CAPITOL ACTION REPORT

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

Oh no you’re NOT messing with our  U.S. constitution!

Highlights  from the Capitol by Grace Chimene, LWV-TX VP Advocacy

News!

Senate and House Committees have been appointed. See which committees your reps were assigned to here.

 

Bad news!

The senate heard several bills that would impose unnecessary restrictions & requirements on women seeking abortions and their medical providers.

Julie Lowenberg (Dallas), Women's Health and Reproductive Choice, provided testimony opposing SB 8, SB 258 and SB 415. Capitol Corps member Amber Boudreault presented testimony at a hearing in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. View their testimonies here: Women's Health SB 258 2.15.17 Women's Health SB 415 2.15.17 Women's Health SB 8 2.15.17

Call senators on the Health and Human Services Committee and tell them you do not support these bills, and ask them to vote NO on SB 8, SB 258, SB 415. Tell them that a woman must be able to make her own decisions with her doctor’s advice. These bills do nothing to make women more safe, and makes it more difficult for women to obtain safe, legal abortions.

Charles Schwertner – 512-463 -0105;

Dawn Buckingham – 512-463-0124;

Konni Burton – 512-463-0110;

Charles Perry – 512-462-0128;

Van Taylor – 512-463-0108.

Concerning news!

Grace Chimene, VP Advocacy (Austin), presented testimony  to the Senate State Affairs Committee opposing constitutional convention bills SJR 2 &  SB 21. 

The League adopted an updated constitutional convention position in 2016.

·    SJR 2 is too broad  and frankly quite scary for our democracy. The League’s position is that a Constitutional Convention must be limited to a specific topic, in order to guard against a “runaway convention”, which would consider multiple issues or topics not initiated by the states.  This broad resolution calls for radical reduction in federal powers which are used to advance civil rights, to protect minorities, health, safety, labor, environmental regulations etc.

Read the radical US Constitution amendments Governor Abbot is calling for

·  SB 21 initiates a process for the Texas legislature to appoint delegates to a constitutional convention, should one be held.  The League’s position is that delegates should be elected by citizens, not appointed by the legislature.

Testimony can be viewed here: Constitutional Convention SJR 2 2.16.17 Constitutional Convention SB 21 2.16.17

Oppose bills calling for a Constitutional Convention

Email or call your state senator and legislator and let them know you oppose  constitutional convention bills such as SJR 2!

 FYI

Good News! 

Susybelle Goslee, (Dallas) Hazardous Waste Issue Chair, provided testimony to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in opposition to a nuclear waste facility in Andrews County. View her testimony here: Hazardous Waste Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2.15.17

Texas Budget news!

The Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) has created an easy to understand Legislative Budget Snapshot

Texas Star Action for the week!

US Congressional recess is coming up February 20-24. Recess is a great opportunity for folks to attend town halls, forums or community events with their Members of Congress.  A list of events has been put together by volunteers with The Town Hall Project 2018. Please consider sending this list around and encouraging your friends and members to attend an event. If you can’t visit in person, write, call, email!

What to discuss?

  1. Repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA),
  2. Elimination of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC),
  3. False claims of voter fraud around the country,
  4. Three questions that the Senate should ask the new nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

League Action Alert opposing Anti Sanctuary City bills is still in active!  

If you are a constituent of one of the Election Committee legislators,  please email or call them to let them know you appreciate their service and to please support Online Voter Registration.

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

LEAGUE PRIORITY ISSUES:

Voter Rights and Election Laws in Texas:

If you’ve been reading the national and Texas news, you’ve seen that talk of voter fraud is rampant, but proof of it is scant.

Read more...

Women’s Health and Reproductive Choice: LWV-TX opposes proposed legislation that would further restrict women’s and girls’ constitutional right to choose an abortion. read more….

Public Education The League of Women Voters of Texas supports a school finance system that provides taxpayer equity and an equitable distribution of funds to ensure that all Texas school children receive a high-quality education.

 read more….

OTHER TEXAS ISSUES:

Behavioral Health Sciences: Because the Interim House Select Committee on Mental Health recently issued a 109-page report, LWV Texas expects a slew of bills this session! (still need to work on..)

Capital Punishment: Representatives Farrar and Dutton and Senator Lucio have each filed their abolition of the death penalty bills.

Child Health: This Legislative session we will be active in trying to restore the funding the Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) therapies which were cut last session. Read the testimony we provided to the Health and Human Service Commission in 2015 here.

Early Childhood: Keep up with the 19 early childhood bills that LWV Texas is following!

        

Financing State Government; The Budget and Taxes: Check out the seven bills we are tracking regarding the state budget!

Hazardous Waste  Explore ways to fight back against the attempts to store and transport  high-level radioactive waste in West Texas on our page!

Immigration: SB4 was advanced by a vote of 20 to 11. Take action today to oppose Sanctuary City bills from advancing further!

Land Use City tree ordinances may be threatened! Two senate bills (SB 782) and (SB 898) would prohibit local government regulation of removal of trees from private property.

Payday & Auto Title Loans in Texas Check out the nine bills that the LWV will be monitoring in this area!

Redistricting Rep. Donna Howard, Dist. 48 in Austin has filed a Joint Resolution (H.J.R. No. 32) proposing a constitutional amendment establishing the Texas Redistricting Commission to redistrict the Texas Legislature and Congressional districts, along with revising procedures for such redistricting.

Transportation  A bill has been filed to establish a Vision Zero Task Force, with the goal of developing strategies to eliminate traffic deaths in the state of Texas by 2050.

Other issues we are following...

Capitol Calendar!

Texas PTA Rally Day February 27

Health Coverage for All Texans Advocacy Day March 6

Equality Texas Lobby Day March 20

Planned Parenthood Lobby Day April 5