Much is happening in anticipation of January 10, 2023—the opening day of the 88th Texas Legislative Session. November 14, 2022 was the first day bills could officially be filed, and hundreds of bills have already been filed by Republicans and Democrats combined.
The State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) Legislative Priorities Committee is tasked with advocating for bills that advance the Republican Party of Texas’s eight priorities. As bills are filed, the Legislative Priorities sub-committees are busy reviewing each bill and identifying the ones that match the priority language passed by our delegates at the Republican State Convention last June.
The SREC quarterly meeting is in Austin this weekend, December 9-10, during which the Legislative Priorities Committee will meet, discuss, evaluate, and compile priority bills. We will continue doing this throughout the session, as well as encouraging and working with legislators to file or amend bills that better reflect our priorities. Once approved by the committee, bills will be posted on the Texasgop.org website under “#txlege, LP Bill List.”
Committee hearings will begin March 11, 2023. For a list of other important legislative dates/deadlines, see here.
In the meantime, we continue to focus on our “Ban Democrat Chairs” priority. Last session, three of our priority bills died in committees chaired by Democrats. HB 1569, a religious freedom bill died in Business and Industry, a committee chaired by Democrat Rep. Chris Turner. HB 4537, a School Choice bill authored by Rep. Mayes Middleton, was killed by Public Education Committee Chairman, Democrat Rep. Harold Dutton. The strongest bill to protect historic monuments, HB 446 authored by Reps. Allison, Ashby, Clardy, Bell (K.), and Murr, would have increased criminal penalties for damaging or destroying monuments. But it was killed in the Criminal Jurisprudence committee chaired by Democrat Rep. Nicole Collier.
Given the track record, Republicans have no reason to expect priority legislation to be passed through any committee chaired by Democrats. These chairmanships also allow Democrats to raise large sums of lobby money that will be used to defeat Republicans in elections.
Grassroots action items continue to be:
- If you have not already done so, send a handwritten postcard to Speaker Phelan, asking that he not appoint Democrat committee chairs. The address is PO Box 2910, Austin, 78768. Also, send a postcard to your own Representative – it’s the same address.
- After you’ve sent a postcard, make phone calls to your own State Representative and Speaker Phelan’s office, asking that they support the rule change to ban Democrat chairs. If they have already come out in favor of the rule change, thank them.
- Ask your representative to make a public statement that he/she supports the Ban Democrat Chairs Legislative Priority. He/she can put it out in a formal statement, a Tweet, a Facebook post, say it in a public forum, or however, he or she chooses, as long as it’s public.
Speaker Phelan’s Austin number is 512-463-1000. His District office is 409-745-2777. Call either or both. For your own Representative’s number, if they are an incumbent, you can find their phone number by clicking here. For the new Freshman members, it will take a week or two for the lists to be updated online. But you can always contact them through their campaign websites until the State lists are updated.
The RPT has partnered with a Texas small business to sell shirts that say, “BAN Democrat Chairs”. You can order the shirt by clicking here. They are $15, plus $10 shipping. If you want to save money by ordering for a group, you can have as many shirts as you want shipped to the same address for the flat shipping rate of $10. This is what the shirts look like – not fancy, but direct and to the point.
Please post pictures of yourself wearing your shirt with the hashtag, #NoDemChairs to social media. We will be in Austin the opening week of session, January 10-12, 2023, wearing our shirts.
Want to go to Austin for the House debate on Democrat Chairs? Several organizations and individuals are offering bus rides to Austin on Thursday, January 12, 2023. If you live in the North Texas area, go to NTXconservatives.com and scroll down to “Bus Trips.” If you are in Dallas, email MaryB@DallasGOP.org for bus information. If you are in East Texas, email Christina.Drewry@thetnm.org.
For God and Texas,
SREC, SD 12
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee
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