After announcing the support of 109 members of the Texas House in his bid for the speakership, presumptive Speaker Dennis Bonnen (R–Angleton) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick spoke in an attempt to reset the tone and tenor of what had been a rancorous relationship between the two chambers.
Following that conversation, the two released a joint statement in which they promised to work together in the coming legislative session.
In his statement, Patrick praised Bonnen and showed optimism for the future:
The incoming Speaker and I had a great conversation today. We’ve agreed to sit down together to discuss the business of Texas and meet and talk as often as practical to have the best session in Texas history. Dennis and I have worked on many of the same issues for years. I know him to be a principled and extremely skilled leader who is not afraid to take on tough challenges. I am excited about his upcoming Speakership and I am confident our collaboration will ultimately lead to better and bold policy for all of the people of Texas.
Bonnen echoed Patrick’s sentiment in his remarks:
Not only is unity my utmost goal in the Texas House but also my guiding force in working with the Texas Senate. Today’s conversation with Lt. Gov. Patrick was only the beginning of a continued partnership to ensure Texas remains the greatest state in which to live, work, and raise a family. The lieutenant governor and I share a strong commitment to do the people’s business.
State Sen. Kelly Hancock (R–North Richland Hills) tweeted his excitement for the prospect of a closer relationship between the two chambers, calling the meeting “a great start, working together to address some bold issues that will continue to make Texas the greatest place in America to live, work, and raise a family.”
While it remains to be seen how the two will work together when the Legislature convenes in January, cooperation between the two leaders would be a major departure from the past relationship between Patrick and soon-to-be former Speaker Joe Straus, who spent much of his time obstructing conservative legislation passed by the other chamber.
With Straus and his lobbyist puppet master Gordon Johnson seemingly out of the picture, the two bodies now have a better chance of working together to pass meaningful reforms.