Dan Patrick

Republican Dan Patrick became Texas Lt. Gov. in 2015.
Credit Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Background

Dan Patrick was born in Maryland in 1950.

Patrick's pre-political career began as a television broadcaster in 1977 in Scranton, PA. Two years later would become a sports broadcaster with KHOU-TV in Houston. After leaving sports broadcasting, Patrick filed for bankruptcy over an unsuccessful chain of sports bars.

Patrick eventually began hosting a conservative talk show in Houston, and in 2006 he purchased a Houston area radio station.

Patrick was elected to the Texas Senate in 2006. His first session was highlighted by verbal altercations with other Senators in public and in private. He made a last-minute attempt to cut $3 billion from the state budget during the final debate, a move that irritated lawmakers who argued Patrick had not bothered to offer these ideas for cuts during the months of work on the budget leading up to the final vote.

His next sessions saw a less confrontational Patrick focused on passing conservative legislation like his abortion sonogram bill, which requires women seeking an abortion to view a sonogram of the fetus and hear the heartbeat.

Patrick ran against and defeated then-Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the 2014 GOP Primary. He then defeated Sen. Leticia Van de Putte in November of 2014.

Impact

Patrick had campaigned on eliminating the Senate's traditional two-thirds rule, which required two-thirds of Senators to agree to bring a bill up for a vote. On his second day in office the Senate voted to change the threshold to three-fifths. After the vote, Patrick said the rule change will help him, "deliver a conservative agenda."

The new Senate rules also cut the number of Senate committees from 18 to 14. Patrick made good on another campaign promise by only giving two Democrats committee chairmanships.

Patrick says his goals for the 84th Legislative session include school vouchers, border security and transportation.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Republican leadership in the Texas Legislature announced an agreement Wednesday to swap a sales tax increase with property tax cuts.

Laura Skelding for The Texas Tribune

State Sen. Kel Seliger has been stripped of his post as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, in an escalation of a feud with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the upper chamber.

Announced Tuesday afternoon, the demotion caps a weekend spat between Seliger, an Amarillo Republican first elected to the Senate in 2004, and Patrick, who have found themselves at odds with one another after Seliger voted against two of the lieutenant governor’s priorities in 2017.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick missed the first day of the Texas Legislature on Tuesday to attend a border security meeting at the White House.

Patrick, who attended a pre-session social event Monday evening in Austin and is scheduled for two public addresses Wednesday, “is not going to be able to join us today,” said state Sen. Jane Nelson, a Flower Mound Republican, who took the dais in Patrick’s stead.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon (left) / Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Thursday challenged Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera to a debate over immigration.

Todd Wiseman / The Texas Tribune

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is urging the Teacher Retirement System not to raise health care premiums for retired teachers, arguing that state lawmakers should take on the burden of increased costs.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O'Rourke/Bob Daemmrich: Cruz

A new poll released Wednesday suggests that U.S. Sen Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, are in a dead heat.

The poll from Texas Lyceum shows Cruz holding a slim margin over his Democratic challenger in the U.S. Senate race. Among likely voters, Cruz carries 41 percent of the vote compared to O’Rourke’s 39 percent. Nineteen percent of voters said they were undecided.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

More than a month after a deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School left 10 dead and 13 injured, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is taking steps to tighten security in the southeast Texas school district, part of an effort by the state’s Republican leadership to “harden” schools as targets.

Carlos Morales/Marfa Public Radio

Texas politicians have called on the Trump administration to end its policy of separating immigrant families crossing the border illegally, and are asking the state to stop assisting immigration authorities along the border until the policy ends. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

Texans don’t care about primary elections – at least if history is any indication. Single-digit turnouts are not uncommon in non-presidential election years. But there’s reason to think conventional wisdom could be turned on its head this March.

An unlikely coalition of business groups and educators are coming together to get out the vote, and they appear to have rattled allies of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

San Antonio Police Department

From Texas Standard.

Two days before Christmas, on the east side of San Antonio, police made a discovery – one that had echoes of earlier incidents involving undocumented immigrants being smuggled into Texas and suffocating in tractor trailers.

This time there were no deaths. The driver of the truck was charged under a state human smuggling law, and the 12 people in the trailer were questioned and released.

Now Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has asked Attorney General Ken Paxton to investigate whether San Antonio police may have violated Texas law.

Courtesy Office of the Attorney General

From Texas Standard.

Israel has long been a focal point in international policy for Texas Republican lawmakers. Several current Texas officials have traveled to the country. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick even got baptized in the Jordan River.

But Peggy Fikac, Austin bureau chief for the San Antonio Express News, reports that some aspects of these trips have come with hefty price tags for the state’s taxpayers.

Facebook

President Donald Trump is nominating former state District Judge Ryan Patrick, son of Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, to be the next U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas, the White House announced Wednesday.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard

While news that Texas House Speaker Joe Straus wouldn’t be seeking re-election reverberated through the state capital last week, we got word of more turmoil in the Texas Republican Party – this time involving state Sen. Kel Seliger of Amarillo.

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal columnist Jay Leeson says the Panhandle is rumbling again.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

The Texas Legislature closed out the special session Tuesday night amid a stalemate on property tax reform, leaving unfinished Gov. Greg Abbott's top priority.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus had their first meeting in months on Monday. 

"The Speaker and I had a substantive meeting today where we discussed a lot of issues. We are still talking," Patrick said in an emailed statement.

Bob Daemmerich/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

Just four days before the start of the special legislative session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has spelled out plans to give longevity bonuses to public school teachers, and boost benefits for retired teachers.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

With deadlines looming, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Wednesday threatened to push for a special session of the Legislature to pass a bill to regulate bathroom use for transgender Texans and legislation to set new thresholds for when cities and counties must get voter approval for their tax rates.

Illustration by Todd Wiseman/Paul Hudson

Texas House and Senate leaders unveiled dueling budget proposals — starting nearly $8 billion apart — in separate moves Tuesday that foreshadowed remarkably different priorities in the two chambers during a legislative session that promises to be even more tightfisted than usual. 

Texas Senate Finance Chairwoman Jane Nelson on Tuesday proposed a $213.4 billion two-year base budget.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune


After months of sparring over whether transgender Texans should be allowed to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Thursday officially set the legislative stage for the debate.

Liang Shi for KUT

It's just a week until the start of the 85th session of the Texas Legislature. And, while you've probably heard lots of stories about lawmaker priorities for the 140-day session, it's not always about what bills are being debated, but whether the Texas House or Senate is leading the charge.

Florian Martin / KUHF

At the height of the battle over Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, Mayor Annise Parker subpoenaed the sermons of five pastors leading the fight to repeal the measure. Even though HERO is now history, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is determined to keep this from happening again.

Texas Tribune

From Texas Standard:

In this era of hyper-partisan politics, the denouement of the Democrat's house leadership fight on capitol hill today is an important reminder of something: not all the major battles are initiated by the other side.

Tamir Kalifa/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

After coming out on the losing end of a United States Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, Texas Republican leaders are now looking to the Texas Supreme Court to narrow the scope of that landmark ruling.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / KUT

From the Texas Tribune: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is taking an official role with the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, serving as his Texas state chairman.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick joined a handful of other Texas Republican officials Friday in blaming former Black Lives Matter protests for the shooting in Dallas Thursday night that left at least five police officers dead. 

"I do blame people on social media with their hatred towards police," Patrick said during an interview on Fox News on Friday. He added that, despite the "peaceful" nature of last nights protests, he blames former Black Lives Matter events for the incident. 

Image via Flickr/SmartSign (CC BY 2.0)

Parents of transgender children here in Texas spoke up on Tuesday against Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton. Both officials are leading the state’s opposition to a new directive from the Obama administration that says students need to be allowed to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. The parents say state leaders are creating a hostile environment for their children.


Laura Buckman / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Texas, joined by 10 other states, filed a lawsuit Wednesday to stop a federal directive instructing school districts to let transgender students use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Wednesday.

Callie Richmond and Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Will public schools really lose federal education funding if they refuse to comply with a new Obama administration directive regarding transgender students?

That's the basic query posed by top lawyers from Texas, Oklahoma and West Virginia in a letter sent Tuesday to the U.S. Justice and Education departments seeking clarification on the directive, which advises the nation's public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Texas' lieutenant governor is calling for the resignation of the Fort Worth Independent School District superintendent over guidelines intended to support transgender students.

Screenshot via NBC News

Texas made plenty of national headlines in the New Year, as it became the largest state in the U.S. to allow citizens to openly carry handguns. On Sunday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick went on national television to defend the new law, and point towards further loosening of gun regulations.


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