The Brief: Lawmakers stay optimistic to start session

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The Big Story A tight budget and a political conversation already dominated by social issues like who can use which bathroom did nothing to dampen the spirits of state lawmakers on Tuesday, the first day of the 85th Legislative Session. Here's the story: • The session's first day was marked by pomp and circumstance inside the Capitol, and protests and prayer rallies on the outside. While newly elected freshmen legislators and crusty veterans shook hands and chatted, about 100 protesters marched from the Huston-Tillotson University campus in East Austin to the Capitol. • Rep. Joe Straus was...

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