2017 TX Lege Special Session Agenda Descriptions and Scripts
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Agenda ItemSpecial Session BillSummaryScriptWho to callRecommended PositionPriorityRegular Session BilllSenate AuthorsHouse AuthorsPartnering OrganizationsArticles
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1Sunset LegislationSb 20 - passed by Senate
SB 28
Following Agencies are at risk of being shutdown if this doesn't pass: Texas Medical Board
Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners

Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists

Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists

Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors
"Hi, I'm a constituent of Senator/Representative [name]. I am calling to express my disappointment that the legislature did not do its job in the regular session and pass the needed sunset bills for the Texas Medical Board and the boards regulating different kinds of counselors. These political shenanigans will cost Texas taxpayers something like $800,000. For that reason I am requesting Senator/Representative [name] decline to take any salary for the special session. And in the future Senator/Representative [name] should put good governance and fiscal responsibility ahead of political tricks.Your RepresentativeSupport: This has to get done and is ostensibly why the special session was called in the first placeRequiredMedical Board, Occupations Code §151.004: HB 3040, SB 315
State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, Occupations Code §501.005: HB 2892, SB 311
State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists, Occupations Code §502.003: HB 2892, SB 311, SB 1022
State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors, Occupations Code §503.005: HB 2892, SB 311, SB 1022
State Board of Social Worker Examiners, Occupations Code §505.005: HB 2892, SB 311, SB 1022
Van TaylorLarry Gonzaleshttps://www.texastribune.org/2017/06/06/heres-everything-you-need-know-about-must-pass-sunset-bills/
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2Teacher Pay Increase of $1,000SB 19 - Passed the Senate 7/25
HB 64 / HB 65 / HB 79 / HB 80
Pay increase would be carried out by "reprioritizing" spending. No additional state funding will be made available for this and the burden will be put on local school districts and property taxes.
HB 64 & HB 65 were filed by Rep. Richard Raymond, the Laredo Democrat who chairs the House Human Services Committee and who has a good relationship with Abbott, filed two bills: 1 pays for salary increases with a $1 billion appropriation from general revenue; 2) uses the economic stabilization fund — aka the rainy day fund —which both Abbott and Patrick have been loath to tap into.

Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, a senior Republican close to Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, filed House Bill 79, which would increase state aid to schools to pay for the salary increase; HB 80, which would provide a cost of living increase for retired teachers; and most dramatically, House Joint Resolution 21, proposing an amendment to the Texas Constitution that abolishes the use of property taxes to pay for the operation and maintenance of public schools beginning on Jan. 1, 2020, “in order that the Legislature may enact a fairer system of fully funding public education.”
"Hi, I'm a constituent of Senator/Representative_______. I am concerned about the proposed $1000.00 pay increase for teachers. Although I do support a pay increase for teachers, I believe that the state should increase its share of the burden rather than requiring already financially-strapped school districts to do so. Requring school districts and, in turn property owners, to pay for this increase would result in an unfunded mandate by the Governor."Your RepresentativeTBDSeveralTravis Clardy
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3Administrative flexibility in teacher hiring and retention practices
Your Representative
-Travis Clardy
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4School finance reform commissionSB 16 - Passed the Senate 7/25The House staunchly opposes subsidies for private schools. The House wanted to inject 1.5 billion into public schools. The Senate voted to attach a private school choice voucher program to that finance bill yet still strip money from it. The state reduced their share of funding by 7% in the last decade, yet adds unfunded mandates. "Hi, I'm a constituent from_____ and I am calling today because I have been following the issue of school funding. I feel strongly that we need to find solutions to our outdated school finance system while still providing property tax relief and protecting public education. I oppose any finance reform that includes a voucher program such as the so-called education savings accounts."
Your Representative
Larry TaylorPhil Kinghttp://www.weatherforddemocrat.com/news/local_news/king-updates-on-school-finance-reform/article_42459a61-d2e5-52f2-b6e6-b7c7d0b86c0b.html
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5School choice for special needs studentsSB2 - Passed the Senate 7/25
HB 52, HB 58
Potential for special dedicated grants for special needs education. The House voted 6 times against this. This could be the first bill of many to chip away at public school funding."Hi, I'm a constituent of Senator/Representative___. I am calling to express my concern about the Senate's bill of a private school choice for special education students. I see this bill as a way of sapping money from the public school system. Aside from my concerns about public schools already being under-funded, I do not believe that private schools are equipped to deal with many of the needs of special education students and many are not obligated to comply with the IDEA (Indiv. with Disabilities Act) which guarantees appropriate education to these students."Your RepresentativeAGAINST/AMBIVALENT DEPENDING ON LANGUAGELarry TaylorRon Simmons
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6Property tax reformSB 1 - passed Senate 7/26/2017
hb 81
Currently, Texas citizens are able to petition for an election (called a "rollback") when local municipalities increase property tax rates. This legislation would make the rollback election automatic. This would add unecessary costs to towns and hinder raising funds needed to pay police, fire, teachers, maintain roads, etc."Hi, I'm a constituent of Senator/Representative _____ and I'm calling today because I'm really worried about the property tax refrom I've been hearint is on the special sesison agenda. In [my town] we have some serious issues making sure our police, firefighters, and teachers are paid a decent salary, and we REALLY need to fix our roads. Since our state focuses on local governance, property taxes are the only viable way to pay for those things, so if the community supports it, I have a hard time understanding why the Senator/Representative wouldn't. Please leave local governance in local control and vote NO for property tax reform. My zip code is _____."Your RepresentativeAGAINSTHighSB 2Paul BettencourtDennis Bonnenhttps://www.texastribune.org/2017/03/21/senate-gives-preliminary-ok-controversial-property-tax-bill/
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7aCaps on state spendingHB 41
Your Representative
Kelly HancockTan Parker, Mike Schofield
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7bCaps on local spending
Your Representative
Craig EstesJason Villalba
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8Preventing cities from regulating what property owners do with trees on private landHB 70
SB 14 - Passed the Senate 7/26
Current "tree protection" ordinances are intended to preserve a natural aesthetic or protect property values, yet republican lawmakers view the regulations as an assault on private property rights. City leaders believe cizens in their communities should decide at the local level."I'm a constituant of _____ and I'm advocating for the community's ecological health. As such, I insist that tree removal remains a local decision. Allowing Texas property owners to decimate any and all vegitation without regard for the impact on the surrounding environment is wreckless and short sighted. There is valid science that support the benefit of trees... not just for wildlife and humans, but also for managing fire risks. Texans deserve better solutions then HB 1572 and I expect my representative to agree." Your RepresentativeAGAINSTWas 1572 in regular sessionBob HallPaul WorkmanProperty Owner's Association

Note:
Workman's doners include those from the construction industry.
https://www.texastribune.org/2017/05/01/local-tree-ordinances-spark-debate-over-state-control-fire-prevention/
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9Preventing local governments from changing rules midway through construction projectsHB 87
HB 88
HJR 23
Three bills proposed: two related to property values and the other on protest hearing notifications. Your RepresentativeSB 21Dawn BuckinghamCecil BellWorkers Defense Projecthttp://www.capitol.state.tx.us/reports/report.aspx?LegSess=851&ID=author&Code=A2335
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10Speeding up local government permitting processSB 13 - Passed the Senate 7/26
HB 164
"Hello. I'm a constituent of Senator/Representative [name]. I am calling to express my opposition to HB 164/SB 13. This is just another attempt at big government overreach with politicians at the state capital trying to impose their will on local governments and the people who elected them. This bill will benefit big donors and developers by overriding decisions made by those most responsive to individual citizens rather than lobbying groups. Whenever possible, decisions should be made by the elected officials who are most familiar with the values and priorities of their communities. This bill does just the opposite. My zip code is _____."
Your Representative
Konni BurtonPaul WorkmanWorkers Defense Projecthttps://www.texastribune.org/2017/07/19/special-session-lawmakers-target-austin-workers-protectoins/#story_bottom
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11Municipal annexation reformSB 6 - Passed the Senate 7/26
HB 69
Your Representative
Donna CampbellDan Huberty
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12Texting while driving pre-emptionSB15 - Passed the Senate 7/26
SB25
During the regular session, the lege passed a bill to ban textin while driving statewide. That's a good thing. However, Abbott wants to pass a bill this session that would preempt any local bills that restrict phone usage in other ways, for example hands-free phone requirements that are now low in certain towns would no longer be in effect."Hi, I'm a constituent of Senator/Representative _____ and I'm calling to ask them to oppose Governor Abbott's texting while driving pre-empton - SB 25. While I do agree that texting while driving is very dangerous, the Texas legislature has already passed a law banning that. The legislation during this special session will only take local control away from local governments. We Texans support local government and this legislation would prevent that, plus is a waste of tax payer resources. My zip code is _____."
Your Representative
AGAINSTDon HuffinesCraig Goldman
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13PrivacySB3 - Passed the Senate 7/25
HB 46 / HB 50 / SB 23 / SB 91
Restricts bathroom access for transgender people, requiring a person's bathroom use to match their birth certificate gender."Hi, I'm calling to ask if Representative _____ opposes the special session version of SB 6, the so-called bathroom bill."
If they oppose it, "That's fantastic. Please thank the Representative for protecting the rights and dignity of ALL Texans."
If they support, "Does the Representative understand that women and children are completely unharmed by people using the restroom of the gender they identify with? Or that transgender people are at increased risk of psychological, emotional, and physical harm when they use the restroom that corresponds to their birth certificate? All of that aside, I hope Representative ____ will look at what happened in North Carolina, and realize that it's not in Texas business' best interest to pass this bill. Millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs were lost there, and they became a National embarrassment."
Your RepresentativeAGAINSTHighSB 6 / SB 2078Lois KolkhorstRon SimmonsTENT
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14Prohibition of taxpayer dollars to collect union duesSB 7 - Passed the Senate 7/26Prohibits automatic payroll deduction of union dues from state institutions. Not applied to police unions but is applied to teachers unions. Requires all unions to set up alternative due collecting system. NOTE: "taypayer dollars" is the worker's EARNED paycheck, so this it is misleading. I urge my representative to vote NO to ending the ability of state workers to easily pay union dues via automatic payroll deductions. This service does not cost the state a single penny, but is politically motivated as a way to suppress collective bargaining. The so-called "right to work" argument is flawed as workers in such states have lower wages and fewer benefits. SCOTUS has already ruled that workers do not have to pay union dues anyway, so this ploy is a way for the state to reduce the power of workers in favor of big business interests. Your RepresentativeAGAINSTSB 13?Bryan HughesJason IsaacWorkers Defense Projecthttps://haysfreepress.com/2017/07/12/state-aims-to-crack-down-on-union-due-collections/
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15Prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion providersSB 4 - Passed the Senate and the House
HB 14 / HB 128/HJR 28
Prohibits the state from funding 'elective abortions,' including rape or incest. Explicitly deputizes the AG to sue and recover fees for violations. “Hi, my name is _________, my zip code is _____, and I’m calling to urge _________ to vote against [Senate/House] Bill ___. This bill interferes with a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions without government interference, including her constitutional right to access to birth control and abortion; it is a state intrusion into the doctor-client relationship; and litigating bills that are unconstitutional wastes state dollars.Your RepresentativeAGAINSTHighSB 855 / HB 1936Charles SchwertnerDrew Springer
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16Pro-life insurance reformHB 214 passed both chambers
SB 8 - Passed the Senate 7/26
Would require women to pay a separate premium for their insurance to cover abortion. The legislation in the Regular Session did not exclude cases of rape or incest.“Hi, my name is _________, my zip code is _____, and I’m calling to urge _________ to vote against [Senate/House] Bill ___. This bill interferes with a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions without government interference, including her constitutional right to access to birth control and abortion; it is a state intrusion into the doctor-client relationship; and litigating bills that are unconstitutional wastes state dollars.Your RepresentativeAGAINSTHighSB 20 / HB 1113Brandon CreightonJohn Smithee
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17Strengthening abortion reporting requirements when health complications ariseHB 13 passed both chambers
SB 10 - Passed Senate 7/25
SB 85/HB 13/HB 195
Would increase provider reporting requirements on abortion related complications (will likely further discourage clinics from providing abortion services, but this bill "looks" like it's trying to help women)"Hi, my name is ________, my zip code is _____, and I'm calling to urge ____________ to vote against (Senate/House) Bill ____ requiring additional reporting of complications from abortion. This bill does nothing to protect women, increases the burden on physicians who provide abortion care or follow-up post abortion, and serves no public health purpose. Abortion complications are already being reported to the Department of State Health Services. Further, complications occur very rarely (0.96% in TX in 2014, https://www.dshs.texas.gov/chs/vstat/vs14/t33.aspx) Current Texas regulations, unfortunately, make it more likely that women will present for abortion services at a later gestational age when the risk of complications, though still slight, is higher. Hence Texas is missing an opportunity to PREVENT complications by lifting Texas's excessive and non-evidence-based regulations, instead of adding duplicative and onerous reporting requirements."
Your Representative
AGAINSTSB 872Donna CampbellGiovanni Capriglione
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18Strengthening patient protections relating to do-not-resuscitate orders
SB 11 - Passed the Senate 7/26
HB 43
Your Representative
Charles PerryGreg Bonnen
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19Cracking down on mail-in ballot fraudSB 5 - Passed the Senate 7/26
HB 47 / HB 73
"I want legislation that toughens penalties on mail-ballot vote fraud and makes it harder for that crime to be committed in Texas," Abbott said. Voting fraud has been in the headlines lately. President Donald Trump's administration is investigating claims of voter fraud in the 2016 Presidential election.
In Texas, the Dallas County District Attorney's Office is investigating voter fraud of 700 mail-in ballots from the May election.
"I am concerned about the state of Texas (as well as the federal government) making accusations of voter fraud when (in fact) no proof of any breech in our election system has been offered. This is percieved as an attempt by the state to suppress votes. In the absence of voter fraud evidence, increasing "penalities" for a non-existant crime is frivolous. The legislature should be cooperating with local election entities to collect data before crafting penalities." Your RepresentativeAGAINST

Evidence of fraud has not been provided.
Kelly HancockCraig Goldman
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20Extending maternal mortality task forceSB 17 - Passed in the Senate
HB 9 / HB 51
Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, and it DOUBLED in a 2 year period. This bill would likely extend the maternal mortality task force - a group of researchers looking into the cause of the spike - from 2019 to 2023."Hi, I'm a constituent of Senator/Representative _____ and I'm calling to urge them to support extending the maternal mortality task force. The maternal mortality rate in Texas is appalling and shameful. We must do better. Texas women's lives depend on it. Literally. My zip code is ____."Your RepresentativeFOR (provided it adequately equips the task force with good data)Lois KolkhorstCindy Burkett, Shawn Thierry, Armando Wallehttps://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas-legislature/2016/09/28/secrecy-bad-data-cloak-reasons-texas-surge-pregnancy-related-deathshttps://www.dshs.texas.gov/mch/maternal_mortality_and_morbidity.shtm
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21"Partial-birth"/dismemberment abortionSB 73 - Passed the Senate 7/25
HB 138
Makes this a 2nd degree felony
Your Representative
Hughes et al.SwansonReproductive Rights
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