Texas NOW works at the grassroots level to influence and bring about legislative progress at the local, state, and national level.
We reach out to candidates of critical races regularly and survey them to gauge where they stand on key women’s rights issues.
> Legislative Priorities
The Texas 86th legislative session is packed with legislative activities with significant impact to the well being and rights of Texas women, both positively and negatively. Here are the top 10 bills on Texas NOW’s radar in 2019.
If you feel passionately about any of these bills or any other bills introduced in this legislative session, please take action and make your voice heard. Find your representatives at https://www.commoncause.org and contact them by email or by phone.
TOP BILLS WE SUPPORT:
- HB 895 – | Abortion Care Coverage | Filed by Rep. Sheryl Cole, Rosie’s Law would enable coverage of abortion care for Texans enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program.
- HB 79, HB 361 – | Voter Registration | Texas is one of 12 states that does not allow online voter registration. A long-time champion of this cause, Rep. Celia Israel filed HB361 to allow Texans to register online to vote since 2015. Rep. Eric Johnson filed HB79 to require counties to automatically register any eligible resident who is issued or changes a Texas Driver’s License or personal identification card.
- HB241 – | Maternal Health | Filed by Rep. Jessica Farrar, HB241 would extend postpartum Medicaid coverage from 60 days after a woman gives birth or miscarries to one year.
- HB311 – | Economic Equality | Filed by Rep. Donna Howard, HB311 would implement a sales tax exemption for feminine hygiene products.
- SB112 – | Employment and Pay Equity | Filed by Sen. Jose Menendez, SB112 addresses unlawful employment practices regarding discrimination in compensation. SB112 would ensure that men and women are paid the same for doing the same job.
TOP BILLS WE OPPOSE:
- HB357 – | Dangerous Gun Legislation | Filed by Rep. Jonathan Strickland, the constitutional carry bill would allow the legal permit-less carry of a handgun, either openly or concealed, without a licence or permit.
- HB47 – | Anti-Abortion | Filed by Rep. Valoree Swanson, HB47 would make it illegal for a doctor to perform an abortion in Texas except to save the woman’s life or prevent serious injury. This is just one of the several anti-abortion bills introduced this legislative session as a larger effort to roll back reproductive rights. This bill would disproportionately impact lower income women who have less access to contraception.
- HB320 – | Unfair Targeting of Low Income Texans | Filed by Rep. Ken King, HB320 would require drug testing for people seeking benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. This bill targets low income Texans and perpetuates a harmful stereotype about those who have fallen on hard times.
- HB378 – | Voter Suppression | Filed by Rep. Mike Lang, HB378 would require voter registration applicants to provide proof of citizenship to the registrar in order to vote. This bill targets all Texans, but especially immigrants, by making the voter registration process unnecessarily complicated.
- HB222 – | Paid Sick Leave Opposition | Filed by Rep. Matt Krause, HB222 is a paid sick-leave preemption bill that would prohibit Texas cities from adopting or enforcing ordinances that require employers to offer their employees paid sick leave. Austin and San Antonio recently approved paid sick leave measures. This bill disproportionately impacts low-income families who often cannot afford taking off work for health issues.