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July 6, 2017      1:00 PM

SB: Pushing the reset button on the special session

Patrick’s on defense, Straus insists the House is obligated to pass nothing other than Sunset legislation, and the speaker has supermajority support in the House for his main organizing principle of public education

For at least the third time this year, the bathroom bill debate at the Texas Capitol has been reframed by someone other than Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. First, the issue was viewed by the legislative combatants through a new lens thanks to the heavy involvement of Patrick’s former business partner Dr. Steve Hotze. That was followed by the perceived payoff to Sen. Eddie Lucio, helping push Senate Bill 6 past the goal line in the Senate.

Now, with two weeks to go before the extra-special session, Patrick is on defense after Texas House Speaker Joe Straus took to the pages of the New Yorker to reveal a behind-the-scenes moment that unfolded during the regular session, giving a glimpse into the intensity of Straus’ personal thinking on legislation that truly intimidated many of his Republican members.

In a deep-dive article ably written by Austinite Lawrence Wright, Straus said two senators acting as emissaries for Patrick arrived at the speaker’s office with bathroom language the Lite Guv would accept, but Straus told them he was uninterested in even taking a look. “I’m disgusted by all this,” Straus said, recounting his words for the magazine. “Tell the lieutenant governor I don’t want the suicide of a single Texan on my hands.”

Patrick’s Senior Adviser Sherry Sylvester then spent much of her Monday telling various media outlets the Lt. Governor certainly does not want any Texan to do harm to themselves.

Gov. Greg Abbott, meantime, is triangulating in a way that senior lawmakers and observers of the process have called both “shrewd” and “lousy.”

By Scott Braddock

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