AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Republican leaders held a joint press conference Wednesday to present a united front on the second day of the 2019 legislative session.
Governor Greg Abbott was joined by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and newly elected House Speaker, Dennis Bonnen, at the Governor’s Mansion Wednesday to discuss the important issues they plan to focus on this session.
Gov. Abbott laid out an agenda he called “transformative,” that they will focus on this session. Abbott says the three agree, “that this session, we’re going to solve intractable issues that have been plaguing the state of Texas for decades, going back to the last century,” he said.
Other than school finance reform and property tax reform, Abbott said they will also focus on legislation to help hurricane and flood victims and school shooting victims.
“Everyone in Texas knows that we must reduce property taxes, teachers deserve more money and we have to address school finance,” said Lt. Gov. Patrick.
“It is not our job to dictate the terms of the details of reforming school finance and just changing our broken Robinhood system,” Speaker Bonnen said. “It is our job to ensure that we are leading together on those issues and that we stay together and in turn, our bodies (executive branch, House of Representatives and Senate) stay together.”
The Republican leaders also indicated that a controversial and polarizing issue during the 2017 session will not be taken up again this year.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said the “bathroom bill” issue that targeted transgender people was “settled” and claimed victory, even though two attempts to restrict bathroom access for transgender persons never passed last session.
Speaker Bonnen has also said he’s not interested in another try.
KXAN’s Todd Bailey contributed to this story.