Today is the first day that the Texas Senate can cast votes on issues that were not designated as emergencies by Gov. Greg Abbott. That means that the Senate– and Trump extremist Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick– assumes much more power in setting the legislative agenda.
Patrick’s priorities this session include passing an offensive transgender discrimination bill and the anti-immigrant bill that bans sanctuary cities. We stand alongside partner organizations and our supporters against this hateful agenda today and every day. We continue to fight for a legislature that works for all Texans.
Keep reading below for information on what’s happening in the week ahead and how you can take action.
San Antonio Action: Health Care Bill Protest outside Will Hurd Fundraiser
Will Hurd will be attending a fundraiser for Lynie Wallace. Indivisible 23 is holding a protest outside this fundraiser to urge Will Hurd to vote No on the American Health Care Act, the new repeal and replace Obamacare bill.
- When: Monday, March 13, 2017, 5:30pm – 7:00pm
- Where: J-Prime Steakhouse, 1401 North Loop 1604 W, San Antonio, TX 78258, USA
Dallas Action: Pink Out Pete Session’s Townhall
Pete Sessions will be holding a congressional townhall this Saturday, March 18 beginning at 12:30pm. Planned Parenthood invites supporters to sign up and attend the townhall in pink, ready to ask Sessions tough questions about the Affordable Care Act repeal and reproductive healthcare. Contact Summer Lollie at Summer.Lollie@pptexasvotes.org to let her know you’ll be there!
- When: Saturday, March 18, 2017 12:30pm
- Where: Richardson High School, 1250 Belt Line Road, Richardson, TX 75080
Houston Action: Congressman John Culberson’s Town Hall
Join us at Congressman John Culberson’s Town Hall to let him know that taking away healthcare is unacceptable. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for a Planned Parenthood T-shirt and button. Show up. Wear pink. Speak out!
- When: Saturday, March 25, 2017, 3:00 pm- 4:30 pm
- Where: Spring Branch Middle School Auditorium, 1000 Piney Point Rd. Houston, Texas 77024
3 Anti-Abortion Bills and Transgender Discrimination Bill Expected to be Debated on the Senate Floor
This week, the Texas Senate may hear three anti-abortion bills — SB 415, SB 8, and SB 258. SB 415 by Sen. Charles Perry would ban the safest, most common method of second trimester abortion, SB 258 by Sen. Don Huffines would require the burial or cremation of fetal tissue after an abortion, and SB 8 by Sen. Charles Schwertner would prohibit the donation of fetal tissue from abortion procedures to medical research, and includes a ban of a procedure already illegal at the federal level.
Senate Bill 6 by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst would require transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding with their biological sex in government buildings, public schools, and public universities, and preempt local nondiscrimination ordinances. Last week, Senate State Affairs Committee heard 13 hours of testimony primarily in opposition to this bill. Nevertheless, the Committee voted the bill out that very same night.
These four bills have all been placed on the Senate’s “Intent Calendar.” This means that the bills are eligible for consideration before the full Senate, and signals to the Lt. Governor the author’s intent to take up the bill. However, exactly when the bill will be considered is at the will of the Lt. Governor — the Senate’s rules do not provide for advanced notice on when a particular bill will be heard. We’ll keep you updated on opportunities for action.
Anti-Sanctuary Cities Bill Set For Hearing in the House
Wednesday, March 15 – Beginning at 10:30am or upon final adjournment/ recess
House State Affairs Committee – Room E2.036, Floor E2 of the Texas Capitol
Senate Bill 4 by Charles Perry, an anti-sanctuary bill that would require Texas cities and counties to honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers — meaning jails would have to hold undocumented immigrants at ICE’s request for the agency to potentially deport them, and withhold grant funding for noncompliance, is scheduled for a public hearing in House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday, March 15 at 10:30am or upon adjournment of the House. Earlier this month, hundreds of people came to the Capitol to voice their opposition to this bill at a Senate committee hearing.
Wednesdays Committee Hearings and Reproductive Rights
Most bills related to reproductive rights are heard in the Senate Health & Human Services Committee and the House State Affairs Committee. The Senate Health & Human Services Committee meets on Wednesdays beginning at 8:30am. The agenda for this committee is posted at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing, typically on the Monday morning prior to the hearing.
The House State Affairs Committee meets on Wednesdays beginning at 10:30am or upon final adjournment of the House of Representative on that day, whichever is later. The agenda for this committee is posted at least five days before the hearing, typically on the Friday prior to the hearing.
We will let you know as soon as we hear if any bills related to reproductive rights are scheduled for next week.