Legislative Priorities Report May 28, 2021
We really were hoping for heroes. However – yet, again — here we are at the end of a session with precious little to show for our Republican Legislative Priorities. We have one remaining chance for Election Integrity. This priority was ranked number one by our state delegates at our state convention. The big bill we have remaining, SB 7, an omnibus bill to reform and improve our election system is due out of conference committee today. We are looking forward to seeing the language of this bill and praying our legislators get this priority right!
The bill to ban pediatric sex change procedures (Child and Gender Modification) was finally assigned to Rep. Klick’s Committee, but Chair Phelan did so after the deadline for the bill to move through committees in time for a floor vote. Considering Chairman Klick had HB 1399 in her committee for several weeks, it is clear neither Rep. Klick nor Chair Phelan had any intention of passing this bill. The Governor has never made a public statement condemning child sterilization and butchery.
No matter what excuse your representative may give you for this priority not passing, there is plenty of blame to go around as very few did much to support it. In fact, the Calendars Committee aided and abetted killing this priority, as they had HB 1399 for three weeks without voting it out of committee. The Calendars Committee Republicans consist of Reps. Burrows, Patterson, Craddick, Harris, Hefner, Leman, and Slawson.
Religious Freedom hasn’t fared much better. Only one bill currently has passed to Governor Abbott’s office, HJR 7 by Rep. Hancock to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot prohibiting churches from being shutdown during a pandemic. This was such a critical area in which to get some protections passed. At the national level, HR 5, also known as the Equality Act, is being prevented from passing the Senate by one vote. The Biden administration is finding all kinds of ways to restrict our religious liberties. Republicans had the opportunity to firmly stand for protection freedoms of conscience and religion for our citizens, but they failed.
Our priority to protect our history by ensuring our monuments remain in place has also had a sad showing. We started with nine bills, and only one has passed and is on its way to the Governor’s desk. HB 3584 by Rep. Murr. This bill provides civil penalties for damages to historical markers. The bottom line is we were unable to protect the Alamo, Cenotaph, or other monuments.
Our one School Choice bill died in the Senate after the Lt. Governor decided he did not have the votes. Unfortunately, we did not get to see which Senators may have opposed that bill since no vote was taken.
The bill to ban Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying went down in flames after Chair Paddie diluted it beyond recognition. It died after being postponed on the floor. Rep. Paddie was beyond disrespectful to the House bill’s author, Rep. Middleton, by putting the Representative’s birthdate as the date on which to take the bill back up. These are the kinds of shenanigans that denigrate the dignity of our state government, of which the citizens are undeserving.
Constitutional Carry is the major bright spot of the session. HB 1927 has been sent to the Governor’s desk and we are eagerly anticipating his signature. But who was really responsible for this priority passing? You were . . . the grassroots. Had there not been tens of thousands of phone calls made to Lt. Gov. Patrick’s office, we would not have this bill.
The additional priority, named by our Chairman, Lt. Col. West, was Executive Overreach. After a disastrous House bill was replaced in Senate committee by much improved language from Sen. Birdwell, the bill was referred to the Conference Committee for House and Senate differences to be worked out. Again, we are praying for a miracle that the Republican legislators get a meaningful bill that limits the Executive branch from taking away our rights during a pandemic and calls the legislature into session instead.
Tuesday night was the deadline for the House voting out the remaining Senate bills. The Democrats used a parliamentary procedure called “chubbing” to run out the clock and prevent a vote on SB 26. This bill would have protected biological females in sports from having to compete with boys who want to call themselves girls. The Democrats were gleefully waving the transgender flag. Our impotent Republicans looked on.
Call the Governor and let him know that we insist on a special session being called to address the Republican Legislative Priorities that did not get passed this session.
Governor Abbott: 512-463-2000.
For God and Texas,
SREC, SD 12
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee
To receive future SREC Legislative Priority Updates directly in your mailbox each week, sign up here.