SREC Bentley’s 88th Legislative Session Update

Republican Party of Texas 88(R) TX Legislative Session – Legislative Priorities Update

1. Protect Our Elections
2. Secure the Border and Protect Texans
3. Ban Child Gender Modification
4. Stop Sexualizing Texas Kids
5. Ban Democrat Committee Chairs
6. Abolish Abortion
7. Defend Our Gun Rights
8. Parental Rights and Educational Freedom

1. Protect Our Elections, Priority Legislation Passed:
* HB 1243 Rep. Hefner/ Sen. Hughes: Reinstates a Felony for engaging in illegal voting.
* HB 5180 Rep. Wilson/ Sen. Hughes: Provides Public Inspection of Ballots.

Non-Priority Election Integrity Legislation that Passed and Strengthens Elections:
* SB 1070 Sen. Hughes/ Rep. Jetton: Interstate Voter Registration—Prohibits ERIC in the State of Texas
* SB 1599 Sen. Hughes/ Rep. Bucy: Standardizes Vote-by-Mail Procedures
* HB 1299 Rep. Noble: Signature on Mail-In Ballot
* SB 1661 Sen. Hughes/ Rep. Smith: Places Guardrails on Central Counting Ballot Scanning Systems
* SB 1750 Sen. Bettencourt/ Rep. Cain et al.: Abolish County Election Administrator Positions in Large

Priority Election Legislation That Failed to Pass:
* SJR 35 Sen. Birdwell: Voter Must Be a US Citizen
* SB 1039 Sen. Bettencourt: Addresses Election Irregularities
* Any bill related to restoring the Attorney General’s authority to prosecute election crimes anywhere in
the state.

2. Secure Our Border and Protect Texans, Priority Legislation Passed:
* SB 1403 Sen. Parker/ Rep. Spiller et al.: creates an interstate compact for border security, including
building a border wall and sharing state intelligence and resources
* SB 1900 Sen. Birdwell/ Rep. Guillen: Foreign Organization Asset Forfeiture/ designates the cartels as
foreign terrorist organizations.
* SB 602 Sen. Birdwell/ Rep. Harless: Relates to the law enforcement authority of Federal Border Patrol
Agents, granting them power to arrest, search, or seize for any felony offense under state law.

Non-Priority Border Security Legislation that Passed and Strengthens the Border:
* HB 4635 Rep. Guillen/ Sen. Flores: The Texas Racketeering Act allows Texas to aggressively prosecute
organized crime, including drug and human trafficking cartels and street gangs, and it provides for civil
actions, remedies, and enforcement for racketeering and unlawful debt collection.

Priority Border Security Legislation That Failed to Pass:
* HB 20 Rep. Schaefer: Would have created the Texas Border Task Force and allowed Texas to turn illegal
alien back across the border. HB 20 was killed on a point of order.

3. Ban Child Gender Modification, Priority Legislation Passed:
* SB 14 Sen. Campbell/ Rep. Oliverson: prohibiting medical providers from practices that attempt to
change a child’s physical characteristics to approximate the opposite sex. Bans cross-sex hormones,
puberty blockers, and surgical interventions in minors. Medical providers will lose their license if they
violate this law.

4. Stop Sexualizing Texas Kids, Priority Legislation Passed:

* HB 900 Rep. Patterson/ Sen. Paxton: Prohibits Sexually Explicit Materials in Texas School and Classroom
* HB 4520 Rep. Cody Harris/ Sen. Bettencourt: Consequences for Texas Educators who Distribute,
Display, or Sell Pornography to Minors
* HB 1181 Rep. Shaheen/ Sen. Paxton: Age Verification for Online Pornography
* SB 12 Sen. Hughes/ Rep. Shaheen et al.: Age Restriction on Sexually Oriented Performances (including
Drag Shows)
* SB 1527. Sen. Huffman/ Rep. S. Thompson et al.: Creates Criminal Penalty for Sexually Grooming a

Priority Stop Sexualizing Texas Kids Legislation That Failed to Pass:
* SB 163 Campbell: extends the Parent Opt-In for Sex Education
* SB 1072 Hughes: Prohibits Discussions Related to Sexual Orientation and Gender in Texas schools
* Repeal Affirmative Defenses (Obscenity Exemptions) in Texas Penal Codes 43.24 and 43.25: There
were 13 bills in total filed and all failed to get a committee hearing.

5. Ban Democrat Committee Chairs:
2021 to 2023 Comparison
Texas House:
2021: 34 Committees with 13 Democrat Chairs – 38%
2023: 42 Committees with 9 Democrat Chairs – 21%
Texas Senate:
2023: Democrat John Whitmire Chairs the Criminal Justice Committee.

6. Abolish Abortion:
No bills passed to address illegal abortions or enforcement.
Previous Wins:
* 87th Session Heartbeat Bill was passed
* June 2022, Roe vs. Wade Overturned

7. Defend Our Gun Rights, Priority Legislation Passed:
* HB 3 Rep. Burrows/ Sen. Nichols: provides for an armed security guard on school campuses. This is a
good step toward eliminating gun free zones and is major headway in protecting our students.
* HB 3137 Rep. Isaac/ Sen. Springer also passed, which prevents counties from restricting gun rights.

Priority Gun Rights Legislation That Failed to Pass:
* HB 636 Rep. Patterson Allows Election Judges to carry at early voting polling locations.
* H.B. 2705 Rep. Hayes amends the Penal Code to remove language making it an offense for a person to
intentionally or knowingly possess, manufacture, transport, repair, or sell a short-barrel firearm.
* H.B. 175 Rep. Schaefer amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to entitle a person who has been
placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for an unlawful carrying of a weapon offense
committed before September 1, 2021, to have all records and files relating to their arrest expunged.

8. Parental Rights and Educational Freedom Priority Legislation Passed:
* SB 29 Sen. Birdwell/ Rep. Lozano: prohibits public schools and other government entities, from
enforcing a vaccine or mask mandate to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Non-Priority Parental Rights and Education Freedom Legislation Passed:
* SB 763 Sen. Middleton/ Rep. Hefner: Chaplains as School Counselors
* SB 17 Sen. Creighton/ Rep. Kuempel: Closes Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) offices at Texas colleges
and universities, ends mandatory DEI training, and ensures that no job applicant is required to sign a
statement affirming their support of critical theory/ political doctrine in order to be hired.
* SB 18 Sen. Creighton/ Rep. Kuempel: Eliminates tenure at public universities and colleges in Texas.
* HB 2102 Rep. Goldman/ Sen Paxton: Expands charter schools by allowing them 3 years to launch new
schools, rather than 18 months.
* HB 18 Rep. Slawson/ Sen. Hughes: Comprehensive rights to protect children from online predators and
data collection firms, creating a responsibility for providers to prevent harm to children.

Priority Parental Rights and Education Freedom Legislation That Failed to Pass:
* All Education Savings Account bills related to “School Choice”
* SJR 70 Hughes: proposing a constitutional amendment protecting the fundamental right of parents to raise their children.
* HB 2790 Dean: Public schools would deploy technology that would disable access to social media, networking sites.

Data compiled by: Christin Bentley, SD-1 SREC –