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Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: 'Texas In Pretty Darn Good Shape'

Ryan Poppe
Texas Public Radio

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who’s running for re-election in 2018, laid out his campaign agenda that he hopes will carry over into the 2019 legislative session.

Patrick, speaking at the conservative-think tank  Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature, said lawmakers will need to find a consensus on issues like property tax reform, something that did not happen during this past legislative session.

“When the bill came back that would’ve provided ‘zero’ property tax relief. We said we’re not going to pass a bill that does nothing and go home and defend nothing. We’re going to pass meaningful property tax reform, and we’ll do it in 2019. We need real property tax relief,” Patrick said.

Patrick praised Republican lawmakers for cutting back spending and not touching the Rainy Day Fund during the previous session. But he estimated that the $180 million in damages from Hurricane Harvey will likely force lawmakers to use some of the state’s savings account to rebuild communities and businesses.

“You know I used to say in speeches all the time, if we have a Category 5 storm hit us it could be a $4 or $5 billion storm. Well, it wasn’t a Category 5 storm but the result was like one, and we will have to take money out of the rainy day fund I feel sure next session, most likely,” Patrick said.

One area not addressed in his speech, whether or not  he will push state lawmakers to pass a state ban on transgender public restrooms as he did during the 2017 session.

Patrick ended his speech by taking issue with Texas Republican lawmakers who vote against issues on the party’s agenda.

Patrick, the incumbent, faces a primary election challenge from Scott Milder, a former rural city councilman from central Texas.

Ryan Poppe can be reached at rpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter @RyanPoppe1