By Bill O’Neil
A frustrating early end to the Texas Legislature’s Special Session for Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick–and the chill between he and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus only seems to be getting colder as a result.
“The Texas Senate passed 18 of the Governor’s bills in the first seven to eight days… we did our job” Patrick said.
On the positive side, the Lieutenant Governor said he’s pleased with a number of things–the passage of new funding for charter schools, a slate of pro-life bills and more.
“Ending forced annexation by cities of people who don’t want to be automatically be taken over by a city… these are good things that people support in Texas” Patrick said, giving a thumbs up to the bill pushed by State Senator Donna Campbell, which has since been signed in to law by Governor Greg Abbott.
On the other hand, the Lieutenant Governor sees plenty of missed opportunities as well.
“A great bill that was passed by Senator (Paul) Bettencourt that would have brought over $200-million of tax relief to Texans… to businessmen and home owners and businesswomen… was turned in to a pile of mush” Patrick said, singling out House Speaker Joe Straus for the Legislature’s failure to get a property tax relief bill to the Governor.
Patrick also pointed a finger of blame directly at the Speaker on the “Bathroom Bill.”
“When you have a Speaker that says I will kill privacy no matter what the people of Texas want, and the people of Texas don’t want their children showering together in 10th grade–and they don’t want men… we’re not talking about transgendered–they don’t want sexual predators who would use that as a loophole to follow any of the women in this room in to a bathroom” Patrick said.
The Lieutenant Governor also voiced his frustration over the House’s failure to pass a series of bonuses for current and retired teachers in Texas. Amid the failures, Patrick said he is confident the people of Texas have taken notice, and will hold those responsible for the results.