconstitutional in that it violates the 'general diffusion of knowledge' clause (or adequacy clause) set forth in Article VII, section 1 of the Texas Constitution, because the constitutional mandate of adequacy exceeds the maximum amount of funding that is available under the State's current funding formulas."
Texas District Judge John Dietz, Nov. 30, 2004
"The objects for which we have assembled deeply interest the people of Texas. We have the hopes of our present population as well as the millions who may come after us in our hands. The eyes of the civilized world are upon us."
Opening address by Anson Jones, president of the Texas Constitutional Convention, July 4, 1845
That's it. Happy legislating.