ARLINGTON –- Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he would stake his elected office on passing a so-called "bathroom bill," despite backlash in states like North Carolina and opposition from business groups in Texas.
"Absolutely,” he told News 8. “You know what? I would sacrifice an election over keeping men out of my granddaughter's bathroom.”
Patrick spent Wednesday in Arlington testifying before a Senate committee which is looking for ways to lower property taxes.
He also sat down with WFAA to talk priorities for next legislative session, such as the rising cost of college, in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday’s Inside Texas Politics.
“We are spending more money today investing in our higher education than we did in 2003," Patrick said.
He said university officials are lying when they say state funding hasn’t kept up with inflation.
“Our share is down because they rocketed up on tuition and fees. What they’re really saying is, the percentage of money the state pays in to higher education has gone down," Patrick said. "Yes, it’s gone down, in large part because we can’t even keep up with it."
The lieutenant governor said lawmakers gave state colleges $3 billion in tuition revenue bonds last session to expand campuses and kicked in an extra $281 million for their operating costs.
"It was insulting and offensive to me for them to turn around after we had a very pro-higher education session and raise tuition -- almost every school in the state," he said.
Patrick also discussed the 2016 presidential race and whether Texas Republicans would support New York billionaire Donald Trump if he becomes the nominee.
“I think so. I said from day one that I'm supporting Ted Cruz and chair of his campaign, but if Donald Trump is the nominee, I'm all in -- money, marbles and chalk," Patrick said.
Watch the entire interview Sunday at 9:00 a.m. on WFAA-TV’s Inside Texas Politics.