Legislative Priorities Report for Jan. 22, 2021
These last few weeks have certainly not turned out the way we had hoped and prayed, on several fronts. We have seen our election process go in a questionable direction without recourse, a president betrayed by some even on our own side, and a new administration installed that is dismantling freedoms at a breathtaking pace. We have already experienced censorship and suppression of speech. We know loss of religious liberty, economic consequences, and attacks on our Second Amendment rights that will quickly be upon us.
Many of us are depressed and disconsolate, and there are rumblings of third parties. This response is completely understandable. We who closely follow political events know more than most the stakes — and the direction — the country is now racing toward. We know the progressive socialist agenda that has been foisted on our children now for years is now being forced on our nation.
We can sit and do nothing, or we can act to hold Texas. More than ever before, the actions of our Representatives and Senators in Austin are critical. They must hold to our Republican principles and pass our conservative agenda, or our Party will fall. We will fragment, and the Democrats will prevail. This must not occur, and we have a choice to stop it.
It cannot be business as usual in Austin. The lobbyists must be told to take a seat as the voters of Texas have made their choice on what we hold vital…our eight Legislative Priorities and reining in executive powers.
Last week, we watched the Senate, under the leadership of Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, assign committee chairmanships to all Republicans except one, which went to a Democrat. Our House Speaker has indicated he will place Democrats on several, which is perplexing. When a majority Party is in power, that Party should lead.
If Speaker Phelan chooses to put Democrats in charge of certain committees, then there is one important fact you must know. The Speaker also determines what bills go to which committees. Therefore, we expect our Speaker to send our Legislative Priority bills to committees with Republican Chairs. We will be watching this process.
The duty of the State Republican Executive Committee Legislative Priority Committee is to evaluate bills filed against our Legislative Priorities and support the bills which match the priority in part or whole. So far, we have nine bills we support:
- Election Integrity: HB 329, 335, 574, SB 155
- Religious Freedom: HB 525
- Child and Gender Modification: HB 68
- Monuments: HB 446
We are anticipating more bills being filed that match our priorities, but for now these are bills you can tell your Representative and Senator you are supporting. We will continue adding bills as they are filed and then approved by the committee. Please keep in mind there may be other good bills filed outside the purview of the Legislative Priority committee, but we are bound by the delegates to limit our official support to those matching the priorities as defined by the delegates.
SREC members are working hard to provide information and we are so pleased to be speaking with many of you. Thank you for inviting us to your clubs, Executive Committees, and groups. When you receive the information, we depend on you to spread our message to those you interact with at church and in your community. We all must take every opportunity we can to inform our voters, in every district, of the importance of passing our priorities.
When our elected officials get it right, let’s please remember to thank them. So far, we have a strong showing by Representatives Kyle Biedermann, Jeff Cason, Tony Tinderholt, and Bryan Slaton. Even if you do not live in their districts, please call or email their offices to thank them. A little encouragement goes a long way.
We know our Republican principles are the answer to good government, for all citizens, regardless of background or belief. We are the party of life, freedom, and innovation. Please know that your Texas Republican Party is standing strong, and we invite you to stand with us and we lead the way for the nation.
Next week we will have a new resource for you: a digital guide with talking points for each priority, and contact information for the Republican Representatives and Senators. Stay tuned!
For God and Texas,
SREC, SD 12
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee
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