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Senate Republicans Continue Their Work To Pass Conservative Solutions to Texas’ Challenges

July 21, 2017

Senate begins public hearings on legislative priorities and will continue to work through the weekend

AUSTIN – Texas Senate Republicans continued their work to pass conservative solutions to Texas’ challenges in the special session by conducting multiple public hearings throughout the day on several of Governor Abbott’s legislative priorities today. The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, the Committee on State Affairs, and the Committee on Education, heard from hundreds on Texans regarding several important pieces of legislation. Hearings are scheduled to continue at the Texas Capitol through the weekend.

The Committee on Health and Human Services, chaired by Senator Schwertner (R-Georgetown) heard several critical pro-life bills, such as Senate Bill 4, by Chair Schwertner, to put an end to taxpayer-funded abortion in Texas. “Texans have made it abundantly clear that they don’t want their hard earned tax dollars used to fund abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, regardless of whether those dollars are collected at the local, state, or federal level,” said Chair Schwertner. The committee additionally heard legislation by Senator Perry (R-Lubbock), who laid out Senate Bill 11, proposing a common-sense pro-life solution to an issue under current Texas law where it is legal for a physician to place a do-not-resuscitate order on a patient without telling them. Republican Caucus Chair Treasurer Van Taylor (R-Plano) added that this solution was “based on statutes that have been on the books for 18 years.”

In the State Affairs Committee, chaired by Senator Huffman (R-Houston), Senator Kolkhorst (R Brenham) highlighted the important need for the Texas Privacy Act, Senate Bill 3, which has been identified by Governor Abbott as a top priority in the special session. In a strong response to critics who came to testify against the bill, Senator Kolkhorst stated, “I put daughters before dollars on this issue.”

In the Senate Committee on Education, chaired by Senator Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), senators debated Senate Bill 2, regarding the establishment of a tax credit scholarship program for special needs children in Texas, such as those with autism or dyslexia. Highlighting the importance that the Texas Senate places on education, Chair Taylor stated, “We are very serious about public education. Education is the number one priority in our budget. We are not walking away from that responsibility.” Calling the legislation a “win- win-win”, Texas Senate Republican Caucus Chair Bettencourt (R-Houston) added, “Who wouldn’t want system that allows parental choice for kids?”

“Texans expect their elected leaders to show up, work hard, and vote on important issues,” continued Caucus Chair Bettencourt. “The Presiding Officer of the Texas Senate, Lt. Governor Patrick, and the members of the Texas Senate are doing exactly that this weekend.”

Committee hearings resume on Saturday, with the Senate Committee on Business & Commerce, the Senate Select Committee on Government Reform, and the Senate Finance Committee all scheduled to take public testimony.

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