First Up, a Win
Remember last week the House passed a group of Resolutions that included one designating Feb 14, 2023, as LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce day at the Capitol?
HR 155 was part of a “package” deal and was approved unanimously, but several people altered their votes afterward. While we appreciate those representatives trying to do the right thing after the fact, it doesn’t change the outcome of the vote, which was unanimous support for the Resolutions, including HR 155.
Did you even know that they could change the votes after the fact? They can and do! Here’s what SREC SD12 Jill Glover said about it:
“A little lesson in state government. When our representatives take a vote on the House floor but go back and “change” it later, that vote is meaningless. Only the one in real-time counts. The changing of the vote is only to appease those who might object. Rarely an elected official makes a mistake and votes the opposite of how they intended. But that is very rare.
Most of the time, they “change” their vote for record purposes to help them in the primary. This is why it is important to get screenshots when votes happen. The same goes for authoring bills. They can add their name to a bill even after the session ends in October!! Then they can say they were a co-author. Again, this is why screenshots are important. This type of game should be called out.”
“Let your yes be yes, and your no be no” Matt 5:37.”
This week the Resolutions Committee put forth another LGBTQ Resolution for the Thursday calendar, honoring a gay couple from Collin County for their activism for the cause.
HR85 was again bundled with a group of other resolutions. Several members publicly stated they would vote against the entire packet if that one was included, and many of you made phone calls objecting.
And it worked!
Rep. Plesa, who submitted the resolution, withdrew it, saying she “won’t allow a radical agenda of hatred and division to tarnish the resolution.” See her full statement here.
This was a win for us. Grassroots people spoke up, and House members stood up and said NO. Let’s leave the politics out of House Resolutions!
Other Legislative News This Week?
On Monday, the Senate State Affairs Committee met to hear testimony on several bills of interest – including SB175 (stop taxpayer-funded lobbyists), SB921 (prohibit ranked choice voting), and SB15 (protect women’s sports).
We had lots of friends testifying in support of these bills. All three were passed out of Committee 7-3. On to the Senate floor vote!
On Tuesday, the Senate passed SB2, the bill to restore penalties for election fraud back to a felony status. (last session, a last-minute amendment changed it from felony to misdemeanor). We need to convince the House (specifically Speaker Phelan) to pass it as well.
Last session, during one of the specials, Speaker Phelan stated that he had no interest in “re-litigating” the subject. Let’s make sure he is interested in doing it this time! (SB2 was received in the House on 3/15/23)
On Thursday, the Senate State Affairs Committee took testimony on Senator Campbell’s SB14 to protect children by stopping the gender modification of minors. Thanks to everyone who attended and testified in support of the bill. The Committee has not yet voted on it.
What’s Happening This Coming Week?
I’ll be at the Capitol with anyone who wants to join us on Tuesday and again on Wednesday.
HB98 will be heard in the Youth Health & Safety Committee on Monday. This is a BAD BILL! We need people to testify against it and/or make online comments.
We’ve already seen school districts conducting “mental health” assessments on kids, tracking them, collecting data, and sometimes selling the data to outside groups. This bill wants to allow the school district to be a Medicaid provider for mental health services, which would allow them to monetize the mental health services they are providing.
The left keeps pushing schools to completely take over every aspect of children’s lives. We must not let them! Here is an excerpt from the bill
Sec.A38.038.REIMBURSEMENT UNDER MEDICAID. The Health and Human Services Commission shall allow a school district to enroll as a provider under the medical assistance program under Chapter 32, Human Resources Code, to provide and receive reimbursement for the provision of mental health services to district students who are medical assistance recipients.
The job of school districts is to educate children, not be their healthcare provider!
Rep. Schatzline is asking for help getting a Committee Hearing on his HB 3570, requiring ID to access porn sites.
I will have a position paper to deliver to the Committee on Youth Health & Safety members. We’re also looking for co-authors on this bill, so you can talk to your own Representatives about that.
Lots of Committee Hearings happening on Tuesday. Of note are HB69 and HB928 regarding asset forfeiture in House Criminal Jurisprudence and HB900 regarding dirty books in schools in House Public Education.
There’s also HB636 in the House Committee on Community Safety, which allows election judges to carry guns to polling places.
After clicking the link, click on the calendar day to see the list of committees meeting that day.
Again – multiple Committees meeting in both Chambers.
Of note are the Senate Ed Committee considering multiple bills regarding the school choice issue, parental empowerment, and parents’ rights. Both House & Senate Transportation Committees meet on Wednesday, and our friend Terri Hall, with TURF will provide us a list of bills to support or oppose along with talking points.
Senate Committees Wednesday, 3/22 (*There are a lot of Education bills in the Education Committee. On Wednesday, I’ll have a list of recommendations for most of them.)
ACTION FOR EVERYONE
Attend and testify at the Committee on Youth Health & Safety, if possible, on Monday, 3/20, 2:00 pm, room E2.026. If you cannot attend, submit an online comment on the bill. Click on this link to comment. The link is open now and will probably remain open until the hearing is underway on Monday.
Contact members of the House Youth Health & Safety Committee to urge them to schedule a hearing for HB3570 (ID required to access porn sites)
Contact your own House Representatives and ask them to sign on to HB3570. Also, ask them to support SB2 in the House and demand that it be assigned to Committee, and a hearing held quickly.
Contact Speaker Phelan’s office ((512) 463-1000) and tell him he needs to pass SB2 in the House to restore the penalties for election fraud. He may not be interested in doing it – but the people of Texas are.
Review the bills being heard in Committee this week (links above). Find bills that interest you or fit your priorities, then oppose or support them at the kiosks or contact committee members.
Remember, for House Bills in Committee, you can make online comments about the bills being heard. Links are at the bottom of each Committee schedule.
For guidance on bills, go to the RPT website, click on TXLEGE, and download the list of approved bills that fit the RPT Leg Priorities. Also, find there the weekly report from the Leg Priorities Committee and talking points for the priority issues.
REMINDER! (It’s NEXT week!)
TRUE TEXAN DAY AT THE CAPITOL, MARCH 28, 2023
Get ready to show your True Texan-ness at the Capitol on March 28.
Join True Texas Project Citizen Advocates for TRUE TEXAN DAY at the Capitol! We’ll have a full day of activities for you, including a tour of the Capitol Building, a meeting with a State-Wide elected officer, a tour of the Supreme Court Building, legislative updates from legislators, visits to your own House Representatives and Senators, and some fun games along the way.
Students are welcome; this is a great opportunity to introduce them to state government and basic civics. Registration is required so we can make plans to accommodate everyone, but there is no fee involved. Please enter the name of each person attending and the age of under 16. (example: Jason Smith, age 12)
Thank you to everyone who has been showing up at the Capitol on a regular basis. We’ve developed a nice little group who are mostly coming every week. But we need more!
I realize most people cannot come every week, but maybe you can arrange to come once or twice during the session. Or maybe you are helping by making contacts from home. If you are – thank you! Our strength is showing, and we are making a difference!
Personal story – I visit a lot of offices when I’m there, and it just makes my heart sing when I go into an office, introduce myself, and have the people respond, “Oh, your people were just in here last week.” or “Oh, I know True Texas Project!”
Please know that it’s working, the TTP message is spreading, and we are having an impact.
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