Lt. Governor Dan Patrick: Statement on the Senate’s Passage of Senate Bill 5 – Expansion of School Safety Funding


AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement today following the Senate’s unanimous passage of Senate Bill 5, by Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston:

“Ensuring the safety and security of every Texan, especially our children, is paramount to our work in the Texas Senate. Today, the Senate took swift action to continue supporting school security with the passage of Senate Bill 5. It will immediately add another $800 million to school safety funding. I thank Chair Huffman for her quick work in passing this important legislation.

“The House killed an omnibus education bill, which would have provided funding support for teachers and schools, as well as given parents school choice. Instead, they passed HB 2 and HJR 1, on school safety which would require a constitutional amendment vote next May. Even if it were to pass, our schools would have to continue to wait another 7 months or more for additional funding. SB 5 sends $800 million to schools immediately for them to hire the needed security personnel and implement other necessary school safety initiatives.

“As we have seen repeatedly throughout the four special sessions this year along with the regular legislative session, the House takes an irresponsible approach to funding and implementing solid policy for the people of Texas, and this is no exception. With Dade Phelan’s ineffectual leadership, the House killed school choice and teacher pay raises, and now the speaker is threatening to kill school safety based on a phony argument that he doesn’t have time.

“The House has 5 days to pass legislation and needs to return immediately to pass SB 2 to provide teachers a pay raise and SB 5 to provide school safety funding. Another must-pass bill for the House is SB 6 to ensure our constitutional amendments that were overwhelmingly passed a month ago can go forward. Six lawsuits have been filed that would hold up property tax cuts and cost-of-living increases for retired teachers, as well as other amendments that passed. If the speaker cannot get his House members back to pass these important bills in the next 5 days, then it is further proof of his inability to lead and his habit of blaming everyone else for his own failings.