AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - The new 'Big Three in Texas' met at the Governor’s Mansion Wednesday morning.
After a symbolic photo op; the governor, lieutenant governor and newly elected speaker of the house declared to the capitol press corps that a new day has dawned over capitol dome. "I don’t know, you'll have to do the fact checking, if in modern history, or in history, this has ever happened before,” said Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.
Addressing the education funding crisis is one of the main issues that brought about all this unity talk. "Bottom line there are a lot of challenges facing our fellow Texans, we are going to work together, work swiftly to make sure we do the business of the people of Texas and address these challenges,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
Other top issues for the big three include:
- Lowering property taxes
- Funding storm relief
- Reforming the foster care and mental health programs.
- And passing school safety initiatives.
"And we will continue to communicate together, because when people communicate you solve big problems and you don’t let the train fall off the track,” said Speaker Bonnen.
It failed to win passage, but Wednesday Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said it's not necessary to bring it back up. "When you win the battle you don’t have to fight the battle again, the truth is the purpose of the legislation was to stop school districts from forcing boys and girls to share showers and locker rooms, and that stopped,” said Patrick.
Another threat to the new political harmony is a factually inaccurate plaque inside the capitol. The plaque was put up by a group called the Children of the Confederacy in the early 1900's.
It declares the Civil War was not a rebellion and the underlying cause was not slavery.
All the conjecture about who can order its removal, according to the Governor, will now finally be addressed. "This is an issue on the agenda for the state preservation board for later this week,” said Governor Abbott. The agenda for that meeting specifically states it’s about removal.
It will take place Friday morning.
At the Capitol, in the first big vote of the session, house members approved a new section of their rules regarding sexual harassment. Complaints against members and staff will now be reviewed by the general investigations committee which has subpoena power.