Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick talks tax relief, border security, school choice

Fresh off ushering a colossal $18 billion property tax rebate through an often bare-knuckle legislative slugfest, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick doubled down on his backing of a permanent 60 percent increase in the homestead exemption.

"If you have a mortgage for 25 or 30 years, you are talking about for the average person in the average $300,000 home, somewhere between $15,000, $20,000, $30,000 savings over a lifetime and that is significant," said Patrick.

On the issue of billions of state dollars for bolstering border security, Patrick defended both the investment and the controversial methods, which critics have called "harsh" and "inhumane."

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"They know where we have the concertina wire and buoys we mean business and I hope we are able to put those everywhere along the Rio Grande. You have to prevent people from coming in. We are saving lives by putting up those barriers," said Patrick.

As for the coming fight in the Fall over offering Texans "school choice", Patrick believes approval amounts to "empowering" the state's parents.

"Maybe you don't feel that school fits your child. Maybe your child is being bullied, whatever reason, you have a right to send that child where you want and it doesn't take any money away from (public) education," said Patrick.

And with the Senate impeachment trial of State Attorney General Ken Paxton looming in a matter of days, the Lt. Governor offered guidance to Texans closely following what's set to unfold.


"I have 31 Senators. They are the jury. That's it and it makes for a very interesting process. It's not a criminal trial. It's not a civil trial. It's a political trial," said Patrick.

Also of critical concern to the Lt. Governor is the state's slim reserve of electrical power.

Patrick says if the industry will not build additional "dispatchable" generation, he intends to push state funding for the construction of plants capable of delivering a substantial emergency supply.