Tribpedia: Dan Patrick

Dan Patrick is a strong fiscal and social conservative who has led the charge on important legislation like small business tax cuts and the sonogram bill. Since arriving in the Senate in 2007 he has learned to build coalitions to pass over 100 pieces of legislation and has become a key ally to others. In his three sessions, Dan has ...

Analysis: Abbott's Caution on Display in Tax Fight

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he has problems with a proposed state budget that includes significant business franchise taxes during a Tax Day press conference on April 15, 2015.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he has problems with a proposed state budget that includes significant business franchise taxes during a Tax Day press conference on April 15, 2015.

Texans grew accustomed to the swagger and bombast of Rick Perry, a governor who didn’t shy from confrontation with the Legislature and upended the notion that his office was inherently weak. Newly elected Gov. Greg Abbott, ever cautious and lawyerly, is cutting a different path.

State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, speaking at the Texas Public Policy Foundation legislative orientation session on Jan. 7, 2015.
State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, speaking at the Texas Public Policy Foundation legislative orientation session on Jan. 7, 2015.

Analysis: A Senate Trying to Regulate Its Own Spending

The Texas Senate wants to limit growth in the state budget — by adding a fifth spending limit to state law. In addition to the current limit commonly referred to as the state's spending cap, there are also limits on issuing debt, on certain assistance grants and on spending more than what lawmakers have.

Gov.Greg Abbott outlines his plan to  reduce the Texas business franchise tax at a press conference at vcfo on April 15, 2015
Gov.Greg Abbott outlines his plan to reduce the Texas business franchise tax at a press conference at vcfo on April 15, 2015

Abbott Refuses to Take Sides on Tax Cuts

Gov. Greg Abbott refused to pick sides Wednesday in a growing squabble over how best to cut state taxes, and moved away from an earlier promise to “insist” that Texas lawmakers cut property taxes before the session ends on June 1.

 

Student Jacob Hale listens to testimony on HB 1242 a Donna Howard-sponsored bill that would change the name of Confederate Heroes Day on April 14, 2015.
Student Jacob Hale listens to testimony on HB 1242 a Donna Howard-sponsored bill that would change the name of Confederate Heroes Day on April 14, 2015.

The Brief: Name Change Debate on Confederate Holiday Turns Heated

Discussion in a House committee Tuesday on a proposed change to the name of a state holiday honoring soldiers who fought for the Confederacy took on an extra dose of notoriety because of the identity of the main proponent of the change.

Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, lays out the property tax relief portion of Senate Bill 1 for final passage in the Senate on March 25, 2015.
Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, lays out the property tax relief portion of Senate Bill 1 for final passage in the Senate on March 25, 2015.

Texas Senate Approves $211 Billion Budget

Senators on Tuesday voted 30-1 to approve the state's two-year budget plan. Now, attention will turn to reconciling differences with the House on budget issues involving taxes, border security and the Texas Racing Commission.

State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick touted legislation to exempt tax cuts from counting toward the state spending limit at a Capitol press conference on March 10, 2015.
State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick touted legislation to exempt tax cuts from counting toward the state spending limit at a Capitol press conference on March 10, 2015.

Short on Votes to Tighten Spending Cap, Senate Built a New One

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Senate Republicans had hoped to amend the Texas Constitution to tighten the state's spending cap. Short of the needed votes, they passed a measure creating a new cap in state law instead.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick listens to debate on SB 8  franchise tax reform measure during Senate action March 25, 2015.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick listens to debate on SB 8 franchise tax reform measure during Senate action March 25, 2015.

Senate Shapes Plan for Private School Scholarships

In its quest for school choice legislation, the Senate is backing away from traditional vouchers and heading towards a plan that would use donations to fund scholarships for low-income students trying to get out of weak schools. 

State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, speaking at the Texas Public Policy Foundation legislative orientation session on Jan. 7, 2015.
State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, speaking at the Texas Public Policy Foundation legislative orientation session on Jan. 7, 2015.

Senate Passes Bill That Would Tighten Spending Cap

The Senate passed a bill Thursday that would tighten the state's constitutional spending cap and make it tougher for future legislatures to break it. Senate Bill 9, proposed by Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, passed with a vote of 19-12. Sen. Kevin Eltife was the only Republican to vote against the measure. 

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick listens to debate on SB 8  franchise tax reform measure during Senate action March 25, 2015.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick listens to debate on SB 8 franchise tax reform measure during Senate action March 25, 2015.

Long Legislative Road for Voucher Bills Begins

A preview of the looming battle over school vouchers played out Thursday as a state Senate panel considered two proposals to provide state financial support to parents who want to send their children to private schools.

House Speaker Joe Straus (left) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
House Speaker Joe Straus (left) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

A Look at the Priority Bills for Straus and Patrick

The House speaker and the lieutenant governor traditionally award the lowest bill numbers to measures they view as priorities. Here's a breakdown of House Bills 1-20 and Senate Bills 1-20, providing a window into where House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are placing their political capital for the 84th legislative session.

Anti-guns advocates inside Texas Capitol where the Senate Committee on State Affairs is listening to testimony SB 11 & SB 17 both related to handguns on Feb. 12th, 2015
Anti-guns advocates inside Texas Capitol where the Senate Committee on State Affairs is listening to testimony SB 11 & SB 17 both related to handguns on Feb. 12th, 2015

The Brief: Guns Again Take Center Stage in Legislative Session

Legislative activity begins to ramp up in the two chambers this week with speculation rampant that the Senate might take up as early as today legislation that would allow permitted gun owners to carry handguns openly.

State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick at a budget press conference on Jan. 27, 2015.
State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick at a budget press conference on Jan. 27, 2015.

Analysis: Fear of Spending Even Extends to Tax Cuts

Lawmakers want to send voters a tax cut but fear spending the money the cut requires without asking voters for permission. Senate leaders are proposing a constitutional amendment that would allow them to ignore caps on spending growth when they are cutting taxes or paying debts.