Texas Lt. Gov. holds must-pass bills hostage to further bathroom bill

May 21, 2017

At a May 17, 2017 press conference at the Capitol, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick warns he'll seek a special session if the House doesn't pass certain legislation.
Credit Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

In the waning days of the Texas Legislative session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is playing hardball to get his agenda passed.

As The Texas Tribune reports, Patrick has put out a list of bills he expects the House to pass. If the lower chamber doesn’t comply with his wishes, Patrick says he will direct his Senate to let so-called “must-pass” legislation falter.

This imperative legislation includes the state budget.

Thus Patrick is, in a sense, holding the must-pass legislation hostage until Speaker of the House Joe Straus bows to his will. The first piece of legislation that Patrick is demanding the House pass is the controversial bill that would require Texans to use the bathroom of the gender they were born with. The other piece of legislation would discourage local governments from raising property taxes. The issue remains that many lawmakers in Straus’s House do not want to vote on the bathroom bill.