Legislative Priorities Report for 6.6.21
Last summer, thousands of delegates — representing many more thousands of Republican voters across the state of Texas — gathered and selected their top eight most critical items for our Republican legislators to address in the 87th Legislative Session.
These top eight items were:
1. Election Integrity
2. Religious Freedom
3. Children and Gender Modification (banning child sex-change practices)
4. Abolition of Abortion
5. Constitutional Carry
6. Monument Protection
7. School Choice
8. Ban Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying
In this session, over 1,000 bills will be sent to the Governor, passed by our State Representatives and Senators. We had 11 bills that were sent to the Governor’s desk that pertained to the priorities. Our number one priority, Election Integrity, had one bill that fit the priority language, although there were a few other bills passed regarding the safeguarding of elections. Our big bill, SB 7, died when the Democrats walked out at the last minute, killing the bill. Keep in mind that this was an emergency priority of the Governor and could have been passed far earlier in the session.
We had 7 bills passed for Religious Freedom, although arguably many of these bills are redundant in regard to freedoms we already enjoy in our Texas and U.S. Constitutions.
We did not have any bills passed protecting freedoms of conscience for healthcare providers.
The most appalling failure was that of protecting children from so-called “sex changes,” by puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sterilizing and mutilating surgery by medical butchers. That our legislators could not see fit to prevent this child abuse is beyond any rational understanding. Reps. Toth and Krause had good bills, as did Sens. Perry and Hall. These bills were slow walked by Reps. Klick, Burrows, Phelan, and the Calendars Committee. The Senate did a decent job getting bills heard and over to the House, and Rep. Slaton did his best to get amendments added to other bills to protect kids. A shell game was played as the House reps moved various bills around to eat up the time.
We had no true Abolition of Abortion bills passed, although we did pass a “Heartbeat Bill” and one known as the “trigger” bill, that bans abortion if Roe v. Wade is repealed. Again, arguably, abortion is not a right under the Constitution. If Texas actually agreed to follow it, we would not need this bill. However, if we can save babies’ lives then this bill will be a huge success.
The only bill that largely fulfilled one of our priorities, Constitutional Carry, was HB 1927. This bill, vigorously championed by Rep. Matt Schaeffer, will allow permitless carry by those over 21, with some exceptions. This is a big win by the grassroots who made thousands of calls and testified for hours. Rachel Malone, of Gunowners of America, led the fight, aided by many other grassroots groups and coalitions. It was wonderful to see so many rally around restoring a freedom guaranteed to us by the Second Amendment.
Monument Protection got one small bill protecting historical markers, but largely went down in flames along with Banning Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying. The primary person responsible for killing this priority was Rep. Chris Paddie, who kept SB 10 in his committee until the last minute, then made substantial changes to the bill so that it protected lawyers. It never got a vote on the floor.
It is very important to understand that the whole legislative process — under the current Republican leadership in Austin, and, by and large, our legislature — carries out the will of the Governor and Lt. Governor. The House Speaker works with them to accomplish their own legislative priorities, not those of the Republican voters of Texas who sent them there. Here is the proof, courtesy of Jeremy Kitchens.
We have heard some of our Representatives blame the Legislative Council for sloppy and slow bill work. Well, that excuse doesn’t hold water. The Legislative Council is co-chaired by Speaker Phelan and Lt. Gov. Patrick. So, if there was incompetence that sabotaged the bills, then it is hard to believe it was not intentional.
This session was not a failure by the people. You all did a fantastic job letting your wishes be known. I believe that when Republican voters are told the truth then you will do what is right, and you did. Thank you for all your hard work.
The special session for Election Integrity and other priorities gives our elected officials a second chance. Let’s pray they finish the job we have asked them to do, for the sake of our state and country.
I’m going to take a little break but will begin our Legislative Priority Reports again when the session is called. In the meantime, please call the Governor and Lt. Governor and tell them to put the rest of our priorities on the agenda.
For God and Texas,
SREC, SD 12Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee
Legislative Priorities Report for 5.7.21
It’s come down to this. We have spent our time and treasure to coerce, cajole, and corral our Texas Republican leadership to pass our eight Republican Party of Texas Legislative Priorities, and out of 75 bills currently on their way to the Governor’s desk, none of them are our priority bills. We thought we were getting close on Constitutional Carry, but that bill seems to have been sabotaged.
The House did pass the Heartbeat Bill, which we hope will save babies, but it is an imperfect bill for the Abolition of Abortion and has not yet passed the Senate, which has decided to take a vacation until Monday at 4:30pm.
Election Integrity is being debated on the floor of the House today, but the Democrats appear to be running the show, and the bills and amendments passing are weak.
Meanwhile, Speaker Phelan has yet to bid that the chair of Calendars, Rep. Dustin Burrows, put HB 1399 -- our bill for banning pediatric sex change -- on the floor calendar for a vote. How is it that our Republican leadership will not take a strong stand on protecting children from their bodies being butchered and mutilated?
Chairman Paddie is still holding SB 10 -- a ban on some forms of taxpayer-funded lobbying -- hostage in his State Affairs Committee, along with other Priority bills.
We keep hearing that this will be our "most conservative session" in a long time, but unless meaningful, robust Republican bills are passed, the gains we have made thus far will mean nothing. And, you, the Republican voters, know this. That is what is different about now.
In this session, we have attempted to shine a light on the processes that take place at the Capitol in Austin, in your state government. That way, when your Representative or Senator comes home and says, “we made great progress this session, you just need to send me back next session to finish the job,” or, “people just don’t understand the way the sausage is made,” you will not be intimidated into silence or compliance.
You will know that there is something wrong when the Republicans control the majority, yet the Democrats seem to come out ahead. Something’s wrong when some of our Republican representatives -- Reps. Oliverson, Jetton, and Hull -- manage to get a bill to the Calendars Committee and on the floor for a vote that creates a new Texas holiday. The cause for celebration? Islam’s first victory over non-Muslim forces.
In fact, this bill got to the Calendars Committee three days after our Priority bill to protect children from pediatric sex change did, yet our bill still sits in Calendars and this new state holiday bill is being voted on today in the House. We can protect puppies, create new holidays, and do all sorts of other trivial things, yet we can’t protect our children from an exploding trend that literally destroys their bodies and alters their brains.
So what now? Maybe we will get some crumbs. In fact, I know we will because they will think we will be satisfied with one or two bills. They will say what a great effort we made, and they did the best they could. And, of course, now, we have to get ready for the next election and that we have to support them so the Democrats don’t win.
But here’s the thing: we, the conservative citizens who love our children and grandchildren and love our state, and know what is coming; we are just done with the games.
So, here is what we are going to do:
We on the Legislative Priorities Committee are creating our own scorecard. We will be looking at Priority bills filed, committee hearings, as well as the votes from this session, and will let you know how every one of our Republican Representatives and Senators performed. We will let you know how many, if any, of our Republican Priority bills made it to the Governor’s desk. Then you get to decide what to do next.
In the meantime, let’s appeal to the top. This week, please call our Republican leadership and respectfully ask that they pass our Priority legislation. Tell them that our state depends on it and that we are looking to them for real leadership.
All of our leaders below and many of our Representatives and Senators have a robust social media presence. Some are linked below. Other leaders have their accounts listed in the directories for the House and Senate. Please use the power of social media to openly and respectfully engage and let them know how you feel about these issues.
Our Priorities and resources for this legislative session can be found at the Republican Party of Texas website, and you can sign up to receive your own copy of this report weekly in your email inbox. Please continue to call and email. We have the rest of the month to do all we can for this legislative session. Let’s leave it all on the table.
For God and Texas,
SREC, SD 12
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee
Legislative Priority Report 4.9.2021
We are winning.
Last fall, when the Legislative Priorities Committee planned for the upcoming legislative session, we knew we had to do things differently. You know that expression that says when you do things the same way every time, you get the same results? Well, since our Republican legislature failed to pass our Legislative Priorities in past sessions, we knew we couldn’t use the same strategy as in the past.
So, Chairman West and the Legislative Priority Committee decided to take our case to you, the voters across the state, and inform you about the priorities and how to make your voices heard to your elected officials in Austin. We also knew we could not do it alone. We had to join with grassroots groups who have the influence and infrastructure to amplify our outreach.
So, I am pleased to tell you today that Constitutional Carry passed in the House, thanks to the tenacity of Rep. Schaefer and others. It’s now in the hands of the Senate.
Regarding Election Integrity, the committee substitute of HB 6 which fixes the concerns regarding the Secretary of State has passed out of the House Elections Committee and needs to go to the floor for a vote. Another great bill, 574, which deals with increasing penalties for elections violations, passed the House floor today and the Speaker needs to send it to the Senate.
We have our bills banning Gender Modification passed out of State Affairs in the Senate and Public Health in the House. A big thank you to Chair Stephanie Klick for hearing this bill Wednesday evening after Rep. Krause laid it out beautifully. Representatives Reggie Smith, Four Price, and Tom Oliverson did a spectacular job exposing the hideous practices performed on children. For example, removing the healthy breasts of young, confused girls, described by an obviously inexperienced pediatric endocrinologist from the Genecis Clinic at Children’s Hospital in Dallas. She attempted to minimize the effects of puberty-blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries performed on children in order to approximate the appearance of the opposite sex. Even a Democrat representative on the committee seemed stunned at the procedures described.
We have Abolition of Abortion bills passed out of the House Public Health Committee that need to go to the floor for votes. In the Senate, we still have bills pending in Health and Human Services and State Affairs. We have several good Religious Liberty bills passed out of House and Senate Committees that need floor votes.
Monuments had a bill passed out of a House committee and needs a floor vote, and we have three more bills scheduled for hearings Monday in Culture, Recreation, and Tourism. In the Senate, two bills still need hearings in Natural Resources and Economic Development.
Banning Tax-Payer Funded Lobbying, SB 10 in the Senate, got a favorable floor vote, while in the House, Rep. Middleton’s bill needs a vote out of State Affairs. This priority really needs to move. School Choice bills have not had hearings yet.
So, bottom line is we have made tremendous progress. However, we have to be aware of the landmines remaining. If you read through the above analysis, there is a glaring pattern on many of our priority bills. You will see that we have bills voted out of committees in one chamber but stalled in the other. This can be a way to stop progress on our bills and for one side to blame the other for failure.
We must continue the pressure on our elected officials to keep the bills moving! For example, we must now tell the Lt. Governor and the Senate that they must vote on Constitutional Carry. We are hearing rumblings that the Senate side does not want to pass this priority.
The left is making all kinds of noise on our bills to protect children from physical bodily harm from shady “gender” doctors and misrepresenting these bills and trying to sway Speaker Phelan, so we have to contact his office and urge him to save Texas kids from profit-hungry corporations and individuals.
We know this report contains an overload of information, so, please, if you are not yet receiving our STAT emails which give specific updates on each priority depending on your area of interest, sign up today. Additionally, please watch our Facebook and YouTube feeds as we will begin providing video updates -- and featuring your questions -- on Wednesdays. If you have a question about the legislative process or a specific Legislative Priority, you can submit it by replying to this email.
1. We need you to keep calling and emailing. More information on how to contact your representatives can be found on our website. Please ask them to pass our priorities.
2. If you are not yet signed up to receive our STAT email which gives specific updates and actions on each priority depending on your interest, sign up here.
We are winning now, but things can turn quickly with none of our priorities getting passed. This cannot occur. If it does, then Texas will not have a Republican majority in Austin. The Democrats will clearly be in charge, and our Republican legislature will have allowed it to happen.
In the next few weeks, we will see who scores the final points to win the game.
For God and Texas,
SREC, SD 12
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee
Legislative Priorities Report March 12, 2021
Your State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) members have been blanketing the state, speaking at meetings, clubs, rallies, and, truthfully, to anyone who is willing to learn how to urge our legislators to pass our Legislative Priority bills.
There are a couple of common themes we are hearing: anger that our elected officials have allowed our county and state to get in the position we are in now, and the desire to do something.
People sense things are deeply wrong, and see the events that are occurring with frightening speed to threaten our lives, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. There is a sense of urgency.
We are encouraging people in House and Senate districts across the state to communicate with their elected officials, and you are doing so in large numbers!
We must see that same urgency in our State legislature. We implore our elected officials to look beyond "politics as usual" and see the precarious position we are currently in. The Biden administration is bearing down on us and is determined to change life as we know it. Republican voters demand a response to stand up against progressive socialist policies.
Today is the last day that bills can be filed. We are very pleased that we have some very good bills filed for most of our Legislative Priorities. We have 39 bills that meet our priority language, and these bills are getting assigned to committees. It is important to remember that while there may be many other good bills filed, the Legislative Priority Committee only supports bills that meet the eight priorities as voted on by our state convention delegates.
Bill filing is only the beginning. Most bills never get a committee hearing, much less a vote on the floor, and that is generally a good thing. We always want less government, not more.
However, the Legislative Priority bills are critical, beginning with Election Integrity. If we do not have fair elections, then we can do nothing else to guard against the progressive socialist left. There have been some good bills filed that address our elections, and these must move through the Election Integrity Committee chaired by Rep. Briscoe Cain.
We also have great Constitutional Carry bills, several bills banning Child Gender Modification, banning Abortion, and Rep. Mayes Middleton has filed an excellent bill Banning Tax-Payer Funded Lobbying.
We really appreciate some courageous Representatives that have stepped up to co-author these bills. For example, HB 574 would make it a state felony if any Texas election law is violated. This bill was filed by Rep. Greg Bonnen, and has been co-authored by Reps. Ashby, Phil King, Paul, Staton, Tinderholdt, and Ellzey.
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned HB 3, a bill that was supposed to address our Chairman’s Priority, which is Executive Overreach. It wound up being a very poor bill that did nothing to ensure that the Texas Constitution is followed during a disaster and actually expanded the Governor’s authority. In essence, codifying his actions of this past year.
Due to the outcry of Republican voters, that bill was replaced with a substitute bill that set up a Pandemic Disaster Legislative Oversight Committee. This substitute bill is really no better than the first. We already have a committee — the Legislature -- that is supposed to make laws, not the Governor or a committee.
HB 3 was heard in committee yesterday, and Chairman West submitted testimony opposing it on behalf of the Republican Party of Texas. Many grassroots activists and concerned citizens testified against the bill, and it was left pending in committee.
We are thankful that, at this point, the will of the people was heard, and it was not voted out of committee. Thank you to all who wrote emails and made phone calls. It does make a difference!
So what can you do now?
It is time to ramp up our calls and emails, with a focus on the House and Senate Committee members where our bills have been filed. The next step in the process is for our bills to get hearings. So, when you call or email, contact the committee chairs and ask for our bills to get scheduled for a hearing.
We now have bills in the Elections Committee, State Affairs, Public Health, Public Education, Homeland Security and Public Safety, Criminal Jurisprudence, and Culture, Recreation and Tourism. In the Senate, we have bills in the State Affairs Committee.
You can find the contact information for the committee chairs here.
As an additional resource, we've posted the approved bills thus far. You can see them here.
We must continue to channel our anger and frustration into action. We are beginning to see some results of our concerted efforts in the number of bills filed that meet our priorities. Our grassroots groups are working together, and our Republican clubs and organizations are organizing email and phone campaigns. You are doing well. Let’s keep it up!
For God and Texas,
SREC, SD 12
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee