Legislative Priorities Report for Jan. 29, 2021
Joe Biden has been in office just a little over a week, and has already issued 30 executive orders, maybe more, by the time you read this. The progressive socialist left is very organized and intentional, and they waste no time implementing their agenda. That includes the state of Texas, as well, even though we hold a Republican majority.
As Republicans, we value limited government, so we are more measured in our bill filing and are slower to take action. In the current political environment, however, we must be informed and determined in fighting back current efforts to restrict God-given freedoms and rights protected by the Constitution.
The purpose of this report is to give you, the voter, tools to make your voice heard in Texas. We cannot expect to vote for someone with an R behind their name and assume they will carry out Republican principles. It should work that way, but it does not, thanks to human nature and the influence of lobbyists.
If you are new to receiving these legislative reports, I would like to review a few things. First, the Republican Party of Texas is distinct from the national Republican Party. We are led by Lt. Col. Allen West, and as a Party, we supported President Trump. The Party is governed by Chairman West and 62 State Executive Committeemen and women, two for each of 31 State Senate Districts. We, along with county chairs, precinct chairs, and Republican activists knocked on doors, made phone calls, and worked hard for President Trump’s reelection. In fact, we made 12 separate contacts with 3 million voters in the 70 days leading up to the November election.
We owe it to our voters to give them a reason to vote Republican going forward. A Legislative session has just begun, and our Republican delegates and voters gave us eight priorities, voted on at our convention this past summer, to officially support as a Party. The outcome of this session will determine if the voters decide the Republicans in the Texas Legislature are worth sending back.
There are some very important bills that have been filed and need to pass. However, the Legislative Priorities Committee of the State Republican Executive Committee is bound by our bylaws to only support bills that match the chosen priorities of our delegates. Those are: Election Integrity, Religious Freedom, Children and Gender Modification, Abolition of Abortion, Constitutional Carry, Monument Protection, School Choice for All, and Ban Taxpayer Funded Lobbying. We meet weekly to look at the filed bills and assess if they meet the priority language and vote on whether to support those bills. Due to events of this past extraordinary year, Chairman West has also added a committee to address Executive Overreach, so the Party will be supporting efforts for those bills as well.
As we have been reporting, what seems like a reasonable list includes many items that we have advocated for in previous legislative sessions but have not seen passed. We believe that it will take the voices and will of the people to convince our elected officials that these are non-negotiable items.
After a bill gets filed, it is assigned to a committee. This is one reason we have been so insistent about committee chairs being Republicans, since we hold the majority. We thank Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, in charge of the Senate, for putting Republicans as chairs on all the Senate committees except for one. This is important because if a chair doesn’t want a particular bill to get to the floor for a vote, he or she can simply choose to not put it on the committee agenda. We like our chances on our Republican priorities better with Republican chairs. We await what Speaker Phelan will choose to do in the House. We fervently hope he will put Republicans on the committees, at least those to which he will assign our Legislative Priorities bills.
To follow the bills we are supporting on our priorities, please sign up for our Strategic Texas Activist Team. You will receive an email when bills are assigned to committee and the progress on them, including when they are up for a vote. To sign up, click here.
We have also added more information on our Texasgop.org website, under the drop-down menu tab #TXLege. Please check it out for directories, a template for writing your representatives, and more.
The Legislature is in recess now until 2pm on Feb. 9th. Please use this time to call, email, or visit with your representatives.
For God and Texas,
SREC, SD 12
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee
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