Throughout the course of the 85th Legislative Session, going back to the 15th of January, State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) and conservative grassroots activists have helped to bring down various different pieces of big-government, freedom crippling pieces of legislation.

The “Bad Bill of the Week” segment with Stickland, with new segments coming out for the first time every Sunday night during The Jim and Michael Show, has given headaches to government officials who wish to further their scope and power.

 Let’s run through them:

January 16th 2017, HB 840, Sponsored by State Rep. Lina Ortega (D-El Paso)

State Rep. Lina Ortega’s (D-El Paso) “bad bill” would have given cities and municipalities the ability to raise the minimum wage at their own discretion. Thus, allowing leftist cities such as Austin or San Antonio to cripple their own economy and drive out business.

Ortega’s bill has been left pending in the House Business and Industry Committee since March 20th.

January 23rd 2017, HB 97, Sponsored by State Rep. Sarah Davis (R–West University)

State Rep. Sarah Davis’ (R-West University) “bad bill” would have allowed children, under the age of legal adulthood, to opt in to a system requiring them to get shots. This piece of legislation would make it all possible, without the parental involvement or consent.

The bill was referred to the House Public Health Committee on February 14th and has not received a hearing.

January 30th 2017, HB 173, Sponsored by State Rep. Eddie Lucio (D-Harlingen)

State Rep. Eddie Lucio’s (D-Harlingen) “bad bill” would create licenses for harvesting rainwater in the state. Under this legislation, anyone who wants to have a device on their property that collects rainwater in any way, must make sure that the person installing said device is licensed to do so.

The bill was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, and has been there since February 14 without a hearing.

February 6th 2017, HB 391, Sponsored by State Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin)

State Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin) proposed legislation that would do away with the legislation which legalized campus carry across Texas during the last legislative session. This comes in the wake of the ridiculous University of Texas protests against campus carry in the fall of last year.

The bill was referred to the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety in February and has yet to receive a hearing.

February 13th 2017, HB 1610, Sponsored by State Rep. John Kuempel (R-Seguin)

State Rep. John Kuempel, (R-Seguin) a lackey for Speaker Straus, proposed legislation that would allow elected officials to line their pockets with millions of dollars, without ever having to disclose it. It would raise the previous disclosure amount for elected officials, from $1 million to $10 million, and change the language of a bill that passed the House unanimously last year.

The bill was heard in the House General Investigating and Ethics Committee; a committee led by fellow lackey State Rep. Sarah Davis (R–West University Place). However, the bill has yet to leave the committee.

February 20th, 2017, HB 1938, Sponsored by State Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas)

House Bill 1938, proposed by State Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) would essentially force people to become organ donors. People would automatically be enrolled in the system upon registering for a driver’s license, and would allow the Texas Department of Transportation to send your private information off to an organization outside of the government.

The bill was referred to the House Committee on Transportation, and has been there since March without receiving a hearing.

February 27th, 2017, HB 1, Sponsored by State Rep. John Zerwas (R-Simonton)

State Rep. John Zerwas (R-Simonton) the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, had the heaviest hand in writing the House budget bill, which came in $4 billion over budget and authorizes raiding the Rainy Day Fund.

While the Senate passed a much more conservative, taxpayer-friendly budget, the House scuttled it and replaced it with their own spending spree. The legislation will now go to a conference committee with lawmakers from both chambers reviewing and amending the legislation.

If they can cut a deal, the joint proposal will need to pass both chambers once more before it reaches Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.


Updated: HB 1 failed to ever receive a hearing. The hearing was canceled on March 30th.

March 6th, 2017, HB 2495, State Rep. Charlie Geren (R-River Oaks)

State Rep. Charlie Geren (R-River Oaks) offered up HB 2495 in hopes of creating the Texas State Music Museum on the grounds of the Capitol, while simultaneously charging admission for entry. There are several versions of Texas Music museums which already exist across the state.

The bill passed through committee without any changes, and currently awaits a vote on the floor of the House.

Updated: The bill never received a vote on the House floor.

March 13th, 2017, HB 3324, State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin)

House Bill 3324 by State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) creates a completely unnecessary bureaucracy that would oversee and direct the placement of grocery stores and supermarkets across the state.

It was referred to the House Economic and Small Business Committee on April 4th, then corrected in reference direction to the House Committee on Urban Affairs on the 10th of that month. The bill is still awaiting a hearing in committee.

Updated: The bill received a hearing in committee, and was placed on the Calendar. However, it never received a vote on the floor of the House.

March 20th, 2017, HB 1260, State Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont)

State Rep. Dade Phelan’s (R-Beaumont) legislation would impose an occupational license on commercial shrimp unloaders and fishermen in order for them to perform their job. The licenses would start at a cost of $1485, giving discretion to a group of unelected bureaucrats to raise that fee.

The bill passed unanimously through the House Committee on Culture, Recreation, and Tourism and awaits a vote on the House floor. 

HB 1260 passed through the House with 129 Yeas, 13 Nays, and 2 Present not voting. The bill now advances to the Senate for a vote.

The Texas State Senate referred HB 1260 to the committee on Agriculture, Water, and Rural Affairs. It has been pending there since May 4th, 2017.

Updated: The bill passed through both houses of the Legislature. It is currently awaiting the Governor’s signature.

March 27th, 2017, HB 3387, State Rep. Ken King (R-Canadian)

State Rep. Ken King’s (R-Canadian) “bad bill” would make politicians all but immune from charges of slander on the basis of being elected officials.

The bill was sent to the House Committee on State Affairs. It received a hearing in April, and has been held by the committee rather than passed out.

Updated: The bill was left pending in committee.

April 3rd, 2017, HB 466, State Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas)

State Rep. Rafael Anchia’s (D-Dallas) “bad bill” would allow cities and municipalities to undermine state law in order to implement their own limitations to the Second Amendment. The bill would allow leftist cities such as Austin to trample the rights of citizens to arm themselves within the limits of city limits.

The bill was referred to the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety on February 16, and has yet to receive a hearing since then.


May 1st, 2017, HB 2750, State Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D-Austin)

State Rep. Gina Hinajosa’s (D-Austin) bad bill of the week absurdly garnered support from over half of the Republican caucus, including Republican Chairman, State Rep. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound.)

The bill, which passed in the House, ultimately requires that public entities inform their employers about various Public Service Loan Forgiveness Programs, and ways in which they can spend taxpayer dollars.

The bill has been received by the Senate and will be voted on in the near future.

Updated: The bill was removed from the Senate calendar, never actually having received a full vote.


May 8th, 2017, HB 486, State Rep. VanDeaver (R-Clarksville)

State Rep. Gary VanDeaver‘s (R-Clarksville) bad bill of the week looks to give bureaucrats within school districts the ability to raise or lower your property taxes within a certain window of time, without the discretion of the property owners.

Proper tax reform has been a primary and winning issue for conservatives in both the Texas State House and Senate. State Rep. VanDeaver’s bill looks to take reform in the wrong direction and continue to stifle Texas property owners out of their properties, without their say.

The bill passed a vote in the House with bipartisan support, and has now been referred to the Texas State Senate committee on Education.

Update: The bill never received a hearing in the Senate Committee on Education.


Austin Goss

Austin Goss is the Capitol Correspondent for Empower Texans and Texas Scorecard. Hailing from Louisville, Kentucky, Austin is a Christian, soldier in the United States Army Reserves, and a student at the University of Texas at Austin. Follow Austin on Twitter @AG_Legacy