Legislative Priorities Report for August 9, 2021
The first Special Session of the 87th Legislature has ended, and the second one began Saturday at noon. Exactly nothing was accomplished in the first special session as the Democrats went on holiday, and the only penalty incurred was Democrat Speaker Pro Temp Joe Moody was relieved of his duties.
The Senate, having a quorum, did gavel in and the Election Integrity bill SB 1 is scheduled for Monday’s State Affairs committee meeting. They also voted to suspend public hearings for House bills that have already had a hearing in the Senate. The bills would have to meet the requirement of having the same subject as previously heard bills. Presumably this allows for moving bills quickly should the House obtain a quorum.
In the House, 81 members were present and 68 absent, so again no quorum. Interestingly, there was no motion made for a call of the House. This is a procedure which compels the missing House members to immediately come to the floor or be tracked down by the sergeant-at-arms and escorted to the chambers or be arrested. A motion was made to adjourn the House until Monday at 4:00 pm. It is uncertain why the Speaker believes there will be a quorum on Monday, when there are no incentives for the missing Democrats to return.
We did hear from Governor Abbott on the priority to ban gender modification. On Thursday, he released a request to the Department of Family Protective Services to determine if genital mutilation of a child through gender reassignment surgery constitutes child abuse.
Considering the appalling court ruling recently in the case of James Younger, granting full temporary custody to his mother who wants to transition James to a girl, this is a step in the right direction. There are hundreds of children, if not thousands, across the state of Texas at risk of similar abuse.
We pray that the response from DFPS will be “yes” regarding reassignment surgery constituting child abuse, but we also urge the definition to include the administration of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for the purposes of transition. Planned Parenthood and other providers are prescribing these pharmaceuticals, making this is a growing profit center exploiting disturbed children. Regardless of the response from DFPS, we implore Governor Abbott to make the obvious moral decision of adding this RPT priority to the second special session.
- Please continue to meet with your elected officials individually and in public events. A list of questions to ask is in the June 18, 2021 Legislative Priorities report (available here).
- Ask your Representative or Senator how he is supporting our Legislative Priorities. Look at the Assessment Report on each legislator on our website for guidance (available here).
- Ask your representative if he supports removing Democrats as committee chairs as a consequence for breaking quorum, and if he supports a rules change to prevent Democrats from holding committee chairs.
- Call Governor Abbott and ask him to add banning gender modification practices for minors to the special session.
Thank you for all you do for Texas, and we pray God’s favor on our state in this difficult time when liberty is at risk.
For God and Texas,
SREC, SD 12
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee
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