Legislative Priorities Report June 6, 2021
Last summer, thousands of delegates — representing many more thousands of Republican voters across the state of Texas — gathered and selected their top eight most critical items for our Republican legislators to address in the 87th Legislative Session.
These top eight items were:
1. Election Integrity
2. Religious Freedom
3. Children and Gender Modification (banning child sex-change practices)
4. Abolition of Abortion
5. Constitutional Carry
6. Monument Protection
7. School Choice
8. Ban Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying
In this session, over 1,000 bills will be sent to the Governor, passed by our State Representatives and Senators. We had 11 bills that were sent to the Governor’s desk that pertained to the priorities. Our number one priority, Election Integrity, had one bill that fit the priority language, although there were a few other bills passed regarding the safeguarding of elections. Our big bill, SB 7, died when the Democrats walked out at the last minute, killing the bill. Keep in mind that this was an emergency priority of the Governor and could have been passed far earlier in the session.
We had 7 bills passed for Religious Freedom, although arguably many of these bills are redundant in regard to freedoms we already enjoy in our Texas and U.S. Constitutions.
We did not have any bills passed protecting freedoms of conscience for healthcare providers.
The most appalling failure was that of protecting children from so-called “sex changes,” by puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sterilizing and mutilating surgery by medical butchers. That our legislators could not see fit to prevent this child abuse is beyond any rational understanding. Reps. Toth and Krause had good bills, as did Sens. Perry and Hall. These bills were slow walked by Reps. Klick, Burrows, Phelan, and the Calendars Committee. The Senate did a decent job getting bills heard and over to the House, and Rep. Slaton did his best to get amendments added to other bills to protect kids. A shell game was played as the House reps moved various bills around to eat up the time.
We had no true Abolition of Abortion bills passed, although we did pass a “Heartbeat Bill” and one known as the “trigger” bill, that bans abortion if Roe v. Wade is repealed. Again, arguably, abortion is not a right under the Constitution. If Texas actually agreed to follow it, we would not need this bill. However, if we can save babies’ lives then this bill will be a huge success.
The only bill that largely fulfilled one of our priorities, Constitutional Carry, was HB 1927. This bill, vigorously championed by Rep. Matt Schaeffer, will allow permitless carry by those over 21, with some exceptions. This is a big win by the grassroots who made thousands of calls and testified for hours. Rachel Malone, of Gunowners of America, led the fight, aided by many other grassroots groups and coalitions. It was wonderful to see so many rally around restoring a freedom guaranteed to us by the Second Amendment.
Monument Protection got one small bill protecting historical markers, but largely went down in flames along with Banning Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying. The primary person responsible for killing this priority was Rep. Chris Paddie, who kept SB 10 in his committee until the last minute, then made substantial changes to the bill so that it protected lawyers. It never got a vote on the floor.
It is very important to understand that the whole legislative process — under the current Republican leadership in Austin, and, by and large, our legislature — carries out the will of the Governor and Lt. Governor. The House Speaker works with them to accomplish their own legislative priorities, not those of the Republican voters of Texas who sent them there. Here is the proof, courtesy of Jeremy Kitchens.
We have heard some of our Representatives blame the Legislative Council for sloppy and slow bill work. Well, that excuse doesn’t hold water. The Legislative Council is co-chaired by Speaker Phelan and Lt. Gov. Patrick. So, if there was incompetence that sabotaged the bills, then it is hard to believe it was not intentional.
This session was not a failure by the people. You all did a fantastic job letting your wishes be known. I believe that when Republican voters are told the truth then you will do what is right, and you did. Thank you for all your hard work.
The special session for Election Integrity and other priorities gives our elected officials a second chance. Let’s pray they finish the job we have asked them to do, for the sake of our state and country.
I’m going to take a little break but will begin our Legislative Priority Reports again when the session is called. In the meantime, please call the Governor and Lt. Governor and tell them to put the rest of our priorities on the agenda.
For God and Texas,
SREC, SD 12
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee
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