Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, who has announced his candidacy in the lieutenant governor's race, is calling on Gov. Rick Perry to add his school voucher bill, campus-carry bill and sanctuary city bill to the third special session agenda along with a full audit of CSCOPE.
CSCOPE -- an online education curriculum provider that was used by 877 school districts in the state -- has ended its services to state school districts following anti-American allegations from conservatives and political pressure led by Patrick.
It took lawmakers ten hours of debate to pass the strictest abortion legislation Texas has ever seen on a vote of 19 to 11 Friday night.
Democratic lawmakers in the Texas Senate tried 21 times to change the bill by adding resolutions but none of those attempts were successful. Sen. Judith Zafarinni, D-Laredo, was one of those who tried to change the bill.
"As a pro-lifer I tried mightily to amend this bill to prohibit the abortion of an unborn child after 5 months," Zafarinni said. "Please remember that 11 Democrats voted for that amendment today."
The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services begins debate on the abortion bill this Monday at the state capitol and Republicans are preparing for anything the Democrats throw at them.
Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, estimates the bill will take about two weeks to get passed and said he doesn't see Democrats using a "nuclear option" and leaving the state ahead of a final vote on the abortion bill.
Taking a long view of the 2014 elections, Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, is predicting a "dust-up" for several key state positions including the lieutenant governor’s office.
"That’s where I believe I could be the most effective, if I were to run. And it’s not David Dewhurst, it’s not anti-Dewhurst, if I run it would be about my vision, my conservative vision for Texas, and that's what it's about, it has nothing to do with David Dewhurst," Patrick said.
Patrick said the lieutenant governor’s office isn't the only job where voters should expect a changing of the guard.
The last few days for Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and his House companion, Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, have been rough, especially when it comes to sealing the votes needed for a bill that increases the number of charter schools in the state and another reducing the number of course exams.
A bill that helps to train teachers and school administrators to take action during a school shooting is working its way through the legislature.
Following several changes, SB 17, a bill authored by Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, passed the Senate, but initially fellow lawmakers were concerned with the cost, which was originally listed at $9 million.
Following the passage of House Bill 5 out of the Senate Committee on Education, Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the chairman of the committee, chided the businesses and media outlets who have alleged that lowering the number of state-mandated end-of-course exams would dumb-down public school curriculum.
Patrick said nothing could be further from the truth.
Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, got another win for open-enrollment charters schools and vouchers on Thursday as the bill, which would raise the number of charter schools to 215 by 2014, got little to no opposition, and even got some help from across the aisle.
The bill also calls for that number to be raised to 331 by 2019.
UPDATE 5:59 The Senate Committee on Education heard SB 1575 this afternoon from educators and parents supporting the so-called voucher program that would give parents money to move their children from public to private schools.
The bill’s author Senator Donna Campbell of New Braunfels said that parents and students should have a choice in schooling and claim that failing public schools set back children across the state.