A misconception exists in the Texas legislature that a newly-elected legislator serving his or her first term cannot significantly influence public policy. Likewise, many voters believe the work of the Texas legislature occurs on the House floor where cameras are rolling and votes are public. In reality, the lion’s share of work is completed prior to legislation arriving for consideration of the entire body and occurs off-the-record.
A husband, father, and attorney by trade, Representative Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) did not take the road often traveled by first-term representatives – resigning themselves to spending the entirety of the legislative session on a sight-seeing experience – but rather actively approached issues important to him.
Instead of seeking the limelight, Representative Burrows worked behind-the-scenes, consistently demonstrating his commitment to protecting innocent human Life – from the preborn, to the elderly, and the disabled.
During negotiations on various Pro-Life initiatives off the House floor, Representative Burrows used his legal scholarship to help convince House members and stakeholders to pass the strongest language possible on Pro-Life issues. Specifically, Representative Burrows’ legal recommendations on House Bill 3994 – a measure that reformed the process by which pregnant teens may seek permission for an abortion from a judge instead of from her parents – provided clarity and confidence to other legislators when the measure finally reached the House floor. Such a judicial process is mandated by the United States Supreme Court for those states that require parental consent (like Texas) for pregnant teens prior to an abortion.
Additionally, Representative Burrows wrote an amendment to HB 3994 that put an abortionist’s medical license in jeopardy for violating this new law, thereby adding a much needed enforcement mechanism to protect pregnant teens and parental rights. While this amendment was not ultimately placed in the version that left the House, Representative Burrows was unrelenting in his quest to ensure adequate consequences for violating the new law. As a result, the amendment was successfully incorporated into the final Senate version, and is now the law of Texas.
Texas Right to Life is appreciative of Representative Burrows’ work in helping to craft protective, Pro-Life policies in the State of Texas.
All too often, the work of legislators behind-the-scenes, for good and for evil, are not adequately brought to voters’ attention. Texas Right to Life’s “Legislator Spotlight” aims to offer more transparency on the complicated web that is the Texas Legislature!
Thank you, Representative Burrows!