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Texas Special Session Coming July 8th — Time to Contact the Governor and Your State Elected Officials

To all of you who have made the comment “I wish I could do more to influence my government than just voting” — here is your opportunity!

Governor Abbott just announced that he will convene a special session of the Texas Legislature starting July 8, making good on his promise to bring lawmakers back to the Capitol this year. (Article: Gov. Greg Abbott to convene July 8 special session of Texas Legislature — statesman.com) Unlike a regular session where multiple pieces of legislation can be submitted by Representatives and Senators for potential consideration, only the Governor can add items on the agenda for a special session. Abbott will release agenda items prior to the special session.

Abbott has already indicated that he intends to address election integrity during this special session. Legislation focused on securing the election process died in the House on the final day of the regular session when Democrats stealthily exited the House chamber and there was no remaining quorum. Time ran out and a vote was not taken. (Article: Democrats Take a Hike Deep in the Heart of Texas — frc.org)

This Special Session is an opportunity for you to contact the Governor’s office and indicate what you would like him to include during one, or multiple, special sessions. Even though he has already indicated inclusion of some items, there is an opportunity for other items to be added, as well.

Items for Consideration:

Vaccine Passports

Cruise ship company Carnival announced last week they will require passengers to provide proof of COVID vaccination when they resume cruises from Galveston in July. This comes on the same day Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law prohibiting businesses from asking for any kind of vaccination proof.

The request comes in the midst of a case involving Houston Methodist, which was the first hospital system in the country to require that all its employees get vaccinated. The lawsuit was filed by 117 workers led by Jennifer Bridges, a nurse at Houston Methodist’s Baytown hospital who declined the vaccine because she considers it experimental and dangerous. U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes ruled Saturday that federal law does not prevent employers from issuing that mandate and that Texas state law protects workers from being fired only if they are forced to commit a crime.

(Article: In first federal ruling on vaccine mandates, judge sides with Houston hospital, dismissing claims from staff resisters — msn.com)

Texans for Vaccine Choice has started a petition asking Abbott to call a special session on the issue of vaccine passports and employer mandated vaccine requirements. You can sign the petition by following the link:

We the undersigned petition Governor Abbott to call a special session so that the members of the Texas House and Senate may pass and the Governor may sign legislation protecting Texans’ right to work by prohibiting employee vaccine mandates in the State of Texas!

(PETITION: Ask Governor Abbott to Call a Special Session to Protect Texans’ Right to Work – Texans for Vaccine Choice)

Election Integrity and Protecting Female Athletes from Competing with Biological Males

Below is a Call to Action from the Family Research Council (FRC) addressing concerns of election integrity and protecting female athletes from requirement to compete with biological males. If you want to submit a generic request through FRC, you can submit their form at the end of this section. Otherwise, you can contact the Governor’s office directly by phone or email.

From FRC:

“Here in Washington D.C. radical leftists in Congress are working feverishly to ram legislation through to prohibit election integrity measures like voter ID and cleaning up voter files while allowing mail-in ballot trafficking.

While irresponsible congressional leaders pursue their unprecedented and dangerous power grab, state legislatures have been leading the way to shore up weaknesses in their state’s election system—Texas one of them. That is until recently when Texas Democrats stated a walk-out in the final hours of the Texas legislative session effectively killing several bills.

Among them were SB 7 and SB 29, bills to enhance Texas’ election integrity; and to protect female athletes from unfair competition with biological males who identify as female, respectively.

Thankfully, Governor Abbott has called for a special session to take up the election integrity. However, he needs to hear from you. The longer the Texas legislature waits the more time woke corporatists and the radical left has to nationalize and demonize the noble efforts to protect Texas’ election integrity. 

Please take a moment now to contact Governor Abbott and encourage him to call the Texas legislature to a special session to pass SB 7 and SB 29 as soon as possible!

Local Issue – Advancing Food Animal Production in the Texas Panhandle (Phase II)

FY 2022-23 Request: $4.142million

BACKGROUND

Last session, West Texas A&M University sought $8.142M for this initiative; the 86th Legislature chose to fund $4,000,000 of the initiative. This funding established the Center for Advancing Food Animal Production in the Texas Panhandle to prepare university undergraduate/graduate students, pre-veterinary students and post-DVM students for careers in all parts of the food animal industry, in the heart of one of the most productive animal agricultural regions of the world. 

 The goal is this initiative is three-fold:

  1. to prepare graduates of the Department of Agricultural Sciences for the food animal industry, through teaching, outreach and research support to the Texas fed cattle, dairy, and swine industries encompassing all stages of a food animal’s life;
  2. to train veterinary students to serve West Texas communities and the region’s food animal production industries in conjunction with the Texas A&M University System partners, the CVM’s Veterinary Education, Research and Outreach (VERO) Center, Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab (TVMDL), and the AgriLife Extension & Research Center; and
  3. conduct critically important applied research that promotes animal health, public health, welfare, sustainability, and production efficiency in the food animal industry.

The additional $4,142,000 in funding will be used to hire additional personnel and provide operating funds that were not funded in the 86th State Legislative session.  This would allow WTAMU to continue to the forward momentum that has been attained, such as:

  • Growth of educational opportunities at WTAMU and VERO allowing a 50% increase in numbers of undergraduate and graduate students training in animal agriculture.
  • Doubling of the numbers of veterinary students that receive clinical and experiential training by WTAMU and VERO faculty, in full collaboration with regional stakeholders.
  • Doubling of extramural grant support for research that benefits the food animal industry and its stakeholders. 

Texas

Republicans have held trifecta control of Texas state government from 2003 to 2021. (When one party controls the three vital centers of state political power—the office of the governor, the state House, and the state Senate — it is referred to as a trifecta.” Trifectas make it easier for the dominant party to pursue its agenda, and more difficult for opposition parties to challenge it.)

With a trifecta spanning nearly two decades, there is absolutely no reason why GOP state party priorities have not become law. Instead, many of the items identified as priorities by voters year after year were not passed or were watered down. Texas has a reputation as a leader in freedom, conservative values, individual rights . . . yet we have slowly delved into the “middle of the pack” as it relates to passing conservative legislation. Other states are leading the fight while Texas is lagging behind.

Texas could not get an election integrity bill across the finish line during the regular session, while Arizona just passed the requirement that all ballots must meet signature verification. A big win for those concerned with voter fraud.

Texas was the 21st state to pass Constitutional Carry. This means that twenty other states were ahead of us in granting this right to freedom-loving Texans. It took over 10 years for this legislation to finally pass.

Texas was the 15th state to become a second amendment sanctuary state.

It is time that we clearly communicate and hold our elected officials accountable for fighting for conservative legislation. Contacting your elected officials is crucial in blending together voter and legislative priorities. Speak up! It makes a difference!

Please feel free to leave any additional items for consideration in the Comments section below. I would love to hear what issues are of greatest priority to you. Call or write your elected officials today!

Contact Your Elected Officials

To contact Governor Abbott:
Contact | Office of the Texas Governor | Greg Abbott

To contact Representative Four Price:
Texas Legislature Online – 87th Legislature – Information for Rep. Four Price

To contact Representative John Smithee:
Texas Legislature Online – 87th Legislature – Information for Rep. John Smithee

To contact State Senator Kel Seliger:
Texas Legislature Online – 87th Legislature – Information for Sen. Kel Seliger

NOTE: At the top of my website is a tab for Contact Your Elected Officials. No matter where you live, the tab will direct you to your local, state, and federal elected officials.

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