Legislative Action Alerts and Status Report
April 30, 2023 (Day 110 of 140 of the 88th Texas Legislature)
First, let’s celebrate our successes so far. The biggest news is that Thursday afternoon, April 27, the House State Affairs voted in favor of moving the big House border bills out of committee – HB 20, HB 7, and HB 82. Once the committee report makes it to Calendars, I will email a way to communicate with that committee to urge them to expedite the bills on to the House floor.
We also saw the final, complete passage of the first bill resisting the Great Reset on April 26. The bill was SB 1017 by Brian Birdwell and Brooks Landgraf stopping cities from banning the use of gasoline engines.
See more on forward progress at the end of this message.
As deadlines loom, the pace at the Capitol has now reached fever pitch. There is lots to report and lots to do, so let’s get to it!
First, if a bill is being heard in the House this week that has not been heard in the Senate, it has no chance of making it through the gauntlet this session. Bills being heard for the first time in the Senate this week may have a shot, especially concurrent resolutions like SCR 25 (see below). All of the bills being heard now that are worth the effort in terms of passage this session have seen movement of some sort in another chamber.
So most of our effective action from here forward is to communicate appropriately about bills that have gotten some sort of movement to see them across the finish line. We also might be able to kill some bad bills that have slipped through.
Upcoming Bill Hearings Week of May 1
Monday, May 1:
House Higher Education: (10:00 am, E2.010)
SB 15 – Middleton (Swanson House sponsor?) – This is the bill that will stop men “identifying” as women from participating in collegiate women’s sports. Click here to comment in favor of SB 15 if you can’t make it to the Capitol. (This is not a Texas Constitutional Enforcement legislative agenda item, but figured lots of you would be interested. Technically, I guess you could consider this part of the resistance to the Great Reset and ESG because the trans-agenda is part of the S in ESG).
Tuesday, May 2:
Senate Business & Commerce: (8:30 am, E1.012)
SCR 25 – Parker – Resolution opposing central bank digital currency (CBDC) issuance by the Federal Reserve. The House companion by Capriglione ( HCR 88 ) has not yet been heard, and it is too late to start a bill in the House. This is the only shot we have for this resolution in this session. (Great Reset)
SB 833 – King – Insurers prohibited from discrimination based on ESG or being in the business of fossil fuels, mining, agriculture, timber, or the firearms industry. This is the Senate companion to Oliverson’s HB 1239, which passed his Insurance Committee, but ran into a point of order on the House floor. I have not had time to run down the details on that, but this hearing appears to be a way to save the bill by bringing it back around from the Senate. I presume that Senator King will be laying out a committee sub comparable to the sub voted out committee in the House. (Great Reset)
House Insurance: (8:00 am, E2.014)
Action 1: Email the House Pensions, Investments & Financial Services members regarding your support for HJR 146 – The Right to Use Cash and Cash Substitutes by Giovanni Capriglione
Our shot at keeping HJR 146 alive and moving is for Chair Capriglione to hold a vote for it in his Pensions, Investment & Financial Services this week. I am told that we have the votes of all the Republicans on the committee, but we do not yet know how the Democrats will vote. We want a unanimous vote to give momentum toward the 2/3 needed to pass this constitutional amendment.
The Democrats on the committee are Mihaela Plesa (HD 70 in south Collin County), Salman Bhojani (HD 92 in east central Tarrant County), John Bryant (HD 114 in central northeast Dallas County), and Hubert Vo (HD 149 in southwest Harris County).
While I was the only witness testifying on HJR 146 (see video), 209 people commented online on the bill and I did not see a single comment opposed. We also had one other person signed on in favor at the Capitol without testifying. In other words, widespread support with no opposition! But we need to get this bill on its way!
Please use this link to send one brief email to the members of the Pensions, Investments and Financial Services expressing your support and urging a vote out of committee as soon as possible. Do this even if you have already commented online.
Action 2: Email the House State Affairs members re your support for HB 4903 the digital currency backed by gold stored in Texas Bullion Depository bill by Mark Dorazio.
This bill needs a vote out of committee this week. Please use this link to send one brief email to the members of House State Affairs Committee expressing your support and urging that HB 4903 be voted out of committee this week!
Action 3: Email the Lt Governor to ask that he kill HB 2795, the 20 year toll extension on SH 130.
Use this link to email Dan Patrick, asking him to kill HB 2795. Sadly 37 House Republicans voted for this bill to pass it last week. We must now kill it in the Senate. Lt. Governor Patrick can do that.
Action 4: Email the House State Affairs members re your support for SJR 58 and SB 1104, the bills correcting the Texas Disaster Act’s separation of powers problems by Senator Brian Birdwell and House companion author Shelby Slawson.
I am not sure that Representative Slawson (who is on House State Affairs) is ready to move yet on this in the committee, but I don’t think at this late date that it hurts to remind everyone of the importance of insuring that we will never again have lockdowns in the future. Use this email link to email State Affairs (including champion Shelby Slawson) about your support for these companion bills.
Action 5: Email the House State Affairs members re your support for SCR 23 and the need for a hearing on this vital, complementary border security declaration of cartel invasion.
Use this link to thank the members of the committee for passing HB 20, HB 7, and HB 82 while urging them to complete the job by hearing and passing SCR 23.
Progress is Being Made!
LOTS of good bills are moving. Here is a status report on those not mentioned above:
Here are bills that are broad prohibitions on mandating vaccinations:
- HB 44 Swanson (Pub Health) / SB 303 Hall (HHS) – Health care providers who participate in Medicaid and the child health plan program “may not refuse to provide health care service” to enrollees based on “refusal or failure to obtain a vaccine or immunization for a particular infectious or communicable disease.” Penalty to a violating provider is disenrollment from the program. Status: HB 44 passed House, assigned to Senate HHS.
- SB 265 Perry (HHS) – Requires reporting by physicians about experimental, investigational, and emergency use vaccine or drug-related injuries and adverse events to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Noncompliance subject to disciplinary action by Texas Medical Board. Status: Passed Senate, assigned to House Public Health.
- SB 1024 Kolkhorst (HHS) – Hodgepodge bill that tweaks various vaccination matters. Prohibits private and government K-12 and higher ed COVID-19 vax mandates. Prohibits government mask mandates and lockdowns. Prohibits health care facilities and employers (with exceptions) from discriminating against COVID-19 unvaxxed. Status: Passed Senate. Unassigned in House.
- SJR 66 Hall (HHS) – Addition to Texas Bill of Rights of right to decline medical treatment, including vaccination. Status: Heard in HHS.
Here are the bills I know of that are introduced as narrowly focused on COVID-19 vaccination:
- HB 81 Harrison (Pub Health) / SB 177 (HHS) Middleton – The good part of this bill is that it casts the unalienable right to refuse using the language of informed consent, which has good legal precedent to back it up. The legislative finding section of the bill is very good. The bill stops anyone from taking an adverse action or imposing a penalty of any kind for refusing a COVID-19 vaccination and imposes $5,000 or more damages against health care providers who administer such. The only problem is the sole application to COVID-19. Status: SB 177 passed Senate, assigned to House Pub Health. HB 81 in House Calendars.
- SB 29 Birdwell (St Affairs) – Prohibits governmental vaccine mandates, lockdowns, or mask mandates for COVID-19. Status: Passed Senate. Assigned to House State Affairs.
- SB 426 (HHS) Paxton – Prohibits Texas bureaucracies from interfering with doctors prescribing off-label medicines to address COVID-19. Status: Passed Senate. Assigned to House Pub Health.
- SB 403 (HHS) Springer / HB 1313 (Pub Health) Burrows – Texas study on adverse reactions of COVID-19 vax.
Bills Relating to Practice of Medicine and Patient Rights:
- SB 301 Hall (HHS) – Texas Medical Board prohibited from disciplinary action against physicians who prescribe ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine and pharmacists are prohibited from disputing or otherwise providing medical advice on the safety of those drugs. Pharmacists are shielded from liability for dispensing the drugs. Status: Passed Senate. Assigned to House Pub Health.
- SB 1583 Hall (HHS) – Prohibits higher ed that receive public funds from doing “gain-of-function” research and requires all organizations doing “gain-of-function” research in Texas to report it. Status: On Senate intent calendar.
- SB 666 Hall (HHS) – Requires standing and prohibits anonymous complaints in the Texas Medical Board disciplinary process and beefs up due process in the disciplinary process. Status: Passed Senate HHS.
- SB 299 Hall (HHS) – Hospitals must allow care by physician of choice even if physician is not a member of the hospital’s staff, but hospital not liable for damages resulting from treatment provided by the visiting physician. Status: Heard in Senate HHS.
Texas Resistance to Great Reset
Prohibition from Doing Business with Texas or its Subdivisions
- SB 2530 Hughes – Prohibits financial companies that boycott energy companies from doing business with Texas or its subdivisions. Extends SB 19 from last session that applied same to discrimination against firearms and ammunition manufacturers. Status: Passed Senate Natural Resources.
Texas Fund Divestment
- SB 1446 Hughes -- Stops Texas public employee pensions from investing in companies “furthering social, political, or ideological interests.” Status: Passed the Senate. Assigned to House Pensions, Investments & Financial Services.
- SB 1489 Creighton / HB 3619 Burrows – Stops Texas university funds from investing in companies that boycott oil & gas companies. Extends SB 13 from last session that required same of Texas pension systems. Status: SB 1489 passed Senate Education. HB 3619 heard in House Higher Ed.
Prohibiting ESG Discrimination
- HB 2837 Schaefer -- Prohibits credit card companies from “surveilling, reporting, or tracking” purchases of firearms or ammunition. Enforced via Attorney General civil suits. Status: On House General State Calendar on May 2.
- HB 1239 Oliverson / SB 833 King -- Prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage, discriminating on rates using ESG factors, or targeting disfavored industries. Status: HB 1239 stopped on House floor with point of order. SB 833 scheduled for hearing in Senate Business & Commrece on May 2.
- SB 1060 Hughes -- Prohibits ESG related shareholder proposals from being adopted for Texas insurers and insurer holding companies. Status: Passed Senate. Being heard in House Insurance on May 2.
- SB 1607 Kolkhorst -- Prohibits money transmitters like Paypal from fining their customers for their speech. Status: Passed Senate. Unassigned in House.
Pre-emption of Municipality ESG Implementation