The 2017 regular session and special session had numerous proposals which stirred significant political controversy. For various reasons, not all of them were voted on by both the house and senate. But three bills that were passed by both chambers and have been signed into law by the governor are the following (all of the bills referred to herein were during the regular session):
Senate Bill 4 (SB 4), the “sanctuary cities” bill, requiring local law enforcement agencies to cooperate with federal immigration agents and providing penalties for refusal to cooperate; Senate Bill 8 (SB 8) providing for several new restrictions on abortions, including requiring burial or cremation of fetal remains, and House Bill 100 (HB 100, the “Uber” bill) preempting the regulation of ride sharing companies and prohibiting local government entities from adopting differing or additional regulations.
How did your representative and senator vote on these three bills?
There were also two bills which were key parts of the agenda of the most conservative wing of the Republican party which were passed by the Senate but never voted on by the House: SB 3 (the “school choice” bill) allowing reimbursement and tax credits for expenses of sending children to private schools, and SB 6 (the “Bathroom bill”) requiring transgender individuals to use the restrooms of public buildings of the gender on their birth certificates.How did your senator vote on these bills?
There was also a major bill passed by the house (HB 21) which would have made a significant first step towards a complete overhaul of the Texas system of financing public schools. When considered by the Senate it was passed, but with amendments including one that would have effectively “backdoored” the bathroom bill as to the public schools. Those amendments were rejected by the House representatives on the conference committee so the overall bill failed. How did your representative vote on HB 21?
Finally, valuable insight can be gained by looking at the nature and substance of the bills which were either authored, sponsored, or cosponsored by your senator and representative. After looking at these items and the voting record above, rate each of them on a liberal to conservative scale of 1-10, with 1 being the most liberal and 10 the most conservative.
On the legislature’s website home page (www.capitol.state.tx.us/ ) under “search legislation”, specify 85-R 2017 for the regular session, click the box for “bill number”, not “word/phrase” and enter just HB or SB and the appropriate number.