With the speakership finally settled with Straus' swearing in, some North Texas lawmakers say they look forward to progress on issues they claim languished under Craddick, who's from West Texas.
"I think he's going to get things like the environment, like regional transit, like clean air and we're going to be able to move those initiatives," said Rafael Anchia, a Dallas Democratic representative.
On funding highways and transportation, Straus told News 8 in an interview he favors raising the state gasoline tax by perhaps a penny and indexing it to rise with inflation. It's now at 20 cents a gallon.
"It's been a long time since it has been increased, and it's stayed a very low level for years and years and it's clearly not keeping up with the needs the infrastructure needs of Texas," he said.
The Dallas Independent School District and 15 other North Texas districts are currently considered property-rich, or "Robin Hood" districts, and are forced to pay local taxes to the state. Straus said he hopes they might get some help on school finance.
"This session we'll wait and see," he said. "Maybe there are some adjustments out there that make sense and give some relief to school districts."
The first indication whether North Texas lawmakers will get more clout under Straus will be in their assignments to committees and chairmanships.
Look for the influence of representatives Burt Solomons of Carrollton, Charlie Geren of Fort Worth and Dan Branch of the Park Cities all to rise dramatically under Straus.