Conservative agenda for the 2017 85th Session of the Texas Legislature

Here are the groups within the State of Texas that have committed to join together on this conservative agenda for the Texas Legislature – Concerned Women for America, Conservative Republicans of Texas, Direct Action Texas, Empower Texans, Grassroots America We the People, NE Tarrant County Tea Party, Texas Eagle Forum, Texas Home School Coalition Association, Texas Right to Life, and Texas Values Action.

The majority of elected state legislators believes in and has committed to the principles of limited government, ethical standards, individual liberty, economic freedom, and transparent, high-quality, efficient, and effective services for taxpayers. With a majority-Republican legislature and all-Republican statewide leadership, the success of the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature is dependent on the passage of ALL the following protections for all Texans—born and unborn.  (Most of these measures are specified in the 2016 party platform of the Republican Party of Texas.)

First Amendment Rights: Definitively protect the religious liberties of individuals, government employees, counselors, business owners (including, but not limited to, faith-based care facilities), and adoption agencies; and protect and preserve First Amendment rights, including freedom of speech (including political speech), freedom of assembly, freedom of association, and the requisite due process for all who exercise these constitutional rights (SB 14, SB 107).

Property Owner and Taxpayer Protections: Limit the growth of government (Article VIII, Section 22) to the lower rate of either population growth combined with inflation or change in the gross state product (for the two fiscal years immediately preceding a regular session of the Texas Legislature) (SB 9); require voter approval when local governments and/or local taxing entities seek to increase the tax rate by more than 3% (SB 2); eliminate the franchise tax (SB 72, SB 112); eliminate the “Robinhood” pyramid from public school finance (SB 286); require a supermajority vote in the legislature for taxes to be raised; enact zero-based, program-based budgeting (SB 272, HB 114); and eliminate all forms of corporate subsidies and welfare in favor of free market principles (SB 105), (including, but not limited to, the Texas Enterprise Fund (SB 100, SB 393), Events Trust Fund (SB 389, SB 390, & 392), and the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentives (SB 99, SB 244, HB 779).

Protect Life: Ban abortion by dismemberment to end the trafficking of the body parts of victims of abortion (SB 415 & HB 844); close the loopholes in state laws that do not protect unborn children with disabilities from abortion; enact an overarching budget patch to render Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers ineligible for one cent of state money; and repeal the Texas Advance Directives Act of 1999 to safeguard vulnerable patients from hospital death panels and quality of value judgments imposed by hospital personnel.

Transparency at ALL Levels of Government: Ban taxpayer-funded lobbying (SB 137); mandate disclosure of government contracts and possible conflicts of interest by all public and elected officials and their family members; restrict elected and public officials from registered lobbying until two years after leaving office (HB 444); end collusion between governments and unions by prohibiting all state and local government entities from deducting union dues from the paychecks of employees; separate legislative salaries/pensions from judicial salaries/pensions; end pensions for all current and former elected officials five years after leaving the last office held; and ban the practice known as double-dipping—the practice of elected officials of retiring on paper, while still in office, in order to draw early pension benefits.

Texas Privacy Protection Act: Protect privacy, safety, and dignity in restrooms, showers, and locker rooms of government and school buildings; prevent men from using women’s facilities; and protect the decisions of private businesses regarding the use of certain facilities (SB 6).

Education Equitability: Apply free market principles to education; empower parents with more options for the education of their children; improve transparency in schools (SB 242) and districts; eliminate the “Robinhood” pyramid from public school finance (HB 286); protect private schools from government regulation; require parental notification/opt-out regarding curriculum; and remove federal curriculum influence from Texas public schools.

Parental Rights: Increase evidentiary standards that must be met before a child can be removed from his/her fit parents, and, in doing so, stop the disruptive, unnecessary, and harmful investigations of families; mandate that CPS agents meet statutory deadlines or face sanctions; ensure that families and parents are assumed innocent until proven guilty; expedite family court proceedings to avoid years of divisive litigation; and nullify courts’ use of indefinite “temporary orders” to remove children from their homes for years without cause.

American Law for American Courts: Clarify that a state court may not apply foreign law that would violate fundamental, constitutional rights (HB 45).

Ensure the Integrity of Elections: Empower the Office of the Attorney General to enforce laws against the commission of election fraud (SB 245); mandate that county election administrators meet the statutory requirement to make ballot data available on the day following the election; reform the application process and use of ballot by mail (HB 531); pass a court-proof photo identification mandate for all voters (SB 153); require preservation of ballot images and paper backups to electronic voting; make election dates uniform (SB 363, HB 151); end rolling polling so that voting locations cannot be moved during an election (HB 675); and close Texas primary elections.

Secure the Texas Power Grid: Buttress Texas’ electrical grid against natural disasters as well as manmade attacks to shield the lives and economic livelihood of Texans (SB 83).

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It’s Time to Push Back, Texas!

As a wife and a mother of seven children and the President of Texas Eagle Forum, one of the leading organizations defending families and religious liberties in Texas, I believe that our state must lead the way and protect the privacy of women and children here in Texas.

I believe that the recent report “The Economic Impact of Discriminatory Legislation on the State of Texas” put out by the Texas Association of Business to “encourage” the Texas legislature to take a back seat on these issues should be seen for what it is.

As I said in my previous statement “The report gives an estimate of proposed losses (with quite a variance) – $964 million to $8.5 billion, however, there is no mention of the impact on women and children when their privacy and safety is violated, or the losses to those healthy businesses, careers and churches when they are targeted because of their faith.”

I wanted to share a statement from our good friends, the Benham Brothers, who are in the middle of their own fight in North Carolina. This statement is concerning this recent TAB report. I encourage you to hear them and hear them well.  

“To those that seek to take away religious freedom and threaten the privacy of women and children in the state of Texas we have one message, ‘Don’t mess with Texas!’

The great people in the state where we grew up aren’t afraid of speculative, threatening economic reports, and they refuse to be told what they can and can’t believe. The recent report from the Texas Association of Business is the nothing less than a manipulated intimidation tactic meant to force Texans to submit to the radical, sexual revolution. These are the same tactics that were used in our state of North Carolina.

Yet despite them all NC not only withstood the attacks but surged economically. Click here for a few simple facts. 

It’s time to push back, Texas. It’s time we stop letting ourselves get bullied by manipulated reports and overinflated sound bites from the left. The facts are the facts: women and children deserve privacy and safety in restrooms and locker rooms–and Texans should be free to believe and live out their beliefs in every area of their lives.”

Also our own Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick put out this courageous statement on December 22nd.

“I congratulate the conservative legislators in North Carolina and the leadership of my good friend, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, for standing firm on principle and public safety. Legislation like this is essential to protect the safety and privacy of women and girls, and is simple common sense and common decency.

“Legislation to protect women’s privacy and business is essential to assure that sexual predators, like those who exploit the internet, will not be able to freely enter women’s restrooms, locker rooms or showers and that businesses are not forced by local ordinances to allow men in women’s restrooms and locker rooms. The left and the liberal media who oppose this legislation don’t understand it, but the people do. This is not discrimination against any individual or the targeting of any group. It is supported by the overwhelming majority of both political parties and every racial and ethnic group in Texas.”

North Carolina had been pressured by groups advocating that they abandon House Bill 2 in favor of the politically correct position advocated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and others which demand no restrictions regarding public restrooms, locker rooms and showers. The North Carolina Senate voted down a bill to repeal House Bill 2 and the House adjourned without acting.”

From my heart of hearts – I want to say a big “THANK YOU” to these courageous men for taking the narrow road and not compromising on that is right. The TAB will hear us this next legislative session when we say together – Don’t mess with Texas!

Trayce Bradford

Texas Eagle Forum, President

To get our email action alerts during this next legislative session on the issues that we are following, sign up here.

 

 

 

 


Texas Faith & Family Day

March 16, 2017

Texas Faith & Family Day at the Capitol

Austin, TX

 

Join us for a day where we make a difference together in Austin. We will share information about the legislation currently on the table during the 85th Texas Legislative Session important to our family values community. Come share your thoughts and hearts with your elected officials as we hit offices together.

For more information, email Trayce Bradford at trayce.bradford@gmail.com