Empowering all Texans to engage in a
more responsible and responsive democracy!
"If you haven't got your health, then you haven't got anything."
Count Rugen to Prince Humperdink,
Princess Bride 1987
News from The Capitol

By Grace Chimene, Vice President 

The League Capitol Corps has been busy! Already in March, they have provided League position testimony 10 times on 8 different issues! Read League testimony on the LWV-TX Action Alerts & Testimony page. 

Hey, Texas Political Nerds!

New from the Center for Public Policy Wonks!
●      What the Congressional Health Care Proposal Would Mean for Texans- video
●      Protect Our Health Care: Real Threats to Health Insurance, Medicaid, and CHIP from Washington (& Austin) -Power Point
●      Watch and share our weekly LWV-TX One Minute Capitol Action YouTube videos! 

LWVUS Health Care Action! Stand with the League today and tell the US Congress that their plan to “replace” the Affordable Care Act is unacceptable.

LWV Texas Women’s Health Actions!
1. Contact your state Senator!  Oppose:
  • SB 25, which allows doctors to lie to pregnant mothers
  • SB 8, which bans the donation of fetal tissue for research
  • SB 258, which requires embryonic and fetal tissue be buried or cremated
  • SB 415, which bans a specific procedure and forces doctors to practice substandard care.

2. Call the Senators on the Business and Commerce Committee and tell them you OPPOSE SB 20 that would effectively ban insurance coverage for abortions for most women.  

LWV Texas Land Use Actions!
Save your Community’s trees!  If you are a constituent of any of the Senators on the Agriculture, Water, and Rural Affairs Committee, please let them know you OPPOSE: SB 782, SB 898, and SB 1082, which prohibit local governments from regulating removal of trees, in effect prohibiting city tree ordinances

LWV Texas Drug Policy Actions! 
Support HB 81 to reduce penalties for possession of marijuana

Continuing LWV Texas Actions!

1. Support the USE THE RAINY DAY FUND to fully fund Education &  Healthcare in Texas!

2. Oppose constitutional convention bills!

3. Oppose Anti Sanctuary City bills!
Click on the links below to learn more about issues you are interested in.

Voter Rights and Election Laws in Texas : The only major voting/elections bill activity in the two chambers this week was the introduction of Lt. Governor Patrick’s Voter ID bill – SB 5, which incorporates the court-ordered compromise process used in the November 2016 election. That means that those unable to obtain one of the seven photo IDs could sign an impediment form claiming they were unable to obtain an ID.  

Women’s Health and Reproductive Choice: The League opposes SB 8, which bans the donation of fetal tissue for research; SB 258 which requires embryonic and fetal tissue be buried or cremated; and SB 415  which bans a specific procedure and forces doctors to practice substandard care. 

Public Education: LWV-TX opposes SB 3, relating to the establishment of an education savings account [ESA] program and a tax credit scholarship and an educational expense assistance program. The primary purpose of the bill is to provide parents with tax monies that can be used for private and/or religious school tuition and expenses. These are variations on vouchers, which LWV opposes..


Air Quality/Climate Change:  LWV-TX supports HB 3413, relating to the Texas natural gas vehicle grant program, including the funding of fueling stations from grants under that program.
Also support SB 26, relating to the Texas emissions reduction plan and other related programs and measures to reduce emissions.

Behavioral Health: The Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, John Zerwas,  has indicated a willingness to use part of the “rainy day fund” (Economic Stabilization Fund) to meet the funding needs of the state for the next biennium. LWV-TX supports SB 74, which would allow a provider in a managed care organization that contracts with the Health and Human Services Commission to provide behavioral health services may contract with the organization to provide targeted management and psychiatric rehab services to children and their families.

Child Health: We have signed on in support of the Coalition's Legislative agenda which you can read about here: 2017 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA CHILDREN'S HEALTH COVERAGE COALITION.

Early Childhood: We are urging legislators to provide $236 million to fully fund the high-quality pre-k grant program established in 2015. Meanwhile, in both the House and Senate, the additional pre-k dollars fall short of the amount needed to maintain the annual funding level provided to schools through the grant program.

Drug Laws and Policies:  LWV-TX supports SB269, HB 2109 and SB 170.
ACTION!  Support HB 81 to reduce penalties for possession of marijuana. A hearing by the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee for HB 81 will most likely be scheduled by March 14, 2017.
Financing State Government: The Budget and Taxes: The most amazing event of this month was the unanimous passage of HB 21 by Huberty out of the Public Education Committee, which raises public education funding by $1.6B, covering a portion of the cost from the Rainy Day Fund, which we have encouraged both the House and the Senate to use. 

Land Use: LWV-TX opposes HB 1135 and SB 1385, which would require local governments to acquire conservation easements to offset impervious cover regulations.
LWV-TX supports HB 3036 which restricts permits authorizing direct discharge of waste or pollutants into water leading to the Edwards Aquifer.
  “No Land-No Water” is the reminder from the Texas Agricultural Land Trust. Share this editorial with your legislators with the message, “Conserving and managing Texas rural lands today means more water for all of us in the future.” 

Transportation:  Some potentially important transportation bills were filed this week, including a bill for a constitutional amendment! SJR 48 would call for an election on November 7, 2017 that would permit additional uses of certain dedicated general revenue transferred each fiscal year to the state highway fund. 

Other issues we are following...

Capital Punishment
Child Abuse and Neglect
Equal Opportunity/Income Assistance
Gun Safety
Hazardous Waste
Human Trafficking
Juvenile Justice
Open Government
Natural Resources
Payday & Auto Title Loans in Texas

Resources & Other Actions
1. Share this Capitol Action Report with your friends and connections via Facebook and Twitter links below.

2. Promote voting in your community with the LWV-TX #BeATexasVoter campaign resource s

4. Download and post the social media image of the week (left) and post on FB or Twitter.