From the Office of State Senator Dan Patrick

For Immediate Release
January 18, 2008

Contact: Logan Spence
(512) 463-0107 / (512) 461-3448

Poll confirms illegal immigration and property taxes are the hot issues; Gambling issues lose out 60-40 with voters

AUSTIN - Results of Senator Patrick's newsletter and online survey generated about 5,500 responses and decisively validated the fact that illegal immigration and rising property taxes weigh heaviest on the minds of Senate District 7 voters.

On November 5, 2007, Senator Patrick released a newsletter to the voters of Senate District 7 that highlighted his activities during the 80th Legislative Session. This newsletter included a survey that asked for the voters input on the priority of issues and their positions on various policy questions. "The results of this survey are dramatic in that almost 5,500 people responded and the results are largely very polarized," said Senator Patrick.

Voters were asked to prioritize the following issues by their level of importance: Property Taxes, Border Security, Cost of College Tuition, Crime, Traffic and Transportation, and the Environment. Not surprisingly, the results placed the issue of border security at the top of the list.

"I was not surprised to see border security receive more than half the votes as the top priority issue," said Senator Patrick. "As the presidential candidates have come to realize, the voting public wants real solutions to the unchecked flow of illegal immigrants into the United States, and candidates will not be able to hide behind the empty rhetoric of 'comprehensive immigration reform' anymore," said Patrick.

During the 2007 Legislative Session, Senator Patrick proposed several bills related to border security including a fee on wire transfers outside of the United States that would fund increased border security functions and a bill that would make it a state crime to enter the United States illegally. Senator Patrick also filed a bill that would statutorily allow police officers to ask for proof of citizenship upon reasonable suspicion of federal immigration law violations.

The survey also firmly established property taxes as the second most important issue to District 7 voters. "The issue of rising property taxes propelled me into the legislative arena and continues to be a priority for me," stated Patrick, "and I intend to continue my advocacy for lower appraisal caps for all Texans." Senator Patrick filed several bills during the 80th Session that would have established appraisal caps on homesteads and non-homesteads.

The survey asked respondents for their position on various legislative initiatives. The results were:

In the coming months, Senator Patrick will consider these survey results as he prepares for the upcoming legislative session in 2009. However, his top priorities will continue to be illegal immigration and property tax reform. "The two issues that I ran on in 2006 continue to be the biggest concerns of District 7 voters and I promise to focus my legislative efforts on reducing property taxes and stemming the tide of illegal immigrants."