Tag Archives: Dan Patrick local control

Patrick Determined to Waste Taxpayer Time, Money On ‘SB6’ Bathroom Bill

With all of the hope and promise that 2017 brings to the state of Texas, it also brings another set of critical opportunities to accomplish the People’s Business in the 2017 Texas Legislative Session.  Per the Texas state constitution, our state legislatures meet on biennial basis for approximately half of the year. For a state more populous than the country of Australia and a GDP nearly equal to that of Russia, the work done in each cycle of the #TXLege is critical to keep the state, and the entire nation moving.

It may be a New Year, but it’s the same old Texas leadership.  So it’s of little surprise that Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is less interested in doing the People’s Business, but would rather, umm… clog it up.

Say hello to SB6– The Texas Privacy Act.  But don’t be fooled by the appealing name… This is simply another Discriminatory ‘Bathroom Bill’ designed to target innocent Texans, especially aimed at the Transgender Community.  Lt. Gov. Patrick and others in the GOP leadership are determined to file the legislation and take it up in the Texas Senate, even after seeing that similar bills in states like Indiana and North Carolina have been met with devastating results to the state business community.  As Lauren McGaughy of the Dallas Morning News points out, there’s also one other thing that SB6 would do…

AUSTIN – Cities like Dallas and Austin will have to undo local laws that protect transgender people from discrimination if Texas passes the so-called “bathroom bill” unveiled Thursday, a proposal panned by the business community that’s wreaked havoc on other states’ economies.


The bill mirrors similar legislation passed in North Carolina and Indiana in recent years. Those laws have caused substantial political headaches for those states’ leaders – Indiana’s was later amended to include some LGBT protects and North Carolina’s failed to be repealed in a special legislative session – and both cost millions in lost business investment.

The bill, Senate Bill 6, will impact cities, public schools and state agencies and will enhance some criminal penalties.

First, if passed into law the bathroom bill would prohibit cities from passing any ordinance that applies to a private business’ bathroom, locker room and shower rules. Cities that have already passed anti-discrimination laws to allow transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity would be kept from enforcing them.

Once again, hypocrisy abounds in Austin.  After spending 8 years crowing about the Federal Government’s oppressive restrictions on our state, the Texas Big Government Overlords seem to think nothing of oppressing the will of municipal and county residents.  If passed, SB6 would be yet another unprecedented move to snatch local control from Texas citizens, from the same leaders whom preach all day against “big government overreach”.

If state government has gotten to the point where it’s monitoring Number 1 and Number 2, overreach has descended to a whole new level.

With this in mind, Texans are already organizing to fight back. Today in Houston, business leaders, political leaders and activists from across the state gathered in response to the Lieutenant Governor’s filing saying that the Texas Legislature needs to “Flush Senate Bill 6” and the hashtag #FlushSB6 was immediately trending on twitter.  Here’s a link to the full press conference, via Facebook Live.

Texas State Senator Sylvia Garcia was quick to push back against the measure in a statement…

“All Texans want to go to the bathroom in peace, including transgender people.  That’s why it’s already illegal to enter a bathroom to harm someone and always will be.  According to the Texas Association of Business, legislation like this could flush $8.5 billion and 100,000 jobs down the toilet.  We need to focus on classrooms not bathrooms.  My district needs bills that will create jobs, not political grandstanding job killers.”

Given that Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has already indicated that a bill like SB 6 would not a priority in his chamber, grandstanding is a likely outcome for the Lieutenant Governor during the upcoming session.  But if 2015’s HERO backlash and the 2016 elections have taught any lessons at all, the first of them should be to expect the unexpected.  Any advance of such harmful legislation should be fought hard and fought now.

So there we have it… Happy New Year Texas. Let’s hope this clog gets flushed out of the Legislature quickly, so we don’t have to waste taxpayer time and money on blatant discrimination.  AGAIN.


Big Government Texas Part 3: The Fight For Local Control

Ask anyone in Texas… we know that it is a B-I-G state.  By land area, it’s the largest in the lower 48 and by population the second largest in the nation.  Along with huge numbers come huge amounts of diversity. We may all be Texans, but that’s about the only thing most of us have in common.  People across this state live in very different places, and have very different challenges.

Which is why municipal and county governance is so critical to the success of the state.  A humid, coastal metro like Houston doesn’t have the same water challenges as a community like Wichita Falls. Devising a school lunch plan for the 921 students in Lone Oak ISD is a different experience than planning and preparing to feed the 158,000 students of Dallas ISD.

But apparently, some state leaders want to change this practice.  As Tom Benning of the Dallas Morning News reports, Texas Republicans seem to have some major hypocrisy at work.  After practically forging their careers by telling Washington to get out of the way of Texas governance, many lawmakers in Austin now want to snatch all semblance of local control away from Texas city and county governments.

With top Republicans talking openly about limiting municipalities’ control and even crimping their budgets, mayors, city managers, county judges and others have started to raise the alarm.


A new slate of statewide leaders — including Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — spelled uncertainty from the get-go for Texas municipalities.

But Abbott, in a speech before his inauguration, hammered away at cities for “unchecked overregulation” and argued that they’re causing Texas to be “California-ized.” He pointed specifically to shopping bag ordinances — such as the one Dallas just implemented — and Denton’s fracking ban.

Patrick’s push to effectively reduce growth in the amount of property tax revenue cities can collect has local budget-writers concerned. Supporters say that effort will provide Texans with long overdue property tax relief.

Thankfully during this legislative session, the situation in Austin is starting to get noticed across the state.  The Texas Standard with Asher Price reports on Local Control Texas… a new coalition that has organized to push back against Governor Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Patrick’s plans…

The group came together from different parts of Texas… some environmental groups in Central Texas, and Republicans from other parts of the state.  They are worried, for one reason or another that the state should not be stepping on local communities that pass these ordinances.


They’re just at the start of their work, but they are getting in touch with local representatives, and trying to raise money to do this work.  They are going to local communities to have them pass resolutions [expressing] displeasure with proposed legislation at the Capitol.

The list of bills to curtail local powers is becoming quite staggering.  Among them are proposed legislation that would strip county clerks of their salaries for issuing same-sex marriage licenses, or just force all marriage licenses to come from the Capitol, removing the duty from county clerks altogether.

Push-back against Austin is affecting every corner of the state.

If this is the trajectory of Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick’s Big Government, residents have to wonder where their tyrannical power-grab can be stopped.  Let’s hope that groups like Local Control Texas are effective in stemming the tide.

On this Texas Independence Day— 179 years after the Republic of Texas was created on March 2nd 1836, perhaps state leaders could do themselves a favor and be reminded why that nation and state came to be in the first place…


(photo credit:  SMU archives)


(feature photo credit:  Wikimedia commons)


UPDATE:  I felt it important on this issue to include some comments from the Republican perspective.  Jay Leeson, a journalist from West Texas, writes his views on the issue of Austin-style Big Government, via Texas GOP Vote.  Here is an excerpt from that…

To put a conservative label on proposals that undercut local control presents a paradox that would keep Augustus McCrae talking all night and a satire Will Rogers or Molly Ivins couldn’t script (but would probably describe as a form of Edmund Davis strong central state Reconstruction Republicanism— without the noble guiding principle, devised with economic crayons).

FOR A GROWING NUMBER OF WEST TEXANS these caps proposals are two more recent samplings of incompatibilities between this new brand of Republicanism and rural values.

Undoubtedly in the next week, we’ll be told and scorecard cajoled that for the cause of liberty and defeating local tyrants these conservative, good government proposals should be supported.

But they ain’t good government, and they ain’t very conservative.

On this point, I can say that we agree.