By CHRISTIN COYNE
A Tea Party favorite for Lt. Governor, Texas Sen. Dan Patrick addressed the Parker County Tea Party group Thursday night, laying out his plans for a group of about 100 people at Victory Baptist Church.
“At a certain point after 12 years, I think it’s time for some new energy, some new enthusiasm,” Patrick said.
“I’m as conservative as you can be - like Phil King,” Patrick told the audience.
Patrick promised to attempt to reduce Democrats’ power in the Senate if elected.
Rather than continuing the tradition of giving each party half the Senate committee chairmanships, Patrick said he would give them maybe one or two or no committee chair positions if elected.
“We must not yield our power to the minority who uses it to stop everything you want passed,” Patrick said. “That’s why we’ve had 15 special sessions since 2000.”
Patrick said he’s supported a change in the two-thirds rule in the Senate that requires at least 21 votes to allow a bill to be debated on the Senate floor since he was elected to the Senate.
Patrick said his number one priority is border security.
Patrick said he is proud to wear the title of toughest guy on immigration running for any state office.
“I’m not anti-Hispanic,” Patrick said. “I’m not anti-immigrant. But I am anti-illegal immigrant, particularly those who would come here to harm us, including potential terrorists.”
Patrick cited statistics of crimes committed by immigrants in the U.S. illegally.
“The number one job of the lieutenant governor is protect your life, your family’s life and your property,” Patrick said. “Nothing else matters if you are dead. Tax policy, education policy, transportation funding, nothing else matters.”
To address the border security issue, Patrick said he plans to prioritize money in the budget to hire more DPS officers and set salaries high enough to attract officers to do that job, to follow some Israeli border security policies, to spend more money on border technology, to help border area sheriffs who are outgunned and outmanned and to increase the state guard.
The state should never consider amnesty, Patrick said.
His second priority is education, Patrick said, touting his experience in the legislature on the issue.
Patrick said he is a proponent of school choice.
His third issue is property taxes, Patrick said.
He would like to see a model where, as property values go up, the effective tax rate goes down, like a see saw, and if a local government needs more money, they should make the case to voters, Patrick said.