Texas Legislative Round-Up: Week Three

by | Jan 26, 2023 | Texas Legislature

Welcome to the Texas Legislative Roundup! We are here to break down the latest of 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

Things are beginning to heat up in Austin and this week showed just how stark the difference is between Texas Democrats and Texas Republicans.

Texas Democrats laid out several ambitious visions for a better Texas this week. Texas House Democrats started the week by uniting around an effort to increase teacher pay. Texas American Federation of Teachers (AFT) applauded the effort, as they continue to work this session to increase the wages of all Texas school employees. Communications Director Nicole Hill released this statement, “We welcome efforts by legislators to fix the real crisis in our schools: the lack of respect for educators and school employees that is driving them out of their underfunded, overburdened jobs. Taking care of school employees is taking care of our kids. End of story.” 

On Tuesday, Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez announced 4 bills to address Texas’ rising gun violence epidemic and increase victims’ access to justice. January 24th marked 8 months since the Robb Elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. In the months since the horrific massacre, Uvalde families had difficulty accessing services, resources, and financial support. 

Meanwhile, Texas Republicans continued down their preferred path of mean and stupid.

According to Texas Tribune reporter Patrick Svitek, Republican State Senator Lois Kolkhorst called providing potential rape or incest exceptions in Texas’s abortion ban a “slippery slope” — further proving cruelty is the point.

Not to be outdone, Republican State Representative Steve Toth took a break from his obsession to hurt LGBTQ kids to fight a new war: banning a children’s book called “Dragons Love Tacos.” The state House used to be the independent branch of the Texas legislature, but under Dade Phelan, we can expect members like Toth to have more political sway. 

What to Watch

Committees are being set which means we are going to see the Texas legislature begin to move forward soon. This week, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced committees for the senate. The majority of the committees went as expected with Republicans receiving most chairmanships. Only one Democrat, Senator John Whitmire, secured a chairmanship. It remains to be seen what being Dan Patrick’s favorite Democrat will do for Whitmire in this year’s Houston mayoral race.

Also to watch is the upcoming battle brewing as Gov. Greg Abbott threatens to bar Chinese citizens from buying homes in Texas. While Texas Republicans contend this effort is not racist, this seems to be the most recent anti-immigrant effort from them. Most Asian community leaders agree this will only increase anti- Asian sentiments, which have been on the rise both in Texas and nationally. State Representative Victoria Neave who chairs the important Mexican American Legislative Caucus said in a press conference. “We must fight discrimination with solidarity. Solidarity to our neighbors, and our friends. I am proud to stand alongside Representative Wu and my colleagues in opposition to Senate Bill 147.” 

Are you tired of Texas Republicans pushing big lies and trying to steal your vote? So are we, that’s why we’re fighting back against the right-wing lie machine. Our commitment to ethical, fact-based journalism is vital to our democracy, and we can’t do it without you. Consider donating today to help us stay in this fight.

Continue Reading

Lina Hidalgo Announces Mental Health Leave

Lina Hidalgo Announces Mental Health Leave

This afternoon Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced she has been taking a leave of absence from her position to seek treatment for depression. The Houston Chronicle broke the news about Hidalgo, who has been at an inpatient facility since July. Throughout her...