In the latest move exposing tension between leadership in the House and the Senate, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has publicly condemned Speaker Dade Phelan for effectively killing legislation aimed at mandating the display of the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms.

The measure passed the Texas Senate but was stalled in the House last year, sparking outrage among its proponents. Now Louisiana has beaten Texas by becoming the first state to pass the measure into law.

“Texas WOULD HAVE been and SHOULD HAVE been the first state in the nation to put the Ten Commandments back in our schools,” Patrick declared in a social media post.

The proposed measure was authored by State Sen. Phil King and passed by the Senate. However, when the legislation reached the House, Phelan allowed it to languish in committee, ensuring it never reached a floor vote by placing it on the calendar far too late.

“Every Texas Republican House member would have voted for it,” Patrick emphasized. “But, SPEAKER Dade Phelan killed the bill by letting it languish in committee for a month, assuring it would never have time for a vote on the floor. This was inexcusable and unacceptable. Putting the Ten Commandments back into our schools was obviously not a priority for Dade Phelan.”

Senate Bill 1515 sought to require Texas public elementary and secondary schools to display the Ten Commandments in each classroom, a move aimed at recognizing America’s historical and cultural heritage and instilling foundational values in students.

Patrick accused Phelan of pandering to the Democrats who support his speakership, saying, “Here is the bill that Speaker Dade Phelan killed because the Democrats who put him in power opposed it.

“SB 1515 will bring back this historical tradition of recognizing America’s heritage and remind students all across Texas of the importance of a fundamental foundation of American and Texas law: the Ten Commandments,” he added.

Brady Gray, the president of Texas Family Project, called the legislation a perfect example of the stark contrast between Texas’ legislative chambers.

“While the Senate prioritizes and passes early meaningful legislation to better our state and communities, the House spends its time scheming and game playing. The Speaker scolds and punishes conservative Legislators, his hand-picked democrat parliamentarian ensures points of order stop or delay good legislation, and he sends bills like SB 1515 to committees to be killed,” said Gray.

“Texas Family Project is thankful for the bold leadership of Lt. Governor Patrick and Senators like Phil King, author of SB 1515. We look forward to working to see this legislation and more like it pass in the 89th and are hopeful that a new day is dawning for the House, with members who will challenge the lamentable leadership of a rogue Speaker,” Gray added.

Despite the setback, Patrick has pledged to pass the legislation through the Senate again next session. State Rep. Tom Oliverson, who is challenging Phelan for the speakership next session, says he is “all in.”

Phelan did not return a request for comment.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens