Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Threatens to Force Special Session

Spectrum News

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has threatened to force a special session if bills dealing with property taxes and access to bathrooms don’t get approved.

“People elect us to come here and get the job done – not to pass a budget and go home, call it a day,” Patrick said during a Wednesday morning press conference. “The people elected me to be bold and move this legislation forward.”

While the governor is the only one who can call a special session, he could be forced into one. Wednesday, the Lt. Governor laid out why that might be the case.

Patrick held a press conference to tell the lower chamber that if they don’t pass a property tax bill, and some version of a measure regulating bathroom use for transgender Texans, they will go into overtime. The legislative session ends May 29.

Both bills have passed the Senate but remain in the House.

Patrick’s message comes one day after House Speaker Joe Straus sent a letter to Patrick urging him to come to an agreement on the budget, the only bill the legislature is required to pass, and for the senate to pass what’s known as the “sunset safety net bill,” which is critical to keep a number of state agencies functioning.

Patrick is now using that sunset bill as leverage to force a special session.

“I agree with the speaker that it would be good to avoid a special session,” Patrick said. “But I do not agree with the speaker that we can just pass the budget and a sunset bill and call it a day.”