Legislative Priorities Report for 4.3.23

The Legislative Session moves very quickly; before you know it, time is running short.  Many of the bills filed will not get past the first step of having a committee hearing.  Grassroots activist Tom Glass has put together an excellent timeline demonstrating our current urgency.

Thu, Apr 20 (101st day) House – last day for committee to hear a bill and have a realistic shot at passing the House
Thu, Apr 27 (108th day) House – last day for a committee to report a bill and have a realistic shot of passing the House
Fri, May 5 (116th day) House – last day for a bill to be reported out of committee and have a long-shot chance of making it through Calendars to the House floor
Mon, May 8 (119th day) House – last day for committees to report HBs and HJRs
Thu, May 11 (122nd day) House – last day to consider 2nd reading on HBs daily/supplemental calendar
Fri, May 12 (123rd day) House – last day to consider 2d reading on local & consent calendar
Fri, May 19 (130th day) House – last local & consent calendar 2nd and 3rd readings
Sat, May 20 (131st day) House – Last day for House committees to report SBs/SJRs
Tue, May 23 (134th day) House – last day for House to consider SB/SJRs on daily/supplemental calendar
Tue, May 24 (135th day) House – last day to consider 3rd reading of SBs/SJRs
Senate – last day for Senate to consider all bills/JRs
Fri, May 26 (137th day) House – last day to consider Senate amendments
Sun, May 28 (139th day) Senate – last day to concur on House amendments
Mon, May 29 (140th day) – Last day of Texas 88th Legislature”

We will begin narrowing down our LP bill focus, asking you to help get our most significant bills over the finish line. 

Last week, HB 900 by Rep. Jared Patterson, known as the READER Act, which would ban sexually explicit and violent books from public schools, was passed out of committee with bipartisan support. We look forward to this bill coming to the House floor and its swift passage.

This week, we have several bills protecting children moving in the Senate.  SB 14, Sen. Campbell’s bill to ban gender modification for children, is on the intent calendar, meaning it will be heard on the floor in the coming days.

Also, SB 12 by Senator Hughes restricts drag shows on public property and in front of minors.  Unlike some of the early bills filed, Hughes has done an excellent job defining what a sexually oriented performance is as it relates to drag.  It has strong enforcement, including both civil and criminal penalties. It was easily voted out of the Senate State Affairs Committee last week and is currently on the intent calendar.  

SB 1562 by Senators Hancock and Huffman creates a criminal offense of child sexual grooming in the Texas penal code. It will become a felony to knowingly persuade, induce, entice, or coerce, or attempt to 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 the sexual exploitation of children. This bill has a hearing on Tuesday in Criminal Justice. 

Action Steps:

  1. Contact your Senator and ask them to vote yes on SB 12.
  2. Contact members of the Senate Criminal Justice committee and ask them to pass SB 1562 out of committee on Tuesday:
    Chair: John Whitmire D        512-463-0115
    Vice Chair: Pete Flores R      512-463-0124
    Paul Bettencourt R               512-463-0107
    Juan  Hinojosa D                  512-463-0120 
    Joan Huffman R                   512-463-0117
    Phil King R                           512-463-0110
    Boris L. Miles D                    512-463-0113
  3. Last week, we asked you to call and submit public comments on HB 1686, which would ban the gender modification of children. We have heard from a capitol insider that over 8,000 public comments were submitted, with roughly 80% in favor of the bill! While the bill was heard in committee, it has not been passed out yet. Please call the committee members and ask them to pass the bill out of committee quickly.  
    Chair:  Stephanie Klick 512-463-0599
    Vice Chair:  Liz Campos 512-463-0452
    Nicole Collier 512-463-0716
    Jacey Jetton 512-463-0710
    Ann Johnson 512-463-0389
    Jolanda Jones 512-463-0524
    Venton  Jones 512-463-0586
    Tom Oliverson Tom.Oliverson@house.texas.gov (email Rep. Oliverson and thank him for authoring the bill)
    Four Price 512-463-0470
    Reggie Smith 512-463-0297
    Tony Tinderholt 512-463-0624

For God and Texas,

Jill Glover
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee

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