March 7: Texas Senate Update from Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick

Texas Senate Moves Quickly to Pass Priority Transportation Bills

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As promised, the Texas Senate has moved quickly to address your priorities. On the 37th business day of the 84th Legislative Session the Texas Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation that will dramatically improve the roads across Texas.

As we all know, gas tax revenues have dwindled over the last few years and our roads have suffered. At the same time the state has become more dependent on toll roads and debt to build roads. Senate Bill 5 (SB 5), and Senate Joint Resolution 5 (SJR 5), move the state much closer to providing relief to our ailing infrastructure. This will also allow us to refocus on a pay-as-you-go system for our roadways and help end our reliance on debt, toll roads and diversion of existing gas tax revenues.

Congratulations to Senator Robert Nichols, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, and the Texas Senate for their overwhelming 28-2 vote to approve SJR 5 and SB 5, which will now be considered by members of the Texas House of Representatives.

Screenshot 2015-03-07 at 11.24.23 AMEducation Legislation Announced

I am pleased to support sweeping education reform legislation filed by Education Committee Chair, Senator Larry Taylor, Senator Charles Perry and Senator Kel Seliger.

These bills represent a major first step in addressing priority education reform during this legislative session and there are more bills to follow, including “school choice.”

The legislative bills filed by Sen. Larry Taylor include:

-grading schools like students by providing an “A” through “F” accountability grade for public school campuses (Senate Bill 6),

-providing parental empowerment for removing their children from failing schools quicker; reducing from five years to two years the amount of time parents would have to wait to petition for either closing or converting a failing school to a charter school (Senate Bill 14),

-expanding the amount of online classes or digital learning (Senate Bill 894), and

-creating “opportunity school districts” to oversee the worst performing schools in Texas (Senate Bill 895).

Bills filed by Senator Charles Perry (Senate Bill 13) better prepares high school students for a work career, or college, sooner; and Senator Kel Seliger’s legislation (Senate Bill 893)

Will place a greater emphasis on classroom observation rather than student testing for determining teacher quality.

Texas Lieutenant Governor Official Website Launched

Our official website is up and running and ready to provide you with the very latest information about the work we’re doing during this legislative session.

I invite you to visit often, and to bookmark the website address, at

You will be able to access the following:

-regular video updates about the progress we’re making during this 84th legislative session,

-locate easy navigational tools to assist you in checking out our latest press releases, news articles, legislative priorities and social media updates,

-and contact my office directly to share your thoughts and ideas.

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God Bless Texas,


“Whomever wants to be a leader

among you must be your servant.”

Matthew 20:26 (NLT)