|Dear Mary, |
The House and Senate will be busy this week passing bills and sending them to the other chamber. There is still time in the session for these bills crossing over to pass both houses.
Please note the updated action alerts for:
These alerts are in addition to the new alerts posted last week:
- HB 12 - extending postpartum Medicaid coverage to 12 months
- HB 5053 - criminal prosecution of election law violations in multiple counties
- HB 636 - election judges allowed to carry firearm at polling place
- SB 8 - the Governor’s voucher bill
- SB 1045 - creating a 15th Court of Appeals with statewide jurisdiction
- HB 2127 - the Death Star local preemption bill
- SB 1933 - allowing the SOS to directly administer local elections
- SB 1600 - requiring documentary proof of citizenship to register to vote
- SB 1070 - withdrawing from ERIC
It is important that we make our voices heard in a legislature determined to target Texans based on where they choose to live. It makes a difference when we present testimony, such as the testimony we offered to the House Elections committee last week in support of the Electronic Registration Information Compact (ERIC) that 6,000 members and supporters had sent the same message to their Senators. We need to keep up the pressure on House members now that the bill has crossed over.
We are also engaging the media. A press release was sent out yesterday drawing attention to the pattern of punitive and performative preemption being proposed this session, especially as it impacts local elections. We encourage members to send letters to your local news outlets reinforcing this message, remembering always that those letters come from you individually.
Keep up the great work empowering voters and defending democracy!
Voting Rights and Election Law
With time running out in the legislative session for bills to be heard in committee, the House Elections Committee scheduled 19 bills for a hearing last Thursday. Those bills covered a broad range of topics from creating a new civil penalty for vote harvesting, to requiring the Attorney General to review ballot proposition language, to bills that would remove voters from the rolls. The bill that garnered by far the most testimony in House Elections was HB 2809, which would withdraw Texas from the Electronic Registration Information Center (known as ERIC). You can read more about ERIC and what was discussed at the hearing through the link below, and you can read our testimony against the bill here.
To read the full update, click here.
Women's Healthcare Update
The pilot Doula services for Medicaid patients bill, HB 465, has passed the House and is moving on to the Senate. So is HB 12, which provides for twelve months of postpartum care for Medicaid mothers. The year of care is recommended by the committee organized to help lower Texas’s number of deaths among new mothers. Texas Medicaid mothers currently receive two months of postpartum care. When this issue was up for a vote in the last legislature, the Senate cut the twelve months to six (which later dropped to two months when pandemic funds ended). The hope is that the Senate doesn’t cut months again when they consider the bill.
To read the full update, click here.
*UPDATED* Support 12 Months of Care for New Mothers
Support HB 12, which allows moms to keep Medicaid health insurance for 12 months postpartum. Use our Action Center to write a letter to your legislators and ask them to support HB 12.
*UPDATED* Oppose HB 5053 as Vague and Arbitrary
HB 5053 allows violations of the Election Code to be tried in counties or districts adjoining the county or district in which the alleged offense occurred. Use our Action Center to write a letter to your legislators and ask them to oppose HB 5053.
*UPDATED* Do Not Arm Election Judges at Polling Places!
Oppose HB 636! Polling places need to be safe for all voters. Allowing election judges to carry handguns in polling places does not ensure safety, it intimidates voters. Use our Action Center to write a letter to your legislators and ask them to oppose HB 636.
*UPDATED* Texas Public Schools Need More Money, Not Less!
Educational Savings Accounts (ESA) are vouchers by another name. Vouchers divert taxpayer dollars from public schools to pay for private school tuition and other vendors. The priority voucher bill, SB 8, would create an $8,000 per year ESA with a $10,000 per student payment to districts with enrollments of 20,000 or fewer students that lose students due to taking ESAs. Use our Action Center to write a letter to your legislators and ask them to oppose SB 8.
*UPDATED* There is No Need For A Statewide Court of Appeals
Oppose SB 1045! Proposals in the House and Senate to create a statewide court of appeals to hear cases in which the State of Texas is a party is wasteful and a violation of minority rights. Use our Action Center to write a letter to your legislators and ask them to oppose SB 1045.
Protect Local Control: Oppose HB 2127
HB 2127 usurps local control in multiple different areas, such a labor and national resources, by importing an arcane concept of Federal preemption into State and local relations, effectively eliminating home rule. Use our Action Center to write a letter to your legislators and ask them to oppose HB 2127.
Stop State Takeover of Local Elections
SB 1933 would empower the Secretary of State to directly administer local elections in any county on a good cause belief alone. The bill would apply not just to counties with election administrators but also counties which rely on election tax assessors and county clerks. Use our Action Center to write a letter to your legislators and ask them to oppose SB 1933.
Texans Should Not Have to Prove Citizenship to Register to Vote
SB 1600 would require documentary proof of citizenship for voter registration, which is unnecessary since the counties already run their lists against driver's license records, and the Real ID law already requires anyone in Texas to present proof of citizenship when obtaining a driver's license or ID card. Use our Action Center to write a letter to your legislators to oppose SB 1600.
Don't Withdraw From ERIC!
SB 1070 would withdraw Texas from a 34-state information sharing programs that allow states to obtain accurate information on voters who have died or moved out of state. Use our Action Center to write a letter to your legislators to oppose SB 1070.
League of Women Voters of Texas
1212 Guadalupe St. #107
Austin Texas, 78701