Today is the 109th day of the 140 day Texas Legislature 88th Session! If I did the math right, that means we have 31 days left. You are going to start seeing things move very fast! If you don’t pay attention – you could miss it!
Be prepared to watch for daily updates from TTP on our Citizen Advocate Chat group on Facebook, and from all of your favorite single issue groups. Everyone is putting out legislative alerts and you have to be ready to move fast.
On Tuesday the 25th, we had a good sized group of TTP folks (including FIVE new first timers) attend our mini training, and followed up by delivering gambling petitions, and then we joined the RPT in their rally to stop sexualization of children. About 350 people were there for the event, with speakers in the Auditorium, followed by dinner and a prayer service, hosted by Rep. Steve Toth.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PAST WEEK
SEXUALIZATION OF CHILDREN:
HB1686 (SUPPORT)- the ban gender modification of children bill passed out of committee (a major priority for TTP & RPT!), but has not yet been placed on a calendar for a floor vote. We have information that this will happen very soon, so if you see an alert about this bill, it means get yourself to Austin that day. We will want to fill the gallery with red shirts in support of this bill. If the bill gets to a floor vote, there is no Republican who can afford to vote against it. It’s THAT important to R. voters! We can get this done!
SB12 (SUPPORT) – stops drag shows with children. Passed Senate, now in House State Affairs Committee.
SB1072 (SUPPORT) – prohibits instruction or conversation related to sexual orientation or gender in schools. Pending in Senate Public Education.
SB163 (SUPPORT) – removes the sunset clause on parent opt-in for human sexuality instruction. Passed Senate, received in the House.
HB2795 (OPPOSE)- the bill to extend public/private toll contract on a road that is paid for to pay for another road! (musical chairs for toll funding!), passed in the House, and we need to stop it in the Senate. The vote was 99 to 46. Watch for future messages about how to kill this bill in the Senate.
SB8 (DRAW YOUR OWN CONLUSIONS) – ESA’s and other school choice issues. Passed Senate, referred to House Public Ed, no hearing yet.
SB17 (SUPPORT) – the bill to stop colleges and universities from using DEI in hiring decisions, or have a DEI department, passed in the Senate, and is received in the House – no committee assignment.
HB1243 (SUPPORT) – restores illegal voting to felony. Passed House 4/27. Now goes to Senate.
HB5231 & SB990 (SUPPORT) – eliminates countywide voting & returns to precinct-based voting. HB2531 in House Elections (no hearing so it’s probably dead). SB990 Passed Senate, referred to House Elections, no hearing yet.
HB1635 (OPPOSE)– Pulls state funding from the Republican Party of Texas if we don’t follow the election law dictates of the Biden administration or RNC. Passed House, referred to Senate State Affairs. We must stop this one in the Senate!
HB4636 (OPPOSE) – Gives county chairs power to appoint precinct chairs to vacant positions over the objection of a majority of their County Executive Committee. Reported favorably out of House Elections Committee. It will go to Senate now, and we must stop it there.
It’s not showing in TLO yet, but we have inside information that the House State Affairs Committee held a quick, unrecorded meeting Thursday and passed out of committee HB20, HB7, and HB82. All good border protection bills! Check back on TLO to confirm. If this is true – they all move to Senate and have a good chance of passing there.
SB147 (SUPPORT) – the bill to stop Chinese government ownership of Texas land, passed in the Senate and has been received in the House. No committee assignment yet in the House.
HB27 (SUPPORT) – would remove DA’s who refuse to prosecute certain crimes, has passed the House and now goes to the Senate.
PENDING IN COMMITTEES
SB2 (SUPPORT) – restores illegal voting to felony. In House Elections, no hearing yet
HB1507 (SUPPORT) – prohibits any discussions or celebrations related to sexual preference in public schools. Pending in House Public Ed.
HB2991 (SUPPORT) – the good bill to reform toll billing, is pending in Transportation committee.
HJR146 (SUPPORT) – a bill regarding the right to use cash is stuck in the House committee on pensions. It’s companion bill, SJR67 has not had a hearing in the Senate yet.
SJR66 (Support) – allows patients to refuse medical treatment, including vaccinations, is pending in Senate Health & Human Services committee.
SB2086 (SUPPORT) – makes your DNA YOUR property is pending in Senate Health & Human Services committee.
CLEARED COMMITTEE BUT STUCK IN HOUSE CALENDARS
HB3502 (SUPPORT) – health benefit to cover gender modification adverse affects.
HB3570 (SUPPORT) – requires ID to access porn sites
HB3614 (SUPPORT) allows chaplains to be school counselors
HB4520 (SUPPORT) regarding educator convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for the sale, distribution, or display of harmful material to a minor.
WHAT’S ON BOARD FOR NEXT WEEK?
As of this writing, there are not a lot of committee hearings scheduled. I’m sure that will change. So use your TLO skills to see what committee is doing what, and then proceed accordingly. You can make on line comments on bills in House Committees, you can register support or opposition at kiosks, and you can testify at hearings.
SPECIFIC ACTION FOR WEEK 17 (May 1 – May 5)
1) Contact House Calendars Committee:
Ask them to schedule HB3570, HB3502,HB3614, and HB4520 linked above.
If you can be at the Capitol, go to Calendars Committee office, E2.148, and fill out a “green” card for each of these bills. If you cannot be at the Capitol, please contact the members by phone or email.
House Calendars Committee
|Rep. Ana Hernandez||[email protected]||512-463-0614|
|Rep. Toni Rose||[email protected]||512-463-0664|
|Rep. Ed Thompson||[email protected]||52-463-0707|
|Rep. Jared Patterson||[email protected]||512-463-0694|
|Rep. David Cook||[email protected]||512-463-0371|
|Paige Higerd, Clerk||[email protected]||512-463-0758|
|Rep. Ann Johnson||[email protected]||512-463-0389|
|Rep. Dustin Burrows||[email protected]||512-463-0542|
|Rep. Cole Hefner||[email protected]||512-463-0271|
|Rep. Shelby Slawson||[email protected]||512-463-0628|
|Rep. James Talarico||[email protected]||512-463-0821|
|Rep. Charlie Geren||[email protected]||512-463-0610|
2) Watch for updates on the floor vote in the House for
HB1686 (ban gender modification of children), then try to get to the Capitol that day in a red shirt to show support. If you cannot go – contact YOUR House Rep and tell them to vote YES on HB1686.
***********************UPDATE SUNDAY APRIL 30*****************************************
Action item #2 has changed – Instead of HB1686, the House will vote on SB14 (the identical Senate bill) on TUESDAY MAY 1. We need as many people as possible in the House Gallery that day, wearing red shirts in support of this bill. Republican members cannot afford to vote no on this bill with thousands of Republican eyes on them. Please get to the Capitol on Tuesday if you can – be in the gallery for the vote.
3) Review the list of bills pending in committees above. I’m not going to list all the committee names and contacts here, but you can find them on the TLO. I hope that most of you are proficient enough by now to know how to find information there. Here’s what you can do. (remember – you can do on-line comments for any bill being heard in a House committee. Even Senate bills when they are in House committees. The links will be on the committee hearing schedule, at the bottom of the page.)
- Contact the committees that are sitting on bills. House bills that have not had a hearing yet are probably dead. BUT, there is still time for Senate bills in House committees. And there is time for bills that have had a hearing, but are still pending. May 8 is the last day for House Committees to report House bills out. So you have 1 week left for those House bills pending in House committees.
- For bills that have passed House and received in Senate – contact YOUR Senator, and committee members if assigned, to ask for their support or opposition. There are few bad bills listed above that have passed the House and we need to stop in the Senate.
4) Tuesday May 2 –
meet us at the Capitol at 10 am in the Rotunda. I will have a plan of action for the day, based on updated information on all the bills that we’re watching. *********UPDATE: Be in the House Gallery as early as possible wearing a red shirt******************
Thanks everyone! We’re seeing some good stuff happening for our priorities but not enough. We need lots of participation and engagement. Please do what you can, and as always, pray for our safety and our efforts.
Fran Rhodes, President, True Texas Project