CAPITOL ACTION REPORT

Empowering all Texans to engage in a more responsible and responsive democracy

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News from The Capitol

They are keeping us busy!

We provided testimony on Air Quality and Climate Change, Gun Safety, Human Trafficking, and Public Education.  Review LWV-TX testimony here.  YTD almost 40 testimonies, 86 Actions taken on  bills,  155 recorded legislative visits.

 

Shout out to the LWV-TX Capitol Corps for their invaluable assistance to the Issue Chairs!

This past week Barbara Frandsen stayed at the capitol for 12 hours to provide testimony opposing SB 3 the voucher bill and Brenda Koegler provided two testimonies in one day! One on Human Trafficking and one on Women’s Health!

Women’s health testimony heros include: Jane McFarland (who is also the Capitol Corps coordinator!), Amber Boudreault, Margaret Johnson (one of our student interns this semester), and Dixie Davis. Equal opportunity hero Anne Rioux waited hours to testify opposing the discriminatory bathroom bill.  Behavioral Health hero Lauren Kreeger took off from work to provide testimony.

Learn how to provide testimony at the capitol! Watch Impact Texas’ video starring our own LWV-Austin member Betsy Singleton Betsy Goes to to Austin & Telling your story at the Capitol

Thanks to all of League members and supporters for taking actions on bills, writing and calling legislators and keeping the pressure up!

Grace Chimene, LWV-TX Vice President

Good News...Maybe!

Texas didn’t bring in enough money again. Will they ever learn? Now it is time to pony up and figure out how to fund the Texas budget! The House and the Senate disagree. The League supports the House which would like to tap the “rainy day fund” (Economic Stabilization Fund). The Senate leaders are using a sneaky accounting device to fund the budget bill. Somehow the two houses  must agree before the budget can be finally approved.

U.S. ACA replacement bill. At writing we don’t know if it passes the House or not.

Bad News!

Not a surprise, but still disappointing; SB 3, the Voucher bill passes the Senate. We will continue the fight in the House!

Take Action Today!

Support Online Voter Registration OVR!

ACTION!  

Call/email your representatives and the members of the House Elections committee. Tell them you support HB 143 by Rep. Celia Israel.

Take action for Gun Safety

ACTION! 

Oppose  HB 1911 and HB 375 the unlicensed carry bills.

Call/email  members of the House Homeland Security Committee.

The hearing is at 8:00am Tuesday  March 28th.

Read full Action Alert here!

Social Media Action!

LEAGUE PRIORITY ISSUES:

Click on the links below to learn more about issues you are interested in.

Voter Rights and Election Laws in Texas: Read about SB 5, the Voter ID bill by Sen. Joan Huffman.  Help promote of online voter registration, often called the only truly nonpartisan voting/elections topic.  HB 143 by Rep. Celia Israel. Read the Texas Tribune editorial “Why Can’t Texans Register to Vote Online?”  by Austin tech leader Bryan Jones,  

 Women’s Health and Reproductive Choice: Bad news! Three bills strongly OPPOSED by LWV have been passed out of committee:  SB 8 (Schwertner) SB 25 (Creighton)SB 415 (Perry).  We will be following the progress (or hopefully lack of progress) of these three bills in the House and sending Action messages as appropriate. Keep up with  Women’s Health ACTIONS. 

Public Education:  SB 3, the Voucher bill passes the Senate and onto the House.

OTHER TEXAS ISSUES:

Behavioral Health: The League supports SB 27 by Campbell: which defines peer service coordinator for mental health program for veterans, and requires the mental health intervention program for veterans to include training for licensed mental health professionals. Passed committee…

Capital Punishment: Review the update on bills being followed.

Child Abuse and Neglect: The House budget provides $32 million for Kinship Caregiver assistance but, unfortunately, it is not funded in the Senate’s budget.  On a positive note, both budgets provide for a $12,000 pay raise for CPS support positions.  For more comprehensive information about the legislative budget, and, in particular, Child Abuse and Neglect read the Dallas Morning News article which quotes Senate finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson as saying “This Finance Committee’s No. 1 commitment was to Child Protective services.  Read the article here.

Early Childhood: The Senate Finance Committee cut $180 million the Senate had allocated for pre-K funding in an earlier version of the budget, going against Gov. Greg Abbott. Instead, the committee allocated $40 million into a partnership with nonprofits to support districts and charters implementing pre-K programs. Review the Bills

Hazardous Waste: Hazardous waste continues to contaminate Texas, and more is on its way. Write now to protect the health, safety and security of Texans. High-level radioactive waste will be transported into Texas on rail lines and road...  

Human Trafficking: Read our Human Trafficking press release!

Immigration: The LWV-TX opposes SB 4 (The Anti Sanctuary City Bill) penalizes Local governments that do not cooperate  with ICE.

Land Use: Take ACTION! Use the LWV-TX 2017 Action Paper “Protect Water Quality in Edwards Aquifer” to advocate in SUPPORT of SB 1796 (Menendez) and HB 3467 (Howard), that would prohibit the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) from authorizing the discharge of domestic sewage effluent into any water in the contributing or recharge zones of the San Antonio or Barton Springs segments of the Edwards Aquifer...

Transportation:  Take Action! Support HB 1511 which would promote statewide election dates on changeable highway message signs needs a hearing in the Transportation Committee! Take ACTION! Let your Rep and the reps on the Transportation committee know that you support this bill!

Water: Wow!  Glad March 10 (the filing deadline) has come and gone.  I’m up over 100 bills I’m watching.That’s way too many to list and discuss individually, so I’m going to group them around some broader topics and post in installments.  Today’s is bills about Groundwater Conservation Districts.

Other issues we are following...

Air Quality/Climate Change

Child Health

Drug Laws and Policies

Equal Opportunity/Income Assistance

Financing State Government: The Budget and Taxes:

Gun Safety 

Juvenile Justice 

Open Government

Payday & Auto Title Loans in Texas 

Redistricting 

Natural Resources

Continuing Actions!

ACTION! Tell legislators: USE THE RAINY DAY FUND to fully fund Education &  Healthcare in Texas!

Call or email your Texas Representative & Senator or if they are a  member of the House Appropriations Committee or the Senate Finance Committee.

Capitol Calendar

 Hey, Texas Political Nerds!

Follow and share the League Facebook page. and on Twitter @lwvtexas

Social media image of the week! Download and post on FB or Twitter

Twitter

Promote voting in your community!

With the League’s #BeATexasVoter campaign resources!

www.lwvtexas.org

Registration for the Texas May 6th Municipal elections ends April 6th!