Although anything can still happen, if bills are not out of committee hearing by this Thursday, they are generally not going to pass. While that is a mixed blessing, it does not bode well for many of our priority bills still stuck in committee.

On a positive note, we now have two major priority bills moving in the House. Representative Patterson’s HB 900, which would remove explicit books from public school libraries, was scheduled for a floor vote on Wednesday. HB 1686/SB 14, banning gender mutilation of children was voted out of committee to Calendars to be scheduled for a floor vote soon.

This week, we have priority bills in multiple House hearings, including in the Elections and Public Education committees. We appreciate Elections Chairman Reggie Smith for scheduling several of our LP approved bills for Protect Our Elections after your calls last week.

Please register in favor of the following RPT Legislative Priority and Election Integrity approved bills at the Capitol this week. Simply click the link for the committee and scroll to the bottom of the notice, where instructions are given to submit comments electronically.

Tuesday, April 18th:

House Public Education 8 am E2.036

HB 1149 Swanson – YES – Parental consent for a Psych exam

Thursday, April 20, 2023

House Elections 8 am E2.016

  • HB2809 – YES – Voter Registration crosscheck system – This bill will eliminate the use of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) by limiting the expenditure allowed, limiting access to personal data, limiting activities allowed (no voter registration) of the Interstate Crosscheck program.    
  • HB1671 – YES – Places Civil Penalties on ballot harvesting
  • HB862 – YES – Non-citizen registration cancelation
  • HB5259 – YES – Relating to death records maintained and provided by the vital statistics unit of the Dept of State Health Services
  • HB1299 – YES – Requires a wet signature on mail ballot envelopes
  • HB3449 – YES – Ballots by mail signature timing
  • HB4399 – YES – Central Counting Station plan
  • HB2860 – YES– Maintaining certain voter registration information, reviewing BBMA and offenses

Additionally, please ask Chairman Smith to pass out these equally important bills which have already had a hearing but were left pending in committee:

  • HB 5180 – Requires accessibility by the general public (within 61 days) to view anonymous voted ballots, cast vote records and ballot images
  • HB 3611 – Bans ranked choice voting in Texas.

The gains obtained last session on abolishing abortion are under attack by Democrats.  However, several bills to protect and expand those gains languish in Committee. The House State Affairs Committee has four of those bills before it.

  • HB 2813 Tinderholt – Restricting employers from facilitating employees’ travel to obtain an abortion
  • HB 3738 Cain – Allowing a right of private action for the enforcement and validity of laws restricting abortion and includes a waiver of sovereign immunity.
  • HB 3850 Slaton – Assuring the restrictions on abortions apply to pregnant biological females who identify as males
  • HB 5249 Klick – Prohibiting public entities from providing financial assistance for obtaining abortions and providing for a private right of action.  This Bill is the companion bill to SB 2378 Campbell, which is still pending in the Senate State Affairs Committee  

Please call the Chairs of these committees requesting these bills be voted on and passed out of committee.  Senate State Affairs Chair – Sen Bryan Hughes, 512-463-0380; House State Affairs Chair – Rep Todd Hunter 512-463-0672.

A critical Bill (HB 4876 – Hefner) remains pending in the House Judiciary Committee.  This Bill provides for a private right of action against those persons and entities which perform or assist in unlawful abortions, defined as a “wrongful act.” Notably, included in the definition of “wrongful act” is the manufacture, marketing, mailing, distribution, transportation, delivery, provision, or possession of mifepristone or misoprostol, which are abortion-inducing drugs.  Today, most abortions are obtained through these drugs rather than clinical abortions.  This bill would prevent their use in Texas, even from out-of-state sources. Please call the House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. Jeff Leach, at 512-463-0790 and voice your support for this significant legislation.

SB 959, by Sen. Campbell, was passed out of the Senate State Affairs Committee.  This bill includes open enrollment Charter Schools as a “public entity” and prohibits that entity from entering transactions with abortion providers.

On Thursday, April 20th, we are hosting an event to support Banning Gender Modification of Children.  In the morning, please visit House members’ offices to advocate for this priority.  Then, in the afternoon, we hear from a broad coalition, including legislators, grassroots groups, and de-transitioners. We will meet from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Legislative Conference Center in the Capitol extension.  NTX Conservatives are hosting free buses from the Denton, Collin, and Wise county areas. Contact them for more information on their website.

Also, on the 25th– The RPT is collaborating with grassroots leaders, organizations, religious groups, and churches across the state to come together for the Stop Sexualizing Texas Kids Day of Action and Prayer at the Texas State Capitol. It will be a full day of legislative action with briefings, a press conference, and ending with a prayer service in the evening. NTX Conservatives will also have buses for this day.  Use the link above to contact them.

Action Steps:

  1. Please sign into the House Elections Committee comments link and support our Elections bills listed above. If you can, come to Austin and testify in person to the Elections committee.
  2. Contact House Elections committee members and ask them to pass our priority bills out of committee following Thursday’s hearing.
  3. Contact State Affairs Chair in the House and Senate regarding the pro-life bills listed above.
  4. Attend our advocacy day for Ban Gender Modification of Children this Thursday, from 1:30-3:30, in the Legislative Conference Center in the Capitol extension.

For God and Texas,

Jill Glover
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee

To receive future SREC Legislative Priority Updates directly in your mailbox each week, sign up here.