Legislation

Overview

These are the Texas legislative bills that Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick, and the GOP would love to see pushed through. They’re going to do everything they can to outdo the cruelty, ignorance, and stupidity of the Trump administration. We can’t let them.

Have a look at how a bill becomes law in the Texas legislature if you need to see where each stands in the process:

How a Bill Becomes Law in the TXLEGE (PDF)

And you can track the status of each bill in the TX Legislature here (enter bill number):

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/BillStages.aspx?LegSess=85R&Bill=

• SB6 – current status: through Senate, awaiting House Committee hearing.

SB6 would overturn non-discrimination ordinances currently protecting transgender individuals in some cities and make it illegal for transgender people in Texas to be afforded access to facilities matching their gender identity.

The Texas Tribune does an excellent job of parsing SB6 in plain English here.

Need more background info on this issue? Here, here, here, and here.

Live in Texas? Find your state Senator and Representatives with this tool:

http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

Here’s a partial script to get you started:

“This bill is unnecessary, unenforceable, and potentially catastrophic to Texas’s economy. It deliberately targets transgender Texans for humiliation and discrimination, and according to a recent study commissioned by the Texas Association of Business, could cost the state tens of millions of dollars in revenue and tens of thousands of jobs.”

• SB4 – Current status: Senate approved, in House committee

SB4 would prohibit cities and counties from becoming sanctuaries.

Greg Abbott made this an “emergency item”, and has been grandstanding on the same brand of anti-immigrant hysteria Trump has used to rile up the far-right base, trying to sell it to the public at large as a move that will “keep us safe.” This, of course, is absurd.

SB4 is just Greg Abbott’s way of trying to punish a city for failing to cooperate in mass deportations. The bill cuts state criminal justice grants, money that funds services for veterans, parents struggling with drug addiction and victims of family violence.

Indivisible has write-ups on SB4 on the site here and here. The Washington Post article from February 2nd can be found here. There’s background on why sanctuary cities are actually safer here and you can find the full testimony of the many, many Texas law enforcement officers who opposed SB4 here.

Here’s a sample script to use when you call your law makers.

“Hi, my name is _________ and I’m calling to urge _________ to go on the record and reject Senate Bill 4. This bill will only increase mistrust in law enforcement, and will do nothing to actually keep us safe. The research shows that legislation like State Bill 4 only drives undocumented crime victims and witnesses into the shadows. Governor Abbott’s introduction of this bill in the legislature at this moment is a cowardly, overt attempt at capitalizing on the wave of anti-immigrant sentiment that Donald Trump exploited during his campaign. But that doesn’t have any place in Texas. We, the voters, won’t forget ______ position on this matter, and urge him to get on the right side of history, or we will be voting him out of office when he seeks re-election in 2019.”

History is not going to judge the folks who support this kind of bill favorably. It’s on all of us to do everything we can to stop it.

• SB 25 – Current status: Out of committee

SB25 would shield healthcare providers from certain types of litigation related to “wrongful birth.” Read our summary of SB25 here.

• SB 242 – Current status: Bill Introduced

Call your representatives to reject SB 242. This bill would force teachers and counselors to “out” LGBTQ students to their parents.

This bill is truly heinous, and completely unnecessary. SB242 would require teachers to out LGBTQ students to their parents, many of whom refuse to accept the existence of LGBTQ people and subject them to horrible abuse and cruelty.

Did you know that 40% of homeless American youth are LGBTQ? That number is so high because LGBT children are often kicked out of their home or subjected to such horrendous abuse that they run away. LGBTQ kids often feel more safe at school than they do at home–but Konni Burton wants to take even that small reprieve away from these kids.

Not only is this bill needlessly cruel, it is a complete waste of taxpayer money. Why? Why do lawmakers in the Texas Legislature even consider wasting of taxpayer money on bills like this one?

For more info, and a link to sign a petition: Austin Chronicle: Bill Forces Schools to Out LGBTQ Kids

Use this tool to find your state rep, and call them to oppose SB242. Use this script if you need a place to get started.

Say, “I oppose SB 242 that would destroy protected communications between students and educators. This legislation puts youth in harms way making them more vulnerable to neglect, abuse, or even suicide. I urge Senator _____ to oppose SB 242 as well.”

 

• SB643 – Current status: Bill introduced

SB643 would require voters to show proof of citizenship to vote, likely reducing the turnout among blacks, Latinos, and Asians.

• HB 1923 – Current status: Bill introduced

HB1923 would prohibit any adverse action by government entities against people acting according to the belief that marriage should only be between one man and one woman or that sexual relations should be reserved to such a marriage.

• HB 1813 – Current status: Bill introduced

HB1813 would authorize a government official to refuse to celebrate a wedding, as long as another official in the state accepts to do so.

• HB 1805 – Current status: Bill introduced

HB 1805 would prohibit any adverse action against a child welfare service provider refusing to provide services to an individual on religious grounds or refusing to provide information or counseling concerning contraceptives or abortions.