Legislative Priorities Report for August 23, 2021
Last Thursday, a quorum was finally achieved in the House when just enough Texas Democrats decided that it might be a good idea to return to work. Soon after announcing the quorum, Speaker Phelan assigned bills to House committees and recessed until Monday at 4:00pm.
The Republican Party of Texas has two priorities that will be heard in committees this week, Election Integrity and Religious Freedom. SB 1, an omnibus election integrity bill, will be heard Monday morning in the House Select Committee for Constitutional Rights and Remedies. This committee meeting begins at 8:00 am and can be watched here: https://house.texas.gov/video-audio/
On Tuesday, the House will hear a bill meeting our Religious Freedom priority, SB 2. It requires public school students compete in interscholastic athletic competitions based on biological sex. This bill will be heard in the Public Health committee. The hearing can also be watched at the link above.
While we do have good bills filed meeting many of our other priorities, they will not be assigned to committees by Speaker Phelan unless Governor Abbott adds them to the call.
We were really hoping the governor would add banning gender modification, especially since he asked Department of Family Protective Services for an opinion if surgeries on minor children intended for sex change is child abuse. They responded that it is of course abuse, and now we need to follow up in putting this into legislation.
Governor Abbott did not address use of puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones on children for sex transition. But Representative Slaton did send a letter to DFPS asking if its assessment included those practices. Thus far, there has been no response. Five bills have been filed in the House and Senate that meet our priority language to ban gender modification practices that include chemicals and surgeries. We request Governor Abbott add this priority to the call so these bills can be considered.
We also have bills filed on monument protection, abolition of abortion, and banning taxpayer funded lobbying. None of these will be heard unless they are added to the call of the special session.
We have two weeks left in this session and we hope the Legislature can get productive work done. Until now, the Democrats have controlled the proceedings. Hopefully, that will now change. We urge Speaker Phelan to not reward the Democrats in any way for their unacceptable behavior, including compromising on any bill language.
- Support SB 1 and SB 2. If possible, go in person to testify. Otherwise, please email or call the members of the committees hearing these bills and urge passage out of committee. (Find your Representative here)
- Call or email your Representative and ask them to vote for these bills.
- Contact Governor Abbott and ask him to add banning Gender Modification to the special session call. 512-463-2000
For God and Texas,
SREC, SD 12
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee
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