Saturday Morning Reflection

June 24, 2017

California vs Texas – The Real Story

The real story behind California’s recently announced ban on travel to Texas goes beyond the temporary prohibition of state employees being allowed to attend conferences and other events in our state. I say temporary because no one really believes that California state employees will never be allowed to travel to Texas again.

And no one believes that we in Texas are going to change our laws to suit liberal California and Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown. Instead, the travel ban is the latest chapter in a much bigger story.

Freedom to Serve Children Act

California announced the travel ban in response to the passage of the Freedom to Serve Children Act which expands the number of organizations in Texas that are recruiting foster care parents to include those who believe placing children with gay or lesbian couples violates their religious beliefs. It does not exclude any one or any group.

Finding high quality foster homes is an urgent need in Texas and has been a personal priority for me and for many others in the Legislature. The bottom line is that this law will expand the pool of potential foster parents.

Some may agree and others may not, but the point is, in Texas, we decide what our laws will be. We don’t buckle under to the radical extremist left, even if they are flying the official flag of the state of California.

I predicted this earlier this year

The same radical left that pushed the travel ban on the foster care legislation has also threatened to retaliate against Texas because of our passage of the Ban on Sanctuary Cities. And, of course, retaliation and boycotts have been a theme of the opposition against the Texas Privacy Act — dismissively called the “bathroom bill” by the left-wing media.

When it comes to protecting our conservative principles and values, the strategy of the radical left appears to be saying — we know the people of Texas agree with you so we will get the left-wing liberals who live in other states to come out against you.

I have said repeatedly that if we cave on the issue of privacy and back off, the threats of boycotts won’t stop. California’s action on the foster care bill proves I was right. We can only guess what the left-wing liberals would target Texas for next — our pro-life policies, oil production, support for gun rights and the Second Amendment?

There is no question that there is broad support for these conservative issues. Just one quick example. If you look closely at a poll released last week by the liberal Texas Tribune, you will find that, despite hundreds of negative news stories about the privacy bill, support for legislation which requires men and women to have separate designated restrooms, has increased dramatically — over 30 points among core Republicans. Opposition is low and about the same as it was months ago when the debate began.

Assault on Texas Values

We must stand strong against this assault on our liberty and our Texas values. These threats have had near zero impact on any city or state that fought back. We’ve added 9 million people to Texas since 2000 and they are still coming including many conservatives and business owners from California.

Texas is ranked #1 as the best state to do business by CEO magazine.

One last point. Despite what they say in the liberal media, the Foster Care Bill and the Texas Privacy Act do not discriminate against anyone. Every Texan is free to live their life as they choose. We are simply standing up for religious freedom and the common sense values held by the overwhelming majority of Texans. As your Lt Governor I can assure you I have no intention of kowtowing to the radical left and I will never quit fighting for our conservative values and principles.

May God continue to bless the greatest place on earth – Texas. Dan Patrick

Support for Privacy Legislation Grows Across Texas

June 21, 2017

UT/Texas Tribune Poll Reveals Increase in Support

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

HOUSTON TX – A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll was released yesterday under a headline indicating most Texans do not think privacy legislation — requiring separate, designated restrooms, locker rooms, and showers for men and women and boys and girls in public schools and government facilities – is important. According to news reports, 44 percent of those surveyed believe privacy is an important issue while 47 percent do not. What the news stories fail to explain is that the data released shows the number of Texans who believe privacy to be an important issue has increased 5 points since the last UT/TxTrib poll was released in February. 

Also buried in the news coverage was the fact that the poll showed that the percentage of people who believe privacy legislation is important has increased 13 percent among Republican voters and 31 percent among core Republicans. Those who do not believe privacy legislation is important and presumably oppose it has not changed.

This dramatic increase in the number of people who believe privacy legislation is important and the lack of change among those who don’t is particularly telling considering the onslaught of negative news coverage hurled at privacy legislation advocates during the 140-day regular legislative session. One anti-privacy group announced that there had been $200 million in “bad publicity for the state” as a result of the proposed bathroom legislation.

“Clearly all this bad publicity has only served to galvanize Texans in their support for the safety and privacy of women,” said Allen Blakemore, political strategist for Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, a leading advocate of privacy legislation in Texas.

“Our own polling has consistently found strong support for the legislature to establish a privacy policy in Texas and we suspect the UT Texas Tribune poll would find the same thing if they asked the question. Unfortunately, this poll did not ask a simple support/oppose question on the issue of privacy.

“Instead, they only asked those surveyed if they thought the privacy issue was important — no context was provided. After finding majority support in the previous UT/TxTrib poll on this issue, it is interesting that they did not ask the question in this poll.

“Finally, the odd methodology skews the UT/TxTrib survey. It is important to remember that the number of Texans who believe privacy is an important issue would probably be higher if the polling sample was drawn from voting Texans. This poll has more Democrats and more people between the ages of 18 and 44 than actually vote. The polling sample is also almost a third liberals, when virtually any responsible Texas pollster will tell you that the number of self-identified liberals who vote in Texas is only a little more than 20 percent,” Blakemore concluded.

More information about Texans for Dan Patrick is available at www.DanPatrick.org.

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Regular Legislative Session Ends: Battle for Property Taxes and Privacy Continues

May 31, 2017
I began this session with a strong conservative agenda that affirmed my commitment to property tax reform, women’s privacy, life, the second amendment, border security, religious liberty and a lean and efficient government.

I’m proud to share all 30 of my top priorities passed out to the Texas Senate, and 20 of the 30 priorities I announced in January are on track to become law. Below are a few highlights from the 85th Legislative Session:

 

– The Senate led in passing a conservative budget that is more than a billion dollars less that our last budget and did not use the Rainy Day Fund for on-going expenses.

– The Senate led in passing legislation banning sanctuary cities and maintained funding for border security. We passed one of the strongest pro-life bills ever, protecting the dignity and sanctity of life by banning partial birth abortion in Texas as well as increasing criminal penalties for buying or selling human fetal tissue. We also passed critical reforms for Child Protective Services.

– The Senate led in strengthening religious liberty with the sermon protection act and we provided funding for protective vests for every law enforcement officer in Texas. We also passed a critical Photo Voter ID law.

– The Senate also led on ethics reform including additional public disclosures for office holders and candidates and cutting retirement benefits for elected officials who are convicted felons.

 

Below is the list of my top 30 legislative priorities. Click here for more information.
30 For 30

 

The Texas House killed real property tax reform, privacy protections, additional school funding and the tuition freeze that passed the senate.

 

I am disappointed the Texas House blocked the passage of real property tax reform through rate rollbacks and mandatory elections. Unfortunately this means that Texans will continue to suffer a high property tax burden. The House also ignored the need to establish privacy regulations for schools and other local entities, ensuring that our state will continue to be embroiled in this issue in local communities and school restrooms, locker rooms and showers. Click here to see a video of my press conference on these issues in the closing days of the legislative session.  

 

The House killed the tuition freeze legislation, which would have immediately addressed the spiraling costs of a college education that is crippling many Texans. Inexplicably, the House also rejected over a half-billion dollars in additional school funding because of their refusal to accept a school choice program for disabled children.
I am very proud of what we were able to accomplish in the 140 days of this legislative session and I give all the credit to the vigilance and hard work of every senator.  We will continue to celebrate these victories of conservative principles and governance and we will continue to fight the battles that remain — particularly on property taxes and privacy which remain ‘must-pass’ legislation.

 

Thank you for your support during the 85th Legislative Session.

15 day Countdown

May 16, 2017
As you know, the Texas Legislature is just 15 days away from the end of the regular legislative session and I am continuing to fight hard for the conservative agenda you elected me to push forward.  Here is a quick update:

One of my top legislative priorities – Senate Bill 4 Banning Sanctuary Cities – was signed into law last week.  Watch my interview below on Fox Business News where I discuss how we are putting an end to sanctuary cities in Texas.

Sanctuary City Law

On Its Way to the Governor’s Desk
Two of my legislative priorities are on their way to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. Sermon Safeguard will protect our First Amendment right to religious liberty. This legislation will give pastors critical protection from forced testimony and shield sermons from government subpoena power. Senate Bill 16 – License to Carry Fee Reform will make lawful carry more affordable for law abiding citizens across the state. Watch here for more details on License to Carry Fee reform.

License To Carry

Darrington Prison Seminary Graduation
Seven years ago, I helped start a prison seminary program at the Darrington Prison Unit. This week, 34 seminary students were part of the program’s third graduating class. Almost all students have long sentences. The program is designed to train inmate pastors 24/7 in our prisons. God has transformed these criminal offenders into some really amazing people. No public tax dollars are involved. Below are a few photos from the graduation ceremony.

Seminary

Thank you for your continued support. Watch us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates on my priority bills as the session winds down.

UPDATE: Banning Sanctuary Cities Signed Into Law

May 8, 2017
Update: Banning Sanctuary Cities Bill Is Signed Into Law
One of my top legislative priorities – Senate Bill 4 Banning Sanctuary Cities – was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott today. This legislation, authored by Senator Charles Perry (R – Lubbock), will ensure that no liberal officials in Texas will be allowed to ignore immigration law and we have included substantial fines and penalties for any that do. We have ended this practice once and for all. I discussed the sanctuary cities bill on Fox News last week. Watch my interviews below.
Priority Bill in Support of Israel is Signed Into Law
Another of my top legislative priorities – legislation that will block discriminatory trade practices against Israel – was signed into law last week. This bill, authored by Senator Brandon Creighton, (R-Conroe), prohibits the state of Texas from conducting business with companies involved in the boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. This legislation is already making a difference. This week a major Texas bank announced it had closed an account with an anti-Israel group. Texas stands strong with Israel! Click here to read my full statement.

Legislative Session – The Final Countdown
The regular session of the Texas Legislature will officially end at the end of this month. I have delivered on my promise to you to push our conservative agenda forward and the Texas Senate has passed 29 of my top 30 priorities. We provide updates on Facebook and Twitter on individual priority bills as the session winds down, so make sure you are following us there.

Thank you for your continued support.

Banning Sanctuary Cities in Texas

May 2, 2017
We are one step closer to banning sanctuary cities in Texas once and for all. Last week, Senate Bill 4 passed out of the House of Representatives and will now make its way back to the Senate Chamber. Once the House and Senate agree on the bill, it will be sent to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk to be signed into law.

To make our border truly secure, we must end the idea that anyone can come to America illegally and live in a safe haven where they will never be required to reveal their immigration status. No city in Texas will be allowed to ignore the law. We are ending this practice once and for all this session. To stay updated on the progress of Senate Bill 4 this week, click here:  http://www.legis.texas.gov/MnuMyTLO.aspx

Help get Senate Bill 4 to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk by showing your support on social media. Click the buttons below to share.

Tweet This
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On Friday, I shared an update on the Texas Budget and discussed the facts about the Rainy Day Fund. Watch and share my video below.
Rainy Day

You can stay updated on the progress of the Texas Budget by following me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I joined a thousand of my good friends – hard working committed conservatives – at the Harris County Republican Party’s Lincoln Reagan Dinner Friday night. I was honored to speak alongside Senator Ted Cruz, Attorney General Ken Paxton, US House Majority Leader Kevin McCarty, and many other Republican leaders.

Thank you for supporting the fight to keep Texas communities safe.

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.