Legislative Priorities Report 5-22-23

The Texas Legislature is drawing to a close and we are beginning to get a clearer picture on wins and losses for this session.  Senate bills are the only bills left in play in the House, and Wednesday is the deadline for the House to vote on Senate bills.  Wednesday is also the deadline for the Senate to vote on all bills and joint resolutions.

Our losses are largely in Elections bills and Parental Rights and Educational Freedom, as the House has not moved the more significant bills out of committee in time to get them passed.  SB 1070, the ERIC bill, is back on the House calendar for Monday after initially being delayed on a Democrat Point of Order.

Overall, this legislative session is looking to be very good for major legislation to protect children.  SB 14, banning child gender mutilation, has passed.  SB 12, prohibiting sexually explicit performances in front of children, has also passed. But we still need your help on 3 important bills in these final hours.  

We need your help to get our final major child protection bill, HB900, to the Governor’s desk! This is the bill that would remove sexually explicit and pornographic books from public school libraries.  We are urging passage HB 900 in the Senate with no amendments.  The House passed this bill to the Senate on April 20th, which left ample time to work out any changes.  That did not occur. So any changes or amendments at this time risks killing the bill or passing one that is ineffective.

One other major item we need your help on is with HB 7, the sole border security bill that has passed out of the House.  The Senate committee substitute fixes the issue with Democrat local officials being able to veto border security in their counties, but omitted the most important mission for the border unit, which is to repel illegal aliens.  The bill must be amended to give law enforcement this authority. 

The other amendment HB 7 must have is a legislative finding which clarifies that Texas is acting in self-defense when we are invaded, and that any actions we take to secure the border are not immigration enforcement.  Constitutional attorney Tom Glass has worked on both of these amendments and states that without these amendments we will not have a strong border security bill.

The final problematic bill we need help on is SB 17.  While not an official LP bill, it has implications for Texas children that are far-reaching and in opposition to our other effective legislation that is passing.  Sen. Brandon Creighton, a champion for conservatives this session, authored a bill that effectively dismantles Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion departments in Texas Universities.  The House undid much of this work with an amendment that includes a study requiring all students be asked about their sexual orientation and gender identity.  This is reprehensible, as it furthers the myth that a young person can be something other than his or her biological sex.  Additionally, an amendment added to the bill prohibits the college or university from firing any DEI employee. So while DEI “offices” would be banned, every DEI employee would be guaranteed a position in other departments where they will continue propagating this harmful ideology.

At this point, if the bill cannot be restored to it’s original goal in conference, it is preferable for the bill author, Senator Creighton, to kill his own bill rather than pass the substituted bill.  Not only does the House version of SB 17 now codify into Texas law sexual orientation and gender identity, it also does not implement the original intent. 

Action Steps:

  1.  Call the Lt. Gov. and all Republican Senators asking for HB 900 to be voted out of the Senate with no amendments or changes.
  2. Call the Senators and ask for amendments to repel illegal aliens and legislative findings which clarify that Texas is acting in self-defense when we are invaded be added to HB 7.
  3. Call the Senators and ask them not to confer on the House substitute for SB 17, and instead remove the issues in conference.

Dan Patrick (512) 463-0001 (512) 463-5342

Paul Bettencourt (512) 463-0107

Brian Birdwell (512) 463-0122

Donna Campbell (512) 463-0125

Brandon Creighton (512) 463-0104

Pete Flores (512) 463-0124

Bob Hall (512) 463-0102

Kelly Hancock (512) 463-0109

Joan Huffman (512) 463-0117

Bryan Hughes (512) 463-0101

Phil King (512) 463-0110

Lois Kolkhorst (512) 463-0118

Mayes Middleton (512) 463-0111

Robert Nichols (512) 463-0103

Tan Parker (512) 463-0112

Angela Paxton (512) 463-0108

Charles Perry (512) 463-0128

Charles Schwertner (512) 463-0105

Kevin Sparks (512) 463-0131

Drew Springer (512) 463-0130

Thank you so much for helping us with this final push on important legislation.  The Texas grassroots have made a major difference this legislative session, and all wins are because of you.

For God and Texas,

Jill Glover
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee

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