2021-22 | 87th Texas Legislative Session

2021-22 | 87th Texas Legislative Session

Was the 87th Texas Legislature a success or failure for conservative values across this great state? How did Republican members of the Texas House and Senate perform? How do we measure this?

2020 RPT Legislative Priorities

The delegates involved in formulating these priorities represent grassroots Republicans from 31 State Senate Districts. The delegates are chosen by Republican grassroots activists at the precinct and county level to ensure it is a bottom-up process designed to make certain that local values are represented.

 

These priorities are the measuring stick.

Save Women’s Sports from Males Identifying as Female!

Save Women’s Sports from Males Identifying as Female!

JoAnn’s note: Republican leaders like Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Patrick, and Speaker Phelan need to STOP being controlled by the NCAA, Big Sports Talking Heads, Big Tech, Big Business, and the LGBTQ++ crowd and defend the people of Texas against the Left and their cultural Marxism! The loud-mouthed female Leftists might not care about protecting female sports for females, but we do!  Males should not compete in female sports. Period. It is time to stop feeding this lunacy of men “identifying” as women.  This alert is from Texas Conservative Mama Dana Harris.

TEXAS LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT:

On September 7th, Governor Abbott called the Texas Legislature to pass a Save Women’s Sports bill in its 3rd Special Session which began this month. The bill, SB 3, is designed to protect opportunities for women and girls in athletics by ensuring they are not forced to compete against men playing on women’s sports teams. SB 3 passed the Senate this week 19-12 and is now headed to the House.

SB 3 Falls Short – Does NOT Solve the Problem

The problem is that SB 3 does not include vital protections for women’s collegiate sports, meaning that girls attending any of Texas’ great universities would not be guaranteed a fair and level playing field.  The bill also does not provide a legal remedy to girls who lose a spot on the podium to a male because of unfair policies that allow men on women’s teams.

Editor’s note: allowing biological males to participate in female sports will absolutely deny scholarships to females. This is wrong.

To correct these glaring flaws and get the bill across the finish line, we need Governor Abbott to support protections for college athletes and the inclusion of a legal remedy. And we need him to use all his resources to ensure full passage with that language intact!

Your help is urgently needed! Make 1 call! Write 1 email!

The Governor’s Office needs to hear directly from you that SB 3 must include language protecting college sports for women and effective legal remedies!

This language is critical to the bill, helping Texas to join states like Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia, Montana, and Idaho that protect all girls from kindergarten to college.

Specifically, I am asking you to reach out to Gov. Abbott’s Senior Policy Director, Steve Munisteri, to let him know that this language must be included.

Email: Steve.Munisteri@gov.texas.gov

Call Steve Munisteri’s office at 512-463-1830.

Below you’ll find sample talking points, along with real-world examples of young women affected by biological males competing in their sports that you can use when you contact Mr. Munisteri.

You will also find sample tweets for calling attention to this bill on Twitter.

I hope you’ll find these tools useful and effective!

Thank you for taking a stand to save women’s sports! Let’s stand for what’s right while we still can!

Dana Harris

Former CWA State Director and Texas Conservative Mama

PS Be sure to check out my toolkit containing talking points you can use on social media and when contacting Steve Munisteri in the Governor’s Office. For Twitter users, I have included sample Tweets!

TOOLS FOR ENGAGING ON THE SAVE WOMEN’S SPORTS ACT

Talking Points:

  • Girls deserve the same opportunity as boys to excel and chase their dreams. Allowing boys to compete in girls’ sports shatters dreams and steals opportunities.
  • We must protect fairness for all girls and women – from kindergarten to college – and must ensure that, if a school adopts a harmful policy that allows men to take spots from female athletes, the girls harmed by the policy can get a court order stopping it.
  • Allowing boys to compete in girls’ sports reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women, nullifying the opportunities promised by federal legislation like Title IX, which guarantees women equal access to athletics, scholarships, and educational opportunities on the same basis as men.
  • Boys will always have physical advantages over girls – that’s the reason we have women’s sports. Science and common sense tell us that males are stronger than females. That difference shows up in size, strength, bone density, and even hearts and lungs. No amount of testosterone suppression can eliminate all those advantages.
  • Under SB 3 – with the language added to include college sports – every student will still have the opportunity to participate in sports – no one is shut out. Students can participate on teams with others of the same sex, and they can participate on co-ed teams. This important bill language simply preserves fairness in women’s sports so that no girl ever loses a spot on the team or a place on the podium because of policies that allow biological males to compete on girls’ teams.

Real-World Examples:

  • After the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference adopted a policy that allows males who identify as female to compete in girls’ athletic events, two male athletes began to do so, depriving Selina Soule, Alanna Smith, Chelsea Mitchell, and Ashley Nicoletti of fair competition, honors, and opportunities to compete at elite levels. These male athletes have won 15 high school track championships that were once held by nine different girls. Watch and share Selina’s story here and Alanna’s story here.
  • June Eastwood, who competed on the University of Montana men’s track team before switching to the female team, easily beat the female competitors to win the women’s mile at the Big Sky Indoor Track & Field Championship in 2020. It was one of several instances where female athletes in the Big Sky Conference lost the opportunities they deserved.  Watch and share footage from that race here.
  • CeCe Telfer, a biological male who identifies as female, competed in the NCAA for two years as a man – ranking 390th nationally for the 400m hurdles in 2017. But as soon as CeCe switched to competing in the women’s division in 2019, CeCe dominated, winning the NCAA Division II National Women’s Championship in the 400m hurdles. CeCe actually improved in several track and field events after a year of testosterone suppression. Female athletes at every other DII school – including those in Texas – have little hope of winning against biological males.

Sample Tweets:

  • Texas’s girls shouldn’t be spectators in their own sports – including those in college! @GovAbbott please ensure that SB 3 protects female college athletes and #SaveWomensSports for everyone. #txlege
  • Allowing males to compete in girls’ sports shatters dreams and opportunities – including at the collegiate level. Texas’s girls deserve better @GovAbbott fix SB 3 to #SaveWomensSports for everyone – Kindergarten to College! #txlege
  • Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field – including those in college. @GovAbbott please stand for #FairPlay in Texas by fixing SB 3 and help #SaveWomensSports for everyone! #txlege
Part 2 Redistricting Primer | House & Local

Part 2 Redistricting Primer | House & Local

More on Redistricting…

If you missed our Primer on Redistricting, why and how it affects you, and the State Senate hearing information, click here for all the details and links.
The same talking points and examples of testimony apply to the Texas House hearings.
Should you wish to learn more about the redistricting process, sourced information can be found here: https://ballotpedia.org/Redistricting_in_Texas_after_the_2020_census

Expect lawsuits from Democrats

Under the Voting Rights Act, redistricting plans cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, or membership in a language minority group. Redistricting plans also cannot have a discriminatory effect or purpose.

In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision in the Voting Rights Act by deciding in Shelby County v. Holder that some governmental bodies, including those in Texas, no longer had to have their maps preapproved by the federal government. Opponents of the decision said they feared this meant that discriminatory maps could go into effect unless a court ruled in favor of plaintiffs in a civil lawsuit. Since this is all the Democrats have, we expect them to make an effort to gum up the works – that is if the rinos don’t hand them everything they want on a silver platter anyway.

What’s New

Texas House Redistricting hearings begin tomorrow!

The Texas House begins its redistricting hearings tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 8, with its five hearings stretching over two weeks.

The members of the House Committee on Redistricting can be found here by clicking here.

Hearing notices with dates, times, locations and rules can be found by clicking here.

Note the House procedures differ from those of the Texas Senate! Members of the public who cannot attend the hearing in person may request to be invited to provide their testimony virtually by videoconference by registering for an invitation in advance of the hearing at
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEqcemrrz0iHtZRL7OVq1cXsR_Ndg8zi9VB

Information for in-person witness registration, can be found here:
https://mytxlegis.capitol.texas.gov/HWRSPublic/About.aspx

live video broadcast of the hearings will be available here:
https://house.texas.gov/video-audio/

Instructions related to public access to the meeting, location, and health/safety protocols for attending the meetings are available here:
https://house.texas.gov/committees/public-access-house-committee-meetings/

Texas residents who wish to electronically submit written comments related to redistricting without testifying can do so until each hearing is adjourned by visiting: https://comments.house.texas.gov/home?c=c080

Cities, Counties, Special Taxing Districts, School Districts & Community Colleges

On the county level, commissioners courts ultimately decide on precinct maps for county commissioners, constables and justices of the peace. While JPs and constables do not hold representative offices, their boundaries often are drawn to conform to plans for county commissioners courts so that election precincts across the county may be used for all county offices. Texas counties have wide discretion when crafting county commissioner, justice of the peace, and constable precincts under Art. 5, sec. 18 of the Texas Constitution.

On the municipal level, city councils decide on wards and districts.

School Boards, Community College Trustees and special taxing districts will all be looking at the need to redraw lines for their elected boards based on population growth.  Some may not need to redistrict. You will need to investigate (see below).

Each precinct, ward or district should be as equal as geographically possible in population.

The public redistricting hearings for many of these local taxing entities will likely take place in November with votes to adopt maps in December.  HOWEVER, look at your own local government websites for postings about redistricting hearings.  If you cannot locate the information, call your county commissioner, city councilmember, ISD, and community college trustees and trustees/commissioners of special taxing districts.

Confused about your own local government representation?  Take a look at your voter registration card.  It should list every single district you should be concerned about when it comes to redistricting.  If it is on your voter registration card, guess what?  You pay taxes to that government entity! Therefore, you have every reason to care about what they do!

BONUS information: 

Did you know that the Texas Constitution allows for commissioners courts to set the number of constable and justice of the peace precincts and can abolish some of those offices during redistricting?  Article V, Sec. 18. DIVISION OF COUNTIES INTO PRECINCTS; ELECTION OF CONSTABLE AND JUSTICE OF THE PEACE; COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COURT.

Commissioners Courts should review the cost/benefit of these offices and seek to remove costly overlapping, duplicated effort.

As always, our purpose is to educate and empower you to effectively interact with your elected officials and to equip you to limit the size and scope of government, shove government back into a constitution-sized box, and to protect and advance Liberty!

Uniting and equipping conservatives to fight back with liberty principles,

JoAnn Fleming
Executive Director
Grassroots America – We the People PAC

 

Redistricting Hearings This Week | A Primer

Redistricting Hearings This Week | A Primer

Redistricting Hearings Will Help
Define the 2022 Elections

What’s this redistricting thing all about?

Requirement to Redistrict
The US Constitution calls for reapportionment of congressional seats according to population from a decennial (every 10 years) census (Section 2, Article I).

Reapportionment is the reallocation of the number of seats in the US House to account for population changes. Step 1) The 435 US Congressional House seats are reallocated among the 50 states after each decennial census. Step 2) The boundaries of the individual US Congressional House districts within each state are then redrawn by the state legislature in accordance with state and federal law.

Redistricting is the revision or replacement of existing electoral districts, resulting in new districts with different geographical boundaries. The basic purpose of redistricting every 10 years is to equalize population among electoral districts after the US Census indicates population has increased or decreased over the last decade.

The Texas Constitution requires the legislature to redistrict Texas house and senate seats during its first regular session following publication of the US census (Texas Constitution Section 28, Article III). After each census, State Board of Education seats also must be redistricted to bring them into compliance with the one‐person, one‐vote requirement.

Redistricting – why should I care?

First, this process will impact who represents you in Washington DC – your US Congressman AND who represents you in Austin – your State Senator and State Representative. The redistricting process redraws district boundaries to guarantee equal voter representation through equal, or equivalent, population counts.

Second, each state’s representation in the Electoral College also is subject to change based on census population counts.

The U.S. House of Representatives has a total of 435 seats, distributed among the states according to census population figures. Texas currently has 36 U.S. Representatives in Washington DC and gained two new US Congressional seats after the 2020 census.  Remember, the U.S. Senate has 100 seats — two per state, regardless of population. For Texas, this is Cruz and Cornyn.

The Texas Legislature has a fixed number of seats in both houses — 31 in the Senate and 150 in the House. Texas’ legislative district boundaries change every 10 years, but the total number of lawmakers does not.

ALL Texas State Senators will be on the ballot running in districts with new boundaries.  Based on a drawing, half of the State Senators elected will serve a two-year term; the other half will fill regular four-year terms.

Effective Messaging = Effective Participation!

If you have concerns specific to the make-up of your US Representative, State Senatorial, and/or State Representative Districts, this is the time to speak up.

Many citizens express concern about the consistency of values and interests being represented when it comes to drawing State Senate or State House District boundaries.  This is especially true when it comes to rural vs urban or suburban vs metro – especially when it comes to transportation, water, and the court system.

Develop your talking points to fit your particular geographical or community issues.

For redistricting authorities to be able to consider a given comment, it must include two elements: a location and an instruction. For example, one of the most common kinds of comments is to suggest a city or neighborhood be kept together in a single district. Other examples of feasible instructions include a request to draw a group of smaller cities together in a single district and to use well-known boundaries such as county lines as natural borders between districts.  If your area is a fast-growing suburban area, perhaps you believe your area is best represented separate from a metro area.

Talking Points for Redistricting Hearings

Any new map should fairly represent the voting patterns of Texas.  Texas is getting two new US Congressional seats.  Simply allocating both to Democratic seats based on race is neither Constitutional nor representative of the voting patterns of Texans.   

Legislators should consider future suburban growth when drawing the maps to avoid disproportionate representation (over population) often experienced at the end of a ten-year cycle. Where discretion on population is allowed, such as State House and State Senate Districts, urban and suburban districts should be underpopulated in proportion to the median population, thus taking into account growth expected during the decade.

Communities of interest should be respected.

Testimony Examples

Please use your own words, but the top talking points are covered in these two examples from Montgomery County Republican Women; click here to read.

Senate Special Committee on Redistricting:  When & Where

From September 7-11, 2021, the Senate Special Committee on Redistricting will be taking public testimony to solicit public input on all regions of the state, with a focus on the 2020 Census data and the upcoming legislative redistricting process.

These hearings provide the public an opportunity to share details about their local communities and information they believe relevant to the redistricting process, pursuant to the August 12, 2021 release of detailed redistricting data by the US Census Bureau, which can be seen here: https://www.census.gov/.

The committee will take virtual testimony during these hearings. To view the postings and register to testify, click here. In addition, a link is available to provide the committee with your written testimony into the process.  Once you open this page, click on the Hearing Notice for the day you wish to testify to see the instructions.

Click here to see the instructions for the Tuesday, Sept. 7 hearing.

We hope this information will help you navigate the redistricting issue with a better understanding, while giving you information on how to effectively testify.

Uniting Texas Conservatives to save the Texas we love,

JoAnn Fleming
Executive Director
Grassroots America – We the People PAC

 

Act Fast Now | Punish Dems with Rule Changes

Act Fast Now | Punish Dems with Rule Changes

It’s Time for Republican
State Reps to Remember
Who They Work For –
It Sure as Heck isn’t Donkey State Reps!

Are you ready to take action to convince your State Representative that it’s high time for a different approach to get their “unfinished work” completed for the people of Texas?

We hope so. It is up to you to light the fire under your State Representative.

First, Let’s Catch You Up

The first FAILED Special Legislative Session ends today, Friday, Aug. 6. As you will recall, the state budget was passed by the State Senate and the House on May 26 and 27 – BEFORE the election integrity bill. This opened the door for Democrats to do what was entirely predictable and preventable – they broke quorum, leaving to kill election integrity legislation. We asked Abbott to veto the budget to keep the Dems in Austin.  He didn’t.

Assisted by Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan, the Democrats broke quorum again on July 13, the opening day of the first Special Session.  Only four of 67 Democrat State Reps. were in attendance.  While the Senate passed all the Governor’s priorities, since the House lacked a quorum, those bills die today.

Gov. Abbott announced yesterday a Second Legislative Special Session will begin this Saturday, August 7 at noon.  Yippee.

To see Abbott’s agenda for the second special session, click here. Hint: Abbott still refuses to call for saving kids from sex change mutilation surgeries and chemical treatments – poised to become a growing profitable business in Texas.

What’s this all about anyway and why should I care?

New to all of this?  Need a refresher on the unfinished work of the legislature for the 140 days of the 87th Legislative Session from January 12 through May 31?

Click here for our letter to Governor Abbott about that unfinished business. 251 political influencers from across Texas signed this letter, citing issues important to the life and liberty of Texans.

CALL TO ACTION: Demand House Rule Changes NOW

FACT:  Republican State Reps CAN and SHOULD pass rule changes for this Second Special Session and beyond!  The power of the Speaker must be decentralized, and quorum-busting antics punished.  

Any reluctance or resistance on the part of Republican State Representatives to pass strong rule changes to stop the obstruction of the work of the Texas House and halt impediments to “the consent of the governed,” should be viewed as active participation in the obstruction.

Resistant Republican State Representatives should provide PROOF that any requested changes are prohibited by the Texas Constitution by citing chapter and verse.

Anything short of a constitutional prohibition is a personal preference to continue the status quo of the dysfunctional Texas House where the Republican majority allows Democrats to run the place. And that, my friends, is the equivalent of spitting in your face. If we tolerate that, we deserve it.

Grassroots America’s Proposed Rule Changes:

Rule Change #1: In order to ensure the constitutional responsibilities of the Texas Legislature are not derailed or abandoned, the majority party SHALL enact new rules of the House within 24 hours of quorum-breaking actions.

Rule Change #2: Prohibited is the appointment of any Democrat to a Committee Chair or Vice-Chair position.

Rule Change #3: The act of breaking quorum shall penalize “absent without leave” State Reps by stripping them of chairmanships, vice chairmanships, committee memberships, AND seniority privileges.

Rule Change #4: Three (3) unexcused absences for a State Rep. stops salary, per diem, mileage reimbursement, and staff pay. Upon return, resumed payments to the State Representative – including contributions to state retirement funds – shall be reduced by 50% until the end of the current regular or special session. This reduction constitutes a built-in fine for shirking the responsibility of showing up to fulfil the oath of office.

Rule Change #5: ALL salary, per diem, mileage reimbursements, and staff pay shall revert to paper checks during a special session. All payments SHALL be picked up in-person by State Representatives – no exceptions.

Rule Change #6: During a regular session of the legislature, the House Calendars Committee SHALL – within 14 days – publicly vote to move bills to the House floor. During a special session, the House Calendars Committee SHALL – within 5 days – publicly vote to move bills to the House floor.

YOUR ACTION

TODAY & Saturday – before the special session starts Saturday at noon – call your State Representative’s Austin office and District Office. Email them. Tag them on social media.

Click here if you do not know who represents you.

Click here for contact info for your Texas State Representative. Once there, just click on your Rep’s photo to open the information.

Now, Go Get ‘Em for Liberty’s Sake!

JoAnn Fleming
Executive Director
Grassroots America – We the People PAC

Talking Points – Oppose Big Nanny State SB 10

A very bad bill will be on the Texas Senate floor later today!

You MUST ACT.
NOW!

 

Downward pressure on your State Senators from statewide Republican officials has them signing on to bills that are big Nanny State expansions that will cost all of us plenty.

SB 10 is one of those bills.  It is titled, “Relating to the creation of the Texas Mental Health Care Consortium.”

When EVERY Democrat and EVERY Republican Senator signs on to a low number bill like this, you should understand that means a whole lot of “inside ball” horse-trading has happened.  You can bet that it has NOTHING to do with your liberty or saving you money!

The Road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions.”
A Hand-book of Proverbs, Henry G. Bohn, 1855

Seven reasons we strongly oppose SB 10:

  • SB 10 infringes on the principle of limited government by creating an expensive new $100 million program that is outside the core functions of state government. 
  • SB 10 will jumpstart exponential growth of unelected bureaucracies. Taxpayer-funded universities and the dysfunctional Health & Human Services Commission will have direct authority over millions more of our tax dollars.  We all know that once they are funded to start looking for a problem, they are going to find one.  Conflicts of interest from pharmaceutical companies, special interests, and the universities themselves will be unavoidable under this structure. 
  • SB 10 duplicates what is already being done under existing authority.  Several Texas medical schools already participate in a mental health consortium that meets quarterly.  A new bureaucracy is not necessary to enable further collaboration and coordination of higher education institutions to improve access to mental health care.
  • SB 10 has a high risk of evolving into a “Red Flag” monitoring program with respect to gun ownership.  The 2018 Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Platform Plank #73 opposes red flag monitoring programs that seek to deprive someone of their right to keep and bear arms if their child is identified under mental health programs. 
  • SB 10 has the potential to make mental illness a cottage industry within our schools.  The sale or sharing of any information collected in research or counseling for any commercial purpose is an affront to the constitutional liberties of Texas children and families.  SB 10 clearly opens Pandora’s Box of unintended consequences.
  • SB 10 further endangers privacy of parents and their children.  It will erode parental authority.  Stigma attached to any child misdiagnosed or even inadvertently revealed can severely damage children and their families.  Information gathered through research or treatment should not be included in a student’s permanent file, should not be shared in a database, or released without express informed consent of the patient or guardian of the patient.  Such sensitive information should be delivered to the parent(s) or legal guardians only and destroyed after the student leaves the school or graduates.
  • SB 10 is ripe for political agendas and abuse.  Indeed, political abuse of psychiatric diagnosis is an important tool in stifling political dissent within socialist countries.  Is there any doubt – given today’s headlines – that the Democratic Left intends to push the United States into socialism?  Mental health issues are becoming the “go to” tool of choice in today’s political circles and are being used to attack gun ownership and threaten the ability of veterans with a PTSD diagnosis to retain their Second Amendment rights.    

We believe that using existing laws and programs to support children with special education conditions, including mental health conditions, can enhance childhood mental health care without creating an expensive new liberty-stealing government bureaucracy.

SB 10 is NOT right for Texas!
Texans DO NOT WANT big Nanny-state government.

Nanny State Central Planning mental health care bills are sweeping the nation.  If you don’t believe this is a threatclick here to watch this 7.5 minute video.  It will make your blood boil.