Lt. Governor Dan Patrick: Remarks to the Delegation Breakfast

July 21, 2016

(CLEVELAND, OH) Lt Governor Dan Patrick issued the following statement following the breakfast meeting of the Texas delegation at the Republican National Convention today:

“There were some mixed feelings and some hurt feelings in the Texas delegation today.  I was Cruz’s Texas Chair.  But I have been very clear.  I support Donald Trump because we must defeat Hillary Clinton in November.”

Lt. Governor Patrick Statement on Voter ID Ruling

July 21, 2016

AUSTIN – Nothing is more critical to our democracy than the integrity of the voting process. 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. That’s why I co-authored the Voter ID bill as a state senator and why we passed the Voter ID legislation.

 I am deeply disappointed the Voter ID law was not upheld in its entirety by the court today. As the legal process moves forward on this important issue, voter integrity will remain a high priority for me and I am prepared to pass legislation to protect it.

Lt. Governor Patrick Statement on Fort Worth Independent School District Policy Change

July 20, 2016

AUSTIN – Today’s decision by the Fort Worth Independent School District is a victory for parents’ rights and student safety. I am pleased the FWISD superintendent and school board have listened to parents in the school district and pulled down their existing transgender policy.

I first went to Fort Worth to speak out against this policy because it was a clear violation of the law that allowed the district to come between parents and students.

This policy, as originally adopted, cut students, parents, the community, teachers and principals out of the process. It ran contrary to the basic tenets of local control.

As I hoped when I submitted the request for a legal opinion from our attorney general, this change brings FWISD in line with parents’ rights detailed under current law and requires administrators to resolve these issues on a case-by-case basis, as they have been. We will continue to closely monitor this issue moving forward.

Patrick Announces Texas Delegate Count at Convention

July 20, 2016

Cleveland, OH – Texas Lt Governor Patrick this evening announced the delegate count for Texas before the nation and a live television audience. He spoke the following words:

“Madam Secretary, Mr. Chairman,

“On behalf of my friend and our great Governor Greg Abbott, who could not be here tonight, on behalf of our great State Chairman Tom Mechler, my name is Dan Patrick, Lieutenant Governor of the greatest job-creating state in the country and the twelfth largest economy on the planet, a state, and we’re really proud of this, where no Democrat has won statewide office since 1994, and where every Texan has the back of our law enforcement officers, I am proud to report our votes.

“For Marco Rubio, 3 votes.

“For our dear friend, a great conservative, our favorite son, who we love, Ted Cruz! 104 votes!

“And for our new friend, our latest adopted favorite son, for the man, who on the night of November 8th, is going to get a phone call, from a lady named Hillary when she concedes the race to the next President of the United States, Donald Trump, 48 votes!”

Statement on Killing of Police Officers in Baton Rouge

July 18, 2016

Cleveland, OH – Lt. Governor Dan Patrick issued the following statement today in response to today’s brutal attack on police officers in Baton Rouge, LA:

“Today the nation is less safe than ever. We must stand as one to condemn these acts of violence.

“In the last 2 weeks, over 20 officers were either killed or wounded by gunmen who shot them just because they were police.

“As I stated on Fox News the day after the shootings in Dallas and again to the President on the ABC Town Hall, the violence against police must end now.

“While we don’t yet know the details or the motive for these latest police killings, we do know that we currently are living in an environment where police officers do not feel safe because of the heated anti-police rhetoric that is being heard far too often in cities across the country. We also know, as Dallas Police Chief David Brown, told us repeatedly last week, that on most days his officers do not feel they have the support of the community.

“Again, I call upon the President to put blue lights on the White House, as has been requested by police, in show of support for law enforcement.

“My prayers are for the fallen, the injured, and the families affected by this needless tragedy.”

The Lt. Governor is currently in route to the Republican National Convention this afternoon and expects to be in Cleveland early this evening.

Patrick Calls on President Obama to Take a Strong Stand in Support of Police

July 15, 2016

Lt. Governor Speaks Directly to the President in National Town Hall Forum

WASHINGTON, DC – Lt. Governor Dan Patrick called on President Barack Obama today to take strong steps to demonstrate his support for police in light of the violence of recent days. Speaking in Washington, D.C., at a national town hall on police violence entitled “The President and the People: A National Conversation” hosted by ABC News Thursday, Patrick told the president he should condemn all protestors who use violent rhetoric against law enforcement. He also urged the president to avoid passing judgment in police shootings before all the facts are in.

The program was recorded earlier in the afternoon and a highly edited version aired during prime time.

Patrick was invited to participate in the national town hall, which was organized earlier this week by ABC News, in response to the police murders in Dallas and other police-related shootings around the country.

The audience included police and protesters, and people from communities that have recently experienced violence and unrest.

Patrick drew a smile from the president and the audience when he began by noting that they have something in common: “As Lt. Governor of Texas, like you, Mr. President – some people in my state really like me and some people really don’t.”

Patrick said the thousands of police officers in Texas know they have his support, but he told Obama that he was not sure officers always feel the same about the president.

Patrick closed with a request that the president order the White House lit with blue lights as a show of support for law enforcement — a move police organizations have asked him to make. President Obama did not respond to Patrick’s request.

The national town hall was broadcast, without commercials on ABC News, ESPN and Disney Channel as well as several digital platforms.

Dan Patrick Hosts Republican Lt. Governors Association in Austin

June 6, 2016

AUSTIN – Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick hosts the Republican Lt. Governors Association (RLGA) annual conference in Austin today and tomorrow. This is the first time the RLGA has ever been hosted in Texas.

 “I am pleased to welcome the RLGA and Lt. Governors from all across the country. It is indeed a special occasion to welcome them to Austin, Texas,” said Dan Patrick.

 Of the 50 states, 45 have a Lt. Governor, 32 of those are Republican, and 26 are in Austin to attend the conference. This is the biggest and most well attended RLGA conference in the history of the Association.

 The conference attendees will hear from a number of speakers, including: US Senator Ted Cruz, and former Texas Governor Rick Perry. Additionally, Col. Steve McCraw from the Texas Department of Public Safety will address the conference on border security. There will also be a presentation of the Texas Prison Seminary Program – a program of special interest to Lt. Governor Patrick.

 The attendees will hear presentations on a number of issues and listened to a number of panel discussion of a wide range of topics. Lt. Governor Patrick will moderate on panel on health care.

 The Republican Lieutenant Governors Association (RLGA) is the only national organization committed to raising money and assisting Republicans in their campaigns for lieutenant governor.

Op-Ed: Parents don’t want kids using bathrooms with the opposite sex at school

May 17, 2016

Dallas Morning News
May 18, 2016

Early last week, when the superintendent of Fort Worth Independent School District unilaterally issued an order on transgender students that allowed boys to go into girls bathrooms, I spoke out. The policy defied common sense and common decency and would bring chaos to the school day. The left complained I was interfering in a local issue. However, when a school board and the parents are bypassed by a superintendent’s executive order, there is no local control. Someone had to speak up for the parents.

I suspected and said the Fort Worth policy was part of a larger, hyper-politically-correct transgender agenda being driven by President Obama. I was proven right. Obama issued a far-reaching directive on transgender bathroom policies just two days later. In a stunning display of executive overreach, President Obama has assumed the role of commander-in-chief of the bathroom police just as the superintendent had done in Fort Worth, but the president was impacting every school house in America.

Obama’s directive on transgender policy threatens to cut federal funding to any local public school if the school board and administrators don’t bow down and accept his edict that essentially says actual gender is no longer the relevant factor in determining what bathroom or shower facilities any public school student can use.

Instead, under Obama’s rules, any student can decide to use whichever facilities he or she chooses, no matter how confused or troubled that child’s decision may be, or how much disruption will be caused in the school. Amazingly, in issuing this policy, Obama ignores any questions about the issues of privacy and safety that are raised by allowing boys in girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms. Parents do not want their teenage daughter being forced to shower with a teenage boy or their seven-year-old sharing the bathroom with a seven-year-old of the opposite sex.

If there was any question that Obama’s policy was more than pandering to the LGBT elites in his party, then consider that common sense efforts to accommodate transgender students, such as providing unisex bathrooms for any student to use, are specifically prohibited by his policy.

Obama’s transgender directive is not about discrimination. No child’s civil rights are being violated. Just the opposite. Our goal is to make sure that every student has safe and private bathroom accommodations in our public schools.

This policy is also not about bullying. Texas school administrators, teachers and police are working every day to prevent students from being bullied by others and to prosecute bullies who target other children in schools or on social media.

Obama’s policy isn’t about children either. Research on gender identity shows that re-assigning sexual identity, particularly among younger children, can be harmful and is often proved unnecessary.

And obviously, Obama’s policy is certainly not about improving education in our public schools. It is just the opposite – a distraction to students and teachers selfishly put forward to serve Obama’s political agenda and beef up his left-wing legacy. School children are merely pawns in this political game.

In Texas, Obama’s threat to withdraw federal funding would actually eliminate funds for the free-lunch program across the state. The victims of Obama’s bathroom policy would be our poorest children. Apparently the president thinks his crazy bathroom scheme is more important than the free lunches we know are essential to make sure all children have the energy and nutrition they need to focus on their school work.

We don’t have to guess what the public — those taxpaying voters who pay for our public schools — think about these politically correct bathroom policies. In Houston, the largest city in America to elect an openly gay mayor, both Democrats and Republicans from racially and culturally diverse communities came together to soundly defeat the so-called HERO ordinance that would have mandated similar bathroom requirements for businesses. I was proud to be a leader in that fight, where common sense prevailed over politics. For voters, this issue was a no-brainer. Men should not be allowed in women’s bathrooms.

This is a come-and-take-it moment for Texas parents. It seems clear to me that these bathroom edicts violate the Texas Education Code. I believe the attorney general agrees with me. We will not let Obama force this insanity on Texas schools. During the 2017 legislative session, I intend to pass legislation to assure that common sense policies prevail. The parents of Texas and I believe America will not be bought by the president’s 30 pieces of silver.

Op-Ed: Put the brakes on Texas’ soaring college tuition

May 9, 2016

Texans pursue higher education with the hope for a future of unlimited opportunity. Education is the pathway to success, and our economy is dependent upon a well-educated workforce. That is why Texans who work tirelessly to pay their college tuition, or to provide for their children to attend college, must be assured they are getting a quality education at a cost they can afford. They need to know that the degree that is earned has real value in the marketplace and the promise of gainful employment.

Last month I wrote to all 38 of our public universities and asked for tuition data for each school since 2002. Before the 2003 legislative session, when deregulation was passed, the Legislature set tuition.

Here are the facts: Since 2002, tuition and fees have skyrocketed 147 percent while household income grew by only 32 percent.

Where did the money go? Administration spending grew 149 percent and management spending grew 72 percent, while spending in classrooms only grew by 65 percent.

Salaries are also at an all-time high; just since 2012, salaries for top administrators have nearly doubled. Some employees were given $100,000 to $400,000 bonuses on top of million-dollar paychecks.

Have we seen great results to match these increases in spending? No.Today in Texas, only 1 in 4 students graduate within a traditional four-year cycle, and fewer than half earn a degree within six years. As a result, more and more students are leaving college without earning the degree they sought, yet they remain saddled with burdensome college debt. Those who do graduate often find the value of their degree is questionable when job prospects remain out of reach for many.

Some try to blame these problems on the Legislature for allegedly cutting higher education spending, but in fact the Legislature is actually spending more on higher education. However, our share of total funding is down because we can’t keep up with the profligate spending of university leaders.

During the 84th legislative session, state leaders demonstrated our commitment to higher education by increasing funding by nearly $300 million (approximately 9 percent) and authorizing over $3 billion for campus buildings. Yet within months of this increase, most public universities once again approved tuition increases.

To move forward in providing affordable, excellent higher education to Texas students, universities must scrutinize every dollar spent, as we do in the Legislature. Many universities are making strides in targeting inefficiencies and incorporating innovative, cost-efficient programs. These include developing low-cost degree options and more flexible course options for students. Such efforts are making a difference – but we need to see a much more comprehensive approach to reducing costs and increasing student success, and it must start today.

Our goal must be to prevent tuition and fees from continuing to far outpace what Texans earn and live on now.

That is why I am calling on the leadership of our higher education institutions to partner with the Legislature to develop state- and institutional-based solutions.

There simply is no more time to engage in the blame game as parents and their students struggle to afford higher education with the hope for a future of unlimited opportunity.

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