Updated with SREC Member Responses
With the state legislative session convening in just a few months, the Republican Party of Texas is telling Republicans in the state Legislature they expect their legislative priorities to come first.
At the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Convention in June, more than 5,000 delegates from across the state gathered to determine the party priorities and platform for the next two years.
These eight legislative priorities are meant to serve as directives for lawmakers on what party members would like to see accomplished during the 140-day legislative session beginning in January.
The legislative priorities include:
- Protect our Elections
- Ban Democrat Chairs
- Abolish Abortion in Texas
- Stop Sexualizing Texas Kids
- Ban Gender Modification of Children
- Secure the Border and Protect Texans
- Parental Rights and Educational Freedom
- Defend Our Gun Rights
Now the party is calling on the House Republican Caucus and the Senate Republican Caucus to “include the 2022-23 Legislative Priorities of the Republican Party of Texas as they prepare their respective Legislative Priorities lists.”
The caucuses are made up of Republican lawmakers inside the chamber.
The resolution, passed by a vote of 58-4 by the State Republican Executive Committee, also calls on the caucuses to “adopt and publish” their priorities ahead of the session.
“This is a very simple resolution that asks that Republican legislators adopt legislative priorities and make those priorities public,” Texas GOP Chairman Matt Rinaldi told Texas Scorecard.
SREC members Jim Pikl, Jan Duncan, Fernando Trevino, and Gail Stanart voted against the resolution.
Pikl told Texas Scorecard he voted against the resolution because, “leaders tell servants what to do, servants don’t tell leaders what the servants want to do.”
“Over 5,000 Texas leaders created their list of legislative priorities at the convention. These priorities are express directions to the Republican servants in the legislature,” said Pikl “I really don’t care if our servants have other priorities or not, their job is to put into effect the priorities of their leaders: the party membership. If you want a better view of whether our elected officials follow their marching orders or not, look to their upcoming voting records, not some personal, unbinding, voter-pandering list of their own creation which they are free to ignore. I’m not interested in such a list and asking them for it makes the convention’s priorities seem more like ‘suggestions’ our servants are free to ignore and change at will. I don’t see the convention priorities in that inferior light so I voted no.”
Trevino said he did not think the way the SREC has approached legislative priorities in the past has been effective.
“The SREC is quick to make demands and criticize Republican legislators, but isn’t willing to show support,” said Trevino. “This last meeting was a great example of that; we continue to play “junior legislature,” but then can’t even pass a resolution endorsing all Republican candidates a month out from an election. It’s no wonder some legislators don’t trust that some SREC members will be constructive partners in passing conservative legislation.”
The Legislature is slated to convene on January 10, 2023.