JAN. 10, 2019  |  View in browser
In today’s Brief: Top Texas Republicans are set to join the president in McAllen, and we compiled demographics of the 86th Texas Legislature. 

MCALLEN BORDER TRIP

President Donald Trump is expected to visit McAllen today to continue pushing for border barrier funding amid the partial federal government shutdown.

He's set to hold a roundtable at McAllen's U.S. Border Patrol station and then get a briefing at the border, per a White House schedule. A number of Texas Republicans have said they plan to join, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz

After Trump’s visit, Cornyn is scheduled to hold a roundtable with local officials in Mission to discuss border security and trade. For updates today, follow Julián Aguilar

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#TXLEGE WATCH 

We’re out with a compilation of this year’s demographics of the Texas Legislature. As the Tribune’s Alexa Ura and Darla Cameron report, the headline is still the same — the Legislature is predominantly white and male.

Some highlights from Ura and Cameron: Most of the Legislature’s new members are Democrats. And more than half of those new members are men. Also, the addition of three House Democrats upped the number of state lawmakers who identify as members of the LGBT community from two to five.

In other news, here’s a look at what happened Wednesday around the pink dome: 

  • The “Big Three” are pushing a unified front. During a news conference outside the Governor’s Mansion, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen swore to be on the same page as session gets underway. Patrick, who often clashed with former House Speaker Joe Straus, called it “really unprecedented” that the three were beginning session “totally united with one another.”
  • The “bathroom bill” won’t be back this session — according to Patrick, who was the proposal’s loudest champion during the 2017 session. Patrick made the news during that Wednesday presser, which added onto his prior suggestions that the issue no longer requires attention from the Legislature.
  • The House strengthened how it handles sexual harassment complaints. The chamber approved the new internal policy on Wednesday as part of a unanimous vote on the House’s standard housekeeping resolution that governs its operations. The policy transfers investigative duties for complaints of misconduct to a House committee with subpoena power.

And a look at what’s happening today: 

  • Bonnen will speak at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s 2019 Policy Orientation. Watch a livestream at 8 a.m. here.
  • Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar will speak with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith. Watch a livestream at 8 a.m. here.
  • The House and the Senate are scheduled to hold a joint session in the lower chamber to canvass the vote for governor and lieutenant governor. Watch a livestream at noon here.
Other stories we're watching today
  • The Tarrant County GOP is scheduled to vote this evening on whether to oust the vice-chairman because he's Muslim. Follow Alex Samuels for updates. 

IN TODAY'S AUDIO BRIEF 

Alana Rocha has the latest on the state's "Big Three" and more. You can also subscribe on AlexaiTunesGoogle Play or Stitcher.

BEST OF THE REST

Paywall content noted with $.

PENCIL US IN

Join us in Austin on Jan. 17 for a conversation with new members of the Texas Senate. 

Join us in Lake Jackson on Jan. 18 for a conversation with Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton. 

PHOTO OF THE DAY

Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen pet one of the governor's dogs after holding a joint news conference in Austin on Jan. 9, 2019. Photo by Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for The Texas Tribune. See more photos on our Instagram account.

THE LAST WORD

"When you win the battle, you don’t have to fight the battle again." 
— Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, dismissing the need for a "bathroom bill" at the Texas Legislature this year 
By Cassandra Pollock
cpollock@texastribune.org
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