That’s a Wrap! (Wait – maybe not)
What the heck is going on with the Texas legislature? Have you been watching? We saw Dade Phelan gavel wielding while apparently inebriated, then in final days we got the impeachment of Kan Paxton, followed by adjournment Sine Die on Monday the 29th. Then, just hours later, Gov Abbott calls a special session. Both chambers gavel in on Tuesday the 30th at noon, pass a couple of bills each, and then the House adjourns Sine Die again! The Senate is set to convene again today.
It seems the House, the Lt Governor and the Governor are all at war with each other over property tax solutions. The House adjournment basically thumbs their noses at the Senate, saying “take it or leave it”. LG Patrick’s response is “no way!”. It’s a stand off.
One thing you can say about the 88th Session – it’s never boring!
Here’s a summary of what the Session did or did not accomplish in terms of the TTP priorities we set at the beginning of the session. There are many other bills on other issues that we could talk about, but I’ve limited this review to our TTP priorities list.
Support legislation that protects life from conception to natural death.
- HB3162 – Changes the 10-day rule in the Advanced Directive Act to 25-day rule. We’ve been working on this for years!
- Stopped multiple bills that would have weakened or eliminated previous pro-life legislation
Support legislation that stops the sexualization of children and prohibits the practice of gender modification for minors.
- SB14 – Ban chemical and surgical gender transition treatments on kids
- HB900 – Keeping the Dirty Books out of schools
- SB15 – No biological men competing in women’s sports
- SB12 – No kids at drag shows
- HB4520 – Consequences for educators who harm children
- HB1181 – Restrict access to sexual websites for minors
- HB111 – Repeals the obscenity Exemption for educators
- Several bills regarding parents rights in sex education – all failed
Support legislation that promotes real property tax relief.
Complete loss on this topic – Both the House and Senate bills proposed did not make it through the process because of infighting between Governor, Lt. Governor and Speaker. Now subject of first special session.
However! HB5, the one that brings back Chapter 313 corporate welfare did pass, giving tax relief to corporations but not Texas Citizens.
Support legislation that ends the practice of taxpayer-funded lobbyists.
Complete loss on this topic – Only 1 bill was filed, SB175, to eliminate taxpayer funded lobbyists. It passed Senate and then was left pending and died in House Committee
Support legislation that will truly secure the southern border.
- SB602 – Gives Border Patrol authority to arrest, search, and seize.
- SB1403 – Interstate Compact, build border wall, share state intelligence
- SB1900 – Designates cartels, other organizations as foreign terrorists
- HB20 – comprehensive reform of border policies including Border Dept.
- HB7 – Some of HB20 language added to it, still problematic – but it died on the clock. Now subject of first special session.
Multiple other good bills regarding border security did not make it
So that’s the wrap up of the 88th. We did see some significant progress on the protect children front, but most of the other priorities were only given lip service if anything at all. Gov. Abbott promises to call multiple special sessions, each addressing 1 or 2 topics, so maybe by the end of it all, we’ll see more progress. A girl can dream!
Thanks for joining me on this legislative journey once again. If the special sessions give opportunity for public involvement, we’ll be back at it during the summer. Stay tuned!
Fran Rhodes, President