March 16, 2019      12:49 PM
SB: State of the Senate
After the bathroom war with business, Senate leadership is content to dismiss major business concerns not only on the paid sick leave bill but oil and gas along with transportation interests were given the brush off over eminent domain
is fair to say that in Lt. Gov. Dan
Patrick’s first two sessions as presiding officer of the Texas
Senate, he had a legislative chamber built for speed. This was on full display
in 2017 as the Republican supermajority almost effortlessly passed
“conservative” bill after “conservative” bill, leaving the Texas House with the
leverage – and time – to kill those deemed overreaching.
two Republicans lost their races in DFW last year, though, Patrick has
struggled to move even emergency items and only this past week did he unveil
his 30 priority bills of the session. Last session, he started out with a
similar list that all easily won approval in the upper chamber.
year the list includes a $5,000 teacher pay raise – the Senate’s centerpiece of
school finance reform which falls short of Patrick’s $10,000 goal. Right-wing
enforcement groups have been calling the expenditure, committing future
Legislatures to those spending levels, irresponsible. The raises represent 44%
of the budget surplus. What happens when there is not a $9 billion surplus?
And just this week, every Republican senator defied the Texas Public Policy Foundation
and Chairman Tim Dunn’s Empower
Texans in passing a supplemental budget that would make a $4.3 billion
withdrawal from the Economic Stabilization Fund.
review the State of the Senate.
By Scott Braddock