A week ago, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick identified ten major reforms as legislative priorities for the 85th Texas Legislature. Now Patrick is adding to the list with additional legislation that will receive priority status.

“In addition to the ten priorities I announced last week, I am releasing an additional ten priorities today that will have low bill numbers,” said Patrick. A large majority of Texans elected me to push forward a legislative agenda that reflects the Texas values of life, liberty and principled conservative government. I am committed to that goal whether it is reducing the property tax burden, protecting our border or expanding education options for Texas parents. We must also assure that our foster children are protected, our police are honored and our government never restrains economic growth and prosperity.”

Patrick’s priorities are as follows:

SB 11 – DFPS Child Protection Bill – SB 11 will strengthen our ability to protect Texas children by enhancing investigations to reduce abuse and neglect and ensure child safety, addressing access to appropriate treatment and placement options, improving foster care contract oversight and accountability, and strengthening adoptions.

SB 12 – Protective Vests for Police – Texas has over 77,000 licensed law enforcement officers and our state has lost more law enforcement officers in the line of duty than any state in America.  SB 12 will ensure that the safety of police officers across the state is a top priority, including helping provide police with protective vests capable of stopping high-caliber bullets. Some of the officers killed in the deadly Dallas sniper ambush earlier this year had bullet-proof vests that were ineffective against high-caliber rounds.

SB 13 – Union Dues – SB 13 will ensure taxpayer funds are not used to support the collection of union dues.

SB 14 – Ethics Reform – SB 14 will strengthen Texas ethics laws, and ensure government officials and employees are held to high standards that inspire the public’s confidence in a transparent and ethically principled government.

SB 15 – First Responder Property Tax Relief – SB 15 will create a homestead tax exemption for the surviving spouse of a first responder killed in the line of duty. The bill will include spouses of previously deceased responders.

SB 16 – License To Carry Fee Reform – SB 16 will continue to support 2nd Amendment rights by making lawful carry more affordable for the average law abiding citizen.  Texas currently has one of the highest License to Carry fees in the country, and we will fix that.

SB 17 – Franchise Tax Reduction – SB 17 will continue to explore phase-out options of the franchise tax.

SB 18 – Tuition Set-Asides – SB 18 will stop Texas families from being forced to subsidize college costs for others.

SB 19 – Tuition Reform – The state has increased funding for higher education, but tuition and fees have continued to rise. Taxpayers must be assured they are getting a quality education at a cost they can afford. SB 19 will prevent tuition and fees from continuing to outpace what hardworking Texans earn.

SB 20 – Prohibiting Abortion Insurance Coverage – It’s imperative that we continue to fight for life and for those who do not have a voice. SB 20 We will protect Texans from being forced to pay for someone else’s decision to end an innocent life.

Coupled with his first ten priorities,the lieutenant governor’s priorities contain many items that conservatives can get excited about.

Patrick is expected to have ten more legislative priorities before the session begins.

Texas Scorecard covered the issues here.

Cary Cheshire

Cary Cheshire is the executive director of Texans for Strong Borders, a no-compromise non-profit dedicated to restoring security and sovereignty to the citizens of the Lone Star State. For more information visit StrongBorders.org.