Senate president calls for acts in 10 key legislative areas
By Ed Sterling
LIEUTENANT governor Dan Patrick, who presides over the Texas senate, released a list of his top 10 legislative targets for the 85th session as its filing season got under way on November 14.
Patrick’s priorities, including his comments on each, are:
Budget: “We will pass a balanced budget that will strengthen the Texas economy” and ensure that it “retains its global competitiveness”.
Property-tax reform: “Texans pay the sixth-highest property taxes in the nation and the high rates are taxing people out of their homes and hampering business growth. This must change.”
School choice: “There is broad support for legislation to ensure that every parent has the option to send their child to the school they believe is best for them.”
Sanctuary cities: “No city in Texas should be allowed to ignore the law. We will end this practice once and for all this session.”
Voter photo ID: “Nothing is more critical to our democracy than the integrity of the voting process. Photo Voter ID is essential.”
Women’s privacy: “A majority of Texans in both political parties and in every ethnic and demographic group believe that women and girls should have privacy and safety in their restrooms, showers and locker rooms.”
Teacher-student relationships: “With the rapid increase in the number of inappropriate teacher-student relationships, legislation is needed to strengthen the reporting and training requirements and establish appropriate penalties. Priority must be given to protecting our students at every level of the school system.”
Abortion: “We will continue to fight to protect the dignity and sanctity of life by increasing criminal penalties for buying or selling human fetal tissue, among other protections, and we will ban partial-birth abortion in Texas.”
Spending cap: “We will continue to fight to strengthen the state spending limit so our government lives within its means.”
Hailstorm lawsuit reform: “We will rein in the hailstorm lawsuit abuse that is damaging local economies around our state.”
Patrick, above, also mentioned his plan for the introduction of legislation to bring about reforms in professional ethics, child protective services and tuition and to reduce the hand-gun licensing fee, reduce the state franchise tax and prohibit government collection of union dues.