ACLU of Texas Comment on Senate’s Special Session Record

Affiliate: ACLU of Texas
July 27, 2017 11:45 am

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AUSTIN — The Texas Senate passed 20 bills during the first ten days of the legislative special session, including a voucher bill that drains money from public education, a “bathroom bill,” and three additional anti-abortion measures, none of which are included among the legislature’s constitutionally required duties. The legislation now passes to the Texas House of Representatives for consideration.

“This Senate’s vindictiveness is unlike anything I’ve seen in my years following Texas politics,” said Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas. “Not content with the havoc they wrought on the lives of immigrants, women and LGBT Texans during the regular session, now they’ve circled back to target schoolchildren and transgender folks. We either need our legislators to come to their senses, or we need new legislators.”

Having passed a budget during the regular session, a special session was not warranted. But Governor Abbott was forced to call the special session following political maneuvering on the part of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who sought to revive the anti-transgender “bathroom bill” that failed to pass during the legislature’s regular session. The special session is expected to cost Texas taxpayers roughly one million dollars.

“It’s too early to tell what this legislation will look like in its final form, but constitutional considerations clearly haven’t factored into the Senate’s thinking,” said Andre Segura, legal director of the ACLU of Texas. “We call on all legislators to consider not only the severe economic consequences of passing such unwise and unlawful policies, but the personal toll this will take on the lives of Texans from all walks of life. Texans deserve better.”

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