Legislative Priorities Report March 12, 2021
Your State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) members have been blanketing the state, speaking at meetings, clubs, rallies, and, truthfully, to anyone who is willing to learn how to urge our legislators to pass our Legislative Priority bills.
There are a couple of common themes we are hearing: anger that our elected officials have allowed our county and state to get in the position we are in now, and the desire to do something.
People sense things are deeply wrong, and see the events that are occurring with frightening speed to threaten our lives, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. There is a sense of urgency.
We are encouraging people in House and Senate districts across the state to communicate with their elected officials, and you are doing so in large numbers!
We must see that same urgency in our State legislature. We implore our elected officials to look beyond “politics as usual” and see the precarious position we are currently in. The Biden administration is bearing down on us and is determined to change life as we know it. Republican voters demand a response to stand up against progressive socialist policies.
Today is the last day that bills can be filed. We are very pleased that we have some very good bills filed for most of our Legislative Priorities. We have 39 bills that meet our priority language, and these bills are getting assigned to committees. It is important to remember that while there may be many other good bills filed, the Legislative Priority Committee only supports bills that meet the eight priorities as voted on by our state convention delegates.
It is important to remember that while there may be many other good bills filed, the Legislative Priority Committee only supports bills that meet the eight priorities as voted on by our State convention delegates.
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Bill filing is only the beginning. Most bills never get a committee hearing, much less a vote on the floor, and that is generally a good thing. We always want less government, not more.
However, the Legislative Priority bills are critical, beginning with Election Integrity. If we do not have fair elections, then we can do nothing else to guard against the progressive socialist left. There have been some good bills filed that address our elections, and these must move through the Election Integrity Committee chaired by Rep. Briscoe Cain.
We also have great Constitutional Carry bills, several bills banning Child Gender Modification, banning Abortion, and Rep. Mayes Middleton has filed an excellent bill Banning Tax-Payer Funded Lobbying.
We really appreciate some courageous Representatives that have stepped up to co-author these bills. For example, HB 574 would make it a state felony if any Texas election law is violated. This bill was filed by Rep. Greg Bonnen, and has been co-authored by Reps. Ashby, Phil King, Paul, Staton, Tinderholdt, and Ellzey.
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned HB 3, a bill that was supposed to address our Chairman’s Priority, which is Executive Overreach. It wound up being a very poor bill that did nothing to ensure that the Texas Constitution is followed during a disaster and actually expanded the Governor’s authority. In essence, codifying his actions of this past year.
Due to the outcry of Republican voters, that bill was replaced with a substitute bill that set up a Pandemic Disaster Legislative Oversight Committee. This substitute bill is really no better than the first. We already have a committee — the Legislature — that is supposed to make laws, not the Governor or a committee.
HB 3 was heard in committee yesterday, and Chairman West submitted testimony opposing it on behalf of the Republican Party of Texas. Many grassroots activists and concerned citizens testified against the bill, and it was left pending in committee.
We are thankful that, at this point, the will of the people was heard, and it was not voted out of committee. Thank you to all who wrote emails and made phone calls. It does make a difference!
So what can you do now?
It is time to ramp up our calls and emails, with a focus on the House and Senate Committee members where our bills have been filed. The next step in the process is for our bills to get hearings. So, when you call or email, contact the committee chairs and ask for our bills to get scheduled for a hearing.
We now have bills in the Elections Committee, State Affairs, Public Health, Public Education, Homeland Security and Public Safety, Criminal Jurisprudence, and Culture, Recreation and Tourism. In the Senate, we have bills in the State Affairs Committee.
You can find the contact information for the committee chairs here.
As an additional resource, we’re posting the approved bills thus far. You can see it below.
We must continue to channel our anger and frustration into action. We are beginning to see some results of our concerted efforts in the number of bills filed that meet our priorities. Our grassroots groups are working together, and our Republican clubs and organizations are organizing email and phone campaigns. You are doing well. Let’s keep it up!
For God and Texas,
SREC, SD 12
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee
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