The Texas House Freedom Caucus announced its legislative priorities for the 86th Legislative Session during a press conference at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday.
“This session is much different than last session. We have a new Speaker.” Caucus Chairman State Rep. Mike Lang (R–Granbury) told attendees in his introduction. “We are happy with our new Speaker.”
Lang, who was elected to lead the caucus earlier this month, said the priorities were compiled from grassroots Texans across the state.
Several members of the group, including State Reps. Mayes Middleton (R–Wallisville), Matt Schaefer (R–Tyler), and Matt Shaheen (R–Plano) took to the microphone to introduce the priorities, which include:
- Property Tax Relief
- Election Integrity
- Religious Freedom
- Protecting Life
- 2nd Amendment
- Banning Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying
- Education/School Finance Reform
- Border Security/Immigration Reform
The Freedom Caucus was formed in 2017 with the stated purpose of “amplifying the voice of the grassroots” in Austin. Throughout the session, members of the caucus were successful in strengthening conservative legislation and creating a process by which the Republican Caucus nominated a unified candidate for Speaker of the House. The move is credited for forcing the retirement of former Speaker Joe Straus.
With 97 days left in the 86th Legislative Session, how the Caucus will push its legislative agenda with newly-elected Speaker Dennis Bonnen at the helm remains to be seen. Lawmakers in the group, however, pledged to fight just as hard this session as they did in the last.
“While it is a new day in the Texas House, our principles have not changed,” said State Rep. Briscoe Cain (R–Deer Park). “Promises come cheap in the Texas Capitol, but results matter.”