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
Attacks on the LGBTQ community from Texas Republicans – particularly on transgender kids – have become the defining feature of this session. In response to these attacks, a broad alliance of 100+ LGBTQ+ equality, civil rights, religious freedom groups, and allies released an open letter demanding lawmakers acknowledge the rights and human dignity of LGBTQ Texans. Read the text of the letter here.
Unfortunately, so far it hasn’t slowed down the movement on the most hateful bills by Republicans. On Friday, a Texas bill banning gender-affirming medical treatments for transgender youth passed out of the Public Health Committee. It only faces one more key hurdle– the calendars committee– before it hits the House floor for a full vote.
Additionally, Republican Speaker Dade Phelan’s anti-immigrant bills have advanced this week. House Bill 7 and House Bill 20 would establish a dangerous precedent on our southern border and would further waste vital state resources.
The Mexican American Legislative Caucus (MALC) has been a vocal opponent of these bills. “More than 90% of all fentanyl is found at legal border crossings at the hands of US citizens. We have spent over $4 billion of our tax dollars on Operation Lone Star, and hundreds of millions more on a border wall that has not made our communities any safer or stronger. We have forcefully militarized our border communities at the expense of funding clean water, healthcare, and public infrastructure in our colonias,” said MALC Chairwoman Victoria Neave Criado.
What to Watch
As deadlines near, most bills introduced will die a simple death by the clock instead of a dramatic one by a vote. In this final stretch, much of the action will happen around the House Calendars Committee (the last stop for a bill before it hits the House floor) and a House floor vote. This week we will see a dangerous, and overtly broad, preemption bill hit the House floor. It will be the start of a slew of controversial measures we can expect to see hit the House floor soon.