Anchia said he advises freshmen to try to hire staff as soon as possible and figure out where they’ll live. The competition for legislative staffers may be even fiercer this year, he added, since Democrats picked up 12 seats. Two newly elected Democratic state senators, who can pay higher salaries than House members, will also be looking for help.
“There may be a run on folks interested in working for Democrats,” said Turner, who is starting to interview potential staffers for his North Dallas district.
Members also have to make decisions about whether to open their district offices during or after the session. Anchia said he tells freshmen to hold off. Those offices will largely sit vacant during the session, and most constituent calls will go directly to Austin.
“Have a grand opening after the session is complete,” he said. “You want that extra $5,000 for the session.”
But freshmen like Bowers, who won in a Republican district, are grappling with that decision.
“We’re not going to be the office that can afford to not have an office in the district,” she said. “We want to make sure we’re accessible and visible in the community.”
Most of the incoming class is sticking to Anchia’s other pieces of advice, such as finding a place to live in Austin.
Gonzalez said she’s moving quickly, for practical matters.
“It’s really expensive over there,” she said.
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