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.

Don’t mess with Texas

February 22, 2017

On Friday, I talked with a columnist at Fox News about the NFL and NBA’s efforts to interfere with Texas values and Texas policies.  It looks like the NBA and the NFL have lost their minds, as well as their moral compass. They are shaking in their sneakers because they’re so afraid of political correctness. Read the full story here.

I got to see my good friend Laura Ingraham and be on her show this past week. If you missed it, you can listen to the show here.

ingramshow

Click here to share my interview on the Laura Ingraham Show on Facebook.

On Thursday, I spoke with Neil Cavuto on Fox News about President Trump’s constitutional immigration order.  Here’s a clip from the show:

cavuto

Click here to share my Fox News interview on Facebook.

Thank you for supporting the fight to keep Texans safe.

Super Bowl LI and Legislative Updates

February 7, 2017
I talked with FOX 26 Houston on Saturday about Super Bowl LI and our conservative legislative priorities in the Texas Senate. Watch and share my interview here.

Fox 26

Last week we came together for Governor Greg Abbott’s State of the State address. In his address, he declared Sanctuary Cities, Ethics Reform, Child Protective Services and the Convention of States emergency items. Watch and share my full remarks here.

State Of The State

Updates on Conservative Priorities in the Texas Legislature

Senate Bill 4 – Sanctuary Cities passed out of the State Affairs Committee early Friday morning about 1 a.m. The vote was 7 to 2. The bill now moves to the Senate for a full vote.

I want to commend the Chairman of State Affairs Committee, Senator Joan Huffman, for her leadership during the public hearing. She and the Committee conducted a respectful and orderly public meeting that included 16 hours of public testimony. Unfortunately, the hearing was often marred by opponents of the Sanctuary Cities Bill who tried to disrupt the proceedings. However, key Republican Texas Senators did not waiver in their support for this critical bill.

I also want to thank Senator Charles Perry, author of the Sanctuary Cities Bill, for his tireless work on this legislation. Senate Bill 4, was one of my highest priorities this session. And I want to thank Governor Greg Abbott for allowing us to act on this legislation more quickly. Watch and share my full statement on Senate Bill 4 – Sanctuary Cities here.

Sanctuary Cities

Earlier last week the State Affairs Committee also passed out Senate Bill 14 – the Ethics Reform bill. It is the most significant ethics reform in decades to pass and will also come to the full Senate for a vote this week.

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay updated on the progress of these bills, and the rest of our priority bills during the Legislative Session.

We are hard at work in the Texas Senate early in the Legislative Session on important issues facing Texas.

Giving Texans School Choice

January 31, 2017
Too many Texas schoolchildren are trapped in failing schools – it’s time to change that.

Last week I joined other lawmakers and many Texans on the steps of the Capitol for the Texas School Choice Rally. I believe every child in Texas should have access to a high-quality public education, and I was proud to speak about what the Texas Senate will do this session to make this become a reality.

United For Choice

 

I joined Senator Larry Taylor, R – Friendswood, yesterday to announce the filing of Senate Bill 3 – School Choice. Watch and share my statement below.

SB3

 

Additional Conservative Priorities in the Texas Legislature

 

I joined Senator Van Taylor, R-Plano, on Thursday morning for the filing of Senate Bill 14 – Ethics Reform. Ethics reform is one of my top priorities so that government – at all levels – can continue to inspire the public’s trust in a transparent and ethically principled manner. Senate Bill 14 is an important bill that will strengthen Texas ethics laws. Watch and share my video on SB 14 – Ethics Reform here.

SB14

 

This legislative session, Texas is going to continue to improve our workforce and prepare students to be successful in today’s competitive and rapidly changing economy. Last week Senate Education Chair Larry Taylor, R – Friendswood, filed Senate Bill 22 – P-TECH. Senate Bill 22 is built on a partnership between school districts, higher education institutions and business employers. Read my full statement on Senate Bill 22 here.

This week in the Texas Legislature

We look forward to coming together for Governor Abbott’s State of the State address today where he will outline his priorities and emergency items for the 85th Legislative Session. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay updated on our conservative priorities.

Thank you for supporting our fight to expand and preserve the conservative values Texas was built on.

Thoughts on the Inauguration

January 24, 2017
It is a new day in America.  On Friday, January 20th, 2017, in the brief 30 seconds it took to swear in Donald John Trump as the 45th President of the United States, a massive government complex, complete with over a million public servants, the most powerful military in the world, and all of the property and infrastructure of the federal government, was turned over peacefully to our new President.  The inauguration was an amazing event and a tribute to the enduring strength of our democracy.  I was very proud to be there.

steps
 
In that brief 30 seconds, there was a total shift in the philosophy, ideology and vision – a 180 degree change – in our leadership from the former President to the new President.

This was the second presidential inauguration I have attended.  My first was the last Republican President sworn in, George W Bush, on a cold, snowy day in 2005.

I knew President Bush a little bit.  I was still doing a daily radio show when he was Governor, but I know our new President on a more personal basis.  As Chair of the Texas Trump Campaign I campaigned with him several times when he was in the state.  I also got to know his son, Don, Jr. during that time and we have kept in touch since the election.

Trump’s inaugural address was not a normal political speech.  He doubled down on the promises he made when he was running and reassured his supporters that he was not going to be a politician who says one thing to get elected and does another after getting into office.  He told those sitting behind him – including Congress – that business as usual was over.  The Republicans in Congress that I spoke with while I was in Washington were very excited that change is finally coming.

speech
He told the world that America will be strong again and that his priority will be to put the people of our country first.  He stood on the steps of the nation’s capitol and said the words former President Obama and Hillary Clinton had refused to say – that he is committed to eradicating radical Islamic terrorism.

When Trump put his hand on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible (which was atop another Bible his mother had given him) and took the oath of office, I felt so proud of the American people.  Sure, winning the election was a personal success for Trump, but it was a triumph for the people of this country.  It was their victory.  The silent majority spoke up.  Reagan Democrats, Conservative Christians, independents, and Republicans finally showed up in the numbers needed to take our country back.

mall
Trump stood for all of them.  There were millions of hands on that Bible, not just his. He said the words, but it was the people’s voice that we heard. It was a great day for Donald J. Trump, but it was an even greater day for the people of America, who said to Washington, enough is enough – we want to begin a new day in America.  Now, that journey begins.

The First Week

January 17, 2017
As the Capitol welcomed legislators from all over the state of Texas last week, I was proud to gavel-in the opening of the Texas Senate for the 85th session of the Texas Legislature. Our state faces many challenges this session, but I have great confidence in the commitment of the hard-working senators of this state and the people of Texas who elected them. In all our deliberations, maintaining our conservative principles and protecting Texas values will be our top priority.

I was honored to discuss some of our top priorities for this session last week during the opening keynote for Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Policy Orientation. TPPF President Brooke Rollins introduces the other senators that were present as well as me before the speech begins. Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/2jJZJQ3

TPPF

Conservative Priorities in the Texas Legislature

Last week Senator Kelly Hancock, R – North Richland Hills, filed one of our top legislative priorities Senate Bill 9 – Reforming the Spending Cap. The people of Texas elected us to produce a conservative budget that ensures taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and that the size of state government does not exceed increases in inflation times our population growth.  SB 9 puts that commitment into law and ensures that the state of Texas continues to live within our means. Read my full statement here.

Last year, Texas lost more law enforcement officers in the line of duty than any other state in America. Some of these senseless tragedies could have been prevented if these law enforcement officers had been outfitted with protective vests capable of stopping high-caliber bullets. I have made it a priority this legislative session to pass Senate Bill 12, which will give all Texas officers on patrol bulletproof vests that can withstand rifle rounds.  I commend Senator Royce West, D-Dallas, for filing this important bill to help protect our brave men and women in law enforcement who risk their lives every day to protect us. Read my full statement on the filing of SB 12 here.

I also sat down for a one-hour interview with the Texas Tribune last week to discuss the 85th Texas Legislative Session. Click below to watch the full conversation.

Texas Tribune

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