After three of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's divisive bills die, he calls for a special session to keep them alive

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: Would you trust the judgement of a man who picked out this shirt? - Wikimdia Commons / Gage Skidmore
Wikimdia Commons / Gage Skidmore
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: Would you trust the judgement of a man who picked out this shirt?
Three of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's legislative priorities for the session sputtered out this week — divisive bills designed to punish transgender kids, Democrat-controlled big cities and social media companies — and now he wants a redo.

The arch-conservative leader of the Texas Senate has asked Gov. Greg Abbott, a fellow Republican, to call a special session of the Texas Lege in June so he can advance the controversial measures, the Texas Tribune reports.

All three pieces of legislation died in the House at midnight Tuesday after Democrats ran down the clock on the deadline by which they needed to be voted on in the lower chamber. The current session ends Monday.

It doesn't look like Patrick, who's made a political career out of fanning the flames of the culture war, is getting a sympathetic ear from Abbott. At least not yet.

In a statement supplied to the Tribune, Abbott said Patrick had jumped the gun and urged lawmakers to "work together to get important conservative legislation to my desk."

It's easy to see why Dems threw a last minute blockade in front of Patrick's babies. The trio were among the most divisive measures debated during the session.

One would have blocked transgender students from playing on sports teams that correspond to their gender identities — a debate that LGBTQ+ advocates worry has already been scarring for trans kids and their families.

Another would have blocked municipalities from using taxpayer money to hire lobbyists, a transparent attempt to blunt the lobbying power of the state's Democrat-run big cities.

The third, which plays to the conspiracy theory that social media companies discriminate against conservatives on their platforms, would slap penalties on big tech for "censoring" Texans who express right-wing views.

While Abbott didn't appear cozy to the idea of a June session, it's worth noting that he did cheerlead many of Patrick's priority bills. To be sure, he already signed into law a near complete ban on abortion that legal experts warn will result in costly court challenges for the state.

And, as we know, when Patrick doesn't get his way, he's apt to change the rules. Just as he did at the start of the session when he lowered the threshold needed to bring legislation to Senate floor debate after losing a GOP seat in the body.

Stay tuned. 

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