News Roundup: To Stop Shootings, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Calls For Cultural Shift And Fewer School Entrances

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelMay 21, 2018 2:16 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting at Santa Fe High School, which left 10 people dead, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called for limiting school entrances. The idea drew some pushback, which he addressed during an interview Sunday on the ABC News program, This Week. He told host George Stephanopoulos, “Yes, I’ve been criticized by saying we should have fewer entrances. Look, you should have all the fire exits you need, but we should have eyes on students walking into our schools.”

Patrick also attributed school shootings not to the availability of guns, but rather to culture.

“We have devalued life, whether it’s through abortion, whether it’s through the breakup of families, through violent movies, and in particular violent video games, which now outsell movies and music,” he said.

Patrick added that teachers should be armed. The Washington Post reports that the Santa Fe School Board had approved a plan in November that would allow some school staff to carry guns, but they were still in the process of getting it off the ground.

Kelly Clarkson honored the students and teachers killed at Santa Fe High School while hosting the 2018 Billboard Music Awards Sunday. The Fort Worth native was asked to hold a moment of silence for the 10 victims, but instead called for a moment of action.

“I’m so sick of moment of silence. It’s not working,” Clarkson said.

Clarkson, who is a mother of four, said parents should be able to send their kids to school. She also said, “Once again, y’all, we’re grieving for more kids that have died for just an absolute no reason at all.”

Texas is in no rush to comply with the National Voter Registration Act, also known as the “motor voter” law.

Earlier this month, a federal judge ruled the state was violating the 25-year-old law. Judge Orlando Garcia gave the state and the plaintiffs a week to come up with a plan for how to fix that. Beth Stevens is with the Texas Civil Rights Project, which sued over the issue in 2016.

Stevens says that instead of submitting a proposal at the end of last week, the state just criticized her group’s proposal.

“And they’ve asked the court if the court is going to go ahead and require changes, to not do so until December, so obviously well past the voter registration deadline and well past the actual election in November,” Stevens says.

The Texas Civil Rights Project has asked that the state be required to comply with the motor voter law within 45 days of the judge’s final decision.

Judge Garcia found the state was violating the motor voter law because the Texas Department of Public Safety is treating people who update their driver’s license information online differently than people who update it in person.

That’s because people who update their info in-person can also update their voter registration information or register to vote. People who update their information online cannot.

Stevens adds that it wouldn’t be hard for Texas to start letting drivers update their voter registration information online.

“It’s a change of their computer system,” she says. “So that when folks who transact online, say yes, I want to register to vote, that information then gets sent on through the system, in the exact same way that they already do if you transact with DPS in person.”

The final ruling could affect 1.5 million Texans who update their driver’s license information online each year.