We have six weeks left in the session and while we are making some progress, now is the time to double down on our efforts. This is the time when bills are killed, or games are played to water them down.
School Choice is a great example. A curious thing happened in the House Thursday: an amendment was introduced by Rep. Van Deaver that would disallow federal and state money to be used by parents to choose education for their children other than public school. This is polar opposite to the priority chosen by the delegates of the Republican Party of Texas. An even more odd thing happened in that the bill, originally authored by Republican Van Deaver, was changed to indicate authorship by Democrats instead. Why would they do this?
Constitutional Carry is moving rapidly, although somewhat strangely. HB 1927, the bill we are supporting, was voted out of the House and moved to the Senate, where it hit resistance. Lt. Gov. Patrick has indicated he is not a strong supporter of Constitutional Carry, but public outcry is paying off and this morning a new Senate Committee was formed, the Senate Committee on Consitutional Issues. It is comprised of Chairman Sen. Schwertner, and Senators Birdwell, Buckingham, Creighton, Hall, Hinojosa, and Lucio. Two bills have been assigned to this committee, HB 1927 and a new bill filed yesterday, SB 2224.
HB 1927 is the vehicle to get our priority passed, so we must continue to support this bill. We appreciate Senators Creighton, Hall, Buckingham, and Paxton for publically stating their support for HB 1927.
Election Integrity needs to move. We are waiting for Chairman Cain to schedule a hearing for SB 7 in the House, and this has to happen quickly. HB 6 is ready for the Calendars Committee to schedule for a floor vote. There must be urgency on Election Integrity bills and this appears lacking for some reason. Hopefully, this will change.
Banning Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying has been passed in the Senate, and the House needs to hear SB 10. We had a great rally on the Capitol steps yesterday for this priority, but Chair Paddie of State Affairs needs to schedule a vote on HB 749 now.
A ban on public schools from hiring taxpayer-funded lobbyists was included in the budget, but it was stripped by an amendment by a Democrat on Thursday. The amendment passed by an 84-54 margin, with 21 Republicans voting with the Democrats. These Republicans need a call to urge them to vote according to our priority and not with Democrats.
Two of our bills regarding the Abolition of Abortion still need hearings in Public Health, while others need floor votes. All of these bills need to keep moving. We must save unborn babies in the state of Texas, and it will be to our shame if we do not get it done this legislative session.
Banning Child Gender Modification had a great week last week, with bills getting passed in House and Senate subcommittees. HB 1399 is on to Calendars and must get scheduled for a floor vote quickly. SB 1311 and SB 1646 need Senate floor votes.
Monuments has House Bill 3584, headed to Calendars and needs to be scheduled for a floor vote. In Culture, Recreation, and Tourism we have three other bills that need to be voted out.
Action items for the week in addition to things mentioned above:
1. Please contact Lt. Gov. Patrick and all our Senators and ask them to declare support for HB 1927, Constitutional Carry.
2. Please contact Chairman Burrows and tell him to schedule all our priority bills mentioned above for floor votes.
3. Please contact Lt. Gov. Patrick and ask him to schedule priority bills for floor votes.
For specific bill numbers and status, please see our bill list. For contact information for your elected officials, click here. To find who represents you, go here. To sign up for emails specific to each priority with more detailed action items, see STAT. We are also doing video updates on Facebook now, so watch for those.
Thank you for making your voice heard. It is making a difference, but we have to keep it up. Please be firm, but polite when you call and email. It is frustrating that we have to demand that many of our Republican Representatives and Senators follow through in supporting our Party Priorities, but that is the current reality. If we are going to save Texas from the progressive, socialist left, we have to make a stand.
For God and Texas,
SREC, SD 12
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee
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