The deadline for legislators to pass House bills on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives quickly approaches. State representatives give the impression that they have already passed their top priorities for the short 140-day legislative session. And they may have, despite the fact that no Pro-Life bills have reached the floor. However, their lack of action on the Pro-Life issue this session has alarmed Pro-Life voters, conservative members of the Texas House of Representatives, and Texas Right to Life. Members of the House stood with Texas Right to Life at a press conference on Tuesday, May 2, calling attention to the need for urgency. Pro-Life Representatives must act quickly if the House is to pass any protections for preborn children this session.
Leadership is preparing “but we ran out of time” excuses for campaign season. Seeking reelection, Republican-In-Name-Only (RINO) members will attempt to convince voters that there were simply not enough days in the session to address important issues. RINO politicians will claim they were only able to pass weak Pro-Life bills because stronger, life-saving bills were left in committee or placed disingenuously on dead calendars.
To sort through the expected rhetoric of such politicians, let us examine the facts. In the final week before the deadline to pass House bills, what did the Texas House make time to consider?
Below is just a small sample of bills that have been prioritized over life-saving measures in the Texas House. Even many authors of the bills below would agree that Pro-Life measures should take precedence over these frivolous policies. Some bills considered on the House floor with no time to spare:
- Requiring kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards to carry whistles on board;
- Allowing NASCAR to collect taxpayer-funded event subsidies;
- Regulating bingo games (yes, bingo games);
- Outlawing certain types of bats at UIL baseball games;
- Regulating specific types of dog restraints and collars;
- Regulating who may move and control a painting entitled “The Spirit of the Alamo Lives On”;
- Regulating raffles conducted by charitable foundations of sports teams;
- Regulating lottery ticket sales by wine and beer retailers;
- Naming the Bowie Knife as the official State Knife of Texas;
- Specifying the number of hours of experience required before a plumber apprentice may take a plumber licensing test;
- Relating to laws regarding the sale of secondhand watches;
- Designating Dripping Springs as the official Wedding Capital of Texas; and
- Urging Texans not to use the flag emoji of the Republic of Chile when referring to the Texas flag.
The final days during which Pro-Life House bills may be passed are rapidly expiring. Failing to pass substantive Pro-Life reforms threatens the lives of our most vulnerable Texans: the preborn, the disabled, and the elderly. After the Texas House considers the merits of the closest emoji substitute for the Texas flag, we urge the Texas House of Representatives to pass necessary life-saving bills. Failure to do so is not due to lack of available time but to misplaced priorities.