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1212 Guadalupe St. #107
Austin, TX 78701

(512) 472-1100
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Date: 1/24/2023
Subject: LWVTX Capitol Action Report - 1/23/23
From: Elisabeth MacNamara

January 23, 2023

Dear Mary,

We are still in early days of this Legislative Session. Bills are being filed and the Legislature is still getting organized. Leadership priorities are emerging, and as our issue chairs are tracking bills, a few things are becoming clear, particularly in our top priority: voting rights and election law.

We’ll be watching for movement on companion bills that provide for election marshals similar to Florida’s election police; expansion of the authority of the Attorney General in the election arena; and further criminalization of elections and election workers. But in the meantime, we are still focused on redistricting in the Senate.

We do not want to lose some of the legislative record that was created during the special session (testimony, committee layouts, floor debates, etc.). Much of this previous work was included in the record for the lawsuits that have been filed challenging the current map. 

It is crucial that you provide testimony once again, in case we have to recreate the legislative record. Read the Take Action section below to find out how you can help.

In League,

Take Action!

We need your help with redistricting!

It is crucial that you provide testimony once again, in case we have to recreate the legislative record. You have a few options to do so:
  1. Resubmit your written testimony from the last session, and also add in comments about the sham hearings/process. Again, why hold regional hearings if you've already stated that you are not changing the maps?

  2. Sign up to provide virtual testimony. Remember, you can provide input at any of the hearings, not just the hearing that covers your region of the state. Please be sure to notify the committee clerk if someone in your group needs language assistance, and please reach out to us if they deny your request, like they did last session.

  3. Prepare new testimony that talks about how you have been impacted by the current maps:

    • Did you lose your candidate of choice?
    • How has your community been impacted by the new map?
    • What new policy issues have impacted/continue to impact your community?
    • Are you now mixed in with communities located in far off places, ones that have very different needs?
    • Has your new senator been responsive to your needs so far?
    • Are there any new problems pertaining to discrimination that you have faced, whether it be in elections or some other policy area like housing, healthcare, the environment?

Priority Issues

Voting Rights/Election Law

As in the rest of the country, Texas elections are underfunded. State and local election officials need more money to accommodate more voters and to increase the security of our election infrastructure. But increased funding should not be used to increase policing of elections or to fund efforts to take over local elections.

Women Healthcare/Reproductive Rights
Healthcare for low-income women and children is woefully underfunded. Simply funding what is already mandated by Texas law would be an improvement.

Gun Safety
Since the last legislative session, the Supreme Court has expanded gun rights under the Second Amendment. The result has been Federal Appellate decisions raising questions as to what state and local regulations will pass constitutional muster.

Public Education
Preserving and expanding state funding for public schools is a priority as well as opposing efforts to reduce funding through vouchers.

In Other News

Lieutenant Governor Announces Senate Committee Assignments

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued the following statement today upon announcing his Texas Senate committee appointments for the 88th Legislative Session:

“As the Texas Senate begins its work this session, the committee assignments I made today will ensure we succeed in addressing the priorities of the people of Texas.

“This is the strongest, best equipped group of senators in Texas history. They are proven leaders with the expertise and experience needed to keep Texas moving in the right direction. That includes the most outstanding freshman class we have ever had.

“The overwhelming majority of bills voted on by the chamber will have bipartisan support. But make no mistake, the priority bills will address the concerns of the conservative majority in Texas.

“Our committees have worked long hours throughout the interim to prepare for this session. The senators’ commitment to public service is unwavering and I am proud to serve the people of Texas alongside them. It is a team effort and we are ready to do the work Texans expect of us.”

To see the list of new committee appointments, click here.

Women Power Texas~ A Making Democracy Work Dinner

You're cordially invited to attend "Women Power Texas ~ A Making Democracy Work Dinner," our annual fundraising dinner, on Monday, February 27th, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. at the UT Etter-Harbin Alumni Center located at 2110 San Jacinto Boulevard in Austin, Texas.

Our keynote speaker is Rochelle Garza, and our honorees are Texas Gun Sense, Texas Impact, and the Texas Tribune.

Sponsorship packages are available. For more information about the event and to purchase tickets and sponsorship packages, click here.

League of Women Voters of Texas

1212 Guadalupe St. #107
Austin Texas, 78701
(512) 472-1100