Liveblogging Opening Day in the House

1:51pm: About to adjourn... more later!

1:44pm: Governor Rick Perry now at the dais. "The first day of session is a beautiful thing," he says. "It's like a blank canvas." Perry reflects on his time in the House for a minute, then tells members that his door will be open to them.

1:34pm: "Let there be no walls in this House," Speaker Straus concludes. "God bless the state of Texas, and keep her brave and strong."

1:31pm: Straus promises a chance to do something great for members' districts and for Texas, to create an atmosphere where different points of view are respected. "On a daily basis we will debate. But these disagreements and debates are necessary because the end result will result in stronger and better laws," he said.

1:29pm: Straus says to his wife and daughters, "I may be the speaker of THIS house, but I know it will still be hard to get in a word with you."

1:25pm: Straus taking oath of office, and I just noticed teleprompters were up. Straus is favoring the left teleprompter right now and he thanks everyone. A big round of applause when Straus pauses to thank Tom Craddick.

1:23pm: After a short delay, Straus hits the floor. He's standing in a line of people to get to the dais. Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court Wallace Jefferson will administer the oath of office.

1:13pm: A huge committee of reps, including what sounds like all the San Antonio representatives, will escort the new speaker to the floor.

1:11pm: Gonzalez moves that nominations cease and that Straus be elected by acclimation. No objection. Motion is unanimously adopted. Straus is speaker, House goes wild.

1:04pm: State Rep. Veronica Gonzalez, D-McAllen, making the final seconding speech to nominate Joe Straus. While my computer was frozen, I was unable to update you that Straus was elected fire marshal in his 6th grade class, and was class president in 12th grade.

12:57pm: Here comes State Rep. Jim McReynolds, D-Lufkin, for the 4th seconding speech. Ran into him earlier in the extension and he was on his way to practice it. "I was a bit surprised that Joe was chosen as the candidate for speaker," McReynolds said. "I suppose it was a surprise to him as well."

12:56pm: State Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, now making another nominating speech, dicsussing how much he's looking forward to having an urban speaker.

12:51pm: State Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo, who was temporarily running against Straus for speaker for about 24 hours, is now making a seconding nominating speech for Straus. He says his dad and Straus' dad played football together in the 1940's.

12:48pm: No other nominations for speaker. Whew. State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, is now speaking about Straus. "He is smart, he is fair, he listens," she said. "Most importantly, he is a man of his word."

12:39pm: State Rep Jose Menendez nominates Joe Straus for speaker. Straus family is welcomed with applause. "I believe it fitting that the next speaker of the Texas House was raised in the shadow of the Alamo," Menendez says.

12:38pm: Chair recognizing Republican state Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth and state Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston to move adoption of temporary rules to elect a House speaker. Adopted unanimously.

12:37: Senators came over to tell the House that "the Senate is organized and ready to transact business." The lady behind me said, "They can text message that now, right?"

12:33pm: Oath of office time. We're focusing on Diana Maldonado, since she's the only freshman from the Central Texas delegation.

12:31pm: OK we're on district 126, so only 24 more to go in this voice roll call.

12:27pm: Roll call!

12:22pm: Denise Davis gets designated as temporary parliamentarian.

12:19pm: It sounds like Andrade is wrapping up. Meanwhile my computer battery seems to be going so I hope I get to make it through to the election of the speaker...

12:15pm: Hope Andrade's speech thanks family members, hits on the awesomeness of Texas and Texans, forefathers. "The focus should not be able where we got from or how we got here, instead we should focus on where we, together as one Texas, are headed," she said.

12:12pm: Hilarious. We had to do the Texas pledge, and not everyone seemed to remember the "Under God" phrase that was added in the 2007 session of the legislature. About a third of the room went with the "under God" part, and so part of the room finished the pledge before the other part.

12:09pm: National anthem time, gotta go...

12:04pm: Ok the bells are ringing like crazy...

12:01pm: Secretary of State Hope Andrade will gavel in the House, since it starts without a speaker. She's up on the dais right now, getting some last minute instruction. DENISE DAVIS is serving as parliamentarian.

12:00pm: My clock says noon, but the place hasn't quieted down yet.

11:58am: Spotted - Chris Griesel, former deputy parliamentarian. "Are you back, are you back?" I asked. He said no and kept walking... Meanwhile, former parliamentarian Denise Davis is on the floor right now, chatting with state Rep. Dan Gattis, R-Georgetown.

11:52am: T minus eight minutes. This feels a lot different than opening day 2007, when the speaker situation was unclear when we got to the floor. Pitts dropped out by around 5pm, knowing he didn't have the votes to win.

11:49am: Really can't see squat from where I'm sitting cause there are just too many people in here. Starting to wonder whether this is a fire hazard?

11:45am:Outgoing Speaker Tom Craddick spoke to some press outside the floor, he's with Nadine, daughter Christi, grandson and outgoing press secretary Alexis Delee. He said he's had a total of five offices since first coming here in 1968, so he doesn't mind having to leave his good digs behind.

11:41am: All kinds of craziness in here, my camera battery already died so the slideshow tonight will feature iPhone-quality photos (read=bad). Freshman lawmaker Marisa Marquez is passing out yellow roses to members, lots of babies and family members around.

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