Legislative Priorities Report for 11.18.21

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Legislative Priorities Report November 18, 2021

We are pleased to welcome Representative Ryan Guillen to the Republican Party.  Though Rep. Guillen has represented the Rio Grande Valley for nearly 20 years as a Democrat in the Texas Legislature, he has been a staunch advocate for life, gun rights, school choice, and the fight against woke culture in our schools. He supported the 2011 sonogram bill, the 2013 20-week abortion ban, and , this most recent session, the Heartbeat bill, protecting biological girls in k-12 sports, and was a joint author of Constitutional Carry.  In fact, he even supported Rep. Bryan Slaton’s rules amendment that would have required a vote to abolish abortion before the legislature could take any action to rename roads and highways—a measure that more than 30 Republicans even refused to support.

The RPT was integral to the effort to secure this legislative pickup. Chairman Matt Rinaldi, who served with Rep. Guillen in the legislature, has been working with him for weeks to convince him his former party was out of step with his values.

We look forward to his support for our remaining Legislative Priorities and working with him in the future.  This is yet the latest sign that many in the Hispanic community share our values and, as we continue to engage with them, they will join us in voting for Republican candidates to secure our liberties and preserve our foundational principles.

In other news, Biden’s unconstitutional OHSA rule mandating employers with more than 100 employees requiring them to be vaccinated has, thankfully, been temporarily suspended by the administration. This news follows a stay by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Neither of these rulings are permanent, nor does it settle the underlying issue. Prior to this federal rule, we had already seen many Texans lose their jobs as businesses have been acting in defiance of Governor Abbott’s Executive Order banning vaccine mandates.  

The problem is “woke” companies are simply ignoring the Governor’s Order and proceeding with their own mandates without Biden or OSHA telling them to do so. In fact, most healthcare facilities are not even offering exemptions, nor are colleges and universities. 

In Florida, Gov. DeSantis is fighting these mandates by calling a special session to ban vaccine mandates and Biden’s unconstitutional overreach. According to Gov. DeSantis:

“This is a rule that is not consistent with the Constitution and is not legally authored through congressional statutes,” he (DeSantis) said, adding that the federal government “can’t just unilaterally impose medical policy under the guise of workplace regulation.”

Four bills have been filed in the Florida legislature to protect citizens from unconstitutional mandates, and their special session started Nov. 15th. One of the bills would begin a withdrawal process from OHSA due to this abuse of power.

The Republican Party of Texas continues to call on Governor Abbott to bring the Legislature back into session for a #FourDay4th.  According to the Chair of the Special Committee for Banning Vaccine Mandates, Becky Green, SD17:

The RPT Special Committee on Vaccine Mandates is hard at work helping to create the political will for a 4th Special Session. Meanwhile, real Texans are losing real jobs because they are refusing to give in to medical tyranny.  Companies across Texas are ignoring Governor Abbott’s executive order and implementing forced COVID-19 vaccination policies for their employees even though the OSHA vaccine mandate ruling has been stayed by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Biden doesn’t need to win this battle in court if private employers will do his bidding without an OSHA rule! This is why Governor Abbott must call a 4th Special Session NOW—it can be accomplished in as little as 4 days—to legislatively protect the rights of all Texas employees. This will also take the pressure off Texas employers who have to enforce these rules! It’s a win-win.

We are pleased that 20 of our Republican Representatives and Senators now join us in calling for a fourth session.  Join us in thanking these members!

20 Members of the Texas Legislature Supporting a #FourDay4th

Action Items:

  • Please call
    • Governor Abbott (800-843-5789 or 512-463-1782)
    • Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (512-463-0001)
    • House Speaker Dade Phelan (512-463-1000)
    • Your individual Texas Senators and House Members. Ask them to make a public statement (press release, Facebook post, tweet etc) in support of a #FourDay4th Special Session to pass HB 168 by Rep. Brian Harrison. Texans don’t have time to wait!

We know many Texans continue to lose jobs and it is unacceptable.  You should not have to choose between a medical procedure you do not want and keeping your job.  The Governor’s Executive Order is not the long-term solution nor is it working.  We need legislation.

For God and Texas,

Jill Glover
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee

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