The 88th legislative session continues, as bill filing ended last Friday, March 10 with 9,114 bills filed in the House and Senate. We are thrilled that the Senate has moved our first Legislative Priority bill to its intent calendar, which means that it will come to the Senate floor for a vote in the next few days.
SB 2, filed by Senators Hughes, Bettencourt, and Springer is a Protect Our Elections priority bill and restores the penalty for voter fraud from a misdemeanor to a felony. We appreciate these senators filing this bill. Representative Toth has filed a companion bill in the House, HB 4198, and many other similar bills have been filed as well.
The Senate has also scheduled SB 14, one of our approved bills for Ban Gender Modification of Children, for a committee hearing in State Affairs this Thursday, March 16 at 9:30 am. Senator Campbell is bill author, and it has a companion bill in the House by Representative Oliverson.
On March 3, the Legislative Priorities Committee met and approved more bills, bringing our current total to 128. We are continuing to discuss bills filed and will have more approved soon. This is stunning number as it is more than double the number of approved priority bills last session. We are very encouraged that more of our legislators are listening to the voters that sent them to Austin and filing bills on the priorities we requested.
In the last few days of bill filing, we have seen some very good bills addressing not only Protect Our Elections, but also Securing the Border, Banning Gender Modification of Children, and Parental Rights and Education. We anticipate many more approved bills.
Governor Abbott named two of our priorities, Educational Freedom and Securing the Border, among his priorities for this session. Lt. Gov. Patrick included many of our priorities on his list, including items under Protect Our Elections, Ban Gender Modification of Children, Stop Sexualizing of Texas Kids, and Parental Rights and Educational Freedom. We appreciate the support of these priorities.
We are also pleased that Speaker Phelan named Rep. Jared Patterson’s bill, HB 1655/HB 900 as a priority bill. This bill is known as the READER act, and restricts sexually explicit books in school libraries. Speaker Phelan has also designated Rep. Schaefer’s bill, HB 20, on Securing the Border, as priority legislation. We look forward to working with these representatives to getting these important bills passed.
1. Contact your representative and senator and ask that they sign on as co-authors to our Legislative Priority bills. You can find that bill list here. Send them a copy of the list.
2. Please contact these members of Senate State Affairs committee and urge them to pass SB 14 out of committee:
Morgan LaMantia D 512-463-0127
Jose Menendez D 512-463-0126
Judith Zaffirini D 512-463-0121
3. Please also thank Sens. Hughes, Paxton, Bettencourt, Birdwell, Parker, Perry and Schwertner for their support of the bill.
4. Come to Austin on Monday, March 20 as several of our grassroots groups are holding a rally at 12:45 at the Capitol to support Ban Gender Modification of Children. They will meet in the rotunda at 9 AM for office visits to legislators.
This is a great opportunity for you, the concerned constituent, to get involved in the legislative process.
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