As a result of an intentional disruption of the legislative process by groups which represent only a minority of Texas voters, the Governor was forced to convene a special session to finish work on key pieces of legislation such as transportation, criminal justice and improved standards for women’s healthcare. In order to ensure that our constitutional process of having elected representatives who are sent to Austin by a majority of their districts is not derailed by supporters of candidates and positions that lost at the ballot box, it is important that those in the majority who support these key bills make sure their voices are heard as well. Consequently, the state party will endeavor to keep you up to date on what is occurring at the legislature and the schedule of related events.
To make your voice heard, we suggest the following:
- Attend the House State Affairs committee hearing scheduled for to voice your support for HB 2, improving safety standards for women’s health care. If you aren’t comfortable testifying in front of the committee, you can always fill out a registration form in support of the bill without testifying. The meeting is scheduled to take place in E2.030 and supporters of the bill are encouraged to wear blue. If you want to testify as opposed to simply registering your support, you’ll want to arrive in the morning to get on the list, as testimony will be limited on a first come, first serve order.
- Call your State Representative and Senator’s offices to thank them for supporting legislation that will make healthcare safer for women and end late term abortion. If they did not support the bill on previous votes, ask them to this time. Members need to be asked and recognized for their support. Their contact information can be found here.
- Make sure to include #Stand4Life and #SaferforWomen in your tweets and Facebook updates. Engage your friends and make sure they stay informed!
- Plan to join us in the House and Senate galleries next week to fill the seats with bill supporters who are able to maintain decorum while the members conduct their business. Sign up here to receive emails with the floor schedule.
State Chairman Steve Munisteri commented on the subversion of the democratic process last week and of the called special session, “What is at stake over the next 30 days is not simply passing legislation, but just as importantly, ensuring that the constitutional process of passing legislation is not disrupted by those who lose at the ballot box. If the results of last week are allowed to stand, that would be a green- light for the supporters of losing candidates who opposed legislation supported by the majority of their districts to simply show up at the Capitol to disrupt the orderly proceeding of the legislature and more significantly disrupt the democratic, constitutional process that we all operate under. I am disappointed that Democrat leaders seem to be encouraging and/or applauding demonstrators from the gallery disrupting the legislative process. Irrespective of where you stand on the issues, I would think that all responsible elected state officials would uphold and defend the Constitution of the State of Texas. After all, isn’t that part of their sworn duty, to defend our Constitution and its legislative process?”
Chairman Munisteri further commented on the legislation itself, “What has been in large part ignored is that Sen. Davis’s filibuster prevented important legislation insuring that our highways have adequate funding for their maintenance from moving forward. Texans who are stuck in traffic in our major metropolitan areas or travel the far country roads of our state understand the importance of the legislature addressing a long term solution to our transportation needs, which are made more challenging by our significant population growth. Senator Davis's filibuster prevented the legislature from taking an important first step towards the ongoing transportation needs of Texas. In addition, Sen. Davis prevented much needed reform to our juvenile justice code. As she did in the last legislative session, all Sen. Davis accomplished was wasting taxpayer money by necessitating a special session without changing the outcome of the legislation itself. At the end of the day, the legislation will pass because the majority of Texans are for it. Texans favor maintaining our roads and having a fair justice system. A recent poll by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune also indicated that 62% of Texas voters support a ban on abortions over 20 weeks. There is no doubt that a substantial majority of Texas State Senators and Representatives, reflecting their constituents’ preference, will cast their votes to reflect the platform on which they ran and these bills will pass the legislature. The Republican Party of Texas is committed to assisting those who are committed to ensuring the will of the majority is honored and our Texas constitution is defended.”
If you are interested in continued email updates on this issue, please sign up here for a designated distribution list on HB2. We’ll keep you posted with information about rallies and with information about the House and Senate calendar.