Welcome to the Texas Legislative Round-up! We are here to break down the latest news from the Texas Legislative session in Austin. Every week, we’ll give you the honest take on the news that impacts you – without pretending it doesn’t.
Week in Review
Another week closer to Sine Die (end of the legislative session) and what a week it has been.
This week, Republican freshman Nate Schatzline made national headlines for all the wrong reasons. On the surface, State Rep. Schatzline is a typical Texas Republican: vehemently anti-LGBTQ, dangerously anti-abortion, and a major supporter of scary right-wing legislation.
Basically, your standard Texas Republican until a viral tweet resurfaced with old footage of him dressed in drag. What made the whole event so galling was that one of the bills Schatzline just authored would ban certain drag performances in Texas. This perfectly encapsulates the hateful hypocrisy that is all that is left of the Texas Republican Party.
Later in the week, Speaker Dade Phelan attended Texas Public Policy Foundation’s (TPPF) policy summit. TPPF is a right-wing policy shop modeled after nationally bigoted groups like Heritage Foundation. Phelan likes to cosplay as a “moderate” Republican, but his extreme record and dalliances with hate groups say otherwise.
What to Watch
The fight around school vouchers is becoming one of the heavyweight fights of this session. If you’re unfamiliar with school vouchers, it’s most easily defined as a way to give rich kids taxpayer money to attend private schools. Major Republicans are lining up behind vouchers in a big way. The Governor and Lt. Governor are fully on board, leaving only the Texas House Speaker left as a question mark. While Phelan generally is a pushover when it comes to right-wing agenda items, some rural Republicans may force his hand into a fight. This one will be a big item to watch unfold.