LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

Every other year, the Texas Legislature meets at the capitol in Austin for the legislative session, where both the  House and the Senate meet in order to propose, debate, and pass legislation that affects millions of people across the state. As the sole College Democrats chapter based in Austin, we have a unique responsibility to ensure that the voices of young people are heard  by lobbying our lawmakers and speaking up at committee hearings about the many issues that affect students and and the state at large.

The University Democrats have created a formal Lobbying Commission, in order to efficiently organize lobbying efforts for students at the state capitol. Every session, we have a set of legislative priorities that we create in order to show what bills and issues we want to fight for or against. Check out our priorities for this legislative session below.

Economic Security

Millions of Texas families have seen unprecedented financial hardship this last year. These bills if passed will allow Texas to get back to a booming economy:

  • SB 32 provides path to loan forgiveness for frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • SB 33 creates a tuition grant program that allows students to stay in college

  • SB 105 increases teacher salaries

  • SB 141 provides Medicare coverage to mothers for a year after having a child

  • HB 615 establishes a $15 minimum wage across the state

  • HB 732 establishes this minimum wage for school employees who did so much this last year

Voting Access

This fall we saw record voter engagement despite the pandemic. These bills ensure we continue to have full participation in our democracy:

  • HB 32 enables more people to vote outside polling locations

  • HB 93 requires counties have a polling location on (almost) every college campus

  • HB 478 addresses some of the longstanding barriers disabled people face when trying to vote

  • HB 481 makes early voting more accessible, particularly in smaller counties

  • HB 712 allows voters to be registered at their polling place during early voting

Future Proofing

Part of building back is ensuring we’re ready for the next disaster which is what these bills do:

  • SB 87 ensures future permits for energy production consider cumulative air pollution

  • SB 170 studies the feasibility of transitioning to 50% renewable energy by 2030

  • HB 420 establishes a new task force to study maternal mortality

  • HB 855 studies the transition from high school to college for students with disabilities

  • HB 282 creates a independent redistricting commission for 2030 to ensure fair representation

Justice for All

This summer people from all kinds of politics, from all over the world, were reminded of the injustices faced by so many every day. We must start to address these injustices by passing:

  • HB 73 removes as a legal defense the fact of learning the victim’s gender identity

  • HB 88 implements a whole host of policing reforms which are supported by a strong majority

  • HB 102 restores liberty to women and their families making end of life decisions with child

  • HB 188 protects workers from descrimination based on their gender identity

  • HB 404 requires new cosmetologists be trained to spot and report domestic violence situations

  • HB 407 ensures professional conduct is exhibited when dealing with a child’s sexuality

Education

In addition to the core areas where we must build back better, the recent pandemic laid bare areas that have long needed considerable reform, not least education:

  • SB 325 provides on-site mental health resources for public school students

  • HJR 35 amends the Constitution to dedicate net lottery revenues to classroom teaching

  • HB 725 ensures foster children are able to attend pre-kindergarten programs

  • HB 944 requires approval from the SBOE before any expansions of open-enrollment charter schools

  • HB 972 requires all schools teach about healthy relationships in an inclusive manner

  • HB 1016 & SB 168 establishes statewide standards for active shooter drills

Environment

The disaster brought on by the extreme winter weather this February has underscored the importance of prioritizing our environment by passing the following:

  • SB 243 puts in place energy efficiency standards for power utilities 

  • SB 304 sets a 100% clean energy goal for 2035

  • HB 351 requires air quality is documented and as needed improved in schools

  • HB  391 allows state employees to telecommute, reducing pollution from commuting

  • HB 520 requires utilities, after digging along state highways, to install native & pollinator-friendly plants 

  • HB 714 establishes the Texas Environmental Justice Advisory Council

  • HB 896 prevents oil and gas facilities from flaring, protecting air quality

  • HB 897 provides for regular environmental inspections of oil an gas companies

87th Legislative Session

Support  the cause.

Pol. Adv. paid for by University Democrats