Today in a press conference at the Texas Capitol in Austin Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick demanded that the legislature pass SB 6, a bathroom bill, and SB 2, a tax rate bill, before the current 85th session ends. Patrick said if they did not pass these bills they would be repeatedly called back for “special sessions” until these bills were passed.
In his statement Patrick said “If we must go to a special session, I will respectfully ask the governor to add both of these bills…plus other legislation he has voiced support for…in that special session call. If the bills don’t pass in the special and they’re blocked again, I will ask the governor to call us back again and again and again.”
Like President Trump believing he can do anything through an executive order TX Governor Abbott had his spokesperson John Wittman come out today and say “The Governor made clear yesterday that property tax reform and maintaining privacy in restrooms and locker rooms are legislative priorities that must be passed, and he believes both items can be achieved before the end of the regular session. The governor is grateful that the House has set the property tax bill to be heard on the floor tomorrow and is making progress on privacy legislation.” Governor Abbott is the only person that can call a special session after the current 85th legislative session ends.
In a very explicit statement today Speaker Straus of the Texas House called Patrick’s threat to force a special session regrettable and said he hoped the lieutenant governor would reconsider his ultimatum over the two bills. He only explicitly mentioned the property tax legislation.
“My experience in the House is that the House doesn’t take to threats terribly well. I’m not ready to even talk about a special session. I’m ready to talk about working on one another’s priorities, trying to come together the way the system was built to be.”
As at the nations capitol here in Texas we face the same issues with the House Freedom Caucus. Speaker Straus said “I think it was unfortunate that they blocked our getting to the sunset bill, which did give the lieutenant governor the ability to make a threat and demand. I think that was unfortunate. I’m not sure it gave anyone positive momentum.”
So as you see, we are facing our own “Theocracy” here in Texas. Throughout this whole legislative session Governor Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have made it very clear they expect their priority issues to pass and are still trying to force more religious exemption bills to become law.
We are living in an uncertain time like we’ve never seen before. We must speak out and resist daily. Once again, this is why it is so important that everyone get out and vote in 2018 for every position that comes open and fight to turn Texas blue! In the end justice must prevail.