With the Legislature now exactly 70 days into its 140-day session—the halfway mark—Texas Scorecard asked conservative leaders and organizations for their thoughts on what has been accomplished so far.
Jill Glover, legislative priorities chair of the Republican Party of Texas:
The Legislative Priorities Committee has approved more than twice as many bills for our 8 LP’s as last session, and that indicates legislators are paying more attention to the grassroots. We are very pleased in particular with Banning Child Gender Modification, which just passed an excellent bill out of the Senate filed by Sen Donna Campbell and has a companion in the House by Rep. Oliverson. There is much motivation around this priority and we do expect a bill to go to Gov Abbott’s desk banning these hideous medical “procedures” on children.
Overall, our bills to protect children are moving well, with Rep. Patterson’s House priority bill banning explicit books in public schools scheduled for a committee hearing on Tuesday.
We are watching our other priority bills, hoping they will gain some traction. We have concern about bills that could erode gains made with second amendment rights and abolishing abortion made last session.
The House elections committee is off to a slow start and we are hoping they address our bills soon. We also need to see strong legislation on securing our border.
Grassroots efforts to engage are paying off and we urge everyone to continue the phone calls and emails to their representatives and committee members.
Tim Hardin, president of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility:
The 88th Legislative Session has so far been about what taxpayers expect. With a tsunami of support from the grassroots to eliminate property taxes, the Legislature has felt the heat. Their response has been typical and status quo.
Both chambers have refused to offer a path to elimination or even be willing to break the spending cap to provide historic property tax relief to homeowners. The Senate and the House offer a fraction of the surplus for school M&O compression, an amount taxpayers will barely feel in the next few years.
Worse, the House is determined to renew the largest welfare program in Texas and give woke corporations billions in tax dollars, stealing even more from Texans suffering under inflation and historically high property taxes.
There have been a few heroes rising in the House, with numerous authors filing a path towards eliminating property taxes, and one in the Senate.
There is still plenty of time to restore private property rights in Texas, and we hope the Legislature changes from the usual trinkets and kicking the can down the road.
Fran Rhodes, president of True Texas Project:
We are seeing more activists engaged at the Capitol than ever before! I’m inspired by the number of people learning how things work, doing the work, and teaching others. We really are making a difference.
It remains to be seen if our efforts will yield results, but if they don’t, it certainly won’t be for lack of effort.
Chris Hopper, president of Texas Family Project:
The House is just getting started and we are seeing traction. On the issues of keeping obscenity out of schools and out of the public square, we are seeing good bills. However, the House is dragging its feet as usual, while the Senate is sending bills through at warp speed.
The unfortunate thing is that we have reached the halfway point of session at the Texas Capitol and we still have a hard time seeing who is for protecting Texas families from vile books, drag clowns intent on twerking for kids, and rogue doctors who profit off the removal of healthy, developing body parts of minors.
This is a crucial time in our state’s history, and the last thing we need is for our elected officials to come up short on some of the most pressing issues facing the family. Your constituents, your families, and your Creator are watching!
Chris Russo, president of Texans for Strong Borders:
We were pleased to see so many good pieces of legislation come in prior to the filing deadline, and the majority of our legislative priorities were authored. There were some disappointments, notably that no one in the Senate filed a bill to repeal in-state tuition for illegal aliens, an expense that costs Texas taxpayers nearly $460 million annually.
Now the real work begins. The sheer magnitude of the border crisis and the blatant disregard for law and order from the federal government necessitates real solutions by the State of Texas. Legislation to repel the invasion at our border, mandate E-Verify, finish the border wall, repeal in-state tuition for illegal aliens, challenge birthright citizenship, and protect Texas schools from the burden of illegal immigration must be given swift hearings.
The border is now at the center of the national political dialogue, and Texas has a mandate to decisive action. The country is watching, and our future depends on it.
John Seago, president of Texas Right to Life:
This is the first Texas Legislative Session since the overturn of Roe v. Wade and this is a critical moment for our legislators to advance Pro-Life legislation and not just play defense. Our legislative team has been working full time to ensure that we pass legislation that will give us the proper enforcement tools to respond to the absolute lawlessness and subversive practices from the abortion industry and pro-abortion politicians. Also, we are supporting a slate of bills that removes barriers for women and their families facing unexpected pregnancies. Lastly, being Pro-Life also means opposing how hospitals are depriving Texans of their right to Life and overriding life and death medical decisions.
So far this Session we have seen a lot of interest and movement on Pro-Life bills that help pregnant women overcome obstacles and legislation that protects hospitalized patients. Unfortunately, we have yet to see significant movement on policies that will help us enforce our laws in the face of recalcitrant District Attorneys and illegal websites selling and mailing abortion-inducing drugs directly to women. Both the Senate and the House have a great deal of work left to do in the next 70 days to secure Pro-Life victories.