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.
They reduced voter fraud criminal penalties from a 2nd Degree Felony to a Class A Misdemeanor! Source: See Texas Legislature Online, Bill Number SB 1, Section 9.03, pages 72-73, changed Election Code § 64.012
Decriminalize: To reduce or abolish criminal penalties
Before SB 1 was passed by the GOP-controlled legislature & Gov. Abbott signed it into law:
Ineligible voting was a 2nd degree felony.
Duplicate voting was a 2nd degree felony.
Voting a ballot belonging to another person was 2nd degree felony.
Fraudulent marking of ballots was a 2nd degree felony.
Now, these acts of fraud are all classified as Class A misdemeanors!
Even voting in a Texas election and in another state’s election when a federal office (President, US Senate, US Representatives) is on the ballot on the SAME election day – is also only a Class A Misdemeanor!
Since our Sept. 28 statewide Call to Action, Gov. Abbott heard YOU! Two days later – on 9/30 – he added “increasing illegal voting penalties” to the 3rd Special Session call which ends 10/19! He acknowledged that we were right – he had signed into law (SB 1) – a bill that decreased criminal penalties for voter fraud!
Note: The 3rd Special Session ended without the penalty being returned to a Felony.
by Cindy Asmussen (additional SB 9 sources provided by Debbie Simmons)
Part 1 | Texas Democratic Party Platform and Priorities – Social Engineering Cloaked in Dating Violence Prevention
“Texas Democrats believe interpersonal violence is about power and control. We believe we can end this violence in Texas, including sexual assault and harassment, family violence, human trafficking, child and elder abuse, and other forms of gender-based violence, through comprehensive programs that address the needs of every person regardless of race, ethnicity, geographic location, income, disability status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or immigration status. We must break the cycle of violence by working with a broad coalition to create safer and healthier communities for all.”
SB 9 Family Violence Prevention by Senator Huffman (R) and Senator West (D) passed! Bill Caption: Require schools to provide instruction and materials to students about dating violence, domestic violence, child abuse, and sex-trafficking.
The original bill (SB 1109) was authored by Democrat Sen. Royce West and was passed in the Regular 87th Session by the Senate and House. The original bill required changes to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), no parental consent or local control, and required additions to school districts’ Dating Violence Policy.
After the bill was killed twice on Local and Consent Calendar on 5/26, the bill was amended to require the SBOE to draft rules rather than TEKS. The Governor vetoed the bill and added it to the Special Session requiring parental opt out. The original author (West) was among the AWOL Democrats, so Republican Senator Joan Huffman filed the language in Special Session and passed it out of committee and out of the Senate. This proved how much Republican leadership wanted this bill – a Democrat Party priority.
The bill was unnecessary because the subjects of abuse and family and dating violence are already covered in the 2020 State Board of Education-adopted Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 115 Health TEKS standards. tea.texas.gov
The bill also bypassed Education Code 28.004 that would have provided more transparency and parental oversight, including opt-in provisions. When looking at many of the curriculum suppliers around the country for dating and family violence, such as Love is Respect, in addition to the language in the Democrat platform priority, it is clear this bill would be a “vehicle” for Comprehensive Sex Education.
Family Violence Prevention Update – the bottom line
SB 9 from both the regular and two special sessions wasn’t passed until the 2nd Special Session – AFTER we were able to make many changes – such as placing it under Texas Education Code 28.004 for more transparency, parental oversight, and opt-in. Fleming word of caution: The implementation rules must be watched! We cannot assume the Texas Education Agency will write policies and rules that line up with our values and the intent of our changes to this bill!
Summary: Family Violence Prevention legislation requires classroom instruction and reporting procedures for schools. This dangerous vehicle for Comprehensive Sex Education passed during the session, was vetoed by Governor Abbott, and then put on the charge for each Special Session by Governor Abbott who advocated an added opt-out for parents. It was clear this bill WOULD pass no matter how much we warned about its danger. The only course we could take was to work to amend the bill.
After our amendments to ensure parental rights and local control, this legislation passed to require instruction on child abuse, family violence, dating violence, and sex trafficking reviewed by the SHAC, approved by the school district’s Board of Trustees, and in compliance with Health TEKS. The implementation of this legislation should be monitored at the local and state level. SB 9 was signed by Gov. Abbott and will take effect on December 2, 2021.
Part 2 | The Texas Democratic Party Platform and Priorities – Indoctrination Cloaked in Education | Not Academics!
Include evidence-based programs that promote social-emotional learning, safe and healthy relationships, consent, and age-appropriate sex education as a part of the curriculum in Texas schools from pre-K to postsecondary institutions;
LGBTQIA+ Texans | Ensure equal protections and rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and other non-cis non-heterosexual or LGBTQIA+ people.
SB 123 | Social Emotional Learning (SEL) by Sen. Johnson, Powell, Zaffirini (all Dem) passed with every Senator voting for it (31-0). It passed the House on the Local and Consent Calendar 100-47-2. It was signed into law by Abbott and took effect 9/1/21. This is a seemingly harmless bill on the surface – dealing with character education; however, the character terminology in SB 123 comes straight from the main supporter of the bill, CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning). See TX Senate Research Center bill analysis link: https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/87R/analysis/pdf/SB00123F.pdf#navpanes=0
The CASEL definitions are very troubling (Source: http://measuringsel.casel.org), especially since CASEL promotes Critical Race Theory, comprehensive sex-ed, and the LGBTQ+ agenda in their programs. CASEL programs are already being recommended by the TEA for mental health materials. SEL focuses on attitudes, values, beliefs, mindsets, opinions, and behaviors of students and shifts the focus away from academics.
Authored by three Democrat Senators – two of which receive large campaign donations from Planned Parenthood – the stated intent of the bill is to “advance educational equity.” See this link to check out how CASEL views educational equity in terms of “Transformative Social and Emotional learning: casel.org/equity-and-sel-resources/.
“Transformative SEL” is a process whereby “young people and adults build strong, respectful, and lasting relationships that facilitate co-learning to critically examine root causes of inequity, and to develop collaborative solutions that lead to personal, community, and societal well-being.”
This form of SEL is aimed at redistributing power to promote social justice through increased
engagement in school and civic life. Core features include “enhancing and foregrounding social and emotional competencies needed for civic engagement and social change, such as reflecting on personal and social identities, examining prejudices and biases, interrogating social norms, disrupting, and resisting inequities, and co-constructing equitable and just solutions. Prioritizing students’ individual and collective agency to take action for social justice.”
It is hard to understand why Texas Republican elected officials have missed warnings about the Leftist indoctrination! Especially since many conservative, liberty-focused organizations and publications continue to warn about Social Emotional Learning: thefederalist.com, pioneerinstitute.org, truthinamericaneducation.com, flstopcccoalition.org, breitbart.com, citizensrenewingamerica.com, and cpi.org.
Republicans should immediately reverse course and:
- DEFUND SB 123! Defund is a “Follow the Money” strategy such as was employed with SB 22 in defunding abortion providers by prohibiting certain taxpayer resource transactions or defunding organizations and efforts with appropriations riders.
- CLEAN UP! Repeal the statute. Look for unfunded mandates and how funds should be redirected.
Republican Party of Texas Platform #166 opposes expansion of gambling!
HB 2168 | Statewide Electronic Raffles by Rep. Matt Krause (R) and Rep. John Bucy (D) with
similar SB 919 by Sen. Beverly Powell (D) were filed in the 87th Regular Session. The final version of HB 2168 passed the Texas House by record vote (Record 1640): 104 Yeas, 44 Nays, 1 Present, not voting. It passed the Senate 27-4. It was signed by the Governor and became law on 6/8/21.
In the original wording, this bill would have been a form of online gambling that Texas has never had before, presenting a dangerous inroad and set-up for future sports betting. It would have allowed electronic facsimile games of chance (raffles) to be purchased on-line/mobile phone, even if not at the game stadium, and credit cards used to make the purchase. The risk of minors and out-of-state players would have been very problematic.
It is important to emphasize that the original language of this bi-partisan bill filed by Rep. Matt Krause and Rep. John Bucy would have been classified as Class III gaming, triggering a federal law that allows certain Indian tribes to open casinos across over Texas.
Thankfully, we were able to get most of the language stripped from the bill, however, legislators did not see the problem with the bill in the original form and were reluctant to change anything until they were convinced to inquire from AG’s office if the bill was considered Class III gaming. The final version still allows raffles to be purchased with a credit card; however, paper raffles remain, and no electronic raffles are allowed.
With 50% of the 50/50 paper raffle proceeds going toward a designated non-profit of a professional sports team’s choosing, proponents and legislators were pushing the narrative (excuse) that “50% of the money will go to charities” and these charities need this new revenue stream because they ran budget deficits from the past year due to COVID-19. Even with the increase of professional sports teams choosing to support BLM, as well as allowing and sometimes even encouraging kneeling for our National Anthem, our legislators were also prepared to help them expand gambling in Texas. This is a violation of the Republican Party Platform.
This is not the first time the Texas Legislature has attempted to take known forms of gambling and convert them into an electronic format, creating electronic facsimiles of games of chance. Several attempts have been made to reduce lottery scratch tickets to an electronic format in the form of Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs). The bingo industry also attempted multiple sessions to sell the concept of displaying the outcome of electronic bingo pull-tab tickets in a graphic and dynamic manner. And there have been several bills filed – even by Republicans (Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, for example), seeking to decriminalize fantasy sports betting. Gambling is destructive to society and the family and should be opposed in every legislative session.
Part 3 | Democrat Party of Texas Platform and Priorities under Preventative Health:
Invest in trauma-informed care and trauma prevention programs aimed at preventing adverse childhood experiences (ACES), which have been shown to cause increased chronic disease in adulthood;
Republican Party of Texas Platform # 240 | Parental Safeguards – Largely Ignored by Republican Statewide Leaders and Legislators
We support abolishing the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, the trauma-informed care policy, school-based mental health providers, school-based or school-connected mental health interventions, and other public-school programs that expand access to minor children for program development and training applications serving thirteen universities and colleges of psychiatry and their residents. In other words, the Republican Party Platform opposes using minor children as lab rats for social experimentation.
SB 904 by Sen. Charles Perry (R) with co-author Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D) dealt with Trauma-Informed care as required training for attorneys on the court-maintained list of qualified attorneys ad litem for children in child protection cases. https://capitol.texas.gov/Search/DocViewer.aspx?ID=87RSB009045A&QueryText=%22trauma-informed+care%22&DocType=A
SB 904 passed the Senate 31-0; passed the House by (Record 1319): 90 Yeas, 53 Nays, 1 Present, not voting. The bill was signed by the Governor and took effect on 9/1/21.
SB 1267 by Senator Royce West (D) | Relating to continuing education and training requirements for educators and other school district personnel, including amending Education Code 38.036 to increase awareness and implementation of Trauma-Informed Care training in school districts. This bill passed 30-1 (Eckerdt (D) nay) in the Senate and passed the House by a record vote (Record 1746): 138 Yeas, 5 Nays, 1 Present, not voting. SB 1267 was signed by Governor Abbott and took effect 6/18/21.
HB 3880 by Rep. Dutton (D), Huberty (R), Guillen (D), Toth (R) and identical companion SB 1694 by Sen. Paxton (R), Creighton (R), Hall (R) | Relating to a student’s eligibility for special education services provided by a school district, including services for dyslexia and related disorders. This is more Trauma-Informed care for school district special education services. https://capitol.texas.gov/Search/DocViewer.aspx?ID=87RHB038803B&QueryText=%22trauma-in formed+care%22&DocType=B
HB 3880 passed the House by record vote (Record 1111): 142 Yeas, 1 Nays, 2 Present, not
voting. The bill was “deemed” passed 31-0 by the Senate with a voice vote after amendments. The House requested a Conference Committee. The Senate did not appoint conferees as the House Democrats broke quorum. HB 3880 did not pass but only because of the quorum break and the session clock ran out.
What’s the Big Deal About Trauma-Informed Care?
Trauma-Informed care is more new and unsettled science without consensus among mental health professionals. Dr. Angela Sweeney and Dr. Danny Taggart maintain Trauma-Informed approaches are driven by social justice considerations and include the implications of social discourses beyond psychiatric knowledge. They also address the occurrence of the “revictimization” of service users by recreating abuse through ‘power over’ relationships, which can prevent recovery. (https://www.madinamerica.com/2018/10/correcting-misconceptions-trauma-informed-care-surviv or-perspectives/)
There are many widely ranging disparities of written opinions and research literatures addressing the trendy Trauma-Informed care model. Dr. Michael Scheeringa writes about his concerns of how badly the Trauma-Informed science-policy gap is altering how taxpayers’ funds are spent and public policies are crafted. These are three examples from his sourced articles:
“It is not uncommon for science to be misused for political purposes. The end game for the proponents of the toxic stress theory is to influence public policy. From the first time the super-scary notion of toxic stress was mentioned in the literature in relation to psychological stress (National Scientific Council, 2005), the proponents of the belief have made it clear that this is the hammer they will use to drive the nail of spending taxpayer funds on social programs, in what they call closing the science-policy gap. They want publicly-funded support for better day care, better health screening, change of practices in juvenile justice, education in schools, education of police officers, and more.”
“Trauma-informed proponents will keep pushing the extreme agenda forward. They will keep repeating the ACES mythology. They will craft more resolutions and stimulate more trauma-informed cities. To create more believers in the more extreme agenda, it seems like the strategy of proof by repeated assertion. It’s an essential technique of propaganda that if you repeat something enough times, it’s real, right?”
“I’m an expert on childhood trauma. I’ve spent twenty-three years doing clinical and research work with youths with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with over fifty scientific publications on the topic, and published many of the groundbreaking research studies in this area. In my judgment, childhood trauma is not the cause of all those other massive life problems such as poverty, joblessness, homelessness, and incarceration.”
BONUS item by JoAnn Fleming: The Texas Democrat Party Platform and Priorities – EQUITY through taxpayer-funded subsidies
SMART GOVERNMENT & INFRASTRUCTURE- Comparable Quality High-Speed Internet and Cell Phone Service: 1) Provide loans and grants to electric and telephone coops to install needed infrastructure to fill the gaps in cell phone service and provide equal access and comparable internet service to rural consumers; 2) Provide high-speed internet and cell phone service, along with Wi-Fi capabilities, and end the disparities in services for low-income and rural communities;
The Republican Party of Texas Platform Principle #9: We believe in a free enterprise society unencumbered by government interference or subsidies.
HB 5, expansion of broadband services through taxpayer-funded grants, loans, and incentives, was a highly bipartisan bill with scores of co-authors. Broadband expansion was one of Gov. Abbott’s top priorities for the 87th Legislative Session. RPT principle #9 was also ignored by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker Dade Phelan. HB 5 passed the House with a record vote (Record 1623): 133 Yeas, 13 Nays, 2 Present, not voting and the Senate 31-0. The fiscal note could not be determined, which means this is a blank check. Abbott signed it into law on 6/15/21 and it took effect that day.
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.
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!
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
More on Redistricting…
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.
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
Information for in-person witness registration, can be found here:
A live video broadcast of the hearings will be available here:
Instructions related to public access to the meeting, location, and health/safety protocols for attending the meetings are available here:
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!
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,
Grassroots America – We the People PAC