TRUMP’S First 100 days

April 25, 2017

Trump’s First 100 Days
The end of this week will mark President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in the White House. There are many reasons why I worked hard to help elect President Trump.  I knew he would be our partner in securing the border and finally addressing the issue of illegal immigration.  I knew he would support the oil and gas industry and put us on the road to energy independence – which is so critical for Texas.  I also knew he would appoint a conservative judge to the U.S. Supreme Court and support school choice for every child.  Finally, I knew we could count on him to support life and the Second Amendment.  President Trump’s work during his first 100 days in office makes clear that he understands the heart and soul of America.  He is a good friend to Texas and I look forward to the journey ahead and continuing to make America great again!

Speaking of the Trump campaign for President, last week I spoke to the Bexar County Republican Party which was honoring GOP presidents from Lincoln to Trump. Trump campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson and Trump Digital Campaign Director, Brad Parscale, also spoke as well as our great attorney general, Ken Paxton. Few people in the state realize that the operation center for Trump’s entire digital and advertising campaign was in San Antonio.

The Texas State Budget

This session’s state budget will determine the future of Texas in so many ways. This week I appointed a Senate Finance Chairman, Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, State Affairs Chairman, Joan Huffman, R-Houston, Administration Chairman, Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, Health & Human Services Chairman, Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown and Senate Finance Vice Chairman Chuy Hinojosa, D-McAllen, to serve on the conference committee that will hammer out the final budget.  We have determined that we will not raise taxes, we will keep the budget well within the state’s population growth times inflation and we will not use the Rainy Day Fund for ongoing expenses. I have complete confidence this team of conferees will uphold these conservative principles while ensuring that we meet the needs of our vast and rapidly growing state with the resources that are available. Click here to read my full statement.

Support Our Veterans
I’m proud to join the Texas Federation of Republican Women in supporting Patriot Paws Service Dogs’ campaign to sponsor service dogs for disabled veterans. Patriot Paws is a non-profit organization whose mission is to train and provide service dogs of the highest quality at no cost to disabled American combat veterans with mobile disabilities and PTSD to help restore their physical and emotional independence. I ask you to join Jan and me in honoring our service men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. Please contribute whatever you can afford and keep our service men and women in your prayers. You can click on the photo below to donate.

Patriot Paws

Thank you for your support.

Helping Texas Children

April 19, 2017
I hope you and your family had a blessed Easter holiday. Almost a year ago I called on Texas’ many faith-based communities to help children in need. Last week, I was proud to share an update on the faith-based collaboration with the Department of Family and Protective Services.

 

As of today, more than a thousand faith partners have joined the Department of Family and Protective Services to open their homes and hearts to a child in need. This will make a life-changing difference for children and families across the state. As we commemorate Child Abuse Prevention Month this April, we know we have more work to do. But the support from the faith-based communities is tremendous and I thank you for answering the call to serve children in need. There’s more information in this video or visit my office website here.

 

Adoptions

 

Texas Pastors Awakening Summit
I was blessed to speak at the Texas Pastors Awakening Summit in Austin this morning.  Privacy and life were at the top of the agenda.  These men and women are doing great work this legislative session.

 

 

Tax Day 2017
On Tax Day, we’re reminded that Texas is a conservative model for the nation, where we are working every day to keep taxes and regulation low and our government lean and efficient. During this legislative session, I am fighting to uphold our conservative values by passing a fiscally responsible state budget, lowering property taxes for all Texans and reducing the franchise tax.
Thank you for your support during these last six weeks of the 85th Texas Legislative Session. To follow the progress of my top 30 conservative priority bills, click here: http://www.legis.texas.gov/MnuMyTLO.aspx

This Week in the Texas Senate

April 11, 2017

I hope you are having a blessed Palm Sunday.

It was an honor to speak to the Texas Federation of Republican Women who were in Austin for their Legislative Day on Thursday. Their hard work and commitment to conservative principles is key to keeping Texas red. I’m proud of the women in our Texas Senate who are part of this great organization:

Dawn Buckingham (R – Lakeway), Konni Burton (R – Colleyville), Donna Campbell (R – New Braunfels), Chair of Senate Veterans Affairs and Border Security Committee, Joan Huffman (R – Houston), Chair of Senate State Affairs Committee, Lois Kolkhorst (R – Brenham), Chair of Senate Administration Committee and Jane Nelson (R – Flower Mound), Chair of the Senate Finance Committee.

tfrw

Last week I received a surprise birthday visit from my good friends Chuck and Gena Norris. Chuck Norris even cut my cowboy hat birthday cake! Here’s a Chuck Norris fact: Chuck Norris doesn’t need a knife to cut a birthday cake – he made eight very clean slices with one chop.

cake

In terms of the Legislative Update, the Texas Senate has passed 29 of my 30 top priority bills.  This week, the Senate focused on making college affordable for all Texans. I’ve highlighted the two priority bills passed out of the Senate this week below.

Senate Bills 18 & 19 — Tuition Freeze and Set Asides 
The state has increased funding for higher education, but tuition and fees have continued to rise. Senate Bills 18 & 19 by Senator Kel Seliger, R – Amarillo, will end the hidden set aside tax in college tuition and freeze tuition rates so that rising college costs don’t continue to outpace what hardworking Texans earn.

On the Air
On Tuesday, I joined Varney & Co. on Fox Business to discuss how we’re going to end sanctuary cities in Texas. Click here to sign my petition to support Senate Bill 4 and end sanctuary cities in Texas. You can watch a clip from the show below.


Click here to share my Fox Business interview on Facebook.

Liberal Media Bias and the Senate Budget
I wrote a letter to the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday which corrects some blatant inaccuracies in their April 2 editorial and lays out the facts about the Senate budget. Read and share my letter here: http://bit.ly/2nFAbVI

Thank you for your support as we continue the fight for conservative principles and Texas values during this legislative session. Have a blessed Easter holiday.

Letter to the Houston Chronicle

April 5, 2017

Senate budget

There are so many things wrong in your Sunday (Page A33) editorial, “Democrats, RIP,” (which appallingly promotes partisanship over hard work and cooperation) that it is hard to take it seriously, but I must correct the record on some blatant inaccuracies. Contrary to your editorial, the Senate budget fully funds K-12 education as well as the projected growth of 82,000 new students we expect to enter the system. Your own reporters have rightly noted that the school funding formula is tied to local property values. When property values increase, local property taxes generate a greater portion of the school funding formula requirement. Had property values decreased statewide, as they did in 2009, the share of state funding for K-12 would have increased. Importantly, Senate Bill 2 will help lower that burden.

The Senate budget also effectively sustains funding for higher education, increases spending on health care, including women’s health and mental health, and addresses the critical needs at Child and Family Protective Services.

The Senate budget does not raise taxes or dip into the Rainy Day Fund for ongoing expenses. It maintains our commitment to border security and is well within the state’s population growth times inflation. You may not be happy with this kind of prudent and conservative fiscal management, but this is exactly what the people of Texas elected me to do. The fact that the Senate budget passed on a unanimous bipartisan vote is good news for Texans. I am sorry it is not good news to you.

Dan Patrick, Lieutenant Governor of Texas

Click here to see the letter in the Houston Chronicle. 

Budget, Protecting Life, Second Amendment, School Choice and More

April 3, 2017
At this point, the Senate has passed 27 of my 30 top priorities including legislation to strengthen our commitment to protecting life, the Second Amendment and a lean conservative government. E-Verify, Voter ID and School Choice also passed the Texas Senate this week. Information about the latest priority bills passed by the Senate is listed below. As you can see, all this legislation is rooted in the conservative principles you elected me to uphold.

Senate Budget Does Not Raise Taxes or Use the Rainy Day Fund!
I am particularly proud to let you know that the Senate passed CSSB 1 – the 2018-2019 budget – for the State of Texas. The budget is a half billion dollars less than our last budget and does not raise taxes. It also does not use the Rainy Day Fund (the state’s savings account) for ongoing expenses.

Here are some other budget highlights:

The Senate also passed Senate Bill 9, the state spending cap.  Sponsored by Senator Kelly Hancock, R – North Richland Hills, the spending cap will help ensure that the state of Texas continues to live within our means.

School Choice Passes the Senate!
Senate Bill 3 – the School Choice bill by Senator Larry Taylor, R – Friendswood, passed in the Senate on Thursday. Senate Bill 3 includes both Education Savings Accounts and a Tax Credit Scholarships program. I issued a statement with details about this legislation when this bill was passed. You can read it here:  Click here to read my full statement on the passage of Senate Bill 3.

Senator Taylor also sponsored another important education bill, Senate Bill 22 – P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) which will target workforce-ready partnerships between school districts, higher education institutions and business employers, we will continue to improve our workforce and prepare students to be successful in today’s competitive and rapidly changing economy.

We Must Always Protect Life
Senate Bill 20 – Pro-Life Insurance Act by Senator Larry Taylor, R – Friendswood, passed in the Senate on Monday. Senate Bill 20 is an important step in ensuring that Texans are never forced to violate their conscience by paying for someone else’s decision to end an innocent life.

Protecting the Integrity of Our Elections
Voter ID – Senate Bill 5
Nothing is more critical to our democracy than the integrity of the voting process. Senate Bill 5 – Voter ID by Senator Joan Huffman, R – Houston, passed in the Senate on Tuesday. Watch and share my statement below to learn more.

SB5

Protecting the Second Amendment
License to Carry Fee Reform – Senate Bill 16
Senate Bill 16 – by Senator Robert Nichols, R – Jacksonville, passed in the Senate on Monday. Senate Bill 16 will make lawful carry more affordable for law abiding citizens across the state. No Texan should be deprived of their right to self-protection because of onerous licensing fees imposed by the state.

Other Priority Legislation
Union Dues – Senate Bill 13
It is clearly not the role of government to collect union dues, and certainly not at taxpayer expense. Senate Bill 13 – Union Dues by Senator Joan Huffman, R – Houston, passed in the Senate on Thursday. This legislation places government in its appropriate neutral position and lets unions collect their own membership dues.

E-Verify – Senate Bill 23
Senate Bill 23 – E-Verify by Dr. Charles Schwertner, R – Georgetown, also passed in the Senate on Tuesday. Senate Bill 23 will codify and strengthen current E-Verify efforts. Watch below for my full statement on the passage of Senate Bill 23.

Help for Texas Heroes – Senate Bill 27
Our veterans deserve the very best care that we can offer. The Help for Texas Heroes Act by Senator Dr. Donna Campbell (R – New Braunfels) passed in the Senate last week. Senate Bill 27 helps provide that by building on the success of the Military Veteran Peer Network.

Texas Ports – Senate Bill 28
In order for Texas to remain the number one exporting state we must continue to enhance connectivity to ports and invest in port infrastructure. SB 28 will accomplish this goal by providing critical funding opportunities that ensure our ports remain competitive. I commend Senator Brandon Creighton, R – Conroe, on the passage of Senate Bill 28.

Senate Bill 30 – Educate and Inform – The Community Safety Act by Senator Royce West, D – Dallas, and Senator John Whitmire, D – Houston, passed in the Senate on Wednesday. This bill will direct the State Board of Education and the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to work with local school districts to educate and inform both students and law enforcement officers on proper interaction. Senate Bill 30 is designed to help young Texans and members of law enforcement interact and build trust in communities across the state.

I commend the Texas Senate for their hard work this week. They have done a great service for the people of Texas and are committed to upholding Texas values. Thank you for your support.

A Day In D.C.

March 20, 2017
Last Thursday I had the honor to visit the White House as a guest of President Trump to attend the annual St. Patrick’s Day tribute to Ireland.

After the event I was given a personal tour of the Executive Offices next door, the White House and the West Wing.

It was my first visit to the West Wing, where the Oval Office and several key meeting rooms are located.  I walked onto the back porch to the Rose Garden – the site of so many historic meetings and announcements.  The sense of history is vivid throughout the West Wing.

As I walked in the door of the West Wing for a meeting, the first person I saw was former Governor Rick Perry, our U.S. Secretary of Energy. He seems right at home there. I was there to discuss education, border security and several other issues. I also had a meeting at the Capitol office of Chairman Michael McCaul.

Entrance to the West Wing.

This red carpet is throughout the halls of the Executive Office Building where Vice President Mike Pence has a Ceremonial Room and about the majority of President Trump’s team works.  About a 100 members of the Trump team work very long hours in the close quarters of the West Wing.

It was great to be in the nation’s capital and meet with our good friends in the White House. Texas truly stands as a beacon for the nation, reflecting the very best of what America can be.

Facts About Privacy & Economic Impact

March 13, 2017
My friend from North Carolina, Lt. Governor Dan Forest visited Texas this week to shed some light on the true impact of HB 2 – the privacy legislation in North Carolina. Despite left-wing media attacks, lies and distortions, he reports there has been no adverse effect on their economy. In fact, after his visit, the liberal media outlet Politifact confirmed the privacy legislation has had little impact on North Carolina’s booming economy.

Politifact

Legislative Priorities

This week we had two priority bills pass unanimously in the Texas Senate. Senate Bill 24 – Sermon Safeguard by Senator Joan Huffman, R-Houston, will continue to protect the most fundamental First Amendment religious liberty rights by protecting pastors from forced testimony and shielding sermons from government subpoena power.

Senate Bill 7 – Improper Student-Educator Relationships by Senator Paul Bettencourt, R–Houston, also passed unanimously in the Senate. Parents should not have to worry about sexual predators in the classroom. Public school superintendents are already lawfully required to report teachers who are preying on the innocent. This legislation will assure that any superintendent or principal who does not do so is guilty of ‘passing the trash’ and should resign or be fired. I applaud Senator Bettencourt and the Texas Senate for working to end this unacceptable practice.

Senate Bill 6 – the Texas Privacy Act – passed out of the Senate State Affairs Committee with a vote of 8-1. The bill will now move to the Senate for a full vote. I want to commend the Chairman of State Affairs Committee, Senator Joan Huffman, R – Houston, for her leadership during the hearing.  I also want to thank Senator Lois Kolkhorst, R – Brenham, author of the Texas Privacy Act, for her commitment to protecting the privacy of Texans and keeping them safe.

On the Air

I joined Fox & Friends early Friday morning to discuss the drop in illegal border crossings under President Trump. You can watch the clip below.
Thank you for supporting our fight to expand and preserve the conservative values Texas was built on.

PolitiFactNC: Dan Forest right about HB2’s economic impact

March 9, 2017

 

Patrick: In Texas, school choice is necessary for change

March 7, 2017

By Dan Patrick

President John F. Kennedy once remarked that, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” Change is difficult, and sometimes those who fear it the most will fight the hardest against it.

I have made education one of my top priorities since the day I was elected – both as a senator and as lieutenant governor. Throughout my time in office, my focus has always been on students and the most effective ways to change the system to meet the needs of students. I have been attacked repeatedly for these positions because, when you look out for students, frequently, the adults who have always controlled our educational system see it as an attack on them.

This is certainly true of my commitment to pass school choice in Texas, which would allow a parent to use the state funding set aside for their child to attend a private school, if they believe that is the best choice.

Texas is one of 20 states that does not have a school-choice program. With more than 5.2 million students in public schools, it is difficult to understand why so many continue to fight against school choice. These programs give parents and families an option to meet their child’s education needs when the public school is not able.

Students in failing campuses have few choices, if any at all. In Harris County, there are currently 62 campuses rated “Improvement Required,” our state’s lowest accountability rating. More than 48,000 students are enrolled in these failing campuses. Across the state, 467 campuses received a failing rating. In an effort to find a better school for their child, many families try to enroll their student in a charter school, but charter schools have long waitlists – currently an estimated 130,000 students across the state.

Special-education students are particularly vulnerable. I worked over two sessions to pass legislation to require cameras be placed upon request in the classrooms of special education students who are unable to communicate. Despite the repeated news reports of special needs students who had been abused and neglected, I was met with fierce opposition by school districts even though some school districts were unable to provide a safe environment for these students.

Educators continue to claim school choice takes money away from public schools, but that simply isn’t true. If it was, we shouldn’t let students leave their local school for any reason. No one thinks we should pass a law that says if the parents move to another state, their child must remain in the local school. My point is, there is no net loss to a school when a student leaves, no matter what the reason.

Across the nation, we have seen school-choice programs make a dramatic impact on the education system and the lives of students. Empirical studies overwhelmingly show positive academic student outcomes, including increased graduation rates, a reduction in crime and dropout rates, and high parental satisfaction.

It is ironic there is such opposition to school choice as most choice programs see an enrollment rate of .5 percent to 1 percent of total student enrollment. In Texas, that would mean we would see 25,000 to 50,000 students enroll in a choice program. In an average year, our total student enrollment increases by 80,000 to 85,000, so projected participation in a school choice program would be dwarfed by the annual increase in our new student enrollment.

A broad majority of Texans support school choice. Giving every child the opportunity to attend the school their parents believe is best for them is something the people of Texas elected me to do. I will continue to fight for change in our education system and push for school choice.

Patrick is the lieutenant governor of Texas. This article was originally published in the Houston Chronicle.

Texas Values and Privacy

February 27, 2017
On Wednesday night, President Donald Trump announced that his administration will rescind the edict by former President Barack Obama, which mandated that public schools stop designating separate restrooms exclusively for boys and girls.  Obama’s regulations also prohibited public schools from providing individual accommodations for transgender students, as they have always done.

President Trump is right that this is a state issue.  That is why Senator Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, and I have crafted a state policy — the Texas Privacy Act (Senate Bill 6) which reflects Texas values and Texas principles.  The Texas Privacy Act ensures that public schools continue to designate separate restrooms, locker rooms and showers for boys and girls.  It also protects businesses from being forced by local government to change their restroom, shower or locker room policies and ensures that government buildings will maintain separate restrooms, showers and locker rooms for men and women.

I spoke with Jason Whitely on WFAA’s Inside Texas Politics in Dallas about President Trump’s decision and the Texas Privacy Act. You can watch the clip below.

Inside Texas

I also discussed this issue and other work going on in the Legislature on the Trey Ware show in San Antonio last week.  Listen to the full interview below.

KTSA

Filing of Senate Bill 5 – Voter ID

Last week, Senate Bill 5 – Voter ID  – was filed by Senator Joan Huffman, R-Houston. Nothing is more critical to our democracy than the integrity of the voting process. That’s why I have fought for voter ID since my days as a state senator. Citizens must be able to trust the certified outcome of every election and we must protect the voting rights of every eligible voter in Texas. Read my full statement on Senate Bill 5 here.

Protecting Life
 
Protecting life is a top priority for me and for many of my colleagues in the Texas Senate. This week, the State Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on Senate Bill 25 – by Senator Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, to end so-called “wrongful birth” lawsuits.  The Business & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on Senate Bill 20, by Senator Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, which will ensure no one is forced to violate their conscience by paying for someone else’s decision to end an innocent life. Senate Bill 8, by Senator Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, is on the agenda in the Health & Human Resources Committee this week.  Senate Bill 8 will increase criminal penalties for buying or selling human fetal tissue and ban partial birth abortion in Texas.  To follow the progress on this legislation, click here: http://www.legis.texas.gov/MnuMyTLO.aspx

We are continuing to work hard in the Texas Senate to do what you elected us to do and expand and preserve the conservative values Texas was built on.