How do we better ensure that legislators we elect adhere to the principles and policies we espouse? This is a question many Americans and grassroots politicos have pondered over the years. And it is one the Texas State Republican Party is working to address.
Every two years, Texas delegates meet at the State Convention to conduct party business — and establishing the Party Platform is paramount. The platform begins as resolutions presented by local citizens at their county convention. When passed at the county convention, resolutions are forwarded to the State Convention Rules Committee and work their way to the convention floor for a vote to be included in the Party Platform.
Texas GOP Delegates to the 2016 State Convention, for the first time, participated in “plank-by-plank” voting — ensuring delegates had the opportunity to vote individually on each policy statement. Delegates also approved five legislative priorities for the 85th Legislative Session set to begin in early 2017.
The Republican Party of Texas (RPT) 85th Legislative Priorities are:
- Pass constitutional carry while maintaining licensing as optional for reciprocity purposes.
- Abolish abortion by enacting legislation to stop the murder of unborn children; and to ignore and refuse to enforce any and all federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, and court rulings, which would deprive an unborn child of the right to life.
- Prioritize the allocation of funds to effectively secure the border through whatever means necessary, including but not limited to barriers, personnel, and technology over land, sea, and air, because the federal government refuses to secure the southern border of Texas.
- Call for a limited Article V Convention of States for the specific purpose of restricting the power of the federal government, including the implementation of term limits, and balanced budget amendment. Any proposed amendments must be ratified by ¾ of the states. [Check out Governor Greg Abbott’s Book, “Broken But Unbowed” presenting the “Texas Plan” for an Article V Convention of States.]
- Replace the property tax system with an alternative other than the income tax and require voter approval to increase the overall tax burden.
The State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) has the option of adding up to three legislative priorities. At its December 3rd meeting, the SREC voted to include the following:
- Working to advocate for comprehensive school choice in a manner consistent with the RPT Platform.
- Support denial and/or withdrawal of public funds for entities, public and/or private, not in compliance with immigration laws, including sanctuary cities and campuses.
- Protect the citizens of Texas from unlawful encroachments on their First Amendment rights, including Constitutional religious liberty and freedom of speech, and as specified in RPT Platform plank 153.
To ensure these priorities receive continued attention, Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Chairman Tom Meckler created a new SREC special committee for Legislative Priorities, chaired by RPT Vice-Chair, Amy Clark. I represent Texas Senate District 18 on the SREC and have been appointed by Chairman Meckler to serve on this committee.
While I look forward to updating you on the progress our Legislative Committee makes, it is important to know that you have a voice and a role to play in the legislative process.
The Texas State Legislature website provides citizens with information and tools to track legislation, attend and testify in committee hearings and contact your legislators. (I’ll provide more on this in a future post.)
You can also sign up to receive action alerts and let me know which priorities are important to you.
In this nation defined by We the People, it is important we work to have our voice heard. The ballot box is only the beginning.