Lt. Gov. Patrick blames Speaker Straus for failure of bathroom bill, property tax reform

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said Wednesday the legislative session that just wrapped up was successful, but divided.

Patrick blames his counterpart in the house, Speaker Joe Straus, for big issues that did not get to the governor's desk: property tax reform and the Texas Privacy Act or bathroom bill.

“I will personally do whatever it takes to reduce property taxes and ensure privacy for women in bathrooms and not have our boys and girls showering together in the tenth grade,” Patrick said.

Patrick has asked Governor Greg Abbott to include both of those priorities on the call if there is a special session.

“Even though I give the senate an "A," the house killed several significant bills,” Patrick said.

Patrick said Straus was against the governor and against the people of Texas for not acting on those issues. Patrick said it was tough to find areas of mutual interest with Strauss.

“You can’t find common ground with someone who won’t negotiate. You can’t find common ground with someone who says, ‘I’m not doing that.’ The speaker did not bring one bill to the floor that would roll back the tax rate for homeowners and business owners and give automatic control of that to the voters,” Patrick said.

The differing views of Patrick and Straus saw some critical sunset legislation fail that was needed to keep certain state agencies running for two more years. That alone will likely force the governor to call a special session.

Patrick also called out Straus and state reps for their last day of session meltdown now seen nationwide.

“There is no excuse for adults as elected officials to behave in the manner that they behaved. It does not set a good example,” Patrick said. “But again, the senate -- we had five months of tranquility.”

FOX4 asked Straus for a response. A statement from his office read: “Speaker Straus is proud of the Texas House's effort to reduce property taxes through additional state funding for education, which would have kept more local tax dollars in local schools.”

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