Sen. Patrick urges governor to add key conservative issues for special session

Originally published August 2, 2013
Dallas News

In a new effort to attract support in his race for lieutenant governor, Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston Friday asked Gov. Rick Perry to add to the current special session four issues that have resonated with conservatives. Patrick, one of our Republicans seeking the state’s second highest office next year, also released an Internet video explaining his request to the governor and pointing out that he has filed bills on each issue: a ban on sanctuary cities, concealed handguns on college campuses, private school tax credits and a ban on CSCOPE lesson plans in Texas schools.

“It’s unfortunate that we find ourselves in a third special session as we should have, and could have, completed our work many weeks ago,” the Republican lawmaker said. “But if we are, and if we are spending millions of taxpayer dollars in special session, let’s make it count. Now is the time to pass legislation conservatives have supported for years, on sanctuary cities, campus carry, school choice and CSCOPE.” While Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and other legislative leaders have talked about taking up some of those issues in the next regular session in 2015, Patrick said it would be easier to pass them in the special session when there are fewer rules to block them. “Why wait? Let’s pass these bills now,” he said.

Patrick is running for the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor against Dewhurst, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. Their primary battle is expected to be the most hotly contested statewide race on the ballot next March. It also could be the most expensive. None of the issues pitched by Patrick on Friday came close to passage during the regular session this year, although the campus carry measure cleared the House. Patrick, Patterson and Staples are expected to highlight conservative issues that didn’t pass in recent sessions as they try unseat Dewhurst from the post he has held since 2003. Dewhurst, on the other hand, is expected to tout a list of conservative-backed measures that did pass on his watch.