HOUSTON - Fresh off his re-election to a third term as a leader of the Texas Senate, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick relayed his plans for investing an unprecedented $30 billion budget surplus.
Topping his list, is significant property tax relief, most likely, in the form of a higher homestead exemption.
"When you have this kind of money you have to get it back to the taxpayer," said Patrick.
With so much cash on hand, Patrick says Texas has more than enough resources to bolster significantly the troubled power grid, in part, by incentivizing weather-resistant, dis-patchable, natural gas generation.
"This Texas miracle, if you can't turn the lights on, you don't have the Texas miracle," said Patrick referring to the state's robust economy.
And in the aftermath of the Uvalde mass murder, Patrick proposes a $2 billion investment for mental health care facilities in rural Texas.
"This is something we have to do for our community," said Patrick.
As for the troubled Texas border, Patrick proposes further expanding the state's investment in stemming the flow of narcotics and human trafficking.
"Without our DPS, without the national guard without the state doing what we are doing it would be far worse," said Patrick.
Other Patrick priorities included better compensation for teachers, both active and retired, and an endowment for state colleges unsupported by the Permanent University Fund.
Patrick believes the state has enough resources to fund his priorities, add additional billions to the state's "Rainy Day Fund" and still have a substantial amount of revenue in reserve.