Thank You Democrats For Leaving! Look At All We Accomplished!

September 5, 2021

On Thursday night, the Texas Legislature adjourned our second special (extra) legislative session of this year.  Just as predicted, the Democrat’s publicity stunt leaving Texas was a complete and utter failure.  They took chartered flights, hobnobbed in D.C.—with some even taking European vacations—but in the end, they couldn’t stop us.  We were still able to decisively advance our Republican agenda.

On a personal note, I still don’t believe House Democrats faced the necessary consequences for leaving and wasting taxpayer money.  There has been no punishment, no discipline.  Nonetheless, in the end, they learned an important lesson.  That lesson is that when you don’t show up for work you don’t have a voice at the table.

Now, having completed the 87th Regular Session May 31st and two subsequent special sessions, we have some great new law and policy that will benefit all Texans.  And by the way, Terry and I want to thank everyone for the encouragement as we’ve struggled through this year in Austin.  It was definitely difficult and one for the history books.    

The legislature will now take a few weeks off and then we will be right back to the Capitol for another special session to work on redistricting.  As you know, the U.S. and Texas constitutions require that the legislature redraw the district boundaries for all Congressional, House, Senate and SBOE seats. This is always a very difficult process.  In fact, the Democrats filed a new federal law suit to block the process just last week.  They’ve asked that unelected federal judges draw the maps rather than the people you sent to Austin.    

Here are some of the Texas Legislature’s recent conservative wins.  I look forward to going over these with you in more detail soon.

Texas is now the most pro-life state in the nation
Heartbeat Bill: Abortions are now banned at the detection of a fetal heartbeat—generally considered to be around six weeks. 
Trigger Legislation: Effective September 1st, Texas has a “trigger” law in place.  This means that should the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade Texas will automatically revert back to pre-Roe law.  Prior to Roe abortion was illegal in Texas.  
Mail Order Abortion Banned: Legislation passed just last week will ban the abortion inducing RU-486 drug from being mailed and delivered as if it were an over the counter medicine without seeing a doctor.     
Fetal Dismemberment: (It’s disturbing to even type that.)  In 2017, we passed a prohibition on this method of abortion. Abortion providers immediately filed suit and the courts have blocked this prohibition for four years.  In August, Texas finally prevailed and that ban is now law across our state.

Texas passed sweeping reforms on election integrity making it easier to vote and harder to cheat.  I believe our new Texas statute could become a model for the nation.  SB 1 provides practical reforms to restore public confidence, including consistent statewide standards, simple and secure election processes, greater transparency mechanisms, and will reduce unlawful voting practices.  

Texas is doing more than any other state (and frankly the nation) to secure the border and combat drug and human trafficking.   In August the Texas Legislature allocated an additional $1.8 billion to border security.  These funds will help build a border wall and will also fund deployment of additional state law enforcement, National Guard and State Guard personnel.    

Critical Race Theory is banned from Texas public schools. CRT is a moving target.  Legislation was passed earlier this year but we realized we needed to make clarifications and strengthen that new law.  More civics training will be included for teachers and the harmful teachings of CRT will not be permitted in our public schools.  

Providing tax relief. Texans are being taxed out of their homes and 76% of Texas homeowners now see property taxes as a “major burden.”  We implemented helpful property tax relief that will provide homebuyers with a homestead exemption immediately following their purchase and also give elderly and disabled homeowners more relief.  (I confess that I am very frustrated that more substantial and across the board tax relief failed to pass.)   

Bail reform. The mismanagement of the bail system, almost entirely in urban counties, forced the legislature to take action.  We cannot allow violent criminals to be released into our communities unimpeded.  Many tragedies have resulted because dangerous criminals were released from jail—often on low bonds and even just their personal recognizance.  Hopefully our new statute will help end this practice which is usually seen in our more liberal communities. 

Social Media Censorship: HB 20 is intended to help safeguard our freedom of speech by protecting social media users from being censored for their express viewpoints. It includes legal remedies for those wrongfully excluded.  (My wife, Terry, was recently banned from Facebook for 30 days.  Apparently, joking with your daughter that it’s time to come “kidnap” the grandkids for a stay at our home is dangerous.  I guess terrorists and the Ayatollahs just never use the word kidnap….)

Public Education: We need our kids to be in the classroom but, with the continuing onslaught of COVID-19, the legislature provided additional funding and strategies for virtual education.  (One of my granddaughters tested positive just yesterday.  So their family will be out of the classroom studying from home for a couple weeks.)  

I will do my best to keep you posted as we begin redistricting.  And as always, please give me a call or send me an email if you have any comments, thoughts or questions.