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Home | Tag Archives: texas lt. gov dan patrick

Tag Archives: texas lt. gov dan patrick

Texas Lt. Gov. Patrick Says He Will Donate Metal Detectors to Santa Fe ISD After School Shooting

More than a month after a deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School left 10 dead and 13 injured, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is taking steps to tighten security in the southeast Texas school district, part of an effort by the state’s Republican leadership to “harden” schools as targets.

Patrick announced Monday that he’ll donate “up to 10” metal detectors to the Santa Fe Independent School District, a Galveston County district of about 4,700 students. A private metal detector company, Garrett Metal Detectors, has also agreed to donate metal detectors to the district, as well as perform a security analysis and train staff at no cost, Patrick said.

Those new security protocols will be in place before the start of the school year, pending district approval, Patrick said.

“Santa Fe parents have asked for immediate action to secure the entrances to their schools and I want to make sure that if the Santa Fe ISD School Board wants to install metal detectors they can do so,” Patrick said in a statement.

Patrick’s announcement fits with a broader strategy from Texas Republicans, who in the wake of the fatal May 18 shooting and a fall 2017 shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs have focused on making schools and other public venues less vulnerable as targets.

In May, Gov. Greg Abbott laid out a 40-page plan for protecting schools; his pitches ranged from increased mental health screenings to new emergency safety measures to a few, narrow gun-related proposals, including consideration of a “red flag” law in Texas that would allow local officials to seize weapons from individuals declared dangerous by a judge.

Patrickwho presides over the Texas Senate, also pledged Monday that in the next legislative session, the upper chamber would create a matching fund program to support installing metal detectors in other school districts. That program will include reimbursements for school districts that purchase such protections before the next session begins.

In the immediate wake of the shooting, Patrick drew rebukes and mockery for saying “there are too many entrances and too many exits” to Texas schools. Experts said that schools have long been designed with such safety concerns in mind.

“On the day of the shooting in Santa Fe, I made securing the entrances and exits to our schools a top priority,” Patrick said Monday. “Santa Fe parents have asked for immediate action to secure the entrances to their schools and I want to make sure that if the Santa Fe ISD School Board wants to install metal detectors they can do so.”

Patrick also said Monday he supports increasing funding for an existing state program that arms school personnel. He has also charged a select committee within the Texas Senate to study school safety.

Read related Tribune coverage:

Author: EMMA PLATOFF – The Texas Tribune

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Blames City Governments for “All our Problems in America”

City governments, particularly those led by Democrats, are to blame for problems nationwide, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said during a nationally televised interview Friday.

“People are happy with their governments at their state level, they’re not with the city,” said Patrick, a Republican, in an interview with Fox Business Network. He was responding to a question about gubernatorial races.

“Our cities are still controlled by Democrats,” he added. “And where do we have all our problems in America? Not at the state level run by Republicans, but in our cities that are mostly controlled by Democrat mayors and Democrat city council men and women. That’s where you see liberal policies. That’s where you see high taxes. That’s where you see street crime.”

The comments drew a quick response from mayors in Texas. In a message posted to Twitter, Austin Mayor Steve Adler responded, “If it’s wrong to have lower jobless and crime rates than Texas as a whole, I don’t want to be right. Certainly not that far right.”

Patrick’s remarks came halfway through a special legislative session in which lawmakers have repeatedly taken aim at local governments. Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has proposed to lawmakers a long list of ideas related to how cities and counties set budgets, regulate land use and approve construction projects.

Some of the most controversial bills now making their way through the Legislature would require a local election to approve property tax rate increases over a certain percentage and legislation that would regulate which bathrooms transgender people can use. Current versions of the bathroom proposal would preempt parts of local nondiscrimination ordinances that include protections for transgender people.

Many city officials have criticized the Legislature’s efforts, saying city governments need freedom and flexibility to govern.

“We are closer to our residents than the state is or the federal government, so we know what is best for our community because we are responsible for our community,” said El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, a Republican. “Not only is El Paso the largest U.S. city on the Mexican border, we’re also ranked as the safest city in the nation.”

Mayors from two of the state’s six biggest cities are Republican: Margo, plus Betsy Price of Fort Worth.

But “the fact that city elections are nonpartisan is one of the greatest things about city government,” said Bennett Sandlin, executive director of the Texas Municipal League. “We like to say that potholes aren’t Democratic or Republican… it costs the same amount regardless of ideology.” 

Disclosure: Steve Adler, a former Texas Tribune board chairman, the Texas Municipal League and Dee Margo have been financial supporters of the Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

Read related Tribune coverage:

  • Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price talked about their Tuesday meeting with Gov. Greg Abbott about several local control issues he put on the agenda for the special legislative session. [link]
  • Texas legislators would love to lower your property taxes, but none of the proposals they’re considering in the special session would do that. [link]
  • Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is a former radio host who still owns a radio station in Houston. The station continues to push his conservative agenda. [link]

Author:  SHANNON NAJMABADI – The Texas Tribune

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