Legislative Priorities Report for 4.24.23

Last summer at the Republican Party of Texas state convention, delegates voted “Protect Our Elections” as the top legislative priority.  This is the second state convention in a row that election integrity has been the number one priority. 

The current priority reads, “Restore felony penalties and enact civil penalties for Election Code violations, which shall be enforceable by any Texas jurisdiction, including the Texas Attorney General. Require citizenship verification of each voter.  Restrict the distribution of mail-in ballots to only disabled, military, and citizens that are out of state.  Reduce the time allowed for early voting and eliminate the three-day gap between early voting and election day.  Establish closed primaries in Texas.  As technology evolves, we encourage the passage of legislation that ensures the security of our elections.”

In the March 2022 primary, securing our elections was also top ranked, receiving 95.7% support from over two million Texas Republican voters.  During the November 2022 general election, we saw many issues arise in two of our largest counties, Harris and Dallas, indicating a need for new legislation to address voting fraud and election irregularities.

The Senate has passed multiple excellent bills that address many of these concerns. Yet the House Elections Committee appears to be reluctant to vote out any bills that address our priority.  There is a very small contingent of people within the party (yes, Republicans) who do not want these bills to see the light of day.  This is wrong, and we encourage Chairman Smith to stop listening to bad advice and begin moving these bills.

Here is the current status of Elections bills:

Bills Being Held in House Elections – Need Action:

  • SB 2 – Restore Illegal Voting Felony Penalty (in House Elections)
  • HB 1243 – Restore Illegal Voting Felony Penalty (in House Elections)
  • SB 921 and Companion HB 3611 – Bans Ranked Choice Voting (both in House Elections)
  • SB 1070 and Companion HB 2809 – Interstate Cross-Check that removes Texas from ERIC (both in House Elections)
  • HB 5231 – Eliminates countywide voting and returns voting back to precinct-based voting (in House Elections)

There are also two bad elections bills that we are very concerned about and need action.  Both bills are objectionable as they involve the legislature interfering in our own Republican State Party business.  Again, a small minority is advocating for these bills.  Bills and current status are:

  • HB 1635 – Pulls state funding from the Republican Party of Texas if we don’t follow the election law dictates of the Biden administration or RNC (Passed House and Sent to Senate)
  • HB 4636 – Gives county chairs power to appoint precinct chairs to vacant positions over the objection of a majority of their County Executive Committee (House Elections Hearing Completed and set as Pending Business)

Last Thursday, our first Legislative Priority bill passed in the House, HB 900.  This bill prohibits sexually explicit books in Texas schools.  More bills relating to the Stop Sexualizing Texas Kids are:

SB 12 by Senator Hughes is the only bill related to sexually oriented performances in the presence of minors that is currently moving.  This bill has a strong definition of “drag performance,” prohibiting all sexually oriented performances on public grounds and in front of minors.  It is enforced through both criminal and civil penalties.  SB 12 passed the Senate and is now in the House State Affairs Committee. 

SB 1072 by Senator Hughes, prohibits instruction and conversations related to sexual orientation and gender, and expands the Student Health Advisory Councils’ responsibilities to include policy recommendations regarding when and how human sexuality can be discussed outside of health class.  SB 1072 was heard in Senate Public Education and is pending.

SB 163 by Senator Campbell amends Sec 28.004 of the Education Code to remove the sunset clause on parent opt-in to human sexuality instruction.  SB 163 was recently passed by the Senate and received by the House.

HB 1507 by Rep. Ken King, prohibits any discussions or celebrations related to sexual preference in public schools.  It has strong enforcement, including fines and sanctions.  HB 1507 was heard in House Public Education and left pending.

SB 1562 co-authored by Sen. Hancock and Sen. Huffman, will make it a felony to knowingly persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a child younger than 18 years of age to engage in specific sexual conduct that violates existing penal codes related to sexual exploitation. SB 1562 passed the Senate and was assigned to House Criminal Jurisprudence, which is chaired by a far-left Democrat.

Action Steps:

  1. Call Chairman Reggie Smith and request that he pass the above 5 LP bills out of his committee and not vote out HB 4636.
  2. Call Senate State Affairs Committee members and tell them not to take up HB 1635.
  3. Call the Senate and House Committees mentioned above and urge the passage of pending bills.
  4. Attend the Day of Action and Prayer this Tuesday, April 25, for Stop Sexualizing Texas Kids.  For a full schedule of events and more detailed information, www.millstoneproject.info.

Time is now short to get our priority bills across the finish line.  Thank you for continuing to engage with your Representatives and Senators, it makes a difference! 

Finally, would you consider a $3 donation? We do our best not to ask for money in the LP Reports because your grassroots activism is already worth so much, but with session in crunch time and so many volunteers working overtime, we could use a little help. You can donate HERE. Thank you.

For God and Texas,

Jill Glover
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee

To receive future SREC Legislative Priority Updates directly in your mailbox each week, sign up here.

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