Dan Patrick announces 2021 priorities focused on pandemic, power grid and socially conservative issues

Dan Patrick announces 2021 priorities focused on pandemic, power grid and socially conservative issues

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Tuesday unveiled his top 31 priorities for the 2021 legislative session, a mix of newly urgent issues after last week’s winter storm, familiar topics stemming from the coronavirus pandemic and a fresh injection of conservative red meat into a session that has been relatively bland so far. Patrick said in a statement that he is "confident these priorities address issues that are critical to Texans at this time" and that some of them changed in recent days due to the storm, which left millions of Texans without power. After his top priority — the must-pass budget — Patrick listed his priorities as reforming the state’s electrical grid operator, as well as "power grid stability." Patrick’s specific plans for such items remain unclear, however. Almost all of his priority bills have not been filed yet, and the list he released refers to the issues in general terms. The priorities echo much of the agenda that Gov. Greg Abbott laid out in his State of the State speech earlier this month, including his emergency items like expanding broadband access and punishing local governments that "defund the police." Fourth on the list is a cause that Patrick himself prioritized recently — a "Star Spangled Banner Protection Act" that would require the national anthem to be played at all events that get public funding. However, besides the fresh focus on the electrical grid, perhaps the most notable takeaway from Patrick’s agenda is how far it goes in pushing […]

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