This past week in Austin, the first week of the third special session, the Senate passed bills relating to the items Governor Abbott has placed on the call, including a bill protecting girls' sports. They also released a draft of the new Senate district lines for public input.
The House has not yet assigned any bills to committees. Leadership worked on redistricting last week, and we are hopeful for a draft of the new House district lines soon. However, we also urge the House to pass our outstanding Legislative Priority items, especially restoring the felony penalties that were reduced by the election integrity bill, protecting religious freedom by banning all vaccine mandates and protecting girls' sports, and banning child gender modification.
At least six Republican representatives will not be returning for the 88th Session: Rep. Chris Paddie, Rep. James White, Rep. Ben Leman, Rep. Scott Sanford, Rep. Matt Krause and Rep. Jim Murphy. Two other seats are being filled in special elections this week, the runoff election to fill Rep. Elsey's seat in District 10 and an election to fill the seat recently vacated by Rep. Pacheco in District 118.
We continue to urge Governor Abbott to place election integrity back on the call so that Amendment 50 can be rectified and the penalty for election fraud restored to a felony rather than a Class A misdemeanor.
Governor Abbott did call for a forensic audit of four counties from the 2020 General Election. This surprising move came after a letter from President Trump to Governor Abbott requesting the audit. A forensic audit means that the process of the election is examined. A forensic audit is not a recount. An audit examines whether the ballots to votes balance, and if the reported votes are correct, or true. An election should not be certified unless it balances. We are thankful for this audit and will be watching to see how it is accomplished.
Your phone calls make a difference! Please follow the Action Items below and forward this information to Precinct Chairs, Republican and conservative clubs in your area, and interested Republicans.
1. Review the proposed redistricting maps as they are released to see how they affect your community and make your legislators aware of any comments and/or concerns related to the maps.
2. Call Governor Abbott, your Representative and Senator, and Speaker Phelan and ask for legislation:
a. banning public and private vaccine mandates;
b. reversing Amendment 50's penalty reduction for election fraud to SB1;
c. protecting women's sports; and
d. banning all child gender modification.
Contact Governor Abbott: 512-463-1782 or 512-463-2000
Submit comments on the Governor's website contact form.
Post on the Governor's Facebook page.
Gov. Abbott's Chief of Staff: Luis.email@example.com, (512) 463-1762 and Policy Director Steve Munisteri (512) 463-1830
Contact Speaker Dade Phelan: 512-463-1000
Post on the Speaker's Facebook page.
Find your Representative here.
Thank you for making calls and sending emails. Your voice is critical. We cannot complain about our government unless we participate! The old adage is true, elections have consequences. We must hold our elected officials accountable, and support them when they do what we ask.
For God and Texas,
SREC, SD 12
Chair, SREC Legislative Priorities Committee