The Special Session is over! Let’s all take a deep breath. The “must-pass” sunset bills passed and were signed by the Governor. They were the ONLY bills that were truly necessary.
We have cause to celebrate -- some good bills passed and some terrible bills didn’t pass.
YOU made a difference! Without your emails, letters, calls, and visits we would not have had these successes. Thank you!
We can celebrate the good bills on our priorities that passed include:
· addressing the maternal mortality crisis and giving more guidance to the work of the Maternal Mortality Task Force as well as continuing the Task Force until 2023
· local control of tree ordinances remains
And we celebrate that neither a bathroom bill or vouchers became law – thanks to you and to the members of the House!
Of course, not everything that passed was cause for celebration. Check what our issue chairs have to say below.
In other good news, the federal judges overseeing Texas redistricting lawsuits invalidated two Texas congressional districts. They did not rule on the challenges to the state House districts. The state had three days to respond that the legislature would take up the fixes or the court will reconvene on September 5 to begin redrawing the districts. Stay tuned!
The Special Session is over, but our effort in Making Democracy Work® never ends.
In fact, our democracy has rarely seen the kind of challenges we face today. Efforts to usurp local control, voter suppression at the state and national levels, and the assaults on the hard won rights of women and minorities are unprecedented. We must remain steadfast at our task of Making Democracy Work©!
You make the difference!
President League of Women Voters of Texas
Special Session Issues:
Equal Opportunity - Amber Briggle (Denton)
"They said it couldn’t be done, but they didn’t know they were messing with the League of Women Voters! Thanks to you, we defeated 5 attempts in the special session that would have explicitly discriminated against LGBTQ Texans."
Women’s Health - Julie Lowenberg (Dallas)
"While we rejoice that vouchers for private schools and the “bathroom bill” did not pass in the Special Session, abortion access took several big “hits” – apparently an easier target for extremist legislators (as well as the Governor and Lt. Governor). On the other hand, the crisis in maternal deaths in Texas received long overdue attention that resulted in a comprehensive bill addressing the situation. Hooray!"
Land Use - Jensie Madden (Comal Area)
“Working with other organizations in an umbrella group, Defend Texas Trees, LWV-TX helped mobilize citizens to contact legislators in opposition to SB 14 and HB 70 which would have preempted city authority for tree ordinances entirely.”
Public Education - Marlene Lobberecht (Cy-Fair):
"Overall, a modest increase in state aid for school districts and charter schools … accomplished through shifting of funds from HHSC. Proposed voucher legislation did not survive the Special Session."
Voting Rights & Election Laws - Cindy Weatherby (Austin Area)
"While the 85th Legislature did no major additional harm to voting rights, it kept the balls on Voter ID and redistricting in the Courts, where they will likely stay until a SCOTUS ruling which could possibly happen soon"