Hidalgo County’s newest state representatives won’t feel out of place.
In a legislative session where 43 freshmen were sworn into the 150-member House — the most in four decades — Hidalgo County accounts for three of them. State Reps. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg; Oscar Longoria, D-Mission; and Bobby Guerra, D-McAllen, took office Tuesday in the county’s delegation that is relatively lean on experience, both a blessing and a curse.
“Since half the House will be freshmen and sophomores, it provides a good opportunity for us to move up quickly,” said Longoria, a Mission attorney elected to the Rio Grande Valley’s new seat that runs between Hidalgo and Cameron counties.
Texas legislators began their 140-day session Tuesday cast around a budget battle where the high number of newcomers will play a big role. While the state’s major responsibility will be passing a new budget after historic cuts the last go-around, Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst will push fiscally and socially conservative measures that include drug testing for welfare and unemployment recipients and a lean budget that steers clear of the state’s surplus.